“The most exquisite pleasure in the practice of medicine comes from nudging a layman in the direction of terror, then bringing him back to safety again.”—Kurt Vonnegut
As a USA Today headline has pointed out in the past, we are born into suffering. Nowadays, one of the reasons we are born into suffering is because there are babies being born who are dependent on drugs, a sad consequence of Big Pharma pushing heavy duty prescription pain meds on us.
According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, 2 million Americans had a substance use disorder involving prescription pain relievers in 2015 alone. They also suggest that opioid addiction is the impetus behind the drug addiction epidemic in the Western world with more than 20,000 overdose deaths caused by prescription pain reliever abuse.
We understand the need to quell suffering and relieve chronic pain. So, with that in mind, we have compiled a comprehensive list of all-natural pain killers that can take the place of the damaging opioid substances on the mainstream market. They are as follows:
Table of Contents
What is Arnica? And what is Arnica for? It’s actually a vibrant yellow flower whose petals and root are used in topical treatments for joint pain, muscle tension and arthritis. Arnica is applied to the skin and goes to work fast to reduce swelling, bruises, sprains and aches.
Arnica is also used in natural lip balms to replenish chapped lips, and is crazy good as a natural cream for alleviating cartilage pain and other stubborn sore spots. It also comes in salves, tinctures and gels.
According to Dr. Andrew Weil, Arnica is most effective as a tincture which he says, “smells good and feels good. You can massage it into any injured area with unbroken skin.”
Dr. Josh Axe suggests using Arnica and Bilberry in tandem to create the best bruise cream. Axe is quick to remind us that Arnica has been used since the 1500s as an anti-inflammatory agent.
What does Ashwagandha do for you? It actually does a lot of things. Ashwagandha is typically implemented as an adaptogen that helps the body adapt to daily stress. It is also used as a general tonic to diminish pain and swelling.
Ashwagandha is wildly popular among noot nuts for its congitive enhancement properties. In addition to its natural analgesic qualities, ashwagandha can substantial improve thinking ability and act as an anti-aging treatment.
While ashwagandha has been shown to relieve certain pains, it is important to be cautious with your dosage as several users have reported stomach pain and severe diarrhea as a result of ashwagandha use. One person on Reddit documented their “alarming reaction” to Natural Factors’ Stress Relax/Serenity Formula which consists of Ashwagandha and Rhodiola.
Birch bark leaf extract is said to be a powerful natural analgesic that is particularly effective in those afflicted with osteoarthritis and other chronic pain disorders. An aromatic anti-inflammatory, birch bark leaf extract is a volatile oil that contains the camphor-like betulin.
Birch leaf is beneficial to those suffering from RA (Rheumatoid Arthritis), gout and muscle pain. It has also been used to break a high fever and eliminate toxins.
That’s right! That soup your dear old granny used to cook for you when you had a cold as a kid is actually extremely effective at treating widespread pain. Comprised of marrow, bones, skin, ligaments and tendons, this old-fangled stock offers the user healthy, hearty amounts of collagen, glycine, proline and glutamine.
These are things that consist of vital minerals like magnesium, silicon and calcium which help to protect bone and strengthen muscles. Sadly, these are things that are almost completely absent from the modern person’s diet and it’s a shame, but luckily, it is something that is still easy to prepare.
For more on how to make a quick and simple bone broth recipe, you can visit this handy guide. Here you will find out how long you roast bones for stock and more.
Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, has written extensively about the health benefits of Boswellia, particularly the way that it safely gets rid of pain.
“The natural pain reliever, Boswellic gum resin extract is a powerful anti-inflammatory and vascular supporting herb,” Dr. Teitelbaum writes. “Also, it is one of the rare treatments that decreases elastase, an inflammatory mediator found to be eleveated in those with fibromyalgia.”
And Dr. T ain’t the only one who espouses Boswellia for this purpose. The aforementioned Dr. Andrew Weil has also championed Boswellia for its ability to improve mobility and reduce brain.
Of course, there have been those who suffered negative side effects from taking Boswellia. Some users have reported heartburn as a consequence of Boswellia usage. As with all other medications, if such symptoms crop up, users should discontinue use and consult with their physician.
Bromelain is an enzyme that is usually found in pineapple juice. A potent anti-inflammatory, Bromelain has been known to improve knee function in those suffering from arthritis and is often implemented as a post-operative pain killer.
Studies have been conducted that support the idea that Bromelain is a viable option for treating osteoarthritis. One orthopedist treated 59 patients with Bromelain and found that it could help heal their injuries by dramatically reducing swelling and tenderness at their injury sites.
Cayenne Pepper contains Capsaicin, a powerful all-natural pain killer. It has been used in the
treatment of tension, muscle soreness and skin infections. It often appears in natural painkilling creams.
Cayenne salve is available as a topical pain reliever that Learningherbs.com has called “truly astounding.” The Capsaicin in cayenne stimulates the neurotransmitter in our brains that relays information in pain.
CQ is a traditional medicine that has been shown to have impressive efficacy in the area of joint pain. Research has shown that cissus quadrangularis is ideal for exercise-trained men, making it the perfect natural remedy for athletes and bodybuilders.
Users on the bodybuilding.com forums have discussed its benefits for bones and muscle development, saying it “definitely makes a difference.”
For more on this exciting substance, you can visit the ultimate CQ guide here. Its benefits include healing broken bones, torn ligaments and sore tendons.
Yes, pain relief can be both tasty and healthy. This fruity treat is one of the world’s oldest natural pain remedies and the best part is, you can find it in your neighborhood grocery store. One quick visit to the produce aisle and you’ve got your hands on some premium pain killers.
The anthocyanins in cherries are said to be extremely beneficial to those seeking a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory. According to Dr. Muraleedharan Nair, PhD, “They block inflammation and they inhibit pain enzymes.”
Clove oil and the eugenol it contains has long been used in dentistry to treat toothache. In fact, clove compresses are readily available for toothache relief.
Parents also use clove oil to treat their children when they are teething. But that’s not all! Cloves are also effective in adults and clove oil can be used to facilitate pain relief in those afflicted with fibromyalgia and other chronic pain disorders.
Dr. Shen is a master of Chinese herbal remedies and he has written extensively about the pain relieving properties of this purple paragon of a plant. In Shen’s words, “There’s been a lot of interest in corydalis root as a potential treatment for the Western disease known as fibromyalgia.
“In Chinese traditional medicine there are several different disease patterns that are usually diagnosed as fibromyalgia. Corydalis is a potential ingredient in most any formula used to treat pain.”
Shen owes his knowledge of corydalis root to television’s favorite cardiologist Dr. Mahmet Oz who has covered the herb himself in great detail. Oz says that corydalis can be helpful in alleviating headaches, menstrual pain, back pain and nerve problems. Research also suggests that is can help neuropathic and inflammatory pain.
The typical corydalis dosage range for treating pain is between 3.25 and 6.5 grams. These measurements are based on usage of raw corydalis extracts.
Cranberry juice has been used for ages to relieve the pain associated with painful urination or UTI (Urinary Tract Infection). Some folks believe that a bacteria found in bladder infections leads to rheumatoid arthritis which is why cranberry juice is understood to be a preventative measure to ward off the development of RA.
Drinking cranberry juice on a regular basis can have a real impact on inflammation and can undoubtedly soothe pain. This is why it has landed on Arthritis.org’s list of the best fruits for arthritis.
Devil’s claw comes from a grapple plant called Harpagophytum procumbens. It is prevalent in Germany where it is used to treat everything from knee pain, hip pain and arthritis.
There is also evidence that supports the theory that Devil’s Claw can assuage lower back pain. Dr. Ray Sahelian, MD, has said that Devil’s Claw contains two active elements—hapagoside and harpagide. These compounds may be responsible for Devil’s Claw’s mechanism of action.
Devil’s Claw is used across Europe to treat rheumatic pain. Fortunately for us, Devil’s Claw is available over the counter across Canada and the US as a dietary supplement.
In Britain, Evening Primrose Oil used to be prescribed to treat breast pain as well as eczema. Today, we have found that this incredible oil can also alleviate the symptoms of PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome) and menopause.
A lot of people want to know, is evening primrose oil good for arthritis. Recent studies have found that evening primrose oil’s natural anti-inflammatory properties are a viable subtitute for most arthritis treatments.
5-Hydroxytryptophan is a building block of serotonin, the brain chemical that regulates our pleasant emotions and mood and is also believed to be instrumental to fibromyalgia pain.
5-HTP works to reduce pain sensation while improving mood and sleep patterns. By raising serotonin levels, it manages behavioral patterns, affects users’ appetites and relieves anxiety.
The Graston Technique is a unique, cutting edge instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization. It is backed by evidence and has been embraced by several clinicians who need to address nerve pain and scar tissue.
A form of manual therapy, the Graston Technique is part of the chiropractic school of medicine which was developed by athlete David Graston who invented it to treat a knee injury he was seemingly unable to recover from.
By designing a set of signature tools, Graston was able to transform the cross-friction massage technique earlier developed by Dr. James Cyriax into something that can break up scar tissue adhesions and fascial restrictions and discern the exact location of fibrosis and chronic inflammation.
Kratom, or M. speciosa, is a potent herbal stimulant that some users say makes a notable difference in the area of pain. Its analgesic properties have been enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of people the world over since it was first harvested in the tropical wilds of Southeast Asia.
As we’ve covered in the past, certain kratom strains are known to be better for treating pain than others. Maeng da kratom, for instance, is especially beneficial to those looking for relief from osteoarthritis and chronic back pain.
Kratom is not an FDA-approved drug and should not be taken as a primary treatment. Always discuss kratom’s benefits and side effects with your physician prior to use.
What is krill oil? Krill oil is an oil that contains oils nearly identical to those in fish oils and omega-3 fatty acids. It has been found to optimize multimodal arthritis control and is wildly popular as a natural alternative to mainstream arthritis medications.
Lavender oil is an essential oil that is commonly used in aroma therapy. It is good for everything from lower back pain to skin conditions like burns and acne.
What makes lavender oil a must-have natural remedy is its ability to relieve muscle and joint pain while helping you heal wounds and pimples. It has landed on many top essential oil lists and inhaling the therapeutic vapors of lavender can also reduce sinus inflammation.
Maca is a cruciferous root that has become ubiquitous among the nootropic community for its pain-relieving, anti-depressant and anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) properties. It is also used in the treatment of menstrual cramps, mood swings and other symptoms of PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome).
That being said, it is worth noting that some users have reported worse pain after taking Maca powder. But that being said, Maca still makes our list if for no other reason than countless consumers have had wonderful experiences when taking it and it is generally considered to be a powerful natural tonic.
Neuromodulation entails direct stimulation of the nervous system via electrical signals. It is used in the treatment of everything from Parkinson’s disease and primary dystonia to chronic back pain and peripheral neuropathy.
Neuromodulation comes in many forms including deep brain stimulation and peripheral nerve stimulation. By implementing extension wires, leads and a Neurostimulator, doctors are now able to cure and/or improve a range of disorders at a neurological level.
According to the Mayo Clinic, their research supports the premise that St. Johns Wort can significantly help in treating somatoform disorders such as pain and fear.
Used in Eastern medicine for thousands of years to facilitate pain relief, turmeric is an aromatic herb that can be cooked into a delicious curry dish and enjoyed along with other beneficial spices like cumin.
It has many therapeutic qualities, not least of which is its value for those suffering from Parkinson’s disease and arthritis. Its powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties have been proven to be of use for those with atherosclerosis and depression.
As we saw with cayenne pepper, spicy foods have a tendency to treat pain. In the case of wasabi, this Japanese plant from the horseradish family may just improve aches and pains on a whole new level. Scientists have studied the cellular structure of wasabi’s burn factor and believe that it is beneficial in this area.
It may look like pistachio sorbet, but wasabi has much more bite than your average brain freeze and it could just work wonders for your brain as well as your pain. Evidence shows that wasabi is able to trigger TRP receptors which regulate pain responses.
White Willow Bark is great for getting rid of pain because it contains salicin, an aspirin chemical that acts as an anti-inflammatory. Its analgesic effects have been the subject of studies by the University of Maryland Medical Center.
White Willow Bark is good for everything from headaches and muscle pain to RA (Rheumatoid Arthritis) and menstrual cramps.
These are just some of the many natural treatments available to people who want to avoid the detrimental effects, tolerance and addiction associated with prescription pain killers. Other techniques include meditation, acupuncture, Rolfing, diet and exercise. Sleep and cigarette smoking cessation are also advisable.
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