No one wants to use pain relief. The cost aside, many painkilling remedies come with a host of unwanted side effects. Painkillers get addictive too. In 2017, around 2 million Americans misused their prescription painkillers. So what can you do if you need pain relief but don’t want a prescription?
Luckily, nature provides plenty of alternatives. We’ve collected five pain relieving plants you can try instead. Read on to learn more:
Peppermint is a fantastic plant with a host of healing properties. Drink it as a tea to soothe digestive pain and discomfort. Or dilute the essential oil with coconut oil and apply topically. Putting it on the temples can help reduce headaches.
Peppermint oil also has anti-inflammatory properties. Dilute the oil and apply to sore muscles for pain relief.
When you dilute an essential oil, use a ‘carrier’ oil like almond, olive, or coconut oil. Add 3-5 drops of the essential oil per ounce of the carrier.
You may have seen arnica in gel form to help ease bruises. This yellow flower also offers anti-inflammatory properties and soothes swelling from broken bones.
A study in 2007 shows arnica gel was just as effective for osteoarthritis as ibuprofen gel. Arnica can cause a host of side effects if taken internally. So it’s best to use it externally in creams or gels. Even then, pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid using it.
The kratom tree grows in countries like Malaysia, Thailand, and Myanmar. People use extracts from the leaves as a sedative. But people also believe it may help relieve chronic pain. It contains two alkaloids called mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine.
These chemicals can help relieve pain and ease inflammation. Clinical trials are still in their infancy so do your research before you use it. Check out Kratom Connection for more information.
The spice turmeric contains curcuma as an active ingredient. Adding turmeric to smoothies or curries can help reduce inflammation. As a bonus, it also helps the digestive system. Turmeric can also help lower cholesterol, making it a useful plant to keep handy.
A study in 2014 found curcuma extract was useful in managing osteoarthritis. When patients took it for four weeks, the extract was as effective as ibuprofen. The fresh spice offers a host of benefits. But turmeric supplements are also available.
Staying with a ‘warm’ spice, ginger also shows promise for its pain relieving properties. Research from 2015 showed eating 2g of ginger a day could reduce exercise-related pain.
You can use ginger supplements. But evidence suggests fresh ginger is better. Add it to smoothies and food for the best results. It can also help ease morning sickness, nausea, and menstrual cramps. It’s a good ‘all rounder’ plant to keep handy.
Now you know which pain relieving plants can support your wellbeing. You have a range to choose from, including teas, oils, powders, and fresh ingredients. Sometimes these natural remedies can affect other medication you take. So always check with a doctor before you start taking any internal medicines.
Why not check out our health and fitness articles for more tips?