No one likes to be in pain. Chronic pain interferes with quality of life and can lead to such things as depression and compromised immune function. For many, pain becomes so debilitating that any help is welcomed, even if it is in the form of strong pharmaceuticals or dangerous over-the-counter remedies that do little more than mask the problem.
The good news for those who suffer is that there is a way, a better way, a natural way, to help ease the discomfort associated with many conditions such as arthritis and fibromyalgia. Herbal remedies are gaining ground in our country but have been used since the beginning across many cultures as a remedy for pain.
Arnica (Arnica spp.)
Arnica is thought to be the best natural herb to relieve pain in the knee. It is put into the form of tablets and creams. If you are recovering from carpal-tunnel release surgery, the anti-inflammatory chemicals in Arnica help expedite healing.
This pain-relieving herb should be applied twice daily in cream form and the pills should be taken according to the instructions on the package. Arnica is a perennial herbaceous species coming from the sunflower family.
Boswellia (Boswellia serrata)
Boswellia is a type of tree renowned for its healing properties. This aromatic tree resin has an abundance of health benefits. Boswellia is mainly a source of anti-inflammatory medication, but it has many uses that are yet unknown to the scientific community.
In West Africa, it is used to treat rheumatism, fever and gastrointestinal disturbances. Boswellia is also thought to be a potential reliever of depression and asthma. It is recommended to take 150-400 mg capsules three times daily for three months to notice improvement.
Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium)
Feverfew is a small bush-shaped herb. Seen in many old gardens, this traditional plant has medicinal uses and is sometimes grown for ornament. The perennial feverfew gets its name from the latin word febrifugia, meaning fever reducer.
It is commonly used as an anti-inflammatory, headache treatment and arthritis reliever. This multi-use herb can be bought in 60-mg tablets of the fresh leaf, powdered. It can also be used in tea; steep 2-3 leaves in boiling water for a fragrant brew.
Ginger Root (Zingiber officinale)
Ginger root is consumed by many as a spice, medicine or as a delicacy. It can be taken to reduce fibromyalgia pain and help with digestive cramps. Ginger is often steeped to make a tea that is common in China.
Not only does this root have medicinal qualities, it also has a sharp spicy taste, which makes it a favorite culinary herb as well. It is safe to take up to 4 grams of powdered ginger each day.
Licorice Root (Glycyrrhiza glabra)
Licorice is an herbaceous perennial that is 30-50 times sweeter than sugar and has a strong anti-inflammatory component. It is made into extract, mouth freshener or candy, and the flavoring is used in soft drinks. The glycyrrhizic acid that is found in licorice is used, in some countries, to treat viral diseases.
The root of this sweet herb is recommended if you are suffering from a sore throat. The most common way of taking licorice root is in a tea. Simmer about 2 tablespoons of dried licorice root in water for 15 minutes. Do not consume licorice if you have any heart conditions, diabetes or high blood pressure.
*Always check with your healthcare practitioner before beginning a treatment regimen that uses herbs.
-The Alternative Daily