Pain is a reality for many, and it’s hard to find clean products at your local drug store. Aspirin often contains added binders, fillers and colors, where as Tylenol products contain acetaminophen which is hard on the liver.
Here are my FAVORITE natural pain relief alternatives!
1) White Willow Bark (salix alba)
White willow bark is a natural source of salicin (converted to salicylic acid in the body), the active ingredient in aspirin. You can buy it as a tea, pills or extract. “Harpagophytum Procumbens, Salix Alba and Capsicum Frutescens seem to reduce pain more than placebo.” (source)
2) This homeopathic cream
It’s GREAT for muscle aches and I love using it when my back and neck get sore. It’s best for temporary soothing of joint, back and muscle pain.
Epsom salts are a transdermal source of magnesium to help ease muscle aches and related inflammation. Start with 1-2 cups and slowly increase up to 4 cups per bath. Soak for at least 15-20 minutes. If you’re new to epsom salt baths, try them before bedtime, as they can induce sleepiness!
Did you know that many pharmaceutical drugs are just a synthetic imitation of plant compounds? In order to patent a drug you need to synthetically alter it because nothing found in nature can be patented. So we see aspirin inspired by the salicylic acid in white willow bark, and valium inspired by compounds valerian root. Essential oils contain highly concentrated compounds from plants that can be used therapeutically for many ailments. According to this study, certain essential oils can be therapeutic for pain. PanAway and Deep Relief are some of my favorite essential oil blends for soothing an achy neck or back.
What do you do when you are in pain? What are your favorite pain relief products?
Gagnier JJ1, van Tulder M, Berman B, Bombardier C. Herbal medicine for low back pain. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2006 Apr 19;(2):CD004504.
Ou MC1, Lee YF, Li CC, Wu SK. The effectiveness of essential oils for patients with neck pain: a randomized controlled study. J Altern Complement Med. 2014 Oct;20(10):771-9.