8 Natural Painkillers That Help Ease Pain

Natural Painkillers That Help Ease Pain
  • There are a number of natural painkillers that can help to ease pain without the use of medication.
  • Herbs such as ginger, turmeric, and cloves can be effective in reducing inflammation and pain.
  • Massages, heat, and cold therapy are two other alternative therapies that can help to reduce pain.

From headaches to muscle pain, pain is something that everyone experiences at some point in their lives. While there are a variety of over-the-counter and prescription medications available to help ease pain, these medications can come with a host of undesirable side effects. If you’re looking for a natural way to ease your pain, here are eight options to consider.

1. Peppermint Oil

Peppermint oil has long been used as a natural remedy for headaches and other types of pain. The menthol in peppermint oil is thought to help relax muscles and improve blood circulation, both of which can help reduce pain. Peppermint oil can be applied topically or inhaled using a diffuser.

2. Massage Therapy 

Massage therapy relaxes muscles, improves circulation, and decreases inflammation. It also releases endorphins and serotonin, which have mood-boosting and pain-relieving effects. Massage therapy is often used to treat back pain, muscle aches, tension headaches, and fibromyalgia. 

3. Heat and Cold Therapy 

Applying heat or cold to the affected area can help alleviate pain by decreasing inflammation and relaxing muscles. Heat therapy is often used to treat arthritis and menstrual cramps, while cold therapy is often used to treat injuries such as muscle strains and bruises. 

4. Capsaicin Cream 

Capsaicin cream is made from chili peppers and helps relieve pain by depleting the substance P—a neurotransmitter that transmits pain signals to the brain. Capsaicin cream is most commonly used for arthritis, but it can also be used for nerve-related conditions such as shingles, diabetic neuropathy, and fibromyalgia. Soothing agents such as menthol or eucalyptus oil can also be added to capsaicin cream to help reduce burning or stinging sensations. Do not apply capsaicin cream to broken skin.  

5. CBD oil

CBD oil is another option for natural pain relief. CBD stands for cannabidiol, and it’s a compound found in cannabis plants. CBD oil is made by extracting CBD from the cannabis plant and then diluting it with a carrier oil like coconut oil or hemp seed oil. CBD oil is thought to have many of the same medicinal benefits as marijuana but without the psychoactive effects because it doesn’t contain THC, the compound in marijuana that gets you high. CBD oil can be taken orally or applied topically to the skin.

6. Ginger

Ginger has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties that make it an effective natural painkiller. Ginger can be consumed fresh, dried, powdered, or as an extract or capsule. It can also be made into tea by steeping ginger root in hot water for several minutes.

7. Cloves

Cloves are a common spice used in cooking, but they also have powerful medicinal properties. Cloves contain eugenol, an analgesic and anesthetic compound that numbs pain receptors. Cloves also have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. You can take cloves orally in capsule form or apply them topically to the affected area. Just be aware that they can cause skin irritation in some people, so it’s best to test them on a small patch of skin first before using them more broadly.

8. Turmeric

Turmeric is a spice that has been used in India for centuries as a natural remedy for pain. The main active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin, which has strong anti-inflammatory properties. Curcumin is so effective at reducing inflammation that it has been compared to ibuprofen and other over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs. But unlike ibuprofen, turmeric doesn’t come with any negative side effects.

Regular use of turmeric may help reduce pain and inflammation associated with conditions like fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and menstrual cramps. You can find turmeric supplements at your local health food store, or you can add them to your food. Try adding it to curries, soups, or rice dishes.

7. Willow Bark 

Willow bark contains a compound called salicin, which is thought to be responsible for its anti-inflammatory effects. This herbal remedy has been used for centuries to relieve different types of pain, including back pain, menstrual cramps, headaches, and arthritis. Willow bark can be taken orally in pill or capsule form or applied topically as a cream or ointment. 

8. Exercise 

You might not think of exercise as a natural painkiller, but it’s actually one of the best things you can do for pain relief. Exercise increases blood flow to the affected area, which helps reduce pain. It also releases endorphins, facilitates muscle relaxation, and helps improve sleep quality. Exercise is often recommended as part of a comprehensive treatment plan for chronic pain conditions such as fibromyalgia, low back pain, and arthritis. 

The bottom line

When it comes to managing chronic pain, there are many options available — both natural and pharmaceutical. What works for one person may not work for another, so it’s important to experiment until you find what works best for you.

In addition to the natural painkillers listed above, over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) can also be effective at managing chronic pain. As always, speak with your doctor before starting any new treatment to make sure it’s safe for you.

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