These five natural pain relievers have been used throughout the centuries to alleviate pain.
These five natural pain relievers have been used throughout the centuries to help alleviate aches, joint discomfort, headaches and even during primitive surgery. Many are still used as ingredients in modern medicine. So what are they? And why haven’t you heard about them before?
Belladonna is an incredibly powerful pain reliever. Before the Middle Ages it was even used as an anaesthetic during surgery. Its nickname is ‘deadly nightshade’, as high doses are poisonous to humans and can result in death. These days it can be found in cough medicine, and it is sometimes used in the treatment of Parkinson’s Disease.
When used in a cream or gel and applied to the skin, menthol has an anaesthetic effect. It is also used to treat muscle pain, as the application of menthol causes the blood vessels in skin and tissue around the muscle to widen. This widening of the blood vessels is called ‘vasodilation’. It means that more blood comes to the surface of the body, where it can more quickly transport any medicine you rub into your skin to the damaged muscles.
Sometimes called ‘Rhus Tox’ or ‘Rhus Radicans’ by the world of homeopathy, sap from the leaves of the poison ivy plant is often used as a painkiller in many different medicines. It can be found as an ingredient in some anaesthetics, as well as being used to treat body aches and rheumatism.
Turmeric is often prescribed for patients with arthritis who are looking for an alternative to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Turmeric, as well as some other herbs and spices, works in a similar way to NSAIDs, but it is often gentler on the body. Some patients even report that turmeric is more effective than drugs in treating rheumatoid arthritis.
Medicinal willow bark comes from several varieties of the willow tree, including white or European willow, black or pussy willow and others. The bark is often used to make a tea which has pain relieving properties. The active ingredient in willow bark, a chemical called salicin, acts a lot like aspirin. It is used to relieve pain including headaches, muscle pain, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, gout and more.
While all of these unusual pain killers have been used by others in search of pain relief, it is important to note that, when not taken correctly, they can be deadly. Some of them can cause severe allergic reactions just by touching them. If you are looking for alternative pain relief it is important to consult a medical professional. If you choose to visit a homeopathic specialist, and he or she prescribes you a herbal pain remedy, let your medical doctor know what it is before you start taking it. Herbal remedies can react badly with other medications, or cause pre-existing medical conditions to worsen, so be sure to take them as safely and responsibly as you would any other drug.
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