Childcare and You

Childcare and You

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Natural Painkillers - Use Nature to Kill Pain

As news flash around the world, about the dangers of painkillers, we should look for natural alternatives to treat our pain. As pain is an indispensible part of our life and is associated with various other issues like depression, anxiety, low immunity and restlessness, we use painkillers for everything from headaches, migraine, back pain, joint pain, muscle cramp, arthritis, stomach pain and body pain. 

Most of our pain is on account of inflammation of the tissues that cause it to swell, which is why we go for painkillers that can block the enzymes causing the inflammation, thus reducing pain. However, painkillers like Paracetamol & NSAIDs like aspirins & Ibuprofen can cause fatal side effects on prolonged overuse.

There are many natural painkillers that can provide relief from aches and pains without any harmful side effects.

Olive Oil 
Scientists have discovered that extra virgin olive oil has an antioxidant known as oleocanthal, similar to ibuprofen, that reduces inflammation and pain. As olive oil is a natural product, prolonged use is not harmful at all. Instead, olive oil has therapeutic benefits and antioxidants that improves your cardiac health, lowers high blood pressure, cholesterol, increases longevity and builds anti cancer cells. Use olive oil as a salad dressing. Mix 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil with juice of ½ lemon and 1 tbsp of promegranate juice and use it as a salad dressing. 50 grams of olive oil is equivalent to 10% dosage of ibuprofen.

Fish Oil
Omega 3 fatty acids, found in fish contains EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid) that is very effective in inhibiting the inflammatory chemicals in your body, thereby providing relief from pain. It is great in relieving pain from rheumatoid arthritis, gout and sinusitis. With regular consumption of fish oil, your body will break them down into anti-inflammatory compounds and use it to reduce your pain. Moreover, omega 3 fatty acids are extremely beneficial for building your brain cells, strengthening your bones and teeth, improving your vision and enhancing your immunity.

Turmeric comes from the ginger family and is popular for its antiseptic and medicinal properties. It contains a compound known as curcumin, which has the potency to block inflammatory compounds and strengthen your body’s capacity to kill the pain by suppressing inflammation. Turmeric is as powerful as NSAIDs and can be used continuously without fear of side effects to your vital organs like kidneys, liver and heart. Turmeric is useful in easing chronic pain from migraines, arthritis and osteoporosis. Take about 500 mg of turmeric with 500 mg of bromelain (found in pineapples) about ½ hour before your meal.

Bromelain is found in pineapple stems and is very effective as an anti-inflammatory agent. Bromelain is available as capsules for relief from labor pains, sinusitis headaches, sprain and swelling. It is also available as a cream and can be directly applied to sprains, swellings and muscle strains.

Add foods rich in magnesium like nuts, seeds and whole grains in your daily diet, in order to strengthen your body against potential negative effects of intense pain. Magnesium is useful in reducing the pain and the frequency of migraine headaches as well as provide relief from pain of the lower back, knees, muscle cramps and ligament strains.

Boswellia is an indian herb and boswellic acids present in the herb is effective in treating pain from rheumatoid arthritis. It is available as tablets and cream for topical application.

Devil’s Claw

Devil’s claw is a herb found in South Africa. It is a hard prickly fruit with sharp hooks. Although it causes pain when it snags into your flesh or hair, it is an excellent remedy against aches and pains from arthritis, back pain and osteoarthritis with zero side effects.


Arnica is a bright yellow flower found in Europe and is an ancient remedy for osteoarthritis. The anti-inflammatory compound found in arnica is as powerful as Ibuprofen in reducing pain and restoring smooth movement of joints. It is also used in treating pain from sprains, swelling, bruises and ligament tears. It is available as creams/gels and supplements as well.

The human saliva has many antibacterial compounds and enzymes. It is a natural painkiller, containing a chemical substance called opiorphin that is almost six times stronger than morphine and does not have the psychological and addictive side effects of morphine. Opiorphine suppresses pain by restoring chemicals found in your nervous system and modifying your body’s response to pain. Researchers are thrilled with this discovery and hope it will create inroads into pharmaceutical treatment.

White Willow
White willow bark contains a compound called salicin which is similar to aspirin and has anti-inflammatory properties and very effective in providing relief from headaches, fever, backaches, toothaches and joint pains.  However, children and people with ulcers or gastric problems are advised not to use it.