Do aches and pains have you thinking you’re not as young as you used to be? You can turn to natural healing herbs to bring relief without the side effects. Here are four natural herbs – some that you may find in your own kitchen –that will bring you relief from head to toe!
A word of warning: The use of herbs is a time-honored approach to strengthening the body and treating disease, but always discuss with your physician before treating conditions with herbs and spices to avoid any adverse interactions. For example, because turmeric and ginger possess natural blood-thinning properties, individuals about to undergo surgery and those taking blood thinners should take extra precaution.
1. Tame Pain With Turmeric
Turmeric, the spice that gives curry its distinctive flavor and coloring, also has plenty of pain-relief benefits. New research suggests that turmeric possesses anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties and also helps to improve circulation and prevent blood clotting. Turmeric has been used in traditional medicines for easing the pain of sprains, strains, bruises and joint inflammation, as well as for treating skin and digestive issues. The healing power of turmeric comes from its active ingredient – curcumin, which lowers the levels of two enzymes in the body that cause inflammation.
Don’t worry – I’m not going to ask you to eat turmeric by the spoonful! Just keep a jar of the powdered spice in your kitchen and add a little to your cooking in place of salt and pepper. Turmeric is also sold in supplement form.
2. Ginger Remedies Aches and Nausea
Ginger, a natural anti-inflammatory, has been used for thousands of years by the Chinese to cure pain. Ginger helps relieve nausea, arthritis, headaches, menstrual cramps and muscle soreness. During colder days, ginger can help spice up your circulation, too! A perfect compliment to vegetables, marinades and sweets, ginger is also delicious in tea. To make fresh ginger tea, you can cut up the root, boil it for 10 minutes, then strain the water and sip as tea. In a pinch, you can use ginger tea bags, available in health food stores.
You can also reap relief from pain by applying a ginger compress to the affected area. Grate the root; wrap the ginger in cheesecloth; place it in hot water for 30 seconds; let it cool and place on the affected area for 20 minutes.
3. Valerian Root Relaxes Pain
Often called nature's tranquilizer, valerian has been used for centuries to regulate the nervous system and relieve insomnia, tension, irritability, stress, and anxiety. Valerian is also a natural pain reliever that reduces sensitivity of the nerves. Try a cup of valerian tea the next time you’re in need of pain relief!
4. Eucommia for Your Aching Back and Joints
Traditional Chinese medical practitioners use eucommia bark for back and joint pain, especially in the hips and knees, and also to strengthen bones, tendons and ligaments. Eucommia helps heal tissue that is slow to mend after an injury or that has been weakened through stress. Western studies with rats confirm that both the leaves and the bark of eucommia contain a compound that encourages the development of collagen, an important part of connective tissues such as skin, tendons and ligaments. Although it can be used alone, eucommia bark is most often used in combination with other supportive herbs. The only practical way to take eucommia is as a supplement from a licensed provider. Patients taking blood pressure medications should consult with their health-care provider before taking eucommia or formulas that contain it.