Reaching for the pain killers has become second nature to many people. However, many OTC medicines bring quick relief from pain but cause long-term health problems. Do you always read the information pamphlet or the printed information on painkiller containers? It is so easy to buy them over the counter. Homemade painkillers may be less harmful and inexpensive or free to make. However, that conjures up an image of a nasty old witch brewing up her potion.
Most importantly, popular painkillers like Tylenol, Ibuprofen and Aleve could all have harmful side effects. For example, acetaminophen (Tylenol) is reportedly the primary cause of preventable liver failure. Furthermore, the difference between the suggested dose and an overdose is uncomfortably close to each other.
Frequently, we take painkillers for chronic conditions like spinal stenosis, sciatica or arthritis. However, the medication we take does not treat the cause of the pain. While these products might have their place, how much harm can there be in at least trying some homemade painkillers?
Lets look at some natural painkillers
With no side effects, containing no chemicals and free or inexpensive, you might want to take a closer look at this option.
Bone Broth contains several natural painkillers
Bone broth have lost its place on modern household menus. However, they contain critical elements left out of current Western diets. Along with relieving pain, the nutrients in bone broth are also flavorful.
The glutamine in bone broth plays a special role in intestinal health and promotes weight loss.
Glycine reduces inflammation, repairs tissue and creates protein necessary for growth.
Collagen, improves skin elasticity and signs of aging. In addition, it can increase density in bones weakened with age and can improve joint, back and knee pain.
Gelatine lubricates joints and reduces friction.
Turmeric repairs damaged tissues
Curry and turmeric go hand-in-hand, but that is not its only benefit. It reduces the swelling in damaged tissues. This bright yellow spice contains curcumin, a powerful anti-inflammatory antioxidant. It does the same job as the ibuprofen medication that we take to reduce pain caused by inflammation.
Epsom Salt — external painkillers
These crystals work from the outside. When you dissolve it in water, it breaks down into sulfate and magnesium. When you apply it in painful areas, it penetrates the skin, relieving muscle, joint and bone pain. Furthermore, it relieves arthritis or fibromyalgia and post-childbirth soreness. An interesting fact is that magnesium affects the pain signals between the brain and the body. Moreover, it reduces depression symptoms and regulates muscle contractions.
Willow Bark similar to painkillers like aspirin
Who would believe that the bark of willow could relieve pain? However, it makes perfect sense once you know that it contains salicin. Salicin is a similar ingredient to the painkilling content of aspirin. These days, willow bark is dried and sold as additives to tea or liquidized in capsule form. Long ago, willow bark was chewed to lower fever, relieve pain and aches and reduce inflammation.
Importantly, as the result of its relation to aspirin, willow bark can have similar side effects. Using it for long periods can cause an upset stomach, slow down kidney functions and increase bleeding disorder risks. Do not give willow bark to children, and never take it along with other painkillers. Above all, people with bleeding disorders should not use willow bark.
Comfrey Extract — painkillers for external use only
A study of cream made from comfrey root showed that 95% of patients with back pain experienced significant pain relief after applying comfrey extract. Similar results followed studies on treating ankle sprains and arthritis. The roots and leaves of the comfrey plant contain rosmarinic acid and allantoin. The latter accelerates new skin cell growth, and rosmarinic acid reduces inflammation while it also relieves pain. However, it is only for external use.
Cloves available in many forms
Some people call cloves a spice, while others say it is a herb. Regardless, it is an effective painkiller that is available in various forms. It comes in oil, powdered or whole. It is incredibly versatile and used to treat arthritis, headaches, inflammation and even toothaches. Cloves are added to many OTC ointments to treat pain. Importantly, don’t use it in its pure form on your skin for long periods. Furthermore, patients who use blood-thinning medication should not use cloves for medication.
Heat and Ice
One of the oldest treatments for pain is the alternating application of heat and ice. Although it relieves pain caused by chronic inflammation or injuries, following the correct procedure is essential. Treatment starts with applying ice to the painful area — with a towel between the skin and the ice. The coldness numbs the sore area and reduces inflammation and swelling. Remove the ice after about 30 minutes, and apply heat when the painful area reaches room temperature. The heat will serve to relieve stiffness and cause muscles to relax.
To sum up, you might want to try some of these natural painkillers. However, as with OTC painkillers, the homemade versions will relieve pain, but it will not treat the underlying condition that causes the pain.