It’s not talked about as much, but white willow bark is reportedly a versatile natural remedy that can reduce pain and inflammation, help with cardiovascular issues, and relieve cold symptoms. The bark, which comes from the White Willow tree, gets turned into salicylic acid in the body. It can be consumed as a tea, supplement, or in a vaporizer.
This is a fun and useful post from MSN.com. It describes “12 weird pain remedies.” Now, before we begin discussing them, it’s important to note that each person responds to treatments differently. And if something less common works for you and has minimal adverse side effects, then it’s not “weird,” it’s just “effective.”
One interesting pain remedy is to simply hold a bottle of ibuprofen. In the corresponding study, people were able to tolerate more pain from ice water after touching the container than a different object. A separate ice water test found that cursing helped to lessen the intensity of pain as well.
On the opposite end of the swearing spectrum is calm. Separate studies found that people who breathe slowly or meditate are able to reduce their pain. Other psychological factors that can help are to expect less discomfort, to listen to music, and to count backwards as a distraction technique.
According to this arthritis expert, alternative treatments are becoming more popular with arthritis pain sufferers because traditional medicines haven’t been able to provide lasting relief for many. Among the most common therapies are acupuncture, which has been shown to help relieve pain, and exercise, which can improve the patient’s range of motion.
For those who have been waiting for the wearable pain relief device Quell, it looks like it will be available for sale in stores soon since a distribution deal was recently struck. Quell claims to relieve pain by stimulating the nerves and causing the brain to send out pain blocking signals.
Just yesterday, we talked about the power of music to reduce pain, and now, NPR has featured a recent study that proves just that. Researchers in London conducted a wide review of existing literature about the topic, and the practice of playing music to ease discomfort has reportedly been traced back to Florence Nightingale in the early 20th century. According to one of the study’s authors, the case for music as an analgesic really began to be made as the various smaller research efforts were compiled.
The team found that surgical patients who listened to music during any point of their treatment had less pain and more satisfaction. Better yet, they required less pain medication during recovery. There were also no noted side effects other than making it slighter harder for operating room staff to hear instructions. Otherwise, the scientists advocate that music be integrated more in hospital settings to improve patient comfort.
Spicy foods may be a taste preference for some, but research has shown that it can have a real effect on the body. In addition to speeding up the metabolism and slowing down the aging process, chili peppers offer medicinal properties. One such benefit is that the heat component called capsaicin helps to reduce pain by improving circulation.
For rheumatoid arthritis sufferers, turmeric may be the most effective remedy to reduce pain. Based on one study, the group that took only curcumin, the anti-inflammatory compound found in turmeric, experienced more relief from joint swelling than the other groups. One took only NSAIDs and interestingly, the other took a combination of NSAIDs and curcumin.
Inflammation has been getting a lot of attention, especially among natural health practitioners who believe it is a common cause of disease and pain in modern society. According to some, sources of internal flare-ups can include toxins like pesticides, dairy, gluten in bread, and stress.
Whether or not you believe these factors contribute to diseases, it makes sense to avoid irritants and keep the body’s internal systems as calm as possible. This can be done by eating a healthy diet of lean proteins and fresh fruits and vegetables. Herbs are also a great addition since many, like turmeric and ginger, have powerful anti-inflammatory compounds. Preservatives and artificial colors and flavors should be avoided, but healthy fats are good.
Other lifestyle choices can play a meaningful role in helping to manage inflammation. Sleep and exercise are important to regenerating the body’s defenses. Meanwhile, alcohol and tobacco should be off limits as both cause the organs to work harder than needed.
You may work out to music to keep your mind occupied or boost your energy, but according to one study, listening to music can actually cause the brain to release natural painkilling chemicals called opioids. Another interesting finding is that people’s pain thresholds get higher as they participate in the music like singing or dancing along.
In this news video, an herbal pharmacist who used to work with traditional medicines talks about the high prevalence of plant compounds in pharmaceutical drugs. He then goes on to recommend Perluxan, an extract from hops, as a replacement for Ibuprofen. It reportedly has the same pain relieving effect without the gastrointestinal issues.