Many of us experience pain. We usually go for aspirin, acetaminophen, Advil or Tylenol. But did you know many of these NSAIDs have dangerous side effects? Let’s take a look at some effective natural alternatives to pain relievers!
***Note, I am not a medical professional. In this article, I simply share research I found, as well as holistic alternatives to pain killers that may be good to try (after discussion with your doctor). These alternatives are especially good for those with acute problems (i.e. headache, pain from minor, acute injury, arthritis, aches and pains). BUT, be sure to speak to your doctor when considering using natural remedies as they may have dangerous interactions with other medications.***
NSAIDS-Not Always the Best Choice?
NSAIDS, which include Advil, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and Tylenol can effectively reduce your pain, but could also cause multiple effects on the body. Especially with long term use.
Such effects include GI tract problems. In a large study including 8 medical colleges across the country, researchers found that NSAID use was associated with gastric mucosal legions or GI complications; especially for those who had GI complications in the past.
Other possible side effects include kidney problems. Another large study by the FDA found NSAIDs are associated with disruption of kidney blood flow and acute kidney injury in high risk people.
Knowing these side effects, its important to consider them, and do your own research before taking these medicines. And, perhaps if its in your best interest, consider some natural alternatives.
This is my favorite pain reliever to use when I have lower back pain and other muscle pain. It contains camphor oil which relieves pain by stimulating circulation which can further reduce pain by causing healing. Tiger balm also includes menthol which reduces pain by its cooling action. This product is cheap, effective, and reminds me of Vaporrub. You can buy it on Amazon for $9.99.
Harpagophytum procumbens (Devil’s Claw)
Devil’s claw is a South African herb typically used for pain relief, allergies, and fever relief. A large review of research articles examining Devil’s claw for pain relief found the herb to be just as effective at reducing pain. Many studies found that taking this herb for 8-12 weeks can reduce pain in people with osteoarthritis.
Ask your doctor what dose is right for you. Be sure to discuss with your doctor about use because there are possible interactions with medications (i.e. blood thinners, diabetes meds, antacids, etc.).
White Willow Bark
This herb actually contains the active ingredient in aspirin. Many research studies found White willow bark is just as effective at reducing lower back, and musculoskeletal pain as other NSAIDs.
White willow bark is found to have adverse effects including gastrointestinal problems and some allergic reactions. So, its important to talk to your doctor about dosage and possible interactions with medications.
Lavender Essential Oil
This was a shocker for me. Research has found this wonderful-smelling oil is great at reducing headaches/migraines, and other aches and pains. Inhaling this oil is also effective at reducing pain in premature babies!
I definitely recommend buying organic essential oils as they are in my opinion the safest. Check out some options below!
I just want to reiterate that although natural remedies are wonderful (in my opinion sometimes better than medications) they should always be used with caution! You never know how your body will react to an herb, or an essential oil.
But, for those like me who are searching for natural pain relievers for minor aches, and pains, these herbs may be the way to go! Especially, considering the potential side effects of NSAIDs.