Tag Archives: pain

Effective Natural Alternatives to Aspirin!

blue drinking glass with water and white medicine pills
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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.

Tiger Balm

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.



5 Cool Benefits of Taking Cold showers

I know how hard it is to believe that there are 5 cool benefits of taking cold showers. Especially for those like me whose guilty pleasure is a long, steamy showers. Take a look at the following 5 cool benefits of taking a short cold shower.

1. Stronger Immunity

Taking cold showers can possibly keep you from getting sick! According to a 2013 study, taking cold showers could could strengthen your immunity. Reducing your chances of sickness by 29%. The following cool benefit of taking cold showers is another reason to cool down your showers. For more ways to improve your immunity, check out my post here.

2. Help with Depression

Who would’ve thought that a few minutes of brisk suffering could make you happier? According to a 2013 study, taking a two to three minute shower could help with depression by raising endorphins (the happiness brain hormones) in the body. Moreover, researchers also found that taking cold showers could cause a pain-relieving effect-explained in the next point.

3. Reduce Pain

A study done in 2017 found that taking cold showers every day could be a great home treatment for treating arthritis. Additionally, this treatment could be great after exercise (no need to dunk yourself in a tub full of ice). It makes sense, when you have swelling you use an ice pack to reduce the swelling.

Furthermore, cold water can also better blood circulation which is great for people with hypertension or atherosclerosis. Better circulation contributes to the following cool benefit of taking cold showers.

4. Mellow You Out

This next point is surprising, as I would never guess that taking a cold shower would relax you, but apparently it does. Researchers found that taking cold showers could lower your cortisol levels (stress levels).

This lowered-stress level effects are found to improve your sleep. Which, come on, who doesn’t need to sleep better? You’ll sleep even better after viewing the next cool benefit of taking cold showers: bad chemicals.

5. Reduce Exposure to Bad Chemicals in Shower Water

Tap water sucks. Our governments adds all kinds of chemicals in our water sources that are known to be toxic (i.e. chlorine, fluoride). According to the CDC, chlorine is used as a disinfectant to destroy disease-causing germs like salmonella, campylobacter, and norovirus.

But, chlorine gas is a known respiratory irritant. Moreover, it can damage your lungs, and is associated with bladder and rectal cancer. When we take hot showers, chlorine quickly vaporizes and gets into your body through inhalation and absorption.


To conclude, taking cold showers are not comfortable. But, you could still reap the benefits of cold showers by starting the shower with warm water then slowly transitioning to cold water and ending with 30 seconds to one minute of cold water.

All this is coming from a woman who finds her “me time” at the end of the day taking a long, hot shower. But, knowing now these 5 cool benefits of cold showers-I’ve turned down the heat.



If God is Real, Why Does He Allow Bad Things to Happen?

This is a valid question I’m sure any person who’ve heard of God has wondered. I mean, just one glance outside, can tell you how broken, sad, and even dangerous our world is today. So, if God is so good and loving, does He just sit back and eat popcorn while the world burns? First of all: God is real. He loves people, and He wants what is best for humanity. But before I get carried away with that thought, we must demonstrate the validity of the Bible since I’ll be using the Bible to answer the question.

1. The Bible is Not Fiction

First, archeologists have discovered and continue to discover numerous artifacts and structures that prove the validity of the Bible. Here are just a few:

  • In 1993, a stone block was discovered dating back to the ninth century BC with inscription BYTDWD meaning “house of David” a reference to Jesus’ great ancestor and king. 
  • Two silver scrolls containing the priestly benediction from Numbers 6 was found southwest of Jerusalem in 1979. 
  • In 1868 a missionary in Jerusalem found a victory stone made by the Moabite King Mesha in the 9th century  that records king’s version of a war fought with Israel in 850 BC; and the Bible records the same incident in 2 Kings 3
  • The Epic of Gilgamesh, written on stone tablets from excavations of mid seventh century BC Nineveh tells the story of a flood coming to the earth. And the god Ea warned him about an approaching judgment and told him to build a boat to save his life from the watery onslaught. The story being very similar to the biblical narrative of Noah in Genesis 6–9 
  • Almost all bible is represented in Dead Sea scrolls-scrolls that date back to 150-70AD. Before the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the oldest known manuscripts of the Hebrew Bible dated to the 10th century A.D. The Dead Sea Scrolls include over 225 copies of biblical books that date up to 1,200 years earlier. 

Second, the gospels are proven to be historical and true. Archeologists state the gospels were written between 64 and 70 A.D. by four different people and they are similar but not exactly the same which is what we should expect from four different accounts. Archeologists also date the letters Paul were written between 48 and 60 A.D. 

Finally and most importantly, historical evidence of Jesus exists. First century Jewish historian Flavius Josephus wrote in a 20-volume history of the Jewish people in the book Jewish Antiquities. In the book, Josephus wrote of an unlawful execution. Josephus calls the victim, James, “the brother of Jesus-who-is-called-Messiah.” This historian also wrote the TestimoniumFlavianumwhich tells of a man who did surprising deeds and was crucified by Pilate. Since we know all these things, we know that the Bible is historically accurate and valid. So we can use the Bible to answer the question why God allows horrible things to happen. 

2. God Gives us Free Will

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“And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites…” Joshua 24:15.

The Bible says God is love (1 John 4:7). He is not a dictator. He doesn’t control people or tell them what to do. He gives us the choice to live however way we want to live because He loves us. God wouldn’t be able to say He loves people without giving us a choice of how we want to live our lives. In the Garden of Eden, God told Adam and Eve to go and take care of the Garden. They had everything they needed: food, family, water, safety, and the peace of a relationship with God. He also told them to not eat of the Tree of Life (which was in the center of the Garden) (Genesis 2:17). He didn’t do this to tempt Adam and Eve, He was giving them a choice. To choose to follow God’s ways everyday. To choose to live the best life He wanted for them. Just like Adam and Eve, we have a choice every day: to live how God wants or to live how we want.

But in living how we want, it brings chaos sometimes. Sure we humans can come up with great ideas and we are capable of great things. But also horrible things. While wonderful charities, medicines, art and justice institutions came from the minds of humans, rape also came from the minds of human beings; stealing and murder also came from the minds of humans; and divorce came from the minds of humans. Like I said, we all are capable of goodness and evil-and its the evil that can be the most dangerous.  

“The heart is deceitful above all things,
And desperately wicked;
Who can know it?” Jeremiah 17:9

God’s ways are good and the best. His ways give us peace, love, and joy if we give him a chance. But He gives us the choice to live however way we want to live because He loves us. Yes He gives many laws but His laws protect us and set a standard for the best way to live: if we all were allowed to do whatever we wanted, however we felt like-the world would be a very scary place-none of us would ever leave our homes! But because we have laws, if you stole someone’s car, you will go to jail. If someone assaulted you, they would go to jail. Just as we establish laws, God also have laws in place to keep us safe. When we choose to break those laws, there are consequences.

3. You Have to Know the Bad to Appreciate the Good

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Yes God is a powerful God, and He can interfere in situations. In giving us free will, He does allow us to face the consequences of our situations. And sadly, in the brokenness of the world, many people suffer. But God can take the situations we find ourselves  in and make it beautiful-there are so many instances of this in the Bible: Ruth who lost her husband and married Boaz, or Joseph who was sold into slavery by his brothers. These situations caused pain, and distress but after the pain was peace and healing from God. If we didn’t know pain, we wouldn’t understand God as a healer. If we didn’t know loss, we wouldn’t know God as a comforter. If we didn’t know confusion, we wouldn’t know God as the truth. In the loss and hurts in the World, God can shine the brightest.  

Anyone can see our world is broken. We all need answers to our questions. God has all the answers we need. I believe God saved us Christians to be apart of the answer the world needs by leading the world back to God. Because in God we have peace from our struggles; healing from hurts; provision in place of poverty; and hope instead of hopelessness. Imagine a perfect world: no sickness, no death, no fear, or credit card bills. We would have peace, love, and joy. But we also wouldn’t know the relief of healing after pain, the joy after grief, the peace after chaos. So without the horrible, wicked things in the world we truly couldn’t appreciate all of God’s wonderful attributes without experiencing them in the pitfalls and triumphs of our lives.