Here are some disturbing facts about prescription painkillers according to the American Society of Addiction Medicine.
- The year 2012 saw 259 million prescriptions written for painkillers such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, and codeine, more than enough to give every American adult their own bottle of pills.
- The leading cause of death in the United States is drug overdose, with 47,055 occurring in 2014. Half of these are from legal, prescription painkillers.
While legally prescribed by physicians, painkillers are far from safe. Even when taken as prescribed, long-term side effects such as nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, and muscle spasms can occur.
Those with chronic pain are urged to find safer, alternative sources of pain relief when possible. The following 5 natural painkillers have been shown to be safe and effective at treating the chronic pain that is negatively affecting your quality of life.
1. Spicy Foods
There is not only heat, but a bit of irony in spicy foods. If you’ve ever taken a big bite of wasabi or cayenne, you know that there can be pain involved with high levels of spice. Here’s where the irony comes in, these hot foods, though painful to your mouth, can actually act as natural painkillers for other regions of the body.
Cayenne pepper, for instance, can help alleviate post-operative pain, including pain relief after a mastectomy or amputation. Cayenne pepper is also highly-effective at killing candida, a common fungal strain linked to joint pain. The capsaicin found in cayenne, which gives it its heat, can help treat muscle tension and even skin infections, which is why you’ll find this ingredient in natural painkilling creams.
Wasabi, another incredibly spicy food, is being studied by scientists because of the isothiocyanates it contains. Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco recently discovery that isothiocyanates may block a key inflammation receptor, making it a potentially important natural painkiller.
[Editor’s note: If you’re someone who just doesn’t like or can’t eat spicy foods but would like to learn of a natural way to alleviate joint pain and stiffness for good, you’ll definitely want to know about The Joint Pain Solution.]
2. Pain-Relieving Oils
Various essential oils have been found effective at treating pain naturally and safely. For instance, Evening Primrose oil, which is naturally high in the essential fatty acid gamma-linolenic acid, is becoming a popular natural pain remedy in treating the painful symptoms of PMS.
Arnica oil is commonly used topically to alleviate inflammatory pain associated with bug bites, bruises, and even arthritis flare-ups. Arnica oil is often used to effectively treat the pain and stiffness of carpal tunnel syndrome.
It’s not only prescription painkillers that come with nasty and potentially dangerous side effects, over the counter painkillers like Tylenol and Advil have also been shown to come with long-term side effects. Much safer alternative painkillers for muscle pain and headache relief are lavender and peppermint oils.
Peppermint oil improves circulation while lavender oil reduces muscle tension – two of the quickest ways to stop a headache in its tracks.
3. Epsom Salt
At some point in your life your mother probably told you to soak in a warm Epsom bath. She knew what she was talking about. Epsom salt is rich in magnesium, which is a natural painkiller for joint pain and muscle soreness.
4. Self-Myofascial Release
Often when we get a massage, it feels good and painful at the same time. In order to get those knots out, the masseuse must really work on them to help your muscles release. Thanks to foam roller exercises, which are a kind of self-myofascial release, we can work on our own muscle tension to naturally relieve pain without need of a pill. Click Here for more information on how you can help yourself get rid of joint pain, along with other painful issues.
5. Bone Broth
Back in your grandmother’s day, people didn’t like to waste any part of an animal being consumed for food. This is why bone broth was a staple in most people’s diets. Made of bones, marrow, skin, feet, tendons and ligaments, this old-fashioned stock provided a big dose of collagen, proline, glycine and glutamine that is mostly missing from our modern diet. Bone broth contains important minerals like calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, and sulphur, as well as chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine, the compounds sold as pricey supplements to reduce inflammation, arthritis and joint pain.
Bone broth’s gelatin content allows it to provide a soft cushion to help bones glide without friction. This is what makes it such a potent (and delicious) pain killer.
Treating life’s pain with the foods you eat, essential oils, or foam rolling can go a long way in helping you feel better without risking dangerous side effects, addiction, and even death. The next time you feel an ache or pain, try one of these natural alternatives before reaching for pharmaceutical drugs. And as always, please forward this article to anyone you feel may benefit from it!