Chronic pain is a serious issue throughout the United States. In fact, it affects approximately 20 percent of all adults.
Of this 20 percent, eight percent experience chronic pain so severe that it affects at least one activity of daily living.
If you fall into either category, you know how frustrating chronic pain can be. To make matters worse, it’s also difficult to treat without relying on dangerous, habit-forming prescription drugs.
You do have other options, though. Read on to learn about some of the best herbal remedies you can utilize to manage your chronic pain in a more natural way.
Capsaicin is a compound found in hot chili peppers. This compound is a useful tool for those struggling with chronic pain. Capsaicin works by depleting a compound known as substance P.
This compound is responsible for delivering pain sensations from the peripheral nervous system (the nerves that extend throughout the body) to the central nervous system (the nerves found in the brain and spinal cord).
By depleting substance P, capsaicin can help to minimize pain when it’s used on a regular basis.
Ginger is another herb that can be useful for those with chronic pain.
Ginger extract, in particular, does a great job of minimizing joint in muscle pain. It contains a variety of plant compounds that reduce inflammation.
Consuming ginger also comes with few, if any side effects, so it’s safe for most people with chronic pain to use. The same cannot be said for a lot of popular prescription painkillers.
Turmeric, the yellow herb that gives curry its distinctive coloring, is also known for helping to relieve pain and inflammation.
Turmeric contains a compound known as curcumin. This compound has potent anti-inflammatory properties and can help to reduce joint pain and improve mobility in those struggling with chronic pain and issues like arthritis.
It appears that turmeric is most effective when combined with black pepper. Black pepper contains a compound known as piperine, which helps the body to absorb curcumin more easily.
Devil’s Claw is a South African herb. It helps to minimize pain in the joints and in the lower back for some people.
There’s not a lot of research backing its benefits (yet), but lots of people have anecdotal evidence of it being effective for them.
It also does not appear to come with any problematic side effects, especially when it’s taken for short periods of time at therapeutic doses.
Devil’s Claw is generally safe, but it’s best for pregnant women to avoid consuming it, as well as those who suffer from gallstones or gallbladder problems.
Willow bark has long been used to reduce inflammation and relieve aches and pains.
It contains a compound known as salicin that is as effective as many over-the-counter drugs. In fact, salicin is the primary ingredient used to make aspirin.
Willow bark does have some potential side effects and can cause problems with the digestive system and kidneys. It may also affect one’s blood clotting abilities.
When taken with caution, though, it can be a useful alternative to other painkillers.
Cloves isn’t just for baking. This herb is also a natural pain reliever that helps with chronic pain and inflammation. It can be consumed orally or applied topically. In fact, it’s a common ingredient in a lot of over-the-counter pain-relieving rubs.
Many people use whole cloves to help manage their pain. You can also purchase clove oil, which is more concentrated and can provide stronger effects. If you do choose to use clove oil, be sure to dilute it to avoid any unpleasant side effects.
Lavender essential oil is known for promoting relaxation and helping people get to sleep faster. It can also be useful to pain management, though.
This essential oil can be useful for those struggling with headaches or migraines. Some studies suggest that it can also reduce pain and inflammation.
Many people use lavender oil by mixing it with a carrier and applying it to parts of the body that are painful. Some also combine it with water and diffuse it throughout their rooms.
Many people swear by rosemary essential oil to help with pain and inflammation. It helps to soothe bone and muscle pain, as well as headaches. It may also help to reduce seizure frequency and intensity.
When applied topically, consumed orally, or diffused, rosemary oil works by acting on the opioid receptors in the brain. This helps to provide relief to those struggling with severe pain.
Rosemary oil can also help those who have been using opioids to manage their pain to reduce their consumption without experience severe withdrawal symptoms.
Peppermint essential oil, which comes from the Mentha piperita L. plant is a helpful tool for those dealing with chronic pain and inflammation.
It works best when diluted with a carrier oil and applied as a topical remedy to areas of the body that feel painful, stiff, or achy.
In addition to helping relieve body aches and pains, peppermint oil can also help relieve headaches (especially tension headaches).
Of course, it wouldn’t be a list of herbal pain remedies without mention of cannabis. Cannabis has powerful anti-inflammatory properties and works wonders for many people who struggle with chronic pain.
Many people experience the most significant benefits when they consume cannabis via a premium vape or when they smoke it.
You can find relief from chronic pain when you consume the whole cannabis plant or when you consume CBD on its own. CBD is the non-mind-altering compound found in cannabis and hemp.
As you can see, there are lots of natural herbal remedies you can use to experience chronic pain relief without relying on medication.
You can use these remedies on their own or in combination with other pain management techniques to help you feel your best and enjoy a higher quality of life.