Natural Remedies for Pain
Have you been feeling achy or stiff lately? Is it hard to get moving in the morning or are you sore by the end of the day? Our muscles, joints, tendons, and bones all allow for fluid movement in our everyday lives and when we work out. These parts comprise the musculoskeletal system, and they move in harmony to allow for proper motion. When we exercise, our muscles contract and relax, and if our skeletal system is not working correctly, we experience pain. It’s important to keep all of these tissues healthy and this can be done through regular exercise and proper nutrition. Sometimes pain is caused by a disorder or injury, but nutritional deficiency can also lead to the decline of bone and muscle mass. Ingesting enough vitamins, minerals, protein, and herbs is essential to maintaining our bone density and avoiding pain. If you are experiencing pain, here are a few all-natural remedies that can help.
1. Lemongrass. Lemongrass is a tropical grass often used in cooking. The essential oil can be purchased at most health food stores and can be used to treat achy joints. Rub the oil straight onto your skin or inhale the scent as aromatherapy for muscle pain. Add a few teaspoons into a warm tub, or dab it on your pulse points and wear it as perfume. Lemongrass in its grass form also tastes amazing and can be added to many dishes to promote healthy digestion.
2. Turmeric. Turmeric is orange in color and is often used as a spice in south Asian foods. It has anti-inflammatory properties and is also used to treat sore joints. You can take turmeric in pill form, but it can also slow the clotting of blood, so please consult with your doctor before doing this. Some clinical studies have shown a 50% reduction in pain and swelling in patients who take turmeric pills. You can also just begin by adding turmeric when you cook. It tastes spicy and wonderful and can be used in soups, curries, and even tea. Go to your local heath food store and look for turmeric in the spice aisle.
3. Vitamin C. Vitamin C is an antioxidant mostly known for its ability to boost our immune systems, but it can also relieve painful muscles. Taking a vitamin C supplement before and after exercise can greatly reduce soreness and damage, as it helps the body repair connective tissue. You can take a supplement found at the grocery store, but vitamin C can also be found naturally in many foods, such as citrus fruits and dark leafy greens. Red bell peppers have one of the highest amounts of vitamin C per serving, so next time you are making a salad, try cutting some up and adding them in. Many other fruits and vegetables contain vitamin C, a list of which can be seen here: http://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/vitamin-c-in-fruits-and-vegetables. So get munching!
4.Ginger. Ginger is a spice made from the rhizome (the root) of a plant in the Zingiberaceae family. It is very spicy and often used in cooking and when we eat sushi! Ginger has fabulous anti-inflammatory properties that soothe muscles, relieve cramps, and increase blood circulation. Use it as an essential oil and dab it directly onto your skin or pour it into the bathtub and take a nighttime soak. You can even pop a ginger pill after a hike instead of an ibuprofen. Take some time to steep fresh ginger in tea, add it to your favorite dishes, or even eat it raw. You’ll feel right away how the powerful flavor works to clear your sinuses and heat your body. Ginger can cause blood thinning, so please consult your doctor before starting a ginger root regimen.