The benefits of natural pain management extend far beyond just relieving your pain. They also give you emotional relief and satisfaction. If you’re dealing with consistent pain over time, you will likely have less tolerance for the side effects that come from traditional pain medicines.
Turning to pain-relieving herbs like the ones listed below means you don’t have to just “deal” with the pain—you can lessen it or get rid of it completely, and without side effects.
Another benefit is that herbs make it easy to spruce up meals instead of having bland meals. You can add herbs into all your food. They’re a simple, beneficial way to bring some creativity back into your life if you or a loved one is facing cancer.
Natural painkilling herbs can greatly reduce your need for medication. They have the advantage that you can take them all the time, they aren’t addictive, and have a whole range of benefits that drugs don’t have.
Enzymes, for example, are one of the most beneficial nutrients you can take. To tout them as pain-relievers is to miss 90 percent of the story. They have powerful anticancer effects, and provide a boost to your circulation. Some people have reported that merely taking bromelain brought down their cholesterol and enabled them to dodge their doctors who were pressuring them to take statin drugs.
If you suffer from chronic pain, there are three things you need from your painkiller:
- You want it to be natural
- It has to be effective
- It should be safe to use over time.
The following herbs meet all three criteria.
Corydalis Yan Hu Suo
Corydalis Yan Hu Suo—the root of the Chinese poppy plant, known for its beautiful purple flower—is a staple of Traditional Chinese Medicine. It grows in abundance in China, Japan, and Siberia.
Olivier Civelli, a professor at the University of California, Irvine, said in a press release: “We have pain medication for inflammatory pain, such as aspirin or acetaminophen. We do not have good medications for chronic pain.”
Corydalis contains the compound dehydrocorybulbine (DHCB), which is what gives the plant its sought-after painkilling properties. DHCB is an agent isolated from the root of the plant that has a positive effect on the three primary types of human pain—acute, inflammatory, and chronic/neuropathic pain.
Corydalis is so potent that Western medicine practitioners are beginning to use it to ease the pain caused by terminal cancer. Even though it works like an opioid, it takes a slightly different path.
It does not affect your morphine receptors, which raise your risk of addiction. Instead, it binds to dopamine receptors in your brain. Dopamine is your brain’s “reward system” that controls feelings of pleasure and emotional response.
Unlike opioids, your body doesn’t build a tolerance to this natural compound. This means you won’t have to keep taking more and more of it to get the same amount of relief.
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The oil of frankincense has been used for thousands of years to quell disease-causing inflammation, support heightened immunity, and prevent dangerous infections. Many people remain unaware of the added cancer-fighting potential of this precious serum.
Also known as boswellia, frankincense claims as part of its vast nutrient profile a unique compound known as acetyl-11-keto-beta-boswellic acid, or AKBA for short. Scientific tests have determined that AKBA is a sworn enemy of cancer. A research from the University of Leicester were able to uncover how frankincense may be a safe and effective remedy for women who suffer from ovarian cancer—one of the leading causes of cancer in women.
The healing benefits of frankincense have traditionally centered on disease prevention and anti-inflammatory properties, and researchers have been able to confirm that boswellic acids contain a potent ability to modify the immune system as well. Part of having a more efficient immune system is the regulation of inflammation, as well, which can have effects topically or systemically.
The beauty of immunomodulators is that they can stimulate an under-productive immune system that allows illness to creep in, while also relaxing an over-productive immune system that attacks itself or benign substances with inflammation, often becoming painful, chronic, and debilitating.
By regulating inflammation, frankincense oil is a powerful tool not only for acute illness but for chronic and autoimmune disorders such as Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, and bronchial asthma. Weight and other metabolic issues are linked to inflammation as well, so even when these chronic conditions are not an issue, inflammatory illness is still a concern to monitor and prevent.
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Turmeric Extract: Curcumin
Turmeric comes from Indonesia and South India. It is well-known as a main spice for curry. It’s also commonly found in Indian food, usually either in curry powder or yellow mustard.
Curcumin is an extract from the turmeric root. If you were to take pure turmeric powder, curcumin would comprise about three percent of it.
Both turmeric and the curcumin extract have anti-inflammatory properties and potent antioxidant properties. Curcumin in particular is credited with anti-cancer properties, including the ability to reduce pain and slow deterioration in the body. (Just so you know, morphine and NSAIDs are NOT antioxidants!)
This anti-inflammatory herb is able to search for and destroy free radicals in your body that cause pain. According to a study by the Sloan-Kettering Cancer Research Center in New York, turmeric proved to be more precise (not to mention safer!) than aspirin when it comes to stopping inflammation. It works by shutting down the COX2 enzyme that causes pain.
To get ideal levels of curcumin, you need to eat a moderate amount of turmeric. Eating an Indian diet with lots of curried dishes is one way to do it. You can also make your own turmeric tea. Otherwise, supplements are a good source. Look for a supplement brand with the highest percent of curcuminoids.
Consult with your doctor if you’re on any medication.
Fruit Enzymes: Papain And Bromelain
Papain is an enzyme found in papaya fruit. Specifically, it’s a proteolytic enzyme derived from the sappy, milk-like latex that comes from unripe papaya skins. That latex is dried and made into a powder.
Papain has been shown to attack tumor cells. It’s also effective at boosting your immune system. It works by breaking down proteins, though its mechanism of action isn’t fully understood.
In animal studies, papain has also been shown to work as a shield against the damaging effects of radiation.
Papain is often administered topically but can also be taken as a supplement when it comes to pain management. Topical creams are used to treat painful problems like bed sores, burns, and surgical wounds.
Bromelain is another enzyme (derived from pineapple) that acts as a natural pain-reducer. Research shows that it reduces levels of prostaglandins, which are hormones that induce inflammation.
Bromelain may benefit individuals suffering from arthritis and conditions marked by musculoskeletal tension (like TMJ syndrome), in addition to those suffering from other inflammatory ailments like gout and asthma. The enzyme also promotes healing in muscles and connective tissues.
You can easily buy papain and bromelain in supplement stores, either separately or together in one pill.
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Moringa Oleifera is a nutritional powerhouse of a plant and contains over 92 nutritional values. It is in fact, scientifically the most nutrient-dense plant ever discovered.
The moringa tree is packed with so much nutrition that it could probably help treat anything. Analysis reveals that moringa leaves contain at least 92 different nutrients, including 36 times more magnesium than eggs, 50 times more vitamin B3 than peanuts, 25 times more iron than spinach and 4 times more calcium than milk.
Moringa leaves are also a complete protein source that contains 18 amino acids and at least 46 essential antioxidants, including 272 percent of our recommended daily intake of vitamin A.
Moringa is found to have at least 36 naturally-occuring anti-inflammatory properties that are beneficial for putting out the “flame” in inflammation. This means it could dramatically reduce most kinds of inflammation and pain!
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Ginger is a well-known natural treatment for nausea, but it also reduces pain and inflammation.
It works, thanks to its ability to lower the number of prostaglandins, the messenger molecules that tell you when you’re in pain (sometimes you’d prefer not to know!)
Some studies show that ginger also helps reduce the nausea and discomfort associated with chemotherapy.
Ginger is extremely versatile as a food. Ginger products come from fresh or dried ginger root, and you can get the herb in capsule form, tinctures, extracts, and oils. You can also grate the fresh root as a spice for food, or prepare it as tea.
Side effects are rare unless you take ginger in incredibly high, unwarranted doses.
The above herbs and extracts, when used properly, are powerful and reliable, but it can also be complex. Self-diagnosis and self-treatment are not recommended for chronic, recurring, or serious illness. To ensure the best outcome and minimize the chances of side effects, it is best to consult your professional naturopathic doctor.