Natural Pain Relief: 9 Alternatives to Ibuprofen, Acetaminophen or Aspirin

ICT editorial team

Ginger and turmeric among natural pain relief alternatives

When people experience a minor headache, muscle tension or other pain, they readily reach for over-the-counter drugs like ibuprofen and acetaminophen—the most commonly used drugs in the U.S. But regular use of these drugs can lead to long-term side effects like intestinal damage, liver failure and more, recent research reveals. Before popping the pills, consider these alternative remedies for natural pain relief.

1. Ginger

The powerful anti-inflammatory ginger is more effective than drugs like ibuprofen for pain relief, according to a 2013 study published in the journal Arthritis. The study revealed that drugs like Tylenol or Advil do block the formation of inflammatory compounds. Ginger, however, “blocks the formation of the inflammatory compounds–prostaglandins and leukotrienes–and also has antioxidant effects that break down existing inflammation and acidity in the fluid within the joints,” reported care2.com.

2. Turmeric

This distinctive, curry spice possesses anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties, according to Doctor Oz. It also improves circulation and prevents blood clotting. Turmeric’s active ingredient curcumin is responsible for lowering the levels of two enzymes in the body that cause inflammation.

Turmeric

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3. Capsaicin

Derived from chili peppers, this topical remedy reduces nerve, muscle and joint pain by stopping the chemical known as substance P from transmitting pain signals to the brain. Available in gel or cream form, it can be applied three to four times daily.

Capsaicin

4. Valerian Root

“Nature’s tranquilizer,” valerian root helps relieve insomnia, tension, irritability, stress, and anxiety, Doctor Oz says. Through reducing nerve sensitivity, it alleviates feelings of pain. Drink a cup of valerian tea for a natural pain relief and body aches.

Valerian Root

5. Magnesium

Magnesium supplements can help curb the pain of migraines, muscle spasms and fibromyalgia. “It’s really easy to be magnesium deficient,” Tanya Edwards, MD, medical director of the Center for Integrative Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, told WebMD. Heavy consumption of alcohol lowers magnesium levels. “The foods that are highest in magnesium are things like sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds. Most of us just don’t eat those very often.”

Sunflower seeds

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6. Cats Claw

Named for its hook-like horns, cat’s claw, a woody vine native to the Amazon rainforest and other places in South America, is known for containing an anti-inflammatory agent that aids in blocking the production of the hormone prostaglandin, which contributes to inflammation and pain within the body. Stick to the suggested doses to avoid diarrhea: 250 to 1,000 mg capsules one to three times daily.

7. Boswellia

Commonly known as Indian frankincense, boswellia contains active components like resin that reduce inflammation and pain. It can be taken as a supplement as well as used topically.

Bowellia

8. White willow bark

The original Aspirin, white willow bark contains salicin which, in the stomach, converts to salicylic acid—the primary component of Aspirin. Synthetically, it can irritate the stomach, but naturally through white willow bark, it is effective in relieving pain, inflammation and fever. The recommended dose is 1 to 2 dropperfuls of white willow bark tincture daily.

White willow bark

9. Essential oils

Keep essential oils on hand. Rub chamomile, lavender or sage into temples, chest or sore joints to relax muscles and calm the mind. Aromatherapy relieves stress—often the root of our pain.

This story was originally published June 23, 2014.

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Comments (75)
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rahulm
rahulm

This article is very well.... i am using something else...i followed regularly i relief from that...i think that is the correct what i used...if you want to know what i used go here bit.ly/2XJoEIr

Tonymanapi
Tonymanapi

Turmeric has been great, but I've found that Kratom has done the most for my chronic pain. I buy it from www.kratomactive.com they seem to have the best.

LaSayleM
LaSayleM

There are a few more natural, effective pain remedies that are worth mentioning.

  1. Shilajit - a tar-like substance found at the highest elevations, it is fossilized plant matter, gathered during summer in the Himalayas and Altai mountains. It's quite unpleasant in numerous ways, like smell, taste, and consistency, but few things will give a better energy boost.
  2. Algae - spirulina and chlorella (with cracked cell walls) are great for their anti inflammatory properties, as well as for improving breathing problems.
  3. Kratom extract - the unprocessed powder has the same benefits in pain relief, but can wreak havoc on your GI tract & kidneys in high quantities. Making your own extract makes it much easier on your system. It provides pain relief via the mu receptor, the only opioid receptor that relieves pain, while NOT triggering the receptors that cloud the mind and slow breathing - the cause of most opioid deaths. So far, only 1 person has died while taking only kratom, and he would've died from taking any dried, powdered substance taken that way - he inhaled it directly into his lungs after placing the dried powder in his mouth, just like the tragic deaths caused by the cinnamon challenge.
  4. P.E.A. or palmitoylethanolamide - while I'm not sure if this technically qualifies as natural, it's definitely worth a try, as it's not truly a drug. It's an anti inflammatory, created by the brain to calm overactive nerves and reduce swelling. Its true name is palmitoylethanolamide, and it's worth copying to look it up, or you'll be inundated by pea protein powder results, instead. So far, this has been the most helpful supplement for pain, including all listed in the article, & even my own list.
RedPinto
RedPinto

Be careful with valerian , it can make you constipated.

Karen6542
Karen6542

I tried turmeric for a few months, but it didn't do anything for me. I'm in constant pain from arthritis in my knees, spine, and hands, plus I have some herniated discs and other back problems due to my job. Chiropractic didn't help my back, and Workman's Comp won't pay for medical marijuana or other non big pharma treatments. Another dr did suggest I look into medical marijuana. So far, the only relief I get, is from capsaicin, but that is only temporary.

6 Replies

hohodene
hohodene

I use medical marijuana and can attest to its capacity to take the bite off the pain. I have a genetic bone condition, deterioration of joints, osteo-arthritis, and have tried most everything under the sun. MM takes the bite off, but does not eliminate it altogether; the best version I've found is the kind called "God's Gift" - an inspiring name to begin with. Best, Robin

Karen6542
Karen6542

Thanks, Robin! I’m going to my orthopedic dr tomorrow. A co worker said she is taking gabapentin for her disc problems, and it works pretty well, and she has none of the side effects that are listed on the drug literature. But, she also smokes pot once in awhile too, when the pain gets to be too much. I’m having a big problem right now with a knee. If the dr tells me tomorrow that it’s replacement time, I’m probably going to tell him to name a date for surgery, and put me on sick leave until then. At work, I walk about 5 miles a day-I have about 14 machines to keep going, and am constantly going between them all. It’s no problem, until I get an arthritis flare up. Getting old really sucks! Hell, working for GM in a damn factory sucks! 5 years to go until retirement! Unless I win the lottery...🤣 Karen

DoyleScott
DoyleScott

Hi Karen! I always encourage people to get at the underlying cause of things. Pain killers & anti-inflammatories are only temporary solutions. In my practice...I often recommend something called silica, which over time, will plump up all the cushioning in your joints & strengthen the disks between your vertebrae. It's also good to strengthen hair, nails, gums, skin, tendons, & ligaments. I've been taking silica for 20 years because I love to run. I'm now 60 & still run. Everyone in my age group has a lot of pain but I don't have any. It could partly be genetics, partly diet but I mostly credit the silica. It's something I intend to take for the rest of my life. Remember it takes years to get into some of these conditions, so it may take a couple of bottles before you notice a difference.

kitlofroos
kitlofroos

I've read that when using tumeric, that black pepper needs to also be used with it. I think the pepper acts to help the body absorb the tumeric.

Headless13
Headless13

Turmeric doesn't absorb right or work properly for pain relief if you don't take it simmered in a high-fat liquid such as milk with a pinch of black pepper. Look up a recipe for Golden Milk and try that.

Aditi
Aditi

Painkillers does their job of pain relief but can be your worst enemies in future. I recently discovered this natural non-narcotic pain reliever which is quite good. Best thing is You can buy that online as well without any prescription. Try https://levaredirect.com/

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yadavajitseo
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Ginger is the best way to pain relief. You can use it to suppress the cough. Just mix the ginger juice with honey and consume it. You will get relief soon. https://downloadstatus.xyz/category/telugu/ This url can help you in downloading whatsapp status videos.

Aditi
Aditi

These are truly a great list. I just want to add one more thing and that is a natural non-narcotic pain reliever LEVARE (https://levaredirect.com/) It's a wonderful natural pain relief remedy. People suffering from chronic pain should definitely try

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