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 (82)
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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.

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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.

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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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