While it might not be possible to find a permanent solution, there’s no reason to rely on prescribed or over-the-counter (OTC) medications to manage chronic pain and inflammation. Certain herbs and spices have shown encouraging promise as painkillers and inflammation fighters.
Reach for a pill. It’s our default reaction to treat pain and inflammation. We may get temporary relief, but it invites side effects, possible drug interactions, and the nagging reminder that we’ve just masked the symptoms instead of seeking out a solution to the cause of that pain or inflammation.
While it might not be possible to find a permanent solution, there’s no reason to rely on prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) medications to manage chronic pain and inflammation. It’s possible to find relief from natural sources. Certain herbs and spices have shown encouraging promise as painkillers and inflammation fighters. Here are some of the most popular plant-based natural approaches.
1) Willow bark
Inflammation is the cause of a wide variety of chronic pain types, and for centuries it’s been treated with the bark of the white willow tree. Willow bark contains a chemical known as salicin. It’s a glucoside related to the main ingredient in Aspirin.
Aspirin’s chemical name is acetylsalicylic acid. Salicin is a precursor of Aspirin’s active ingredient. What most people don’t know about this man-made drug is that it was first formulated by Bayer in the 1890s. Bayer branded it as Aspirin. Today, the brand name has become generic. Bayer lost or sold its rights to the trademark throughout the world.
The natural precursor to Aspirin, willow bark, is sold as a dried herb to be brewed as a tea. You’ll also find it sold as a liquid supplement and in capsule form. The World Health Organization has listed aspirin as an “Essential Medicine” because of its safety and effectiveness.
It’s the spice that gives curry that familiar yellow color, and you can’t mistake its unique flavor. Turmeric has recently gained in popularity as a natural pain reliever because it helps relieve inflammation. This is because of a compound known as curcumin, which is a powerful antioxidant that’s been shown to protect the body from free radical molecules that damage cells and cause inflammation.
The curcumin found in turmeric has been shown to block inflammatory cytokines and enzymes. Popular and highly prescribed arthritis drugs block a specific cytokine known as cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) – and curcumin does, too.
It’s important to remember that curcumin makes up only about 2 percent to 6 percent of turmeric, so you must take that into consideration if you decide to try this natural approach to dealing with chronic pain and inflammation.
The plant-based substances found in hemp are being studied as a natural way to combat chronic pain and inflammation. The reason phytocannabinoids are getting so much attention is because they appear to act in combination with the cannabinoids we produce in our own bodies as a reaction to inflammation.
Chronic inflammation plays a role in many autoimmune diseases such as arthritis, colitis, and multiple sclerosis. Studies show that phytocannabinoids activate the CB2 receptor of our body’s endocannabinoid system. Is it a significant reduction in inflammation? A recent study conducted at the Imperial College of London shows that certain phytocannabinoids reduced inflammation in mice by 50%. Scientists from the National Institutes of Health found that phytocannabinoids suppress inflammatory and neuropathic pain, but without causing analgesic tolerance.
There’s much more research to be done before anyone can determine if phytocannabinoids are an efficient way to treat chronic pain and inflammation – but initial studies offer great optimism. Phytocannabinoids found in hemp – or any natural remedy – used to treat chronic pain and inflammation is a personal choice.
If you make that choice, be sure to educate yourself about the natural remedy you plan to try. For your own safety, obtain phytocannabinoid-based products from a reputable manufacturer. Some states regulate its production, and it’s a wise idea to start your search there. States such as Colorado, Iowa, and Minnesota – for example – test and assure strength, purity, and content.
Veritas Farms has meticulously refined our entire process – from seed to human. If you’re considering introducing phytocannabinoid oil into your wellness routine, our questions and answers will give you an inside look at what’s inside and behind our products.