I came across an article from iVillage the other day for 20 natural pain remedies from the kitchen- listing foods we’re all familiar with but I often overlook their medicinal properties. Until recently, since I’ve started exploring nutrition and its incredible health benefits, food to me was just food. And meds were meds. Separate entities that didn’t overlap.
Now that I’ve educated myself a little more though, I’m becoming pleasantly surprised of the pain-fighting benefits that are naturally occurring in many foods. The list is extensive, but I chose 5 of my favorites:
Cherries have anti-inflammatory activity, and one study found that 1o ounces of cherries a day reduced inflammatory markers in the blood (Journal of Nutrition, June 2003). When cherries are not in season, cherry concentrate softgels are a good substitute. You can find them in health food stores or online. Research from Michigan State University suggests, cherries, particularly tart cherries inhibit COX 1 and COX 2 (enzymes responsible for inflammation and pain) and prevent inflammation in the body. Cherries aid the body in producing similar types of chemical process as non-sterodial anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS)
Peppermint oil may ease headaches and migraines. To create your own healing peppermint oil, mix equal parts organic pure peppermint oil. Apply oil to the temple area in a circular motion and across the forehead. For migraines, wet hair and put 4-5 drops into your hand and massage into the scalp.
Peppermint oil can also be used to relieve skin irritation and itchiness and help reduce skin redness, where inflammation is present.
Use a peppermint steam treatment, which is particularly helpful if your headache is caused by sinus pressure. Boil a small pot of water and remove from heat, adding 10 drops of peppermint essential oil. Drape your head with a towel and lean over the steaming water, inhaling deeply for 10 minutes.
Caffeine is the among the cheapest, easiest, most available treatment for a migraine. Coffee contains caffeine, which is a vasoconstrictor. Vasoconstrictors shrink blood vessels throughout the body, which can help relieve pressure in the head that is causing a migraine. To get the best results, drinking the correct type of coffee is important. A strong, bold blend of caffeinated black coffee is recommended. Brew a strong cup of coffee to treat migraines
Caffeine can be so effective that many over-the-counter migraine medications include it as an ingredient.
Caffeine also helps you absorb other medications, which is another reason why it is included in some of these medications. And it is a brain stimulant so it can help you think better if you’re in a migraine fog.
According to a new study just reported in the Journal of Pain, published by the American Pain Society, daily doses of raw or heat-treated ginger effectively relieve muscle aches and discomfort — even severe pain following strenuous exercise.
So far, several studies have shown that ginger appears to have anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties similar to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, but without the side effects. In one study, taking a daily dose of ginger (30 to 500 mg.) for as little as four weeks successfully reduced knee pain in people suffering from osteoarthritis.
For centuries, ginger has been used by practitioners of Chinese medicine and by traditional Indian and Japanese healers to treat a host of conditions including vomiting and nausea, chronic coughs, morning sickness, gastrointestinal complaints and migraine headaches. It has also been used to treat both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. However, Western medicine has only recently started to seriously study the medicinal qualities of ginger.
Turmeric is a rust-colored spice, it has a slightly earthy taste, and is commonly used in east Asian and Hungarian dishes. Turmeric is known not just for its aroma and taste, but also for its medicinal properties. Turmeric, known as curcumin, reduces inflammation in the body.
Reducing inflammation in the body is a key component to good, long health, so learning how to use turmeric to reduce inflammation and pain in your life can have long-term health benefits that far exceed just using this spice as a food additive.
Eat 1 teaspoon per day after a month or so. Turmeric is very beneficial as an anti-inflammatory in the digestive tract,and as an aid for the liver. You may find you digest meals better.
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