Modern society teaches us that any time we have an ache or pain, we should simply pop an over-the-counter pill to treat it.
Synthetic drugs, however, are not necessarily the answer to treating inflammation or any other health issue. They may actually make things worse because they can be extremely hard for the body to process.
Often, it’s much better to opt for natural ingredients instead, which are more effective at treating inflammation and even beneficial for other ailments.
The best part is, you can find most of these natural remedies in your pantry!
Why natural remedies for aches and pains?
Options such as ibuprofen, codeine, and other common prescription or over-the-counter pain relievers don’t treat the root cause of aches and pains, which is often chronic inflammation.
Chronic inflammation can happen for a number of reasons, but most of the time it has to do with an acidic/inflammatory diet, an excessive amount of stress, and lack of sleep. This combination is the perfect storm for inflammation of all kinds: general aches and pains that don’t go away, digestive issues, arthritis, chronic joint pain, and the list goes on and on.
Over time inflammation can lead to weight gain and serious health issues. Waking up every single day not feeling well isn’t normal, and when it gets to the point where over-the-counter and prescription drugs become something a person relies on, it’s time to do a serious health detox and clear the cause of the inflammation.
So, let’s take a look at some of the best natural remedies a person can use to treat inflammation, along with some lifestyle tips that can help too.
This brightly colored root is a delightful way to soothe aches and pains. It adds warmth and a pungent flavor to meals, while enhancing the body’s digestive fire as well. Turmeric is great for combating inflammation as it targets acidity in the body and aids in reducing free radicals that lead to inflammation. You can also apply turmeric topically as a paste to relieve pain from wounds, sores and general aches.
Many peppers are actually inflammatory because they are nightshades, but cayenne is an exception. Cayenne promotes alkalinity, reduces headaches, speeds up digestion, and can help with a sore throat and excess mucus. Cayenne is also effective for post-workout recovery, so feel free to spike a chocolate-coconut milkshake with some cayenne for a special kick!
You can use peppermint oil, tea or whole peppermint leaves. All are effective ways to combat stomachaches, headaches and general inflammation. To use it for a stomachache, consider brewing a tea and adding food-grade peppermint essential oil (just a drop!). You can also use a peppermint tea bag, or you can steep whole peppermint leaves.
Alternatively, apply peppermint oil to your temples to relieve a headache quickly. Many people suffering muscle aches may also find it effective to make a cold or hot compress with peppermint oil. The menthol in peppermint is what makes it so effective, so opt for the oil for a stronger application option, or the leaves/tea if using peppermint in a meal or drink.
This spice has digestive and blood sugar benefits. Cinnamon is also a fantastic natural remedy to combat pain. It can help improve the speed at which food is digested and also lower blood sugar during meals. It is especially effective for fighting off stomach pains from food poisoning. Cinnamon can be consumed when steeped in a tea, or you can cook with it however you like. If using it externally, make a paste with cinnamon, olive oil and some turmeric root (all ground together) and apply using a compress for at least 3–4 hours.
Raw organic apple cider vinegar
Perhaps one of the most well-loved natural remedies today is apple cider vinegar (ACV). This magical elixir is a remedy for joint pain, slow digestion, and low stomach acid that leads to nausea after meals. ACV can be used as an effective way to prevent inflammation on an ongoing basis. Just be sure it’s raw, organic and contains the “mother” to obtain the beneficial probiotics of this brew.
Four thieves/four knives oil
If you haven’t heard of this essential oil blend, you should definitely check it out. Made of a blend of cloves, lemon, cinnamon, rosemary and eucalyptus, it’s especially helpful for fighting off viruses, headaches, colds, joint pain, and general inflammatory reactions in the body. Use this oil very sparingly, however, since it’s quite strong, and only add a teeny drop to some hot water to make an instant tea. Consume it twice a day, or apply the oil to a compress as a topical agent for pain.
Olive oil is a great source of vitamin E, and is a very alkaline oil. Use it to cook with in place of other oils, but be careful not to use it at high temperatures. Olive oil helps combat pain by fighting free radicals and can help decrease acidity in the body.
Ginger root is commonly known to treat digestive pains and ailments, but is highly effective at fighting off headaches as well. Grate the root into a tea, add to dishes of any kind, or feel free to make a juice with it. You can even add a pinch of ginger to a smoothie to consume post-workout if you suffer from inflammation after exercising.
This herb is particularly helpful for fighting joint pain, headaches and stomach upset. It can also help fight overall inflammation since it assists with alkalizing the body. Oregano fights off bad bacteria in the stomach that can lead to stomach pain, and it assists with combating heartburn. Sprinkle a little here and there to add delicious flavor to meals and to benefit from its many health-promoting properties.
The probiotics in raw sauerkraut are amazing for improving the body’s defense system and for aiding digestion. Good digestion is important since proper elimination is a must for treating toxic waste backup that leads to joint pain, headaches and stomachaches. Enjoy a little bit of raw sauerkraut with each meal for the most benefits!
Roasted (heated) walnuts can be acidic to the body, which promotes inflammation, but raw walnuts are amazing for reducing joint pain and even headaches. They are rich in monounsaturated fats that treat inflammation along with vitamin E and omega-3 fats. Add four or five walnuts a day to porridge, eat them as a small snack, or sprinkle them on top of kale salad, soup, or any other way you enjoy them.
Chia seeds are also high in omega-3 fats (along with flax). Chia seeds are a complete protein and can keep the body strong. Unlike animal protein, they decrease inflammation in the body and are very alkaline. Chia seeds are also helpful for fighting pain since they contain a large amount of magnesium, an important mineral needed to combat joint pain, inflammation and even irregularity.
This herb is rich in chlorophyll and highly effective for fighting acidity in the body. Parsley is high in vitamin C, which also fights inflammation and joint pain. Consume it each day in a meal, juice with it, or make a smoothie with it — whatever you like!
Cilantro is another herb to keep around for feeling your best and treating pain naturally. It is high in vitamin C and chlorophyll, and as a bonus, it stimulates digestion. Cilantro has even been shown to help the body detox from heavy metals that can lead to joint pain, inflammation and other serious diseases.
What to ditch
When you add in these natural remedies, be sure that you also remove the inflammatory foods in your diet:
- fried foods
- refined grains
- most all vegetable oils
- packaged foods
That sounds like a long list, but the truth is, once you remove these inflammatory foods, the beneficial effects will be so worth it that you’ll never want to go back to old habits. The body can do amazing things when it receives the right ingredients to heal and function as it was designed to.
It’s also vital to prioritize getting a good night’s rest so the body can heal. If you need some help with insomnia, you might try taking some magnesium citrate at night before bed, which can help you relax, ease tense muscles, and relieve inflammation.
These natural remedies are all affordable and easy to incorporate into everyday life. Best of all, they’re highly effective at treating inflammation when combined with a healthy diet and proper rest.