Four herbs with natural painkilling properties




Tens of millions of people around the world live with acute or chronic pain, and their desperate attempts to alleviate it has made prescription painkillers a billion dollar industry for Big Pharma. Unfortunately, prescription painkillers often contribute to more problems than they cure. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control, painkillers such as oxycodone and methadone are the leading causes of overdose deaths in the United States today.(1)

Fortunately, nature has provided us with numerous herbs and spices that contain significant analgesic properties. While not all of these foods are as aggressive as prescription painkillers, they are much safer to consume and lack their unpleasant side effects.

   Turmeric

Turmeric has been used in traditional medicine for centuries to treat sprains, bruises and inflammation in the joints and stomach, and scientists now understand how it works. This warm, bitter plant owes its distinctive yellow hues to its rich concentrations of curcumin, a compound with proven anti-cancer, antioxidant and analgesic properties. One study featured in The Korean Journal of Pain, for instance, discovered that curcumin could decrease inflammatory pain in rats.(4) Another study, published in Surgical Endoscopy, concluded that curcumin could improve postoperative pain and fatigue.(5)

                                         Turmeric

Turmeric powder is usually added to curries and other rice dishes, but it can also be taken as a health supplement. Remember to purchase non-irradiated powder when possible for maximum benefits.

   White willow


White willow is the most famous of the 300 willow species, and its bark enjoys a time-honored reputation as a natural analgesic. Indeed, the Chinese were known to use white willow bark for pain relief as far back as 500 B.C. In the West, American Indians often used it to treat inflammation.(2)

White willow works as a painkiller because it contains a glucoside called salicin, which possesses proven anti-inflammatory and anti-neuralgic properties. For example, a study published in The American Journal of Medicine in 2000 found that white willow-derived salicin was more effective at easing lower back pain than the placebo.(3)

White pillow bark can be consumed in powdered or tincture form. It is a much more natural painkiller than Aspirin, whose principal ingredient is actually salicin.

   Corydalis

Corydalis is another herb with a long history of use for pain relief. Chinese medicine is particularly fond of it, and often prescribes it for headaches, migraines and menstrual pain. Corydalis was even recommended to individuals who suffered from back pain caused by muscle spasms and nerve problems.

Though studies into corydalis' analgesic properties are limited, we know that it is rich in a compound called dehydrocorybulbine (DHCB). A study published in Current Biology in January 2014 found that DHCB was effective against "inflammatory pain and injury-induced neuropathic pain," leading the researchers to conclude that DHCB is a "promising lead in pain management."(6)

                                        Corydalis

Corydalis is commonly found in Chinese herbal stores. It can be purchased as granules, which should be dissolved in hot water and sipped throughout the day, or in capsule form.

   Devil's claw


Devil's claw is a herb native to southern Africa that gets its name from the small hooks that cover its fruit. Though it was mostly consumed as a medicine to treat conditions ranging from pain to malaria, natives also used it as an ointment to heal boils, sores and other skin ailments.

Devil's claw contains three active ingredients -- harpagoside, harpagide and procumbine -- that are responsible for its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. Harpagoside seems to be especially effective in this regard and, according to a study published in Farmaco in 1996, had a "small but significant" anti-inflammatory effect on rat paw edema.(7) Furthermore, a study published in Schmerz in 2001 found that devil's claw could reduce muscle stiffness.(8)

Devil's claw is easy to find online or in health food stores. It is usually taken in powdered or tincture form, though it can also be drunk as a tea if you can tolerate its bitter taste.


Sources for this article include:


(1) http://www.workers.org


(2) http://www.hchs.edu/literature/Aspirin%20Alternatives.pdf [PDF]

(3) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10936472

(4) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3259131/

(5) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21671126

(6) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24388848

(7) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8766229

(8) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11810324









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5 ways to end constipation quickly



The world is backed up, and so much so that a bowel movement every few days is deemed normal. This is undoubtedly due to a lack of hydration, probiotics, enzymes, fiber, EFAs, and key vitamins and minerals that allow properly formed bowel movements to happen smoothly and at least once a day.

So if you are stuck and need some extra help without an over-the-counter laxative that will slowly destroy your ability to eliminate naturally, try these five methods.

   Magnesium

Also known as the master mineral, adequate magnesium levels are vitally important in order to facilitate a proper bowel movement. It is responsible for proper muscle function, promoting over 800 enzymatic actions, and reducing inflammation.

An individual who is constipated will presumably be suffering from slow peristaltic action (facilitated by the muscular lining in the intestinal system), poor enzyme function, and excessive inflammation. Fortunately, magnesium can help in all those areas.

Be sure to choose a quality liquid magnesium in a highly bioavailable form, without any additional sugars, artificial flavours, colours, or preservatives.




   Spring water

In order to function properly, your intestinal system needs to be well lubricated in order to promote a healthy transition time for bowel movements. The more dehydrated you become, the more difficult it becomes to have a proper and regular bowel movement.

Unfortunately, all water we have access to is not equal. Tap water contains toxins that contribute to improper bowel movements, distilled and reverse osmosis water lacks the minerals for proper hydration, and bottled water is "dead" and contains xenoestrogens that complicate proper digestive function.

For the best results in ending constipation, use an approved spring for water so you have access to naturally mineralized and highly oxygenated water with the least amount of toxins as possible. A good secondary option is a good filtration system that puts minerals back in, or you simply add them back in through a good sea salt.

   Chia

Chia's makeup of essential fats, anti-parasitic antioxidants, and a rich array of fibers make it a perfect blend to build a healthy gut. When you are able to nourish the intestinal system with this remarkable superfood, constipation can end rather quickly.

Two tablespoons of chia gives you 7 grams of fiber (a blend of insoluble and soluble fibers) and helps sweep and sponge microorganisms and toxins out of the colon, which are often causing you trouble with your bowel movements.

Be sure to soak your chia for premium benefits, as their ability to store 10 times their weight in water helps irrigate the intestinal system as well.

   Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut is a powerful fermented food with a wide variety of benefits, including the promotion of healthy and regular bowel movements.

Due to its massive array of probiotics, enzymes, and nutrients, it tends to break down and soften impacted fecal matter, which improves transit time through your intestinal system. These nutrients will also lower inflammation and hydrate the intestinal system effectively, another barrier in swifter bowel movements.

For best results, choose sauerkraut that is unpasteurized which will deliver more enzymes and probiotics.

   Coconut kefir

Coconut kefir is a fermented beverage that is very healing of the digestive system, and delivers probiotics, enzymes, and nutrients in a highly bioavailable format.

Much like sauerkraut, coconut kefir helps improve the health of the intestinal system, and provides appropriate lubrication and seeding of the intestinal system so impacted fecal matter can be broken down and removed quickly from the body.

Making these solutions a core part of your daily habits, as well as cleaning up your diet and environment, reducing stress, and incorporating movement, can help end constipation for good.








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