The multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical industry has hooked millions of people on prescription pain relief drugs. And many more have suffered from side effects of over-the-counter pain relievers.
One of the most frustrating things about this crisis is that there are natural alternatives to these medications.
In fact, humans have known about natural pain relief herbs and plants for centuries now.
Modern medicine has helped improve our lives in a lot of ways. But we have started to forget about natural alternatives, and we are starting to feel the consequences.
The fact is, there are plenty of natural painkillers all around us.
Natural Pain Relief Herbs
Back in the old days, Native Americans and pioneers knew all about pain relieving herbs and plants. They were key to their survival.
Even though these lessons are no longer common knowledge, there are still plenty of people educating about them.
After reading through many popular health and medical blogs, I found some common recommendations about natural pain relief.
Willow bark is known to have anti-inflammatory properties, making it suitable for a variety of problems. Here's what an article by James Roland in Healthline has to say about it:
People have been using willow bark to ease inflammation, the cause of most aches and pains, for centuries. The bark of the white willow contains the chemical salicin, which is similar to the main ingredient in aspirin (Bayer).
Originally, people chewed the bark itself to relieve pain and fevers. Now willow bark is sold as a dried herb that you can brew like tea. It also comes as a liquid supplement or in capsule form. You can use willow bark to help relieve discomfort from headaches, low back pain, osteoarthritis (OA), and many other conditions.
He goes on to caution that willow bark can cause side effects in some. These side effects may include upset stomach, prolonged bleeding, or kidney problems. You should also avoid willow bark if you're sensitive to medications like aspirin or taking certain types of blood thinners.
You've probably noticed that turmeric is having its moment in the spotlight lately. People are starting to catch on to the potent anti-inflammatory effects of turmeric and its derivative, curcumin (this blog post will tell you everything you need to know about turmeric and curcumin).
But that's not the only benefit, according to Juhie Bhatia at Everyday Health:
This spice has been used to relieve arthritis pain and heartburn, and to reduce inflammation. It's unclear how turmeric works against pain or inflammation, but its activity may be due to a chemical called curcumin, which has anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric is usually safe to use, but high doses or long-term use may cause indigestion. Also, people with gallbladder disease should avoid using turmeric.
Given it's availability in most stores – not to mention you can easily grow it in your garden – turmeric ought to consumed generously if you're dealing with pain and inflammation.
Wild lettuce is known to some as “nature's morphine” due to it's powerful pain relief benefits. But unlike morphine, it contains no actual opioids. However the effects on your central nervous system's pain processing are still significant.
Wild lettuce is fairly well known among naturalists and survivalists because it would be convenient to use in the event of a disaster. The Lost Ways is a book that devotes a section to wild lettuce and how to harvest its “morphine”. (See our longer piece about The Lost Ways here.)
Here's what Jacki Andre has to say about it at AskAPrepper.com:
Lactuca Virosa is the scientific term for it, and many people have used it in place of addictive prescription pain medicine. It’s a leafy and tall plant, with small yellow buds, and could be grown right out your door. More commonly found in North America and England, it’s a cousin to the lettuce we typically see at the grocery store. It’s also referred to as bitter lettuce, or more appropriately for the purpose discussed here, opium lettuce.
The reason it’s referred to as opium lettuce, is due to the pain relieving and sedative effects that it has been known to produce through a white substance found in the stem and leaves.
Knowing about alternatives to pain relief medications can help you more naturally and safely cope with pain today. And if disaster should strike, being able to locate these herbal alternatives could prove helpful for you and your family.
I'll be writing more about natural pain relief in the future because it's such an important topic in today's medical climate. But for now I will leave you with these recommendations. I hope you find them useful.