8 Herbs and Foods for Natural Pain Relief

By Brigitte Mars, Author and Master Herbalist

Pain can serve a protective function by letting one know that something is wrong. Resolving the underlying problem, when possible is the best way to eliminate pain. The brain responds to pain by producing morphine-like hormones known as endorphins. Besides drugs, there are other ways to stimulate endorphin production.

Dietary Recommendations

The amino acid, tryptophan (found in avocados, bananas, grapefruit, nuts, seeds, papayas, peaches, and tomatoes) encourages production of the calming neurotransmitter, serotonin. Particularly beneficial foods for pain include broccoli, cauliflower, winter squashes, sesame and flax seeds. Strawberries contain natural salicylates, and are cooling and anti-inflammatory. Enzymes, present in unheated foods, reduce inflammation, which is often a factor in pain.

Herbs and Supplements for Pain Relief

Herbs that help pain can be classified in several ways. Analgesics help allay pain when used internally without affecting consciousness. Anesthetics numb existing pain either locally or generally. Anodynes are sedating and help keep pain from being transmitted. Antispasmodics relax muscle spasms. Sedatives promote rest and peace.

Cayenne pepper stimulates endorphin production and is an anti-inflammatory agent. Topically it is used diluted in salves, as it blocks transmission of substance P, which transports pain messages to brain.

Corydalis root, a relative of Poppy helps relieve pain from traumatic injury. Corydalis binds with opium receptors in the body and slows down the breakdown of choline. It is analgesic, antispasmodic and sedative.

Cramp Bark is an analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, and sedative. It can calm menstrual cramps, rheumatism and spasms of legs and lower back.

Feverfew herb inhibits certain inflammatory type hormones known as prostaglandins and prevents blood platelet aggregation (clumping together). Used on a regular basis it helps prevent migraines, relieve arthritis and menstrual cramps. Feverfew is anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic.

Ginger root is warming and improves circulation. It can improve the pain of arthritis, backache, and menstrual cramps. Chew a piece of fresh root for sore throat. Ginger is analgesic and anti-inflammatory.

Hops strobiles, a relative of Marijuana, are sedating to the nervous system. They calm cramps, insomnia, restlessness, stomachache and stress. Hops is an anodyne, antispasmodic, and sedative.

Kava kava root, enjoyed by many tropical island natives is a skeletal and muscle relaxant. It improves anxiety, cramps, gout, insomnia, neuralgia, pain and rheumatism. It is an analgesic, antispasmodic, and sedative.

Passionflower, doesn’t make you more passionate, but slows the breakdown of neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine. Try it for cramps, headache, insomnia, muscle spasms, neuralgia, shingles and stress. It is anodyne, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic and sedative.

Since many of the drugs available for pain and when used for extended periods can be habit forming, cause fatigue and mental fogginess, and even constipation, it may well be worth exploring alternatives to. Whenever possible, correct the cause of pain. Om shanti. Thank you for teaching me.

Of course there are many more as well which Brigitte will be discussing during our 3 night, online telecourse starting November 23rd, 2009. To read more about this course, click here! www.RenegadeHealth.com/lostsecret