Natural Remedies That Work Like Over the Counter Painkillers
If you’ve ever had a toothache, headache, back pain, or muscle aches, your default behavior is to probably reach for the medicine cabinet to grab a bottle of Tylenol or Advil. These are two of the most popular over-the-counter (OTC) painkillers on the market. While they are typically good choices for fast and effective pain relief, there are a few side effects to consider. Acetaminophen, the drug contained in Tylenol and many cold and flu medications, works by affecting the part of your brain which controls temperature and pain. This is why it is often the medication of choice to lower a fever or treat a headache. While generally safe for occasional usage, Acetaminophen can cause liver damage if it is used continuously over a long period of time. Therefore, it is recommended to keep adult dosage to less than 4000mg per day 1. Similarly, Ibuprofen, the drug contained in Advil, is a highly effective anti-inflammatory that is great for headaches, toothaches, cramps, and muscle pains. However, it increases the risk of heart attacks, stroke, and stomach ulcers if used continuously over long periods.
If some of these side effects concern you, or if you are just looking for some more natural alternatives to these OTC medications, here are a few great painkilling options for some common conditions.
Next time you have a toothache, instead of reaching for Ibuprofen you should try Cloves. Cloves contain a natural anesthetic called eugenol which has been known to provide a very soothing effect on the nerve-endings and gums that cause most toothaches. In fact, some dentists already use Oil of Cloves after they perform tooth extractions, fillings, and root canals since eugenol acts as both an anti-inflammatory and antiseptic agent. Therefore, a simple toothache remedy is to gently chew on a clove until the inflammation in your gums is reduced or gone 2.
In case you can’t get your hands on a bottle of cloves, there’s always garlic. Garlic contains a compound called allicin, which is released when you break the garlic and acts as an antibacterial agent. Crush a clove of garlic, mix it with salt or pepper and directly apply it onto the affected tooth.
Have you ever noticed a painful mouth wound or mouth ulcer (aphthae) after a cold or the flu? Well if you wondered how to relieve your pain caused by these mouth wounds – the remedy is in almost every kitchen and its name is Honey! Amazingly, honey has 40% greater soothing effect than any medications you could use for a mouth wound. It fights inflammation, destroys viruses, and accelerates damaged tissue regeneration. Simply apply honey to the wound four times per day until it disappears. What a sweet way to relieve the pain!
Ginger is known to be one of the best anti-inflammatory remedies on earth. It is known to help soothe stomach aches, nausea and other digestion problems, as well as showing promise to fight cancer cells 3. A number of studies have been done on this miracle spice, proving the protection against free radicals and the positive effect of its potent anti-inflammatory compounds called gingerols. A recommended dosage for migraines, headaches, or arthritis is one teaspoon of dried ginger or two teaspoons of chopped fresh ginger every 6 hours.
Believe it or not the best natural ear pain remedy is the well-known garlic oil. Scientists believe that the active ingredients found in garlic (germanium, selenium and sulfur compounds) can destroy a dozen different types of bacteria that cause earaches much better than any medical drugs can. Add two drops of warm garlic oil twice a day into the painful ear and repeat the treatment for five days. To make garlic oil at home, crush and dissolve one fresh garlic clove into 1 oz of olive oil, and use a strainer to remove any remaining fibers.
Anyone who has had an ingrown toenail will tell you it’s one of the most uncomfortable pains there is. If left untreated, an ingrowing toenail can result in an infection, puss discharge, and sometimes lead to serious complications. While the remedy is very simple a lot of people aren’t aware of it. Scientists at Stanford University found that simply soaking your feet in warm salty water can heal your toe within 4 days. The ratio of salt and water should be one teaspoon of salt to one glass of water. Hold your feet in the salty water for about 20 minutes twice a day until the infection is gone.
A very simple and also very tasty way to get rid of unpleasant back pain is by eating grapes! Eating just a small bowl of grapes once a day will relax your blood vessels, which will improve blood flow to any damaged tissue in your back.
Have you ever heard of Turmeric? This popular Indian spice is three times more effective in relieving pain than aspirin. Turmeric has also been found to help relieve chronic pain for more than 50 percent of people who struggle with arthritis. In the last couple of years turmeric-antioxidant has been a big research field. Studies have shown that it is anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal and anti-cancerogenic. Scientists recommend adding 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric daily, in any dish, to reap the benefits of this amazing spice.