Pain affects more North Americans than any other disorder. Natural healing therapies relieve pain by calming the nerves and increase circulation to promote healing without suppressing the condition. Natural therapies include the use of enzymes, amino acids, minerals and COX-2 inhibiting herbs. Many herbs today are being reported to possess COX-2 inhibiting properties which have long since been recognized by ancient medical traditions.
Phellodendron bark (Phellodendron amurense) extract not only has COX-2 inhibiting qualities, but also helps protect the gastrointestinal tract against ulceration. It will actually protect the stomach lining when you are using NSAIDs and conventional COX-2 inhibitors.
Turmeric (Curcuma Iongo) is an herb valued for its anti-inflammatory chemical called curcumin, which research has reported to be a powerful COX-2 inhibitor. Turmeric root is traditionally used in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine for inflammatory conditions, plus a wide range of other disorders.
Boswellia, also known as Frankincense, has shown in studies to be helpful for both rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, with pain index falling by 90% after 8 weeks with a similarly dramatic increase in function. The resin extracted from the tree Boswellia also has significant anti-inflammatory properties, being beneficial for asthma, colitis as well as pain.
White willow bark
White willow bark (Salix alba) contains natural salicylic acid, the active component in aspirin. Many studies have been done and they consistently show its effectiveness in reducing pain. For example, in two studies of 661 patients with severe chronic, low back pain, willow bark extract of 240mg left 40% pain free after 4 weeks, with improvement being evident after only one week of treatment. In those receiving standard orthopedic care and Motrin for 4 weeks, only 18% were pain free. No adverse effects on the stomach lining.
Holy Basil (Ocimum sanctum) contains phytochemicals that have COX-2 inhibiting effects. In Egypt, this herb is traditionally used for arthritis and inflammation. French researchers have shown it to be a potent COX-2 inhibitor and studies done in other nations around the world have confirmed these findings.
Glucosamine is a building block to connective tissues like cartilage and collagen.
Since the publication The Arthritis Cure in 1996, a large group of people began to treat their joint pain with glucosamine sulfate rather than NASID’s and reported their findings to their physicians. Subjectively, 75 to 80% of people reported drastic improvement in their pain and mobility. (Glucosamine verses NSAIDs/Ibuprofen 1994.2,51-59) The Rheumatic Disease Unit at Queen’s University has done numerous clinical studies on “glucosamine sulfate and osteoarthritis”. The report states “Overall, glucosamine sulfate was found to be safe and effective in treating arthritis”.
Collagen is known as the “glue in life” functioning as a protective agent for cartilage and synovial fluid against deterioration. Cartilage consists of 67% collagen. Oral collagen has shown to enhance joint mobility, reduce pain, regenerate cartilage and muscle and tissue recovery. Sleep is an important ingredient to enable the body to repair and utilize collagen. During REM sleep the body converts available collagen and other nutrients into new tissue. For best results when consuming supplemental collagen, take on an empty stomach at bedtime.
Amino acids have proven useful in treating pain, allergies, depression and reducing inflammation in patients with chronic pain disorders. The amino acid DL-Phenylalanine can raise the body’s threshold for pain and sensitivity by effectively releasing the body’s own natural pain killers, the endorphins. This amino acid also inhibits the breakdown of endorphins while converting chemicals in the brain which elevate mood, benefiting depression.
Enzymes in the form of supplementation aid digestion, absorption and reduce or eliminate pain. Bromelain, extracted from pineapple is an anti-inflammatory, often seen coupled with pain relieving herbs like Turmeric. Other beneficial uses of bromelain include; a blood pressure reducing agent, a heart and stroke inhibitor and a healing accelerator.
Antioxidants and Inflammation
Inflammation is linked to free radical formation, associated with degenerative diseases and aging. Antioxidants kill free radicals. By adjusting our diet to include foods high in antioxidants, our body’s inflammatory responses will be dampened. Foods of particular benefit include green tea, fish oils, wild fish, dark coloured vegetables, fruits such as cherries and red, blue and black berries. Herbs are especially useful possessing both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties found in garlic, onions, ginger, chives, rosemary, turmeric, oregano and basil. Pectin found in apples and some citrus fruits have shown to reduce or eliminate arthritis symptoms and to improve the health of veins, arteries and connective tissue.
Water is the simplest prevention in maintaining our cartilage surfaces. Dehydration is associated with low back pain and arthritis. The body needs two quarts of water daily. This does not include caffeine containing fluids and alcoholic beverages that further deplete the body of water.
Pain interferes with our daily enjoyment of life. Alternative health care practitioners employ a wide range of complementary therapies and techniques to treat an individual’s pain. They can also provide therapeutic dosages.
Copyright © 2017 – All Rights Reserved – Michelle Honda Ph.D.
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While close attention was given to the accuracy of information in this article, the author accepts neither responsibility nor liability to any person with respect to injury, damage, loss or any circumstances involving alleged causes directly or indirectly related to the information in this article. The sole purpose is to educate and broaden ones awareness. This information is not meant to replace medical advice or services provided by a health care professional.