Healing Pain with Herbs (Food)

Why Do We Need Pain?

Pain tells the rest of your body that something is wrong, it draws your attention to a problem, either external damage like a cut, or internal damage like arthritis. Once you feel pain and realise something needs fixing, you have to diagnose the cause of the pain so you can decide what is needed to heal the pain.

With acute pain, like a cut on your arm, the body responds with an internal reaction known as ‘inflammatory response’ where blood (involving white blood cells and the lymph system) are directed to the area to help in the healing process.

Chronic pain like osteoarthritis will cause the same bodily response.  However, even though this can’t fix the  problem, the body continues it’s ‘inflammatory response’ and you end up with too much inflammation, which needs treating with an anti-inflammatory.

What Herbs or Food Can You Use?

Herbs are food and many foods that are already in your kitchen cupboards can be used as pain relieving remedies. It’s important to always use Organic, as you don’t want the foods you are using to heal to be covered with insecticides, pesticides and fungicides, etc, as that can cause further problems. Sometimes for pain relief you need to add things to your diet to help with the healing, such as anti-inflammatory Turmeric.

At times you need to remove things from your diet that are causing the pain. This may be gluten, dairy, yeast or sugar for example.  If you think this may be the cause try removing one at a time for a month to see how your body responds.

Some Foods That Can Be Used to Relieve Pain

The No.1 must have remedy is Turmeric. Turmeric is so powerful that it has been suggested it be added to the general water supply!  It is a natural anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant, amongst it’s many other benefits. 

For the most benefit, use 2 teaspoons once a day – regularly at the same time of day, as the higher dose has more effect – and the benefits are released to the body during the day.  However, it must be mixed with an essential fatty acid (as found in fish oil, coconut or flaxseed oil). 

[There is also research showing that it helps to consume black pepper with it, which contains piperine… a natural substance that enhances the absorption of curcumin by 2000% see http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9619120 ]

Ginger – will relieve a sore or upset stomach, drinking it as a tea or taking ginger capsules.

Horseradish – is hot and irritating so forces the body to send blood to the area. 

Camomile tea – very soothing, helps with inflammatory bowel.

Fresh Coriander – very important to draw the heavy metal loads in the organs out of the cells and helps to eliminate them. Use 2 tablespoons a day by adding to smoothies, or replacing basil in pesto.  Heavy metals can be acquired from living in a house you are renovating, working with airconditioning and refrigerants, living on or near a non-organic farm, etc. 

Tea Tree – for infections, can be used undiluted.

Lavender and Peppermint – are cooling and calming, can be combined for headaches, subtle response to inflammation.

Lemon juice used in water or in salads – helps relieve a sluggish liver.

Apple Cider Vinegar (with the mother) helps with acidity in the body which can cause pain.  Part of an alkalising diet.

Licorice root and magnesium – help strengthen the adrenal gland, which helps with hormonal problems and problems caused by too much stress.

The body uses up magnesium with mental or physical stress.  Magnesium is necessary for 300 functions in your body.  For muscular complaints it can be acquired from food such as organic, dark, bitter chocolate, green leafy vegetables, sesame seeds, etc, or as a supplement use 1 tablespoon in smoothies or in energy balls. 

Essential Fatty Acids – add fish oil/ coconut oil/ flaxseed oil to your diet, but make sure it is the best quality. 

For acute pain always apply cold, such as cabbage leaves, broken (to release pain relieving enzymes) and kept in freezer.  For long term pain always apply heat, such as heated raw pumpkin or potatoes and apply to area to reduce swelling. 

Supplements should be used for a few weeks or months to build you up until you change your food and lifestyle.  Always remember, though, that if you try something and it doesn’t agree with you, don’t force it, listen to your body.

This information was presented by the amazing Connie Page herbalist and our recent Healthy Life Event, and kindly scribed by the lovely Judith. A huge thank you to theses ladies for their knowledge and contribution.

To attend our HEALTHY LIFE EVENT follow this link for more information

Be Healthy and Happy