If you have a headache or develop pain after a workout, you probably reach for something over the counter. But OTC pain relievers can be tough on your stomach, liver and kidneys. What if there were ways of beating aches and pains that were wholly natural and within reach? Good news, there are! Here are five natural ways to relieve aches and pains.
The Cleveland Clinic offers three tips for eating your way to freedom from pain: eat the rainbow, restrict dairy and grains, and avoid red meat.2 Eating the rainbow is the hardest part for most people; the Clinic recommends eating 8-9 servings of fruit and vegetables per day (mostly veg). Whole grains are okay, but none of that processed white stuff. You should treat red meat like turkey– something to be eaten at a few special meals a year, the Clinic says.
Activities like walking, dancing, and cleaning can help ease your pain by blocking signals to your brain. Gentle exercise lessens pain by strengthening muscles and loosening tense ligaments and joints. “Use it or you lose it” applies to the human body. Lethargy and lack of movement can not only heighten pain, it can also lead to depressive thoughts. Even a half hour stroll after dinner can change your mood and how you feel about your pain.
Full spectrum CBD
CBD is one of many cannabinoids present in the hemp plant. CBD comes in many forms including oils, gummies, topicals, capsules and more. It, along with Delta-9 THC, the other cannabinoids, terpenes, and other substances in the hemp plant, can work together to help alleviate pain caused by inflammation, like pain you’d experience after a workout. Cannabinoids bind to the endocannabinoid receptors on the body’s cells and stimulate cell responses that influence pain signaling pathways.
Turmeric may be a common spice in many spice racks– it’s a major ingredient in curries– but it also contains curcumin, which is a natural anti-inflammatory. The underground portions of the plant can be dried and made into capsules, tablets, extracts, powders or teas. Or they may be made into a paste to apply to the skin. However, more research is necessary to confirm the effects of turmeric. 3
It is possible that through mindfulness and meditation you can induce your body’s own opioid system, which could help relieve pain. Some even believe that through meditation you can remap and change the structure of your brain to make it less sensitive to pain. This may be especially helpful for those experiencing chronic pain.
These are not the only ways to naturally relieve pain and aches, but they are some of the ones that are the easiest to begin to add into your daily life. The next time you experience pain, maybe you can eschew the OTC pills and reach for something natural.
About the Author
Dr. Leslie Mudd, PharmD
A board certified oncology pharmacist with 25 years experience at the James Graham Brown Cancer Center in Louisville, Kentucky, Dr. Leslie Mudd now serves as the Cornbread Hemp resident pharmacist and medical expert. Read Dr. Mudd's full author bio here.
- Statista. “Leading over-the-counter product categories in the United States in 2020, based on sales.” Accessed: 19 July 2022.
- Medical News Today. “How an anti-inflammatory diet can relieve pain as you age.” Published: 27 September 2018. Accessed: 20 July 2022.
- Zeratsky, Katherine, RN. “Mayo Clinic Q and A: Tumeric’s anti-inflammatory properties may relieve arthritis pain.” Mayo Clinic. Published: 24 January 2020. Accessed: 20 July 2022. https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/mayo-clinic-q-and-a-turmerics-anti-inflammatory-properties-may-relieve-arthritis-pain/