Believe it or not, you could have an entire kitchen full of natural painkillers. Excluding junk food and most processed products, food IS medicine. Read below to learn how you can live without NSAIDs, reflux medication, and treat/prevent common infections without expensive medications or side effects. Here are 20 natural pain killers “hiding” in your kitchen.
1. Coffee for Migraines
Most migraine medication contains a small amount of anhydrous (powdered) caffeine. But there are benefits to the regular liquid version: the National Headache foundation recommends chasing your OTC migraine medication with 12 ounces of very strong coffee. Why? Caffeine boosts absorption of medication in the stomach lining, increasing the effectiveness of your medication by 40% or more.
2. Honey for canker and cold sores
Honey has amazing antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties.
According to research performed at the Dubai Specialized Medical Center in the United Arab Emirates, unpasteurized honey heals cold sores and canker sores 43% faster than prescription creams. Apply a dab of honey four times daily at the onset of the sore.
3. Water for any injury
There’s a reason you’re put on a continuous IV during surgeries and hospital stays: water heals. No matter what type of injury, inflammation, or illness you’re fighting, simply keeping yourself hydrated will make a big difference. Experts recommend eight 8-oz (or five 12-oz) glasses of water daily to kick-start the healing process.
Water helps keep the cartilage, discs, and lubricating fluids between your bones well-hydrated, ensuring your bones can move smoothly without pain. Water also helps dilute and flush out inflammatory compounds – such as histamines – that injury produces, lowering swelling and pain caused by inflammation.
4. Horseradish for sinus problems
Horseradish is shown to increase blood flow to your sinus cavities, which will encourage drainage and open up your sinuses. It’s also more effective than decongestant sprays: German research scientists found that one teaspoon of horseradish twice daily (either alone or in food) heals sinus infections faster than decongestants.
5. Peppermint for muscle pain
Naturopathic Doctor Mark Stengler recommends soaking in warm water three times weekly with 10 drops of peppermint essential oil.
The combination of warm water and peppermint is shown to ease muscle cramps 25% more effectively than OTC pain killers and – best of all – reduce the frequency of pain flair ups.
6. Pineapple for intestinal gas
Pineapple is jam-packed with proteolytic enzymes, which aid in breaking down certain gas-producing proteins in the stomach and small intestines.
Researchers at Stanford University found that one cup of pineapple daily helped relieve symptoms of painful gas and bloating within 72 hours.
7. Oats for endometrial pain
Endometriosis is extremely painful, but you could help get symptoms under control with a daily bowl of oatmeal.
Researchers found that women who incorporated oats into their diet for six months were able to reduce endometrial pain by as much as 60%. Oats are naturally gluten-free, so they lack the protein that triggers inflammation and pain in women with endometriosis.
8. Salt for ingrown toenails
Over six million Americans struggle with ingrown toenails every year. Warm foot baths with pure salt provide relief and kill the infections that accompany them. Scientists at Stanford university found that soaking infected toenails in a salt/warm water mixture cures ingrown toenail infections in just 4 days.
You’ll need: one cup of water and one teaspoon of salt. Heat the mixture to the warmest temperature you can comfortably tolerate, and soak ingrown toes for 20 minutes, twice a day.
9. Ginger for muscle pain
Ginger contains a compound called gingerol, which are known to prevent the production of pain triggering hormones.
Danish researchers found that those who incorporated at least one teaspoon of dried ginger (or two teaspoons of chopped ginger) daily experienced up to 63% reduction in joint pain, muscle pain, swelling, and stiffness in just two months.