Five Herbs Everyone With Chronic Pain Should Know About
Fibromyalgia is like the unwanted guest who shows up uninvited to the party and refuses to leave. For those of us who get stuck with this unwanted guest crashing our party, we’ll do or try just about anything to get rid of it. Of course, there is no one treatment or cure that works for everyone. For most, it is a combination of various different approaches that finally restores some level of calm and comfort back to their lives.
Among the various approaches to treating pain is herbal medicine. Unlike typical prescription medications, herbs often provide relief without the various unpleasant – and sometimes harmful – side effects. Here are five herbal treatments that we’ve found to be effective for easing fibromyalgia pain:
Made from the roots of a plant within the ginger family, turmeric is often referred to as nature’s painkiller. Turmeric can be ground into powder and used as a spice in cooking and is also widely available in supplement form. Turmeric’s healing properties are due to curcumin, a compound found in turmeric. This powerful antioxidant fights inflammation by blocking the COX-2 enzyme, one of the enzymes responsible for triggering inflammation in the body.
For days when your pain flares up, try this Pain-Relieving Turmeric Tea Recipe!
This is one of our favorite herbs and its effects are almost palpable. The plant grows in some of the harshest environments on earth and has properties that allow it to adapt and thrive despite the constant stress from the environment. For fibromyalgia sufferers, the biggest benefit of Rhodiola is its ability to build our resistance to stress. As stress builds up, it aggravates the symptoms of fibromyalgia – leading to even more stress and a potentially dangerous downward spiral. By boosting our body’s ability to adapt to stressful circumstances, it helps slow and even break this cycle.
Additionally, Rhodiola Rosea has various other benefits for fibromyalgia sufferers including boosting energy, improving cognitive functions and even fighting depression. Learn more about Rhodiola Rosea’s other benefits here!
Celery Seed Extract
Celery seed extract has been shown to block three separate pain-triggering enzymes in the body. In addition to its pain-blocking properties, it is rich in antioxidants that fight harmful free radicals in the body and reduce inflammation. In one 12-week study of patients taking 34 mg of celery seed extract twice daily, pain was reported to have decrease by an average of 68% among participants.
With over 50 antioxidants, Ginger is a powerful herb for blocking inflammation. It also helps block prostaglandins, a compound that triggers an inflammatory response. Ginger is especially effective at curbing headaches and migraines, if taken at the onset of symptoms. Studies have shown it to be as effective as leading prescription medications for migraines and headaches, making it a widely used alternative treatment.
Like Turmeric and Celery seed extract, Willow Bark helps block the pain triggering COX-1 and COX-2 enzymes, bringing relief to many who use it. Unlike over-the-counter or prescription medications, pain relief from Willow Bark seems to come a bit slower. However, researchers have noted that it’s pain relieving effects last longer than typical medications. So if you’re looking for lasting, but not immediate relief, Willow Bark may do the trick.
Many people have turned to herbs as a safe and effective alternative to conventional medicines. For many, natural treatments bring much desired relief without the undesirable side effects of a prescription medication. As always, you should consult your doctor before trying anything.
What herbs or natural treatments have you tried? We’d love to know what worked and what didn’t! Share you stories below or post a comment on our Facebook Page.