When you’re in pain, it can affect all areas of your life. It becomes harder to focus at work and you may notice that you have less patience at home. If the pain is chronic, hobbies and time spent with loved ones fall by the wayside as more time is spent on the couch or in bed.
You can go to almost any pharmacy or supermarket and find a shelf lined with over-the-counter pain killers for purchase. But if you’d rather relieve your pain naturally, here are seven herbs, spices and fruit that can help.
If you like the taste of garlic, not only will adding this flavor enhancer to your meals satisfy your taste buds but it may also help ease your pain. In a 2021 study published in the Journal of Herbal Medicine, 50 obese women with knee osteoarthritis took either a 1,000 mg garlic supplement or a placebo. After 12 weeks, those taking the garlic had “significant improvements” in joint pain, stiffness, and function. (1)
While garlic can help relieve pain, it’s best to ingest it orally. This is because applying it topically can potentially burn the skin. (2)
Turmeric is a spice found in curry, some teas, and a variety of other recipes. It’s known for giving foods a yellowish hue, which is why it’s sometimes called the golden spice. Yet, researchers have also found that it’s good for relieving pain.
In a 2020 study involving 88 people with acute musculoskeletal pain, 66% of those taking a supplement containing turmeric reported that their pain was lessened for at least six hours after ingesting the supplement, with most experiencing relief within one hour. Thus, researchers concluded that turmeric was comparable to acetaminophen for relieving pain. (3) Natural Wellness offers Turmeric 95 if you’d like to take this route.
Have you ever had a toothache and wanted to find a natural way to relieve the pain? A review of 220 medical studies determined that the best home remedy for dental pain is cloves. (4) (Though, limes were also considered optimal, with tea bags showing some benefits as well.)
Clove comes from evergreen tree flower buds. It is used quite often in Indian recipes but you can also find it in sweet dishes. Perhaps one of the best-known desserts that use cloves is pumpkin pie, where this spice is suggested along with nutmeg and cinnamon.
If you’ve never heard of marjoram, it is an herb that is in the mint family. It can be found in soups, sauces, and dressings, where it gives these foods a woodsy flavor. Yet, studies have also found that applying it topically can also help ease pain.
One example is a 2014 study involving 60 people with neck pain. For four weeks, the subjects applied a cream containing marjoram to their neck daily. At the end of the study, they reported significantly better pain scores after using the cream, especially in their trapezius muscles, which are the muscles in the upper back that sit right below the neck. (5)
Speaking of the mint family, plain old mint can also help ease pain. At least, that’s what one 2015 study found. In this case, mint was given to 82 patients who were getting their appendix out. Taking mint after the surgery helped the patients relieve their pain. It also helped lessen their nausea and bloating. (6)
The nice thing about mint is that it has a pleasant flavor. That makes it a great addition to beverages such as water, tea, or green juice. You can also add mint to your dips, pasta, and desserts.
6. Apple Cider Vinegar
People take apple cider vinegar for a number of reasons.
Health benefits it is known to provide include:
- reducing blood sugar levels
- calming gastroesophageal reflux
- and even aiding in weight loss. (7)
Well, you can add pain relief to this list!
In one study, 120 people with varicose veins were split into two groups. One group applied apple cider vinegar to the veins in their legs for 30 minutes, twice a day. The other group received no treatment at all. After one month, the group using the vinegar reported having less pain, fatigue, and cramps in their legs than the control. (8)
What’s the first thing that happens after taking a bite of a food that contains horseradish? If you’re like a lot of people, you instantly feel your sinuses clear out. When you are experiencing sinus pain, this clearing can provide some much-needed relief.
In fact, this spice has a long history of being used for head-based pain, while also considered an effective treatment for digestive issues, gout, and high blood pressure. (9) This is due, in part, to horseradish’s glycosides. It is also higher in vitamin C. Natural Wellness’s Sinus Clear—which includes horseradish—can help with this issue as well.
Adding these spices, herbs and fruit to your diet—whether via food or supplements—can help you relieve your pain naturally. That makes them welcome remedies for anyone who wants to reduce or resolve their pain without the use of medications.