Whether your muscles hurt from a too tough exercise session, your back is sore from bending down to baste that turkey one too many times, or your neck aches from the tension of too many friends and family flooding through your home, you are in serious need of some relief–stat! Instead of turning to your medicine cabinet and popping a pill, here are some natural remedies sure to tame that pain:
1. Cherry Pits
Comfypac takes the place of old-fashioned cold and heat packs, replacing the potentially hazardous chemical “ice” and “fire” with cherry pits. That’s right, the pits are perfect pain-soothers, tackling backaches, headaches, shoulder and neck pain, joint pain, even arthritis. Toss the comfy pit pack in the freezer or microwave and chase pain away naturally. I love the acupressure potential too, letting each little pit press up against the calming points of your foot for added benefit.
2. Corn Kernels
Similar to Comfypacs, Corn Bag Critters are sacks filled with microwave ready and freezable whole corn kernels. Not to worry, since the corn is cracked you won’t be making popcorn. After just a minute in the microwave, the sack can hold heat for hours!
3. Chili Pepper
Chili Pepper has been shown to target and relieve arthritis, muscle stiffness and headaches thanks to capsaicin, its active component that desensitizes pain-producing nerve receptors for 3 to 5 weeks! You can eat the spicy stuff for general (though mild) pain relief, or choose a topical capsaicin cream for more impact. Most often used for muscle and nerve pain, according to a study, patients at the New England Center for Headaches also experienced noticeable relief from migraines and cluster headache after topically applying capsaicin to their nostrils.
Turmeric, an ingredient in curry, has naturally occurring curcumin, which has been shown to ease rheumatoid arthritis. Like chili, you can eat it for mild overall relief, or get prescription caplets containing tumeric like InflaThera.
Arnica, an herb derived from a European flower; has natural anti-inflammatory properties that have been shown to reduce bruising, muscles aches and swelling. Take it orally as a homeopathic pill popped under the tongue, or topically as a cream like Jurlique’s Arnica Cream or gel like Boiron’s Arnicare Gel.
Elemental Herbs’ Herbal Cool™ is a 100 percent botanical and herbal-based spray that goes on cool (thanks to the Menthol) and warms up fast to soothe the muscles of even the most fearless snowboarder or weekend warrior. More than the on-impact pain-relieving cooling and warming sensation from the Menthol, anti-inflammatory herbs like St. Johns Wort, Arnica and Balsam Poplar go to work to quell the swell deep down in the muscle.
7. Fish Oil
Fish oil has been shown to relieve joint pain, back aches, and arthritis. As your body digests the oil, it is naturally broken down into anti-inflammatory chemicals. Get the fish oil direct from the source by upping your intake of fatty salmon and cod. If you prefer to avoid the fishy smell, choose cod liver oil pills instead for even more relief.
Sometimes the most comforting relief comes from your mother… Mother Nature.