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Herbs For Pain

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Herbs for Pain

No matter what type of pain you are experiencing, the discomfort that it brings can severely impact your quality of life. Using prescription and over-the-counter pain relievers is one method of dealing with the discomfort. However, many people are now turning to alternative interventions to manage short-term and chronic pain. Herbs are alternative remedies that have been used for centuries to address all types of discomfort. Many of these herbs are well-established parts of specific natural healing practices, such as Chinese medicine or homeopathy. Western medical science has only now begun to evaluate the various herbs traditionally used to lessen pain. Some herbs do show real promise for alleviating pain and discomfort. However, more evidence must be gathered to establish the plant extracts as definitely effective for pain management. While herbs are a natural alternative to medications, most do pose some risk for side effects, which may be mild to severe. The natural chemicals in herbs may also interact with medications or interfere with how prescription drugs or supplements work. As a result, you should discuss the use of any herbs for pain with your doctor before taking an herbal supplement or using an herbal topical cream.

Options for Specific Types of Pain

When choosing herbs for pain, you'll need to select one that is associated with alleviating your type of pain. Herbs that are believed to fight inflammation are most commonly used for arthritis and other pain related to swelling in the body. These include herbs such as ginger, boswellia and turmeric. For lower back and other types of muscle and bone pain, herbs that contain salicin, a chemical similar to the active ingredient in aspirin, are often recommended by herbal practitioners. The most commonly used of these herbs is willow. Feverfew has shown promise in health studies related to alleviating migraine headaches. A few small studies have shown that a related herb called butterbur may be beneficial for tension and migraine headache relief. Cranberry extract is a common folk remedy for urinary issues. Depending on the exact cause of your pain and its location, there may be additional herbal remedies available for you to consider. Your doctor or a licensed herbalist should be able to advise you as to your options.

This summary is intended for general informational purposes only, and should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of purity, strength, or safety of the products. As a result, effects may vary. You should read product labels. In addition, if you are taking medications, herbs, or other supplements you should consult with a qualified healthcare provider before taking a supplement as supplements may interact with other medications, herbs, and nutritional products. If you have a medical condition, including if you are pregnant or nursing, you should speak to your physician before taking a supplement. Consult a healthcare provider if you experience side effects.

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