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Beat Pain Naturally With Ginger

The use of raw or heated ginger can help people shift to natural pain management.

In a recent study performed by researchers from the Georgia College & State University, it was found that consuming the world-popular root ginger can actually alleviate pain and reduce tissue inflammation.

Raw ginger vs. heated ginger

The researchers used raw ginger supplementation and heated ginger supplementation for two groups of respondents for a period of 11 days.  The respondents then underwent exercises that produced mild muscle soreness.  In short, some pain and inflammation was induced to test whether or not the ginger supplementation would work.

Raw ginger produced 25% less pain and inflammation within the period of one day, while the heated ginger reduced 23% less pain and inflammation.  The researchers concluded that daily consumption of ginger (ginger supplementation) can benefit individuals who are often exposed to exercise-related pain and tissue inflammation.  The said study has already been published in the medical journal Journal of Pain.

Why ginger is good for you

Ginger is naturally rich in antioxidants and other beneficial compounds like zingerones, which makes it a prime choice for people who want to naturally protect their bodies from free radical damage, stress-related fatigue, etc.

Other natural compounds in ginger also produce analgesic-like effects on the body, which is why it was effective in reducing tissue swelling/inflammation and pain in the study.

Since you have a more natural choice now, there’s really no need to depend on OTC analgesics and painkillers when dealing with post-exercise soreness.  If the soreness and pain is mild, then raw or heated ginger would be a good substitute for OTC painkillers and NSAID drugs.

Another reason why I’m advocating natural pain management is that OTC drugs often produce long term side effects. Both analgesics and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are notorious for long term side effects.

The information is available, but the common conception is that these drugs are so harmless that even kids can take them regularly without being exposed to certain risks for side effects.  This is simply not true.  For example, common OTC analgesics can produce the following side effects:

  • Feeling of nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting
  • Urinary problems
  • Constipation
  • Hives
  • Slowed heart rate
  • Muscle rigidness

Natural pain relief

Apart from ginger, there are other natural pain relievers that you can try:

1. Cayenne cream – Cayenne cream contains the compound capsaicin, which is found in chili peppers.  Studies show that capsaicin is capable of reducing tissue inflammation by lowering the levels of substance P in the body.  Substance P facilitates the transmission of pain signals.  Since it’s a topical agent, you can use it on any sore muscle easily.

2. Essential oil of black currant & evening primrose – The E.O. Of these two plants contain the compound gamma linolenic acid, which has been indicated for people suffering from arthritic conditions.  You can also try borage oil, which contains a higher percentage of gamma linolenic acid.

3. Cetyl myristoleate – CM is a type of natural oil found in fish and butter (dairy-based).  CM can help joints move more efficiently and also has anti-inflammatory properties.

4. Bromelain – Bromelain is a compound that naturally occurs in food like pineapples.  It naturally fights inflammation in the body.

5. Krill oil or fish oil – These two types of oil are rich in omega 3 fatty acids, which are good for the heart and inflamed tissues.

6. Boswellia – The boswellia plant has anti-inflammatory properties, which makes it a natural pain reliever as well.

7. Turmeric – A base ingredient for curries, turmeric contains the compound curcumin, which has been shown to reduce tissue inflammation in patients with arthritis and even psoriasis.

8. Arnica – Arnica is used in homeopathic treatments and is recommended for individuals suffering from pain and swelling after undergoing surgical procedures (especially around the knee area).  Arnica can be used orally or topically.

9.Aquamin – Aquamin is a type of seaweed which has also been touted as a natural anti-inflammatory agent. In addition to its anti-inflammatory properties, aquamin may also help people build healthier bones (according to a study published in the Nutrition Journal). 2,400 mg every day is recommended.

10. SAM-e – SAM-e or S adenosylmethionine is a type of amino acid that is naturally produced by the human body.  It can help lessen inflammation and it also affects the production of brain chemicals like dopamine, which are helpful in regulating mood and pain.

Sources:
ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
nutraingredients.com
nutraingredients.com
arthritis.about.com
medicinenet.com
msnbc.msn.com

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  2. Chronic Back Pain Linked to “Pain Processing” Area in The Brain
  3. Exercise Away the Pain
  4. Naturally Found Plant Provides Multiple Medicinal Effects
  5. Rest May Not Be Best for Knee Pain
  


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