The government has only just managed to reach an agreement that could see resumption in supply of paracetamol products. However, for a while, paracetamol supplements had been in short supply, driving up prices of pain-relieving medication. In such a situation, it is important to be aware that there are other low-cost, yet effective, ways to reduce pain.
Holistic pain reducers have been widely used in Chinese medicine and in ayurvedic practices. Natural pain relievers include fish oil, turmeric, cloves, resveratrol, and cold and heat therapy.
Fish oil is high in omega-3 fatty acids which is incredibly anti-inflammatory. Pain is driven by inflammation thus consuming fish oil may reduce inflammation and therefore, decrease pain.
It is recommended to refrigerate your fish oil supplements as they tend to go rancid very quickly. If you do not have access to fish oil supplements one may also consume sardines, mackerel, or salmon to increase omega-3 fatty acid levels.
Turmeric is an incredibly powerful spice with profound health benefits. The main active compound, curcumin, is an effective antioxidant in reducing inflammation. I recommend consuming this cooked in your food or as a golden milk latte — haldi doodh, since curcumin is fat solvable.
The fat in your food or in the latte helps the body break down and increase the absorption of curcumin. Additionally, make sure to add a pinch of black pepper in your food or golden milk latte as black pepper contains a compound known as piperine that enhances absorption of curcumin tremendously.
Cloves have been used for centuries to reduce pain. One might be familiar with the common practice inserting a clove into a cavity or infected tooth as a pain eliding technique. Cloves are powerful in reducing pain as they contain an active ingredient known as eugenol.
Eugenol is a natural anesthetic that temporarily numbs and decreases pain. Eugenol contains anti-inflammatory properties therefore, it may reduce irritation and swelling in the affected area. Instead of inserting a clove into your tooth, it is recommended to use high quality clove oil. Take a few drops of clove oil along with a teaspoon of olive oil in a cup. Then take a cotton swab in the dish to absorb the oil and gently place the swab the affected area. Please consult with a dentist before using this natural pain relieving method.
Resveratol is a potent polyphenol that protects the body against damage and reduces inflammation.
Reservation can be used as an analgesic by decreasing swelling. Rich dietary sources of resveratrol include grapes and berries. Regular consumption of resveratrol may control pain symptoms.
Heat and cold therapy may be used as a method for pain management. They can reduce inflammation caused by injuries or various other conditions. There are two different types of heat therapy: moist heat and dry heat.
Moist heat therapy includes warm baths, moist heating packs, and steamed towels. Dry heat therapy includes sauna use, heating pads, and dry heating packs. When going through heat therapy aim for warm temperature instead of hot. Types of cold therapy include ice baths, coolant sprays, ice massage, cryotherapy, and ice packs or frozen gel packs.
Please consult your physician or health care specialist before stopping pain medication, and please obtain specific approval before consuming or performing the natural pain relievers listed above.
The writer is a certified functional nutritionist