Written By: Dr. Lori Bouchard- Dickson, ND
Anyone experiencing pain, needs to understand why its happening in the first place.Â Itâ€™s our wake up call, to tell us something is wrong. Â Whether its from a cut, or a hot stove, our bodies pain receptors will let us know, forcing you to pull back, and the healing process will begin.Â Â Â Chemicals are released to increase blood flow to the area of injury (or infection) causing redness and heat.Â Nerve endings are then stimulated which is the underlying cause of pain.
SO, PAIN IS GOOD?
YES! Our body is amazing, and always trying to heal.Â Â Instead of suppressing pain with medication (in extreme pain situations, and medications are needed, after Naturopathic Doctor approval to rule out interactions) natural agents can also be added to help speed up the healing process.
AKA Frankincense. Look for compounds that have at least 60% of the active ingredient, Boswellic acids.Â Not only does it have strong anti-inflammatory and pain killing properties, it can also help in diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, by inhibiting the autoimmune process.
This powerful spice has been shown to be just as effective as ibuprofen for its pain killing properties ;<Â Â https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10607493Â >Â making it an especially effective treatment for osteoarthritis and pain management. Â Ginger can be added raw into vegetable juices, in capsule form, or part of cooking (in a stir fry or with curry).Â Can also be boiled into a tea, or applied topically in the form of a cream or oil, directly to the area of pain.
More specifically, the curcumin within the turmeric spice beholds the powerful pain crushing power. In several studies it has shown to be comparable to the pharmaceutical drug Celebrex, and reduced joint pain more effectively than Diclofenac, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug. (NSAID) .Â â€œCurcumin makes up only about 2 to 6 percent of turmeric, so be sure to check the standardized amount of curcuminâ€ Randy Horowitz, MD, medical director of the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine.Â When supplementing, be sure the curcuminoid percentage is at least 95%.
*Be aware that in high dosages, has blood thinning effects and should not be combined with drugs such as warfarin.
4. Proteolytic enzymes
We typically think of digestive enzymes to help break up food, however, when taken on an empty stomach (at least 40 minutes AWAY from food), these enzymes can help break up inflammation. Be sure to use combinations without hydrochloric acid (HcL) /Â Betaine â€“ otherwise you may experience heartburn when taken on empty stomach.
*Speak to your Naturopathic Doctor regarding effective dosages based on various pain conditions, for example; post surgery healing vs. chronic arthritis.