Pain and Inflammation

Pain is feared, hated and despised, but it also serves a vital purpose in our lives. Pain accompanies size0our physical and emotional afflictions because without it we wouldn’t seek help when we are ill, and we wouldn’t be motivated to avoid doing things that damage our bodies.

No matter how much we dislike it, pain is not our enemy. Pain is a form of communication that we should listen to. It is the body’s way of telling us that it’s having a problem. Think of pain as the 911 system our cells use to call for help. Pain is the also the teacher that motivates us, if we let it, to take better care of our bodies.

There are times, of course, when pain needs to be relieved as much as possible. When a person is undergoing surgery or a dental procedure, or suffering from a serious accident or illness, modern pain-relieving drugs can be indispensable.

Unfortunately, pain-relieving medications also allow people to disconnect from the responsibility of maintaining their health. For example, instead of asking “why” they are getting headaches, upset stomachs, muscle aches or other pain, they simply pop a pain killer. Thus, they fail to make the connection between their pain and their diet, lifestyle and stress. Unaware of that connection, they don’t make the changes necessary to get healthy.

What is Your Pain Telling You?

Once we recognize that pain is an important indicator of stress, breakdown in the body or mistreatment of the body, we need to discern what our pain is telling us. Take headaches for example. Headaches have causes, such as dehydration, blood toxicity due to constipation, nervous tension and excess acidity in the body. If the cause is dehydration, drinking more water can quickly relieve a headache. If the cause is constipation, a fiber laxative can solve the problem—and so on.

But, if you simply take a pain killer for your headache and do nothing to correct the cause, you’ll have another headache tomorrow. Conversely, if we start listening to our pain we can learn to stop having headaches altogether.  Generally speaking, most people continue to get headaches because they maintain the same bad health habits.

Over time, bad health habits can cause cumulative damage to the body. After twenty years of failing Angina 1to heed small warning signs, for example, a person may get a bigger wake-up call in the form of a heart attack, stroke, cancer, diabetes or some other serious illness. This is why it is important to listen to your pain.

Most pain killers are actually toxic to the body. Sure, they’re okay for occasional relief of pain, but regular use can damage your liver, kidneys, nerves and other organs.  They can even increase the risk of heart disease and other serious health problems.

The good news is that nature has provided us with many effective remedies for pain. Some of nature’s remedies are more powerful than others, but even the mild ones can “take the edge off” your pain. More importantly, they can be taken on a regular basis without the serious side effects of pain killing drugs. Some of them can even promote healing which, over time, can eliminate the problem permanently. Here is a list of some effective natural pain-relievers and a brief description of their uses.  You can get a more lengthy description of the formula by clicking on the title.

 Shop   Relief Formula #1190-8

This is a general analgesic (pain-relieving) formula with a wide range of pain-relieving and inflammation-reducing activity. It is a great alternative to NSAIDs in arthritis and other types of chronic pain. It has a cooling anti-inflammatory effect as well as an analgesic effect. Relief Formula contains herbal extracts, enzymes and other nutrients that have been shown to reduce pain, inflammation and joint tenderness and swelling, as well as ease muscle aches and soreness. Unlike aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), the natural herbal extracts in Relief Formula do not irritate the stomach.

Relief_PAIN-Formula-shop at_NaturalHealthStoreUSAn estimated 50 million Americans live with chronic pain, and an additional 25 million suffer acute pain. Many of these people rely on synthetic drugs such as NSAIDS to relieve their pain, but with common and potentially serious side effects. Mother Nature and cutting-edge research have combined to provide a better solution.

Relief Formula is formulated for temporary relief of minor aches and pains following exercise. It is well tolerated and absorbed by the body. It provides all-natural relief without the side effects associated with synthetic drugs.

Most chronic pain results from accidents, surgery, exercise and age-related pain – all of which can lead to soreness in muscles and joints. Relief Formula combines proven herbs and new ingredients in a way that brings effective, natural relief of minor aches and pains resulting from physical activity.

Here are the ingredients in this exciting formula and what they do:

Hops Cone Extract: The hops extract used in Relief Formula contains a high concentration of alpha acids, isolated and enriched by state-of-the-art supercritical carbon dioxide extraction technology. Alpha acids are strong antioxidants, recently linked to support of the body’s natural response to inflammation and pain.

Turmeric Root Extract :  Native to India and southern Asia, turmeric is generally known for its yellow coloring and spicy flavor in Indian food, but it also has valuable medicinal properties. The rhizome is antioxidant, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. Turmeric’s powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties have caused renewed interest in researching the uses of this plant.  Studies suggest that turmeric’s anti-inflammatory action is even stronger than hydrocortisone.

Willow Bark ExtractAs a source of salicylic acid, the natural chemical on which aspirin was based, white willow bark helps reduce inflammation, joint swelling and pain and fever. A natural anti-inflammatory, it works by inhibiting the production of prostaglandins that mediate inflammation. It is also an astringent which has a toning effect on tissue.

Protease Enzyme Blend:  This enzyme blend offers excellent support for soft-tissue injuries. Proteases support a healthy inflammation response, which may promote the natural recovery process.

Boswellia Gum Extract: Medicinally, boswellia gum is aromatic, astringent and anti-inflammatory. Clinical trials in India and Germany noted significant improvement in pain and stiffness in patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis and using boswellia. The extract is also used to relieve osteoarthritis, bursitis and tendonitis, as well as abdominal and menstrual pain.

Phellodendron Bark Extract: Commonly known as Amur cork tree bark, this ingredient acts as a cooling and detoxifying agent used to relieve inflammation. It is effective in relieving arthritic swelling and pain, vaginal swelling and pain, urinary infection, and skin diseases such as eczema. (This plant is not “philodendron” – a popular but poisonous houseplant).

dl-Phenylalanine: An essential amino acid, dl-phenylalanine is metabolized into l-tyrosine, the amino acid precursor to the mood-enhancing neurotransmitters norepinephrine, epinephrine and l-dopamine. In excess, they produce feelings of mania (being invincible and “on top of the world”), but when deficient, feelings of lethargy, depression and fatigue take over. D-phenylalanine is believed to modulate the enzyme that degrades endorphins. By inhibiting the breakdown of endorphins, D-phenylalanine may help to ease pain and improve mood.

Mangosteen: Mangosteen fruit and particularly the pericarp (rind) is loaded with antioxidants that exhibit powerful anti-inflammatory qualities.  One of the key constituents in the pericarp is xanthones, which inhibit free radical damage, ease pain, boost the immune system and relieve inflammation. These antioxidants are helpful for easing pain and inflammation while promoting tissue healing and repair.

Andrographis: An herb from India, the roots and leaves of andrographis have been used for centuries in both Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine for a variety of health problems. A classic bitter, andrographis contains diterpne lactones, diterpene glucosides and flavinoids. Like most bitters it is useful for cooling fevers and inflammation, fighting infection and counteracting poisoning. The plant has analgesic and astringent properties.

Suggested Use: Take 2 capsules twice daily prior to meals. Best if taken on an empty stomach. Under times of body system stress, take 2–5 capsules.

Shop    IF Relief   #1175-4

Although this formula is primarily targeted at inflammation, it is also a very good pain reliever.  It if relief label smworks well on inflammation-related pain from injuries and surgery.  It not only eases pain, it also speeds healing. I used it to successfully ease the pain of a tooth extraction and also used it to wean off of pain medications following gall bladder surgery. I found it very effective at easing the pain without the side effects of the drugs.

The response of the body to all tissue damage is inflammation.  Inflammation has four classic symptoms—heat, swelling, redness and pain. IF Relief is a blend of herbs that reduce inflammation and promote healing.  The blend works for both acute inflammation, from injuries or surgery, and chronic inflammation, as in arthritis.  It can also be helpful for reducing fever. IF Relief is a great natural alternative to NSAIDs for easing aches and pains. It does more than eases pain, it actually helps tissues to heal faster.

Here are the ingredients that give IF Relief its anti-inflammatory, pain relieving and tissue healing qualities:

Andrographis extract (Andrographis paniculata): An herb from India, the roots and leaves of andrographis  have used for centuries in both Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine for a variety of health problems.  A classic bitter, andrographis contains diterpne lactones, diterpene glucosides and flavinoids.  Like most bitters it is useful for cooling fevers and inflammation, but is particularly helpful for fighting infection and counteracting poisoning.  The plant also has analgesic and astringent properties.

Andrographis supports the liver function and protects the liver against toxins in a similar manner to milk thistle.  It is antioxidant and anti-inflammatory and boosts the immune system.  Because of this it has been employed as a remedy for infectious diseases such as bronchitis, diarrhea, pneumonia, malaria, rabies, leprosy, tuberculosis and gonorrhea.  The herb has also been used for AIDS, allergies, anorexia, and diabetes.

Boswellia gum (Boswellia serrata): Another herb that is native to India, boswellia is a tree that produces a resin similar to frankincense.  In fact, the gum is sometimes referred to as Indian Frankincense and is used in products like soaps and cosmetics.  Medicinally, boswellia is aromatic, astringent and anti-inflammatory.

Clinical trials in both India and Germany noted significant improvements in pain and stiffness in patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis who used boswellia.  Besides being used for rheumatoid arthritis, the plant is also used for osteoarthritis,  bursitis and tendonitis.  Boswellia is also employed in Ayurvedic medicine for acute inflammatory conditions like sore throats, laryngitis, canker sores, gum disease, ulcerative colitis, psoriasis, asthma and hayfever.  Its astringent properties make it helpful as a gargle and mouthwash to tone and heal inflamed mucus membranes. It is also used for abdominal  and menstrual pain.

Mangosteen pericarp extract (Garcinia mangostana): Mangosteen fruit comes from Asia, where it has been used as a natural medicine for centuries.  The fruit and particularly the rind or pericarp is loaded with antioxidants that exhibit powerful anti-inflammatory qualities.  One of the key constituents in the pericarp is xanthones, which inhibit free radical damage, ease pain, boost the immune system and relieve inflammation.

When taken orally, mangosteen is traditionally used to treat diarrhea, urinary tract infections, gonorrhea, tuberculosis and even cancer. Topically it is used to treat eczema and other skin conditions.  This pericarp extract is rich in these powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory xanthones and is helpful for easing pain and inflammation while promoting tissue healing and repair.

Turmeric Root extract (Curcuma longa): Also native to India and southern Asia, turmeric is generally known for its yellow coloring and spicy flavor in Indian food, but also has valuable medicinal properties. The rhizome is antioxidant, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. Traditionally, it has been used in both Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine to aid liver function, treat jaundice and relieve digestive problems like gastritis.

Turmeric’s powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties have caused renewed interest in IF relief wresearching the uses of this plant.  Studies suggested turmeric’s anti-inflammatory action is even stronger than hydrocortisone.  While it does not directly ease pain, it does reduce inflammation in conditions like asthma, eczema, arthritis, bronchitis, kidney inflammation and headaches.

White Willow Bark extract (Salix spp.): The bark of the white willow can be thought of as Nature’s aspirin because the salicylic acid found in white willow is the forerunner of modern aspirin.  The salicylic acid in white willow affects prostaglandins to reduce fever and inflammation and to ease pain with less risk of side effects.  The bark of willow trees like white willow have been used for thousands of years to reduce fevers, ease arthritic pain, relieve headaches and alleviate other forms of pain.

Suggested Use: For relief of chronic inflammation, the suggested use of IF Relief is one capsule three times a day with meals. For acute inflammation, such as recovery from injury or surgery, or for pain relief, take 2 capsules every two hours for six to eight hours, then drop the dose to two capsules three times daily.

Shop   APS II with White Willow Bark   #780-8

This formula has been called Herbal Aspirin.  It’s a natural aspirin substitute that has been used to ease headaches and other forms of minor pain.  The principle ingredient in this blend, white willow, contains salycilates, the natural compounds from which aspirin was derived. APS II can take the edge of headaches, reduce the pain of arthritis and ease the same kinds of pain aspirin is used for.  It does not have the side effects of aspirin, but is also milder in action.

Before the development of synthetic aspirin, a tea made from white willow bark was the treatment of choice among Native Americans, Europeans and others for reducing fevers, relieving headache and APS II lg NHSarthritis pain, and controlling inflammation. Formulated by herbalist Stan Malstrom, APS II combines white willow with valerian and capsicum to create a natural alternative to aspirin and other pain relievers.

Compared to some of the high-powered pain medications developed by the pharmaceutical industry, APS II is a mild pain-reliever, but it is also safer. It is an anti-inflammatory agent, so it reduces swelling and eases general aches and pains. It also increases circulation to bring healing blood to injured areas. It is used for headaches, colds, flu, tension, arthritis, PMS and fever. Here’s a closer look at the herbs in this blend:

White Willow bark: The famous ancestor of today’s aspirin, white willow contains salicin and other salicylates. These are compounds that are similar in structure to aspirin (acetyl salicylic acid). Aspirin is made from coal tar and petroleum derivatives according to a standard recipe given in many elementary chemistry books. Willow bark is much less acidic than this synthetic aspirin compound, so it is easier on the stomach.

White willow bark is an analgesic, antipyretic, antiseptic and astringent. Noted by Hippocrates 2,000 years ago for its pain-relieving effects, willow bark has been used ever since to treat a wide range of symptoms including arthritis, bursitis, tennis elbow, colds, flus and fever. The salicylates in white willow bark inhibit prostaglandins that are involved in inflammation, which at least partially explains its ability to reduce inflammation, fever and pain. The astringent action of white willow causes it to contract and tone tissues, so it also helps reduce swelling and inflammation.

White willow also possesses a mild antiseptic quality and can be used as a poultice or fomentation for infected wounds, ulcerations, eczema, dandruff and other skin inflammations. A decoction of white willow bark is reported to make an excellent gargle for sore throats. Finally, the glucoside salicin in white willow is excreted in the urine as salicylic acid, which, in the case of kidney and bladder infections, acts as an analgesic on the tissues of the urinary tract.

Valerian root: Valerian acts as a sedative, antispasmodic and diuretic. Although its smell has been reviled since antiquity (Dioscorides, the most famous of Greek herbalists, described it as being like “bad cheese or mildewed clothing”) it has been widely used for its ability to calm and to induce sleep without side effects. Because of its antispasmodic or muscle-relaxing properties, valerian traditionally has been used to treat tension, headaches, fever, digestive problems, urinary tract disorders, insomnia, depression, heart palpitations, vertigo, sleep disorders, PMS, hyperactivity and hypochondria. Many of these treatments date back to the second century A.D. Valerian was used frequently in the United States until modern sleeping pills became widespread, and it is still commonly used in Europe and South America.

Capsicum fruit: A hot fruit native to the western hemisphere, capsicum is best known in spice form as cayenne pepper. Studies have shown that people in cultures that consume large quantities of cayenne pepper in their food tend to suffer less chronic obstructive lung disease, fatal blood clotting diseases, and circulatory system diseases. Capsicum stimulates the digestive system and circulatory system and is good for cleaning out the bowels and intestines. Its properties are stimulant, tonic, carminative, diaphoretic and rubefacient. A potent immune system booster, capsicum may be used to treat colds, pneumonia, diarrhea, fevers, coughs and asthma. APS II takes advantage of its potent analgesic properties, which seem to work by blocking pain receptors both locally when applied topically and throughout the body when taken internally. It is also known as a powerful catalyst that helps deliver and potentiate the other ingredients in the formula.

Suggested Dosage:

Take 1-2 capsules every hour as needed for minor pain. Not recommended for serious pain.

Shop   Nerve Eight  #873-6

Nerve Eight is a natural anti-inflammatory and analgesic blend. This is an excellent blend for chronic muscle and joint pain, tension headaches and other forms of pain due to chronic inflammation. It contains two herbs with natural aspirin (salycilates), white willow and black cohosh.  It contains valerian and hops, two very relaxing herbs and wood betony and Devil’s claw, two more very effective anti-inflammatory remedies.  Capsicum and ginger help stimulate circulation.

Try these remedies as alternatives to pain-relieving drugs. You may be pleasantly surprized at how effective nature can be in easing your pain.

Pain, inflammation and stress are often connected. Inflammation causes pain, pain causes tension, and tension causes more pain. Nerve Eight can help break this vicious cycle. It contains herbs that reduce inflammation, ease pain, relax muscle spasms and reduce tension and stress. Although often thought of as just a nervous system formula, it is also a very potent anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic blend.

nerve eight label short

Nerve Eight can be helpful to reduce anxiety, arthritis pain, rheumatism, headaches, hysteria, insomnia, menstrual cramping and nervous disorders. It is a useful blend for pain associated with stress and muscle tension.

Here is a breakdown of the herbs in this formula and their properties:

Capsicum is a stimulant that primarily affects the circulatory system. It promotes blood flow to every part of the body. Since pain is often associated with a lack of oxygen, this circulation-enhancing effect can bring oxygen and healing nutrients to damaged areas of the body, reducing pain and promoting healing. Researchers have found that capsaicin, which gives hot peppers their spicy flavor, is able to decrease “Substance P,” a chemical that transmits pain signals from nerve endings to the brain.

White Willow : contains salicylates, the compounds that scientists attempted to replicate in making synthetic aspirin. White willow has a milder anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving action than aspirin, but it is also free of aspirin’s side effects. White willow has been used for thousands of years to reduce inflammation and fever while easing the pain of headaches and arthritis.

Hops: This bitter tasting herb lowers blood pressure and induces drowsiness. Hops is considered the safest sedative in the world by many herbalists and is one of the most frequently employed natural medicines for hysteria, insomnia and frayed nerves. It induces muscle relaxation and, like black cohosh, contains estrogenic compounds.

Valerian: is a powerful nervine with strong sedative effects on the central nervous system. It contains valepotriates which lower blood pressure, calm muscle spasms, stop insomnia, ease arthritis pain and relax nervous tension. It is also the best herbal source of calcium and an excellent source of magnesium.

Wood Betony: This bitter herb is used to treat headaches, muscle spasms, arthritis, fevers and twitching. Furthermore, it contains compounds that effectively lower high blood pressure, increase circulation, and dilate peripheral blood vessels.

Ginger: has been used in Chinese medicine for over 2,000 years as a remedy for digestive disorders, nausea, fever, coughing, diarrhea, rheumatism and lumbago. The substances in ginger stimulate the circulatory system. It is particularly helpful for increasing circulation to the pelvis and digestive organs, which can ease digestive upset and pain, and reduce menstrual cramping and pain.

Devil’s Claw: This healing plant from Africa has a wonderful ability to reduce inflammation and ease pain from arthritis and rheumatism. It has bitter properties that stimulate digestion and may help to improve elimination of waste from tissues.

Black Cohosh: Although black cohosh is usually promoted as a female herb because it contains estrogenic compounds, it also contains salicylates, like white willow bark, and has been used to reduce inflammation and ease pain. Black cohosh has the added benefit of being an antispasmodic, so it relaxes cramps and muscle spasms that further contribute to its ability to ease minor pain. Black cohosh has been used to treat inflammation, swelling and pain from insect and snake bites, relax the bronchials in asthma, and to ease cramping and discomfort associated with PMS.

Suggested Use:To reduce pain associated with arthritis, PMS, headaches and muscle tension, take two tablets/capsules three times daily with meals.

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