Pain is one of the most common ailments affecting millions of people globally. According to recent statistics, about 10% of the world’s population (about 60 million people) suffers from one form of chronic pain. The same statistics put the chronic pain prevalence at between 20 and 25% in some countries.
What makes pain such a huge concern is that it’s not only a physical problem. It’s also a mental and economic one.
Pain is a significant risk factor for mental health problems, including stress, anxiety, depression, and insomnia. Besides, the time spent hospitalized for a pain-related condition can translate into millions in potential revenue loss.
Thankfully, there are numerous effective pain relief solutions that you can explore. This post looks at the top supplements to consider for pain management.
1. Green Tea Extract
Green tea needs no introduction. The herb has been part of traditional medicine from time immemorial.
Green tea contains antioxidants, including epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), chlorogenic acid, and caffeine. These compounds work synergistically to lower the risks of chronic diseases. They’re particularly effective against inflammatory conditions like osteoarthritis and cancer.
One study investigating the health benefits of green tea in overweight men noted that consuming 500 milligrams of green tea extracts daily for eight weeks in a row resulted in a substantial reduction of inflammation.
Note that inflammation is a leading cause of pain. Therefore, it’s logical to infer that green tea may be just as effective against the pain as it is against inflammation.
2. Cannabidiol (CBD)
Cannabidiol is another popular substance that occurs naturally in cannabis and is noted for its immense analgesic properties. Research indicates that CBD may mitigate pain in various ways.
When consumed, cannabidiol combats pain by desensitizing the vanilloid receptors, a special group of receptors that transmit pain signals across the body.
Some research also links CBD with increased anandamide signaling. Anandamide is a neurotransmitter involved in several biological processes, including pain relief.
CBD may boost anandamide signaling by inhibiting fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), an enzyme notorious for escalating anandamide degradation.
3. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)
Tetrahydrocannabinol is a naturally-occurring compound in marijuana that’s probably best known for its psychoactive properties. THC is the principal chemical in cannabis that induces the ‘high.’
However, tetrahydrocannabinol’s applications aren’t limited to its psychedelic abilities. The compound can also provide many health benefits, including pain relief.
Studies have established tetrahydrocannabinol’s efficacy against both pain and inflammation. According to this research, THC combats pain by activating the central nervous system (CNS) pathways that inhibit pain signals from getting to the brain. In terms of its anti-inflammatory potential, THC eases inflammation by decreasing the production of the body’s primary inflammatory markers, such as cytokines and chemokines.
Another exciting thing about consuming tetrahydrocannabinol for pain relief is that multiple product formulations can choose from. For instance, you can opt for edible products like THC gummies if looking to consume tetrahydrocannabinol discreetly. Besides, gummies are easier to dose since they come with predetermined THC levels.
4. Turmeric Powder
Turmeric is a popular spice beloved for its inviting aroma and natural bright yellow color. Spice is widespread in Indian cuisines.
In addition to enhancing food flavor, turmeric may offer several health benefits. Most of the herb’s therapeutic abilities come from a compound known as curcumin.
Curcumin has proven especially useful against induced by rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
Other medical conditions you can treat by incorporating turmeric into your recipes include diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), heart disease, and cancer.
5. Kratom Extracts
Kratom is a common name for Mitragyna speciosa, a tropical evergreen tea native to Southeast Asia. The herb is indigenous to Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and Myanmar.
In these countries, kratom has been used since the mid-19th century to relieve various ailments, including pain.
Kratom may treat pain near-similarly to conventional opioid drugs morphine and codeine by binding to opioid receptors in the brain.
But unlike regular opioids, kratom may not bind fully to opioid receptors. That explains why the herb may present lower risks of addiction.
6. Boswellia Bark
Indian frankincense, commonly known as Boswellia, is another powerful herb whose extracts can be administered for pain relief. As the name suggests, this tree is native to India.
Multiple scientific findings have shown that Boswellia extracts may improve the symptoms of pain and physical mobility resulting from chronic diseases like osteoarthritis and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Virtually all parts of the Indian frankincense plant can help with pain management. However, extracts from the tree’s bark contain the most analgesic properties.
7. Fish Oil
Fish oil supplements are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, and renowned for their incredible health benefits.
Omega-3 fatty acids contain powerful anti-inflammatory properties and may guard against various chronic diseases, such as IBD and osteoarthritis. These compounds can also promote the healthy growth and development of tissues, bones, skin, and hair. But that’s not all.
Research indicates that two primary omega-3 compounds found in fish oil – eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) – might offer pain relief.
When consumed, EPA and DHA are converted to ALA, an essential fatty acid whose analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties are well-documented.
While all the supplements mentioned above are effective against it, it’s always prudent to talk to your doctor before using them. That’s especially if you’re already on other medications.
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