My warrior mentality usually serves me well. I rarely wimp out on a workout and I understand how important it is to keep the body moving, but sometimes, this same mindset has turned around and bitten me in the butt.
It is paramount to listen to your body and know when to take a break or back off, but on the occasion when you get too zealous and jump into overdrive, it’s good to have a few natural remedies in your arsenal. Here are four of them!
4 Natural Pain Relief Options
1. Arnica. Arnica Montana is a bright yellow flower that grows in Northern and Central Europe. Although toxic if internally digested, arnica ointment has been used for centuries as a topical naturopathic remedy for the pain related to sports injuries. Its anti-inflammatory qualities help to soothe sore, stiff, overexerted muscles and help lighten bruises.
2. Emu Oil. Rendered from the fat of the large ostrich-like bird indigenous to Australia, this natural, non-irritating oil penetrates deep, giving relief to sore muscles and achy joints. Historically, the Aborigines used emu oil to aid in the healing of burns and cuts and to help with the arthritic symptoms of aging. Bonus: the fatty acids of the oil are similar to what is found in skin and work as a great moisturizer.
3. Epsom Salt. This at-home folk remedy for sprains stands the test of time. Dissolve two cups of Epsom salt per gallon of water to reduce the swelling and bruising associated with a minor sprain. Soaking in an Epsom salt bath works as a sedative for the entire nervous system. A footbath made with a half cup of Epsom salt will remove odors, soften calluses and rejuvenate tired aching feet.
4. Eat right. In addition to these remedies, there are ways to tweak your diet to aid healing. At mealtime, add nutrient rich berries and dark greens to help mend damaged muscle tissue, and take advantage of the naturally healing properties of common herbs. Both ginger and turmeric offer potent anti-inflammatory effects; routinely cook with them or steep ginger root in hot water for a fresh ginger tea.
Popping a couple of ibuprofen has become so commonplace that we forget the fact that it is a drug and carries many side effects, ranging from upset stomach to liver damage. Listen to your body, drink plenty of fluids to ward off dehydration (a major cause of muscle soreness), don’t forget to stretch and check out one of these natural cures next time your warrior mentality takes over.
Do you have a natural remedy that works for what ails you? —Karen