Pain is something pretty much all of us have to deal with – rarely if we’re lucky, or frequently to constantly if we’re not so lucky.  As long as the pain isn’t too severe, it’s easy enough to take one of the well-known, commonly used analgesics, but there can be side effects from them, and they can be severe.  I’d like to discuss some alternatives to these analgesics that are natural and effective.

   Pain – an Ounce of Prevention

First, I’d like to briefly review some ways we can greatly reduce or avoid some types of pain altogether – really the best first step.

Exercise – Maintaining your strength, flexibility and aerobic fitness can go a long way toward preventing strains, sprains and other injuries that cause pain.  (See our newsletter of May 2010.)

Weight management – An ideal weight (or at least close to it) reduces the strain on knee, hips and feet, all of which can become arthritic from carrying excess weight.  (See our newsletter of January 2010.)

Adequate, good quality sleep is important to keep your pain threshold higher; that is, if you’re well rested, your perception of a given level of pain will be lower than it would be if you were tired.  It pretty much goes without saying that stress reduction is as important as adequate, good quality sleep, and necessary to obtain that sleep.  (See our newsletters of December 2010 and March 2013.)

A healthy diet helps to ensure a healthy weight, but there’s more to it than that.  For example, some foods tend to aggravate arthritic pain and some foods can help prevent or reduce it – more on that later.

I know, it seems no matter what the topic, these fundamentals of good health are always very important!

   Alternatives to Analgesics

To reduce pain, we are generally looking for ways to reduce inflammation.  There are many spices, as well as vitamins and minerals, foods, and other substances that can play an important role in reducing pain.  Here is a summary of some that I find the most effective.

  • Nature’s Sunshine’s All Natural Pain Relief – Nature’s Sunshine has just introduced a really effective formula for pain relief that is getting rave reviews from my clients!   
    • Its main ingredient, peppermint oil has a really refreshing smell.  Other ingredients include eucalyptus oil, rosemary oil, and camphor oil.
    • It is intended for the temporary relief of aches and pains of muscles and joints associated with arthritis, strains and sprains (of muscles, tendons, and/or ligaments), bruises, simple backache and lumbago. 
    • It comes either as a spray, or in the form of towellettes that can be wiped over the affected area.
    • You can order All Natural Pain Relief Towellettes at /store/#!/~/product/category=1546929&id=29358459 or All Natural Pain Relief Towellettes at /store/#!/~/product/category=1546924&id=29358464.
  • Omega-3 –  Extensive research indicates that omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation throughout the body, and help prevent certain chronic diseases such as arthritis.  As you may be aware, omega-3 fatty acids are essential, that is, our bodies do not produce them, so we need them from an external source.  The most beneficial types of omega-3 fatty acids are EPA and DHA which are contained in Super Omega 3 softgel capsules in a ratio of 33:16.  You can order Super Omega 3 at /store/#!/~/product/category=1546931&id=23616372.
  • Everflex Tablets and Analgesic Cream – Everflex supports healthy joints. 
    • The tablets contain glucosamine hydrochoride, chondroitin sulphate and MSM, as well as devil’s claw - /store/#!/~/product/category=1546924&id=6402698 
    • The cream is a fast-acting topical pain reliever that goes on light, is non-greasy and easily absorbed, and doesn’t stain clothing. It has potential for anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects. In addition to menthol, EverFlex cream contains a proprietary blend of fatty acid esters (cetylated fatty acids), olive oil (Olea europaea) and methylsulfonylmethane (MSM). /store/#!/~/product/id=6402697.
  • Zambroza is a delicious, nutritious juice containing several fruits; the combination is high in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory power, and therefore contributes to the reduction of pain due to inflammation.  It also stimulates the immune response, and helps slow down the aging process.  /store/#!/~/product/category=1546931&id=7802979.
  • Cure-Q-Min (or curcumin) - Curcumin has powerful properties that have a beneficial effect on pain and inflammation.  Many of curcumin’s beneficial effects are attributed to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Numerous animal, pre-clinical and clinical studies have demonstrated that curcumin has antioxidant, immune-modulating and anti-inflammatory activity. Curcumin is a potent free radical and nitric acid scavenger, helping protect cellular membranes in oxidative stress-mediated conditions.  Curcumin inhibits several enzymes that mediate inflammatory processes, such as COX-2.
  • Vitamin C is more likely what you think of taking if you feel as if you’re catching a cold or the flu, but it, or more specifically, ascorbic acid, has some pain-relieving properties too.  Vitamin C helps build collagen in the muscles to prevent injury, and has diuretic properties that flush muscles of toxins, which can relieve muscle pain. /store/#!/~/product/id=6402670.
  • Magnesium Complex – Magnesium plays an integral role in over 300 body processes, one of which is pain relief.  It is best known as a treatment for migraines, and it acts as a muscle relaxant.  It has been shown to reduce the intensity and duration of migraines as well as reduce reliance on prescription migraine medications.  Please call our office to order Magnesium Complex (613.829.0427).
  • MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) is a naturally occurring organic form of dietary sulfur. The body uses sulfur in many processes, including collagen synthesis, cell oxygenation, carbohydrate metabolism and the maintenance of balance between acidity and alkalinity.  The sulfur used in these processes must be replenished.  While MSM occurs naturally in raw foods such as fruits, vegetables, meat, milk and seafood, much of the MSM content is lost during preparation processes.  In mammals, MSM levels in the body decrease with age.  Unlike other forms of sulfur, MSM is odourless and does not produce intestinal gas or body odour.  Among other things, MSM relieves symptoms of arthritis.  Please call our office to order MSM (613.829.0427).
  • ART-A with Devils Claw – is used for the relief of pain associated with arthritic conditions.  It contains (among other ingredients) bromelain, white willow bark, from which the pain-reliever, Aspirin®, was derived. . The other important ingredient, Devil’s Claw, is a famous South African herb with 250 years of folk history for relieving joint pain and swelling.  You can order this at:  /store/#!/~/product/category=1546924&id=6402700.

There are several additional remedies that you can read about in the literature for pain relief, including ginger, capsicum or cayenne pepper, and chamomile tea.  Green tea has shown promise in reducing the pain of rheumatoid arthritis.

Relaxation techniques can be very important in reducing pain.  As I’m sure you know if you’ve experienced any pain at all, we tend to tense up with pain – it’s almost inevitable – and that just makes the pain worse, so learning to relax when pain occurs can help to minimize it.  If you would like to learn more about using relaxation methods, please feel free to book an appointment with me (please call 613.829.0427).

Foods to avoid

As important as it is to consider beneficial substances as remedies for pain, it’s just as critical to eliminate things that contribute to inflammation and therefore, pain.  Some of the more important ones are:

  • The nightshade category of vegetables; this includes potatoes, peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, paprika.
  • Animal milk products – milk, cream, ice cream, cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt.
  • Hydrogenated oils – mainly in baked goods, check the labels.
  • Nitrates – processed meat including hot dogs, cold cuts, pepperoni, sausage, bacon.
  • Added sugars, especially HFCS (high fructose corn syrup), and products containing them.
  • Refined flour and products containing refined flour.
  • Most convenience foods.

Foods to reduce inflammation

  • Wild (not farmed) salmon
  • Fresh whole fruits
  • Brightly coloured vegetables (except nightshades)
  • Green tea
  • Purified and distilled water
  • Healthy oils – especially olive, flax, hemp, safflower, hazelnut, coconut
  • Nuts, legumes, seeds
  • Dark green leafy vegetables
  • Onions and garlic
  • Aromatic spices, including turmeric (see curcumin above), ginger, cloves, coriander, ground mustard seed.

Some whole grains such as brown rice are healthy choices as well, although in moderation, since they become acidic in the body.  Try to avoid grains that are more likely to have been genetically modified, e.g. corn and products containing corn such as cornflakes, corn chips, cornstarch among others.

For additional information, please email ramila@ramilas.com; or call Ramilas Healing Arts Clinic at 613.829.0427 for an appointment. Please continue letting friends and family know about this newsletter. Also on our website, please see back issues of this newsletter, additional information about products, order products, and see information about our Clinic.

  1. Sisson M. Natural alternatives to OTC painkillers. http://www.marksdailyapple.com/natural-pain-relief/#axzz2kTEMnpWn Accessed November 12, 2013.
  2. Pain relief alternatives. International Wellness Directory. http://www.mnwelldir.org/docs/therapies/pain.htm Accessed November 12, 2013.
  3. Wiley M. Arthritis Reversed. Spring House, PA: Tambuli Media; 2013.
  4. GE crops and foods (on the market) http://www.cban.ca/Resources/Topics/GE-Crops-and-Foods-On-the-Market  Access November 19, 2013.
The suggestions and recommendations in this newsletter are not intended to be prescriptive or diagnostic. The information is accurate and up to date to our knowledge, but we are not responsible for any errors in our sources of information.

These newsletters will help you make better choices for better health. The choices that you make today can either have a positive or negative impact on your overall health. Begin by choosing better. It is a step toward longevity.


Ramila Padiachy
Ramila's Healing Arts Clinic