Pain is a major health concern of many individuals and more than half of Americans suffer from chronic of recurrent pain. Many individuals desire a simple remedy with an easy to grab pain killer. Yet there are numerous natural remedies that have been used for centuries that are just as convenient to use and are in many foods.

Protein digesting enzymes have been used for years to decrease inflammation and pain. Numerous studies have shown that Digestive Enzymes exhibit many health advantages including fibrinolytic, antidematous, antithrombotic and anti-inflammatory activities. There is great absorption without losing its proteolytic activity with no major side effects. It can alleviate many health issues including treatment for angina pectoris, bronchitis, sinusitis, thrombophlebitis, enhancing absorption of drugs, especially antibiotics. It also alleviates osteoarthritis, diarrhea, various cardiovascular disorders, and anti-cancerous activities promoting apoptotic cell death.

A  cross-sectional study of 572 patients referred by a general practitioner for an examination of Vitamin D deficiency who reported musculoskeletal pain, headache or fatigue. Hypovitaminosis D was found in 58% of patients. This was a multi-ethnic population and 83% were deficient. It is concluded that general practitioners should maintain awareness of vitamin D deficiency in their patients, as patients should keep awareness as well.

A study investigated on relief from pain and swelling from 56 patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis or other muscular discomfort resulted when ginger was used from 3 months to 2 years. More than three-fourths experienced relief in pain and swelling and all of the patients with muscular discomfort experienced relief of pain. Ginger has ameliorative effects and could be related to being a dual inhibitor of both prostaglandin and leukotriene biosynthesis.

Capsaicin is the main compound of chili peppers. Topical creams with capsaicin have been used to treat peripheral neuropathic pain and were investigated from randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled studies for at least six weeks’ duration for treatment of neuropathic pain. Four studies with 1,272 subjects were interviewed at both eight and 12 weeks. There was a significant benefit for high-concentration over the low-concentration topical capsaicin for subjects who reported themselves to be much or very much better. There was also two studies involving 801 subjects with painful HIV-neuropathy, which resulted with similar positive results of improvement from pain to be much or very much better.

From a double-blind comparative study of 118 people, results showed that the combination of peppermint and caraway oil is as effective to the standard drug, cisapride. After just 4 weeks, the herbal mixture reduced dyspepsia pain by 69.7%, as compared to cisapride which reduced pain by 70.2%. Another double-blind study showed that a mixture of peppermint, caraway, fennel, and wormwood oil was compared to the drug metoclopramide. After just 7 days, 43% of the treatment group was pain-free compared to 13% of the metoclopramide group.

As observed from numerous studies, there are several natural remedies that can help alleviate a variety of pains in the body. Pain symptoms can be lessened from Digestive Enzymes, to Vitamin D, ginger root, Capsaicin (from chili pepper) and to herbal oils including peppermint, caraway oil, fennel and wormwood. There is much research showing the anti-inflammatory responses from plant based sources.

Remember let your food be your medicine.