In the event of a headache, menstrual pain or muscle ache it is all too easy to reach for an ibuprofen, paracetamol or aspirin but what else can we do?  There are several more natural considerations.

Fresh thyme eases both rheumatic and muscular pain and can be added to a hot bath as an alternative to over the counter medication for muscle strain.  Painful flare-ups can be minimised by eating foods rich in magnesium such as bananas, beans, pulses, wholegrains, brocoli and spinach.

Ginger

Ginger

Ginger helps to relax uterine muscles and reduce painful stomach cramps, contractions and spasms, therefore it is a good prevention of menstrual pain.   Adding freshly grated ginger to boiling water or drinking ginger herbal tea can provide fast, effective relief from period pains.    I also ate a lot of ginger whilst  pregnant to calm my stomach and keep nausea at bay.  Peppermint and chamomile are equally as effective in this role.

Salicylic, the main pain killing ingredient in aspirin can be found naturally in poplar, willowbark and meadowsweet.  Meadowsweet, which can be drank as a tea can be found in regular health shops whereas the other two are only available via a herbalist.  It is best to seek advice from a herbalist for any regular pain relief for headaches.

Rosemary & Thyme

Rosemary & Thyme

Rosemary has excellent properties to help relieve headaches and nervous tension. It can be consumed as a herbal drink, rubbed directly onto the temples as an essential oil or inhaled to dilate vessels in the head and reduce tension-causing-headaches.  Fresh rosemary placed in a bowl of boiling water and inhaled as steam can not only help with headache pain but stimulate memories and concentration which is an added plus.  Lavender and chamomile are also good for tension relief.

The final spice worth mentioning is tumeric which is best known for it’s anti-inflammatory properties and role in muscle and joint pain reduction, without the side effects of more conventional medication such as NSAIDS.  Tumeric is not only a powerful pain-killer but has multiple other major health benefits so it makes sense to make it an integral part of your diet.

I am going to make it my mission this week to find ways to increase by intake of tumeric! Any tips welcome.

Tumeric

Tumeric

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I've worked as an Occupational Therapist for many years dealing with physical and mental health patients, both in hospitals and the community. Living a healthy, well balanced life with a good diet, regular exercise and a taking a positive outlook are crucial to becoming a very well being indeed - sometimes easier said than done!

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