The Best Herbs for Muscle Pain and How to Use Them

Muscle pain or soreness could be caused due to a lot of factors. It could be because of a heavy workout, stress, injury, and so forth. Contrary to the belief, medicines, such as painkillers, are not the only solution to muscle pain. Certain natural herbs prove to be an effective remedy against the pain. Since they occur naturally, they are a more preferable option than medicines. They have minimal or no side effects and also carry other benefits. People who have acute or chronic pain can also use these herbs to get relief. Most of the plants produce both, herbs and spices. Herbs come from the green parts while spices come from other parts of the plant.

Ginger

Ginger is a commonly available spice and carries many benefits. It is commonly used to treat digestive issues but also works as a great pain-reliever. It is a good anti-inflammatory agent and inhibits COX-2 production. Gingerols and shogaols are two active ingredients that give it its anti-inflammatory properties. Except for reducing pain, it also acts as an anti-oxidant. Ginger is beneficial in cases of both, joint and muscle pain. It has provided great relief even in cases of arthritis.

How to use and up to what quantity?

Since it is a spice, it can be used in different ways. It comes in the form of tinctures and capsules. It can be added to tea and food. Both, dried and fresh ginger roots can be used. It can be directly added to foods and tea. If the doctors recommend a higher dosage, its capsules can be taken. It is specifically useful in muscle soreness which is caused by exercising. A moderate amount of ginger which equals 3-4 gm is advisable while pregnant women should not take more than 1 gm a day.  

Devil’s Claw

It is found in the Kalahari Desert of South Africa. It is an herb and is effective in cases of arthritis, back, and lower back pain. It is effective against mild pains and disorders. It can be used for chronic pains as long-term usage does not lead to any side-effects. Though, it should not be taken by pregnant women and people with stones in the gall bladder or ulcers.

How to use and up to what quantity?

Its tablets are easily available. Its dosage should be decided depending upon ones’ gastrointestinal health. The tablets are absorbed slowly. On the other hand, its tincture is absorbed quickly by the body. The tincture proves more effective than the tablets as it is absorbed directly without being broken down. They are also stronger and more effective. Not more than 2000 mg of it is advisable, per day. For effective use, a minimum intake of 600 mg is recommended.

Turmeric

It is a spice that finds its origin in India and Indonesia. It is used as a pain-reliever, cure for heartburn, and it also reduces inflammation. The main active ingredient is Curcumin that helps in relieving pain and stiffness. It blocks inflammatory cytokines. It is also an antioxidant which helps in keeping the body free from free radicals. It works as a digestive aid, too.

How to use and up to what quantity?

Powdery turmeric is not easily digestible by the body. It can readily be digested with liquids. Liquid supplements are, therefore, preferred. It can be taken daily but people with stones in the gallbladder should avoid its use. It is safe to take 500-2000 mg of turmeric per day.

Arnica

It is a perennial flower found in the hilly regions of Europe and Siberia. It has long been used to relieve muscle pain, joint pain, and scars. It contains Lactones as its active ingredient which is known to have an anti-inflammatory effect. Certain protein complexes regulate the immune system against infections. Lactones help in inhibiting these protein complexes and hence, stop inflammation. Since it inhibits protein complexes, it works at the start of inflammation and is more of prevention than a cure.

How to use and up to what quantity?

Arnica is often available as a gel. It can directly be applied to the affected area. Ingestion of Arnica is usually not advisable as it could lead to nausea or vomiting. On the other hand, homoeopathic doses of Arnica are considered safe. Pellets or Arnica or other such oral medication should only be taken after consulting a medical professional.

Feverfew

This herb is known to treat migraines and headaches. It also helps in relieving joint-related pains, stomachaches, and toothache. The leaves of the plant contain different chemicals such as parthenolide. It, along with other active ingredients, helps in reducing factors responsible for pain. Thus, it helps in reducing all types of pain.

How to use and up to what quantity?

It can be taken orally for the short-term. The fresh leaves are not to be chewed directly as it could cause mouth sores. Also, pregnant women should avoid the use of Feverfew. Intake of 400-1200 mg of this herb is permissible, per day. It should preferably be taken in the form of tablets or capsules.  

Bromelain

It could be termed as one of the tastiest remedies to muscle pain. Pineapples are loved by many and to one’s surprise; it can help in relieving muscle and joint pain. Bromelain is an enzyme that helps in reducing inflammation. It is found in pineapple stem and the fruit. It can also be used to relieve muscle soreness after an intense workout. It is proteolytic in nature and helps in digesting proteins. It can be combined with other medications to cure acute nasal inflammation.  

How to use and up to what quantity?

Pineapples can simply be eaten. Since the enzyme is present naturally in the fruit, there is no need for any preparation. It is advisable not to take more than 12 gm of Bromelain per day. Intake of less than 12 gm a day produces no side-effects. Since the stem of the pineapple fruit contains the most Bromelain, the enzyme is extracted and also available in the form of tablets and capsules.