- Listed: June 8, 2013 8:38 am
The Best Nutritional Supplements for Pain and Inflammation
An an acupuncturist and shiatsu practitioner, I see a lot of people for acute and chronic pain associated with joint pain, muscle pain or pain associated with tissue injury. In almost all these cases, inflammation is a primary factor. Acupuncture and moxibustion help to reduce the pain and speed the body’s natural healing process. But in addition, there are some excellent herbal and nutritional supplements which reduce pain and inflammation, without the harmful side effects produced by OTC and prescription pain medication.
Cod Liver Oil – Most people are aware that the Omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil provide a long list of health benefits for the cardio-vascular system, the brain and just about every other system in the body. In particular, I consider Cod Liver Oil (CLO) to be one of Nature’s superfoods. But most people are unaware that CLO is also a powerful anti-inflammatory and pain reliever. In a number of studies, CLO was as effective as aspirin or ibuprofen in reducing inflammation, swelling and pain in the joints. However, in order to get these benefits, it’s important to take a therapeutic dose. In most cases, this would be a full teaspoon (5 gms) of CLO, 2 times per day. (Severe cases may require 1 teaspoon, 3 times per day.) At these dosage levels, it’s best to buy the liquid in 8oz or 16 oz bottles. The brands I recommend are Nordic Naturals and Carlson. Also, it’s important to get Cod Liver Oil and not any other kind of fish oil.
Turmeric – Turmeric root is an excellent anti-inflammatory herb. And it works well when taken with Cod Liver Oil. But Turmeric works best when chemically combined with fats at low heat. In Ayurvedic medicine, Turmeric is often prepared in ghee. This proves too cumbersome for most people to use on a daily basis. However, there are two products I can recommend in which the power of turmeric has been boosted through proprietary processing. One is Turmeric Phytosome with Meriva by Swanson Vitamins, and the other is Turmeric Tri-Force by Tattvas Herbs. Both of these products can be purchased on-line though their company’s web sites.
Ginger – Ginger root is one of the best herbs for pain and inflammation, anywhere in the body. And, it provides a wide range of other health benefits for people who tend to be cold, damp or sluggish in their constitution. However, ginger is quite warming energetically and is not good for people with a lot of fire in their constitution. In any case, ginger is a powerful medication and should be taken sparingly. If you do not have a much “pitta” (fire) in your constitution, you can take one capsule of dried ginger root, 2 times per day. If you do have a lot of fire in your constitution, I recommend fresh ginger root tea with a little sugar. In this case, place one teaspoon of fresh, loosely grated ginger root in a cup of hot water with a little sugar to taste. You can take this tea 2 times per day, but not after 4:00 P.M.
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