The blog post on the recently discovered fraud linked to Pfizer’s blockbuster pain drug Celebrex has generated countless emails asking me for natural pain solutions.
Today, I’m happy to share with you three 100% natural and effective pain relievers so you won’t need to rely on toxic prescription or over-the-counter drugs. So let’s get started.
1. Strawberries (anti-inflammatory)
These alkalizing and delicious berries have been shown to decrease levels of C-reactive protein – an inflammatory marker – in the body.1 An inflammatory marker results from excess proteins which are released at the site of inflammation; the proteins are detected, or “marked,” in the bloodstream. So strawberries are particularly helpful if you suffer from arthritis.
They are a top source of antioxidants and phytonutrients, such as anthocyanins, flavonols, phenolic acids, ellagitannins, and terpenoids. Unfortunately, they are also a top source of pesticides – they’re #3 on the Dirty Dozen list – so make sure you go organic with these, whether fresh or frozen.
For the best anti-inflammatory response, try to consume approximately one cup of organic strawberries at least three times a week. If the strawberries are very large, you can cut them in half to get an approximate measure. Of course, it’s okay to eat more than a cup, so err on the side of more if you’re unsure. You can also mix fresh strawberries into a fruit salad or swirl frozen strawberries into a smoothie.
2. Grapes (analgesic, anti-inflammatory)
Believe it or not, sweet and juicy grapes contain all kinds of anti-inflammatory compounds and pain relievers. The anti-inflammatories include quercetin, ascorbic acid, and courmarin.2 Among the pain relievers found in grapes are salicylic acid, kaempferol-glucosides, and ferulic acid.2
Grapes have been studied for their pain-relieving properties. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine induced arthritis in rats’ knees, and gave one group sugar water and the other group grape powder. In comparing the swelling and pain responses between the two groups, the ones that received the grape powder experienced less pain and inflammation.3 The study did not specify if red or green grapes were used; it referred simply to “table grapes.” However, red or purple fruits are generally considered higher in antioxidants.
A word of caution. Grapes, particularly those imported from overseas, are listed #7 on the Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen” list. So try to get the organic kind as much as possible.
You can eat grapes as a tasty snack or swirl them into smoothies. Raisins, being dried grapes, contain higher concentrations of the pain-relieving components, but eat them in moderation because of their high sugar content. Organic, unsweetened grape juice is another more concentrated source of grapes’ healing benefits, but it is also very high in sugar. Your best bet is to eat a cup of fresh grapes at least every other day.
3. Yoga (analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-stress)
By integrating body and mind, yoga is an effective and powerful pain reliever. A recent study conducted by New York University researchers has shown that yoga reduces both the psychological and physiological symptoms of chronic pain.4 In an interview conducted by Science Daily, lead researcher Curtis explains that,
“Yoga promotes this concept – that we are not our bodies, our experiences, or our pain. This is extremely useful in the management of pain,” she says. “Moreover, our findings strongly suggest that psychological changes in turn affect our experience of physical pain.”5
The same study has shown that the physical relaxation induced by yoga lowers heart rate and increases total body oxygenation.
And there's more good news about yoga and its pain-reducing properties.
An Ohio State University study has shown that women who practiced yoga just once or twice a week had lower levels of cytokine interleukin-6 (IL-6), which plays an important role in the body's inflammatory response. IL-6 has been linked to arthritis and to many other conditions.6 They also showed less stress, which would have great peripheral benefits for your bones.
Till next time,
1 Sesso, Howard D., ScD. et al “Strawberry Intake, Lipids, C-Reactive Protein, and the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease in Women.” Journal of the American College of Nutrition. vol. 26 no. 4 303-310. August 2007. Web. November 14, 2011.
2 Duke, James A. The Green Pharmacy. Emmaus, Pennsylvania: Rodale Press, 1997.
3 “It’s the Rat’s Knees: Grape Powder Alleviates Joint Inflammation.” News and Publications, Johns Hopkins Medicine. November 14, 2008. Web. November 14, 2011.
4 Curtis K et al. “An eight-week yoga intervention is associated with improvements in pain, psychological functioning and mindfulness, and changes in cortisol levels in women with fibromyalgia.” Journal of Pain Research, July 26, 2011.
6 Kiecolt-Glaser JK et al. “Stress, Inflammation, and Yoga Practice.” Psychosomatic Medicine February/March 2010 vol. 72 no. 2, 113-121.
Comments on this article are closed.
I don’t do yoga BUT I practice Tai Chi every day. I started 6 years ago and noticed big benefices for me: flexibility, balance, calm and anti-stress to name a few. You may want to recommend Tai Chi as well as Yoga.
I read all your newsletters and find them very helpful.
Everything I’ve read here is sensible and logical. Takes thought and study, but enjoyable
Great points altogether, you just received a new reader. What would you suggest about your put up that you just made a few days in the past? Any certain?
I bought an inversion table a week ago. I have just learnt that I have spinal osteoporosis.
I googled osteoporosis/inversion table and it seems to be a definite no-no.
What are your views on this type of therapy?
For pain I use Young Living Therapeutic Essential Oils, a blend called Panaway is great, For bone-related pain, Wintergreen, Idaho BAlsam Fir, Spruce, pine and Peppermint. Blend, Relieve It and also massage oil called Orhto Ease, I don’t go for any pharmaceutical drug, no prescription of any kind, just good food, (Vegetarian) Supplements, Prayer and Essential Oils. and I am 73 years old almost 74 in a couple of weeks. and pain free. Thank God for His grace and mercy.
MAy I please have a copy of seated leg and thigh exercises.
Good information here. I salute all these yoga people; I took yoga classes some years ago and found it boring, and I always felt sick – I was usually clock-watching, as in “when will this end?”! Wish I’d liked it, but I didn’t. However, I’d really like your take on the articles re Boron. I read both articles very thoroughly, and wonder what you think of using a boron supplement. Sounds almost too good to be true, except for the conspiracy AGAINST the sale and use of boron. Please let us know what you think.
I feel the same way about yoga. But I love Tai Chi and practiced it every day for 6 years. I feel a whole lot better, a lot of benefices : calming, good balance, flexibility, focus…. I strongly suggest you take a class.
You are guiding the save our bones world with so many tips & healthy ways of living,Vivian,you are .god sent blessing from higher source.the world will benefit from your contributionsforever.Omega-3fatty acids also will help to alleviate the pailn as anti-inflammatory agents on the body.
I had been drinking Momtmorency cherry juice as a pain reliever, until I started using cranberry juice for its urinary tract benefits. Just can’t afford to drink all that juice, too many calories! Now, what?
Wonderful & very helpful tips you give to the world,Love you, Vivian
On Jan 5, 2012, I suffered a twist on knee area at my job. I was given 25 sessions of physical therapy which did nothing for me. Finally in late March an MRI approved and dr. found torn miniscus (check spelling) and could be
taken care of with microscopic surgery in his clinic. MRI also showed early signs of osteoporosis. Shortly after the surgery school was out. I had to leave for Costa Rica. Just returned. I still limp. Since school was off for summer
my visits to dr. were considered over . Sometimes it is painful and I have trouble sleeping cause knee area hurts.It has gotten better but I still hurt when I stand up.
I have read some of your chapters of your book and have followed the nutrition given. I have recently started walking 30 min in the A.M. and 30min. in evening. I also watch my diet. My concern is will I eventually decrease knee pain with my nutritional eating habits . and also decrease osteoporrosis at same time. Am I doing things right? IS there something I should be doing that I am Not doing.
I hope your knee is doing better but I can let you know some of the things I have done so you can have some ideas if ever needed. If you’d like to talk I’ve left my e-mail at the bottom of the post. I am still dealing with some pain so I’d love to hear what else you’ve tried and if any of it worked.
I also had a meniscus tear and didn’t get surgery until after playing baseball on it and doing physical therapy, which as you know is not helpful with a tear. If you’re like me, you walked with a limp for some time before getting the surgery. Chances are that limp caused some residual pain that no surgery can fix. What can help with that pain is having a quality diet so I’m happy to see you’ve changed your eating habits. Staying away from all the major food causes of inflammation is key and can make a big difference in the pain.
Another solution I would suggest is yoga, but not the yoga classes. I’ve found that even the “beginner” classes are actually really difficult especially it you have leftover pain from an injury. When I did the classes I just wasn’t able to do anything correctly. You need a one on one session with an experienced instructor. If you’d like you can send me an e-mail and I’ll let you know more about what I’ve done and send you an exercise that has helped me.
This is good advice for all sufferer’s of pain… When you are able to acknowledge your senses, you will learn to listen to your body…
Your body craves the foods needed to heal itself naturally… i myself suffer IBS,& compressed nerves in my neck which affects the whole right hand side of my body… i crave strawberries, grapes n regular exercise (yoga)(tia chi)(gardening)essential in keeping up the muscle strength & also to avoid seizing up… Happy Health n smiles to all…
Thanks for the info.
But you missed Turmeric!
Mix 1/2 teasp ground Turmeric, with 1/2 teasp raw organic honey.
Your knees, joints etc. will not hurt anymore, but give this time, it does work.
I agree. A lot of fruits (all kinds) + Yoga + Acupuncture.
Thanks to remind us.
This Was A Great Article, And Some Of The Comments People Made Were Helpful Also! Thank You VERY MUCH!
LOVE, MS. L. (LESLIE)
I had one shot (and never another) of RECLAST 11 months ago, and still feel the nasty side effects of jaw pain, ear congestion, mouth sores…will it ever go away? What will ash it out?
sounds like it messed with your hoomnres which includes the adrenal glands. They regulate energy, and when they get depleted the lower back will hurt. Period time doesn’t help either. there are supplements you can take for it, you can find info on this site, read about the adrenal glands. And, get the back pain secrets, there’s stuff there not on his site. It’s free too.
From what I read from others that took a reclast infusion,your not as sick as others are!
I do not think anyone knows how long Reclast stays in the body!. Although talking to others that did take it, it can last for years!!
Sorry to tell you that.
Please do not consider taking other Osteoporosis drugs.
But I believe Reclast has the worse side effects.
There are other organic ways to heel your bones, and it is not with drugs
Hope your feeling better..Drink allot of water, and get
your kiddneys checked.
I have been following your blog with profound interest. I recently received this email from Norman Shealy’s newsletter. His email relates to some information he recently came across that I think is worth sharing with you. Here is the copy with two links. I will be interested in your opinion.
BORON—The Secret Essential
C. Norman Shealy, M.D., Ph.D.
I have long recommended 3 mg of Boron to individuals with osteoporosis and boric acid suppositories for vaginal candidiasis. I was aware that it is being used by some weight lifting jocks. However, my great awakening came last Thursday when a caller told me about the “Borax Conspiracy.”
That 7 page document is very interesting, especially with the “apparent” banning of Borax for human consumption.
Borax has been known for centuries and was part of ancient Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine. Borax is known for its use as an additive to clean laundry, and at least in rats the LD 50 is 2.6 grams/kg of weight, remarkably high dosage. Borax is sodium borate or sodium tetraborate or disodium tetraborate. Now, personally, I am not particularly interested in Borax; but I am more intrigued than ever with Boron as an essential nutrient.
Soil contents of boron vary throughout the world and the higher the soil content of boron, the lower the rate of arthritis! Boron is anti-osteoporotic, hypolipemic, anti-coagulant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer. It is critical to parathyroid function and Boron and magnesium deficiency may be the main cause of hyperthyroidism!
For men, the biggest interest in Boron may be that it raises testosterone! In the first clear clinical study, 10 mg of Boron daily for only 7 days significantly raised free levels of testosterone, lowered estradiol, and decreased 3 inflammatory markers, including HS-CRP, TNF-alpha, etc!
J. Trace Elem Med Biol, 2011, 25:54-58. Even more remarkable is the article by Rex Newnham, Ph.D., D.O., from Australia.
He found that 70% of patients with significant arthritis improved significantly with Boron.
Among other metabolic successes, Boron helps balance magnesium and calcium levels, may be of significant help in hyperthyroidism, and helps restore adequate hormonal levels in post-menopausal women.
I have collected over 100 pages of important reprints of articles emphasizing the benefits of Boron. I now can say that I consider 3 mg of Boron ESSENTIAL for all people. Men over 50 may well want to take 9 mg daily for a week or so and then stay on 3 mg daily forever. Those with hyperthyroidism or rheumatoid or osteoarthritis or osteoporosis may want to take 9 mg daily for a few weeks and then stay on 3 mg forever. It appears that 10 mg daily is safe for most adults BUT do not exceed 3 mg daily in pregnancy, as excessive levels may harm the fetus! Self-Health Systems has long carried bottles of 100 capsules of Boron.
Using the Save Our Bones program for 3 years.. I deal with IBS (mostly under control)
and Neurofibromatosis type 2 (regular MRIs)
Occasional pain in spine. Exercise to strengthen core helps.
Doctor was concerned about weight loss and after performing many tests, I was informed that ALL my numbers and digestive organs are fine, telling me it’s probably my diet.
Seems there are not enough calories in the 80/20 portions. I am so light-weight that it’s hard to keep my balance when the Phoenix wind blows.
Chuckle. I gotta figure out what to do to help with weight-gaining and protect my bones at the same time.
Any of you folks posting here have suggestions?
Seems like year round the stores have red or green grapes on sale. We enjoy then very much, but are they the kind that help with pain? I live in New York St. near Lake Ontario. I have Concord grapes in my backyard. They’ll be ready to pick in about 2 months. Is that type helpful? They’re not available all year. Does the grape juice work as good as grapes?
Brilliant! This is a great visual cedsonnation of Kathleen Porter’s book, Ageless Spine, which proved to be the keystone that helped me change my posture and virtually eliminate back and neck pain. There is something about the way Porter explains things that make all the proper alignment techniques clear. Thank you, Kathleen, for your continued work in helping us all live (and look) better.
It is VERY important to also address our emotional/thoughts/feelings impact on our body’s cells and physiology. It goes without saying that this is a huge component in the pain picture. We are physical/emotional/spiritual beings, and all of those need adressing when we experience a physical symptom. mm
Great info! Thanks for mentioning yoga in your top 3 relievers of chronic pain. Yoga helps you maintain flexibility and balance into advanced years. If you’re injured, it may be advisable to take a class with a teacher who can adjust your poses to your restrictions and limitations. I often have a student doing the class in a chair, while still reaping the many mind/body benefits. And the meditation time at the end of a yoga class can be transformative. For those interested, I have my 10-minute audio Chakra Meditation free for download at https://www.thechakras.org. Happy healing!
Becca Chopra, author of The Chakra Diaries
I hope she’s better soon Amy.Also, what a thtuhgoful post! You’re obviously a very good sister- I know if my sister was poorly I’d be just as upset as you are. I’m sure the hospital will give her the best possible care.Miss Witham
Not long after being diagnosed with osteoporosis, I also found I had osteoarthritis of the lumbar spine. Though I was on medication at first due to pain levels, after a short period, I stopped all meds as I found yoga helped to reduce pain just as effectively.
You’re on the right track, Lynn!
Great to know about foods good for pain. I also heard that beets are very good for chronic pain. Is that true?
Indeed, Cathy. And beets are also excellent bone builders! You can read my blog post about beets, bone health, and much more here:
I have been following your advice regarding pain killers for a while. I have truly found help – eating natural food.
I would appreciate to know : do nuts loose some of their properties if they are toasted?
Raw nuts are your best bet, since there is no heat processing that could alter the healthy fats and lower antioxidant levels. That doesn’t mean that you should never eat them toasted, though.
Pilates also works as a pain reliever and enhances general wellbeing. I started going to a Pilates studio here in London, UK eleven years ago, following a cartilage op on my knee. That was for what’s called rehabilitative Pilates, but I changed to the ordinary Pilates exercises when I had healed up and carried on going once a week. I also do a short routine every morning to keep my knees strong. Like yoga, it needs to be done regularly. The correct breathing which accomapnies the exercises always makes me feel more relaxed and cheerful. If I miss a week, I really notice it!
I did have sciatica until I took up yoga ten years ago, now I don’t have any problems. But you must be patient for it to work.
That’s great, Mark! And let’s all remember: “good things happen to those who wait” 🙂
I have read many articles suggesting highly concentrated cannabis oil can be effective and alternative meds for people suffering from chronic pain. Pain and inflammation are two commonly recognized therapeutic properties of cannabis, so its ability to treat chronic pain effectively is not surprising. Like this review on a Northern Lights strain from https://www.ilovegrowingmarijuana.com/northern-lights/. This plant has very high CBD and pain suppresing effect. Let me also hear your thoughts or personal experience when it come with medical marijuana. Thanks