Muscle Pain & Ginger
Danish researcher's added ginger to the diet of those with muscle & joint pain to find the swelling and stiffness for up to 63% of them abated within 2 months. Experts credit ginger's potent compounds called gingerols, which prevent the production of pain-triggering hormones. The study-recommended dose: add at least 1 teaspoon of dried ginger or 2 teaspoons of chopped ginger to meals daily.
Toothache & Cloves
Gently chewing on a clove can ease tooth pain and gum inflammation for 2 hours straight, say UCLA researchers. Experts point to a natural compound in cloves called eugenol, a powerful, natural anesthetic.
Bonus: sprinkling a 1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves on meals daily may also protect your heart. Scientists say this helps stabilize blood sugar, plus dampen production of artery-clogging cholesterol in as little as 3 weeks.
Heartburn & Cider Vinegar
Sip 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar mixed with 8 ounces of water before every meal and experts say you could shut down painful bouts of heartburn in as little as 24 hours. "Cider vinegar is rich in malic and tartaric acids, powerful digestive aids that speed the breakdown of fats and proteins so your stomach can empty quickly, before food washes up into the esophagus, triggering heartburn pain, " explains Joseph Brasco, M.D., a gastroenterologist at the Center of colon and Digestive diseases in Huntsville, AL.
Earaches & Garlic
To cure painful ear infections fast, just place 2 drops of warm garlic oil into your aching ear twice daily for 5 days. This simple treatment can clear up ear infections faster than prescriptions meds, say experts at UNM School of Medicine (Where my Dad taught for 30 years). Scientists say garlic's active ingredients are naturally toxic to dozens of different pain-causing bacteria.
Make your own garlic oil: gently simmer 3 cloves of crushed garlic in a 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil for 2 minutes, strain, then refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. for an optimal experience, warm this mix slightly before using so the liquid will feel soothing in your ear canal.
Joint & Headache Pain & Cherries
If you struggle with arthritis, gout or chronic headaches, try a daily bowl of cherries. This could ease your aches, without the stomach upset so often triggered by today's painkillers, say researchers at East Lansing's Michigan State University. Their research reveals that anthocyanins, the compounds that give cherries their brilliant red color, are anti-inflammatory 10 times stronger than ibuprofen and aspirin. "Anthocyanins help shut down the powerful enzymes that kick-start tissue inflammation, so they can prevent, as well as treat, many different kinds of pain.".
His advice: enjoy 20 cherries (fresh, frozen or dried) daily continuing until your pain disappears.
Tummy & Fish
Eating 18 ounces of fish weekly may help with your indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel diseases. Repeated studies show that the fatty acids in fish, called EPA and DHA, can significantly reduce intestinal inflammation, cramping and belly pain and in some cases provide as much relief as corticosteroids and other prescription meds. EPA and DHA are powerful , natural, side effect-free anti-inflammatories, that can dramatically improve the function of the entire gastrointestinal tract," explains biological chemist Barry Sears, PH. D., president of the Inflammation Research Foundation in Marblehead, MA.
For best results: look for oily fish like salmon, sardines, tuna, mackerel, trout and herring.
PMS & Yogurt
Snacking on 2 cups of yogurt a day can slash the symptoms of PMS by 48% say researchers at New York's Columbia University. "Yogurt is rich in calcium, a mineral that naturally calms the nervous system, preventing painful symptoms even when hormones are in flux, explains Mary Jane Minkin, M.D., a professor of gynecology at Yale University.
Chronic Pain & Tumeric
Studies show turmeric, a popular East Indian spice, is actually 3 times more effective at easing pain than aspirin, ibuprofen or naproxen, plus it can help relieve chronic pain for 50% of people struggling with arthritis and even fibromyalgia, according to Cornell researchers. That's because turmeric's active ingredient, curcumin, naturally shuts down the enzyme that churns out a stream of pain-producing hormones, explains nutrition researcher Julian Whitaker, M.D. and author of the book Reversing Diabetes.
The study-recommended dose: Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon of tumeric daily on any rice, poultry, meat or vegetable dish.
Endometriosis & Oats
The ticket to soothing endometriosis pain could be a daily bowl of oatmeal. Endometriosis occurs when little bits of the uterine lining detach and grow outside of the uterus. Experts say these migrating cells cause inflammation that triggers severe pain. Fortunately, scientists say opting for a diet rich in oats can help reduce endometrial pain for up to 60% of women within 6 months. That's because oats don't contain gluten, a trouble-making protein that triggers inflammation in many women, making endometriosis difficult to bear, explains Peter Green, M.D., professor of medicine at Columbia University.
Foot Pain & Salt
Experts say at least 6 million Americans develop painful ingrown toenails each year. But regularly soaking ingrown nails in warm salt water baths can cure these painful infections within 4 days, say scientists at California's Stanford University. The salt in the mix naturally nixes inflammation, plus its anti-bacterial, so it quickly destroys the germs that cause swelling and pain.
Here's how: Just mix 1 teaspoon of salt into each cup of water, heat to the warmest temperature that you can comfortably stand, and then soak the affected foot area for 20 minutes twice daily, until your infection subsides.
Digestive Upset & Pineapple
1 cup of fresh pineapple daily can cut painful bloating within 72 hours, say researchers at California's Stanford University. That's because pineapple is naturally packed with proteolytic enzymes, digestive aids that help speed the breakdown of pain-causing proteins in the stomach and small intestine, say USDA researchers.
Painful muscles & Peppermint
Stubborn knots can hang around for months if they aren't properly treated, says naturopath Mark Stengler, N.D., author of the book, The Natural Physician's Healing Therapies.
His advise: 3 times each week, soak in a warm tub scented with 10 drops of peppermint oil The warm water will relax your muscles, while the peppermint oil will naturally soothe your nerves easing muscle cramping 25% more effectively than over-the-counter painkillers and cut the frequency of future flare-ups in half, says Stengler.
Your back & Grapes
Recent studies at Ohio State University suggest eating a heaping cup of grapes daily can relax tight blood vessels, significantly improving blood flow to damaged back tissues, often within 3 hours. you back's vertebrae and shock-absorbing discs are completely dependent on nearby blood vessels to bring them healing nutrients and oxygen, so improving blood flow is essential for healing damaged back tissue, says Stengler.
Pain injuries & Water
Experts say water dilutes, and then helps flush out, histamine, a pain-triggering compound produced by injured tissues. "Plus water is a key building block of the cartilage that cushions the ends of your bones, your joints', lubricating fluid, and the soft discs in your spine," adds Susan M. kleiner, Ph.D., author of the book, The Good Mood Diet. "and when these tissues are well-hydrated, they can move and glide over each other without causing pain."
Sinus & Horseradish
Latest studies show sinusitis is the nations' number one chronic health problem. According to German researchers, Horseradish naturally revs up blood flow to the sinus cavities, helping to open and drain clogged sinuses and heal sinus infections more quicly than decongestant sprays do.
The study-recommended dose: 1 teaspoon twice daily (either on its own, or used as a sandwich or meat topping) until symptoms clear.
Bladder infections & Blueberries
Eating 1 cup of blueberries daily, fresh, frozen or in juice form, can cut your risk of a urinary tract infection by 60%, according to researchers at New Jersey's Rutgers University. That's because blueberries are loaded with tannins, plan compounds that wrap around problem-causing bacteria in the bladder, explains Amy Howell, Ph.D.
Mouth sores & Honey
Dab painful canker & cold sores with unpasteurized honey 4 times daily until they disappear, and they'll heal 43% faster than if you use a prescription cream, say researchers at the Dubai Specialized medical Center in the United Arab Emirates. Raw honey's natural enzymes zap inflammation, destroy invading viruses and speed the healing of damaged tissues, say the study authors.
Migraines & Coffee
Try taking your painkiller with coffee. Whichever over-the-counter pain med you prefer, researchers at the National Headache Foundation say washing it down with a strong 12-counce cup of coffee will boost the effectiveness of your medication by 40% or more. Experts say caffeine stimulates the stomach lining to absorb painkillers more quickly and more effectively.
Leg cramps & Tomato Juice
At least 1 in 5 people regularly with leg cramps caused by potassium deficiencies, which occur when this mineral is flushed out by diuretics, caffeinated beverages or heavy perspiration during exercise. But sip 10 ounces of potassium-rich tomato juice daily and you'll not only speed your recovery, you'll reduce your risk of painful cramp flare-ups in as little as 10 days, say UCLA researchers.