(08/20/12) - Food, even some drinks, may have the power to fight pain. You name the pain, some doctors say, there is a natural ingredient to fight it.
Robyn Nichols is an osteoarthritis patient. "I can't remember a day that I don't hurt."
Nancy Bruce, a back pain sufferer, can relate. "I had to lay down in bed all the time."
Tom Connelnn says his shoulder pain is nearly unbearable. "I would compare it to the pain women tell me they feel at childbirth."
Naturopathic doctor Kirti Kalidas says you can fight pain without prescription or over-the-counter drugs. There are plenty of anti-inflammatory out there."
Willow bark, is one he recommends. It contains salicin acid. In a study of nearly 200 people with lower back pain, those who received willow bark experienced a significant improvement in pain compared to those who received a placebo. To get the effect: boil one to two leaves and make a tea when pain sets in.
Another natural remedy for aches, is curcumin. Used for hundreds of years, the antioxidant is a component of turmeric, which can be found in curry. A study shows, if used regularly, curcumin could change DNA regulation to help kill cancer.
For joint pain, you might want to look to the sea. Research published in the Journal Nutrition found the red seaweed supplement, aquamin, reduced osteoathritis pain in study participants by 20 percent in one month.
For headaches, Dr. Kalidas suggests you use the stuff that makes peppers hot - capsaicin. "It's basically used to get rid of acute pain because it controls the signaling process on the nerves and you can use it in the topical fashion."
A study found migraine patients who applied capsaicin cream inside their nostrils decreased their pain by almost half.
The doctor says these natural remedies are great short term solutions for your pain, but if it persists, seek help. "We have to look at the root cause."
Another remedy the doctor offers up, is not actually food related. To ease the agony induced by needles at the doctors office, try counting backwards from 100, out loud. A Japanese study shows patients who did just that experienced less pain.
ABC12 Main Station