Keeping it Natural With Pain Relief
Why Choose Natural Herbal Relief?
It’s Common knowledge that natural emollients, such as beeswax, jojoba oil, shea butter, coconut oil and cottonseed oils are wonderful moisturizers for the skin.
What is perhaps less well-known is that such emollients are also effective as carriers for pain-relieving ingredients in topical creams and lotions.
Being natural oils, they work well with your skin and are absorbed quickly. Topical creams and lotions used for the relief of joint and muscle pain typically use a base of inactive ingredients to deliver active pain-relieving ingredients—for example, menthol and camphor—to the locations on a body where a client is experiencing pain.
Many over-the-counter topical pain-relieving creams and ointments use synthetic carriers that include ingredients such as benzyl alcohol, cetyl alcohol, diglycol stearate, glyceryl monostearate and petrolatum.
These are inexpensive ingredients that don’t play as nice with a person’s skin, as natural oils do, your skin reacts very well to natural oils versus artificial oils. Not to overlook the negative health exposures that alcohol or petroleum based ingredients have been reported to incite.
The most obvious benefit of using natural oils is that while synthetic ingredients often leave a person’s skin feeling greasy; natural oils work efficiently because they’re absorbed quickly, leave skin feeling soft and smooth. Natural oils have the benefit of carrying nutrients properly through the system instead of a minimal delivery or complete bypass; as is the case with synthetic carriers.
But the most important benefit of using natural oils as a carrier is what the person can’t feel: pain.
Many topical pain-relieving creams and lotions use menthol and camphor—analgesics that have been used for centuries to reduce pain and inflammation and to soothe irritation. When these analgesics are applied to the skin, the recipient experiences an icy-hot sensation. They cool the skin when applied, triggering the body to increase blood flow to warm up the cooled skin.
The warming area helps a body relax, which in itself helps to mitigate the body’s pain response and encourages healing. Menthol and camphor also temporarily provide sensation of cooling and numbing of pain receptors, which results in temporary relief of joint and muscle pain.
When essential oils such as eucalyptus, tea tree, clove, peppermint, ginger, licorice root, capsaicin are combined with common analgesics such as menthol and camphor, the pain relief people feel is often enhanced, because essential oils such as these have complementary components of their own.
Let’s take a closer look at those essential oils and their complementary components.
Eucalyptus has antimicrobial, antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties, so it is used for a wide variety of conditions. Often, it is used to manage pain and inflammation. Traditionally, it has been used to help with coughs, fevers and colds, and sinus congestion and respiratory infections, body chills and aches, and as an antiseptic. It has also been used to treat wounds and burns.
Tea tree oil has antifungal and antiseptic properties. It is often used topically to treat fungal infections, such as of the fingernails or toenails. It has also been used topically to treat cuts and abrasions and calm allergic skin reactions.
Clove is believed to be able to decrease pain and fight infections. All parts of the clove plant have been used for centuries to make medicines. Traditionally, clove has been used directly on the teeth and gums to treat toothaches.
Peppermint oil has been used as a dietary supplement to aid digestion and moderate the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Topically, it has been used to ease tension headaches and soothe dry and cracked skin.
Ginger Oil suppresses leukotrienes (inflammatory molecules) and switch off certain inflammatory genes, potentially making it more effective than conventional pain relievers. Ginger also reduces nausea and vomiting and is a proven treatment for motion sickness and chemotherapy-induced nausea.
Licorice extract suppresses the expression of pro-inflammatory markers. effective adjuvant or alternative for nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, with little to no side effects. Licorice also acts as an immunomodulatory agent, thus benefiting in arthritis.
Capsaicin is a natural compound found in chili peppers that binds with the pain receptors of the body known as nociceptors. In the correct concentrations, capsaicin overwhelms the neuron and impedes its ability to transmit signals of pain.
Capsaicin can be applied topically to treat a number of pain conditions, such as neuropathic pain, joint pain, or even skin conditions.
Natural emollients such as beeswax, jojoba seed oil, cottonseed oil and shea butter, which Terra Blanca Herbal Blends uses in its topical blends, help deliver menthol, camphor and essential oils to a client’s painful joints or muscles. This is because the natural oils are able to penetrate into the skin deeply, and quickly, which in turn supports effective pain relief. Resulting in speedy, safe and reliable relief from pain. Who doesn’t want that?
Jana Parrelli is a Master Reflexologist, Reiki Practioner, Herbalist, Horticulturist & Ayurvedic Health Coach. She sees clients at her spa in New Mexico, regularly using her own blends of pain relieving balms and oils. Keeping it natural at Terra Blanca Wellness Spa with Terra Blanca Blends.