(Best Natural Anti Inflammatory)
When it comes to joint pain can affect everything about your life. It is so disruptive that you may reach for the OTC pain pills multiple times or even seek a doctor’s prescription for addictive opiates. But while these remedies are good at reducing pain, they have many scary side effects.
Acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol, is the most significant cause of liver failure worldwide. Aspirin has been linked to bleeding disorders. Ibuprofen, generally considered relatively safe, will wreak havoc on your digestive system if taken daily. Prescription painkillers come with their risks, not the least of which is death due to overdose.
So while pain medications can be a valuable part of a treatment plan for chronic joint pain, care should be taken to use them sparingly. Luckily, many natural treatments available can reduce your dependence on meds by taking care of the factor that drives the pain in the first place – inflammation.
If you can reduce your inflammation, your pain will also go down. Your joints will also feel less stiff and will move more quickly. A diet high in fruits, vegetables, and plenty of water go a long way toward naturally reducing inflammation, but it’s not always enough.
To get even more benefits from natural anti-inflammatory substances, we are going to share the recipe for a massage oil that is applied topically. It has two active ingredients – olive oil and salt – so you may be eating this oil already. However, we think you’ll be surprised by how much better you feel if you also rub it into painful joints. For starters, let’s look at each of the individual ingredients.
Olive oil is recommended highly over vegetable oils because it is naturally extracted rather than chemically created. In addition, it is high in a group of antioxidants called polyphenols, which studies show can slow down the aging of your cells. Therefore, chronic conditions that cause joint pain, such as arthritis, take longer to affect cells to the point that you experience pain.
But olive oil also attacks inflammation directly via a compound called oleocanthal. Oleocanthal can prevent enzymes responsible for inflammation from ever being activated. This mechanism is the same as that used by ibuprofen to reduce inflammation.
Sea salt is a different breed of salt with much more nutritional value than table salt. While table salt has been heavily processed to remove minerals and prevent clumping, sea salt is grainier but delivers a good amount of magnesium, potassium, calcium, copper, and zinc. Because sea salt is harvested rather than processed, the level of these minerals varies depending on the source.
Now, despite the healthy minerals contained in sea salt, it does have about as much sodium as table salt. Overeating sodium is known to cause inflammation, so we recommend getting your vitamins and minerals from other healthy food sources like lean meat and organic produce. However, when rubbed on the skin during massage, sea salt can impart the benefit of its minerals without the price of eating sodium.
The magnesium in sea salt may be especially beneficial as a deficiency has been shown to drive inflammation. However, beyond reducing inflammation, magnesium is involved in hundreds of bodily processes, notably muscle contraction, energy levels, and brain function.
Potassium is also a mineral with a diverse set of jobs. One of them is keeping your muscles strong and working effectively. You may not immediately think of your muscles when your joints hurt, but reliable support is critical to stabilizing joints. Building up the muscles around the area can also do wonders for the pain if you have a chronic joint condition.
And finally, sea salt, in general, has been linked to a healthy immune system. Inflammation is an immune response valuable for certain types of injuries and conditions. But unfortunately, it can go haywire and cause unnecessary pain all the time. One way to improve your immune system is through diet, but another major one is stress reduction. And to that end, let’s talk about massage.
The oil recipe we will share applies gentle massage to the affected joints. Massage is an excellent remedy for inflammation for a couple of reasons. One is that it relaxes the body and reduces stress. Stress causes a significant drain on our immune systems. Another is that it increases blood flow to affected areas.
However, when you are dealing with inflammation, your message must be gentle. Too much pressure will cause micro-tears in your muscle fibers – this is usually okay because repairing those tears is how stronger muscles are built. But it also causes inflammation, the very thing you want to reduce in areas around painful joints.
Making the Oil
The recipe is simple and easy to prepare.
- 1 cup (200 ml) water
- 20 tablespoons (300 ml) of olive oil
- Ten tablespoons (150 ml) of sea salt
Mix the ingredients until the salt has dissolved fully. For ease of application, we recommend storing your oil in a spray bottle; remember to shake it before use to reintegrate the ingredients. When ready to apply it, spray a light coating over your affected joints and massage them gently for a few minutes.
Start with a minute or two upon your first application, but gradually work up to 15 minutes of massage daily. For even better results, you can prepare your skin to receive the oil by applying a warm wet compress for 10 minutes before the massage. This opens up pores and relaxes the muscles around your joints, which may be clenched due to pain. The heat is also great for easing stiff joints.
This all-natural joint pain remedy may or may not be enough to eliminate your need for pain pills. Still, it can certainly reduce your reliance on them and protect you from chemical remedies’ dangerous side effects.
Applying the oil is a calming and pleasurable process, so we encourage you to set aside some non-negotiable time for the kind of self-care that can make a huge difference in your pain levels daily. Along with a healthy diet and adequate hydration, massage with an olive oil and sea salt combo is one of nature’s many gifts for healing.