When you walk into the supplement aisle, it can be quite overwhelming. There are many foreign names and so many brands. How do you know what will be helpful for your chronic pain? Well here are some general guidelines to help you make informed purchases and understand what some of these herbs do for your body.
First of all, you want to get raw supplements when possible. This means they are more bioavailable so they are more potent. Once a vitamin is cooked, the nutrients are not that effective. Garden of Life and New Chapter are excellent brands to get you started. Another great brand is Health Force Nutritionals but it isn’t often carried in stores although you can find it online. Solgar is a good brand that is often gluten free but not raw. They are known for their purity as is Gaia Herbs. Now let’s look at some of the best supplements you can buy to help reduce chronic pain. We also list some of the top brands that will work and not be a waste of your hard earned money!
This is an herb/root that is has been used for a very long time to promote healing. It is considered an adaptogen which means it’s not a stimulant or a relaxant. What it does is bring your body into balance and give you what you need. For instance, if you’re too energetic, it calms you down and if you’re tired, it will give you a boost of energy. There are very few magical plants like this in nature and it’s kind of hard for our brain to understand how it works. This is not something you want to take everyday for the rest of your life but it can be used as needed. You can get this as a tea or a supplement. Gaia Herbs has a good ashwagandha supplement.
This is a supplement that can be hard to find. Ascend Living is an online company that offers it. Essentially this red liquid comes from red marine algae, one of the oldest organisms in the planet. It reduces inflammation and increases the oxygen content in your blood. This is now grown in tubes in the desert and when the sun hits the algae it produces astaxanthin to protect itself. This unique substance passes through the blood brain barrier and creates a sense of calmness yet focus. It is great to reduce inflammation and you will notice your soreness decrease after a workout. It is also good for reducing headaches. This is still new to the market and is started to pop up more and more.
Ginger is a root that is used for healing. It is an anti inflammatory herb that will also speed up your metabolism. You can take ginger as a supplement, in a tea, juice it or use it in your cooking. There are also ginger cubes that are little treats but they often are coated in sugar which you don’t want. Ginger can make you a little nauseous if you take the raw form on an empty stomach only because it’s spicy. It’s actually used to cure nausea usually though.
This is a natural pain reliever that is derived from the turmeric root. The curcuminoids are extracted from turmeric and concentrated to give you the most potent natural pain reliever nature can offer. Make sure you look at the different brands available to get the strongest one. Some will only have a low amount of the active ingredient.
Before you get into the more obscure supplements, it’s important to start out with the basics. You can take a raw multivitamin with a full amino acid profile to make sure you’re at least getting the vitamins and minerals you need. This can give you energy and help convert protein into energy. This will help your organ health and improve the function of all the systems in your body, specifically your endocrine system which is responsible for delivering nutrients to your muscle tissues. Be patient as you start to take these because they don’t work overnight. Remember to never take them on an empty stomach or you’re liable to throw up! Sometimes it’s hard to get all the nutrients we need through the food we eat and this will ensure your body works optimally!
Omega Fatty Acids
This could be fish oil with dha and epa by Nordic Naturals or it could be a plant based Omega 3,6, 9 oil by Barlean’s or Flora’s Udo’s Oil. You can also take raw coconut oil. These fats will help reduce inflammation in your body. Remember these don’t work like Advil in 30 minutes. You will notice a difference over a few days, weeks or months.
Gaia herbs makes an excellent adrenal support that can help to regulate your hormones. Remember, hormones can create a lot of inflammation in the body when they are out of balance. This is something that affects both genders and all ages. In our fast paced lifestyle, we can be on flight or fight mode all the time and over stimulated making it hard for our adrenals to function properly. This will help balance your bodies response to stress. It works best when combined with exercise, deep breathing and meditation.
This product is made by Health Force Nutritionals and is available online. There are other green powders that are good as well but try to only get raw ones. This will help alkalize your body and reduce painful inflammation. Additionally it will help flush your organs and intestines while reduces cravings for bad foods. There will usually be a lot of different greens in these as well as healing herbs.
Raw Protein Powder
This is a good supplement as long as it has very low or no sugar and no fillers. Some raw protein powders are like a sludge because the company adds fillers to save money. The best protein powders are made by Health Force Nutritionals or Sun Warrior. You can order these online. You can add these to smoothies and they contain a full spectrum of nutrients and amino acids that will help your body harmonize and function optimally, thereby reducing inflammation and pain. When we fuel our body with the highest quality ingredients, we can expect it to start feeling better. Pea protein and hemp protein are also good options but try to stay away from whey protein, rice protein and soy protein.
This green algae will help reduce inflammation because it’s dark green and alkalizing. It helps your brain and purifies your blood. These usually come in tablet form but you want to make sure you get the raw kind. It is pricey but it’s packed with nutrients and can really strengthen your body’s immune system as well. You can chew the tablets and wash it down with something to cover the flavor if you don’t like it.
Finally, when it comes to holistic health and supplements, you should always read the ingredient list. Often, supplement companies will add ingredients such as natural flavors or other weird ingredients that you don’t want. Only buy the pure supplements that don’t have any unidentifiable ingredients. This is a tactic companies use to save money but it tricks the consumer and they only get a small amount of what they assume they are taking. This goes for tinctures as well. If you’re going to buy liquid supplements, try not to get the ones that have grain based alcohol. The majority of the liquid will be that cheap filler and not the actual herb. The lines they usually carry in stores are like this and sometimes you have to pay more and go online to find the pure products.
This is not intended to replace medical advice and you should consult with a physician if you have a serious medical condition, are nursing or pregnant. Look for a holistic doctor who is knowledgeable about supplements, herbs and preventive health (healthy eating). If you’re doctor doesn’t ask you about your diet or understand holistic health, look for a new doctor. Remember, you need a healthy diet and exercise (plus positive thinking) to get healthy, not just a pill!