By Ikram Mohamed
If you suffer from chronic pain, you have probably tried countless ways to reduce, eliminate or at least manage your pain. And you are not alone. Currently, 100 million Americans are living with chronic pain. That’s more than cancer, diabetes and heart disease combined. 
Sometimes we are tempted to turn to conventional painkillers, remember, regular and long-term usage of painkillers damage our organs. It can also increase chronic pain and trigger a host of other health issues. 
To avoid these health complications and better manage, prevent and treat pain, it’s important to go back to nature. For this reason, let’s take a look at five remedies to help you manage and treat pain;
I know what you’re thinking: ‘I am in pain, not dehydrated!’ But hear me out. What do you think would happen if you tried to drive your car with an empty tank? Would it go anywhere? Of course not! Your body’s dependence on water is far greater than you think. And since the human body is largely made of water (60% to be exact), our body needs water to perform new functions.
One of the most common signs of dehydration is headaches and migraines. According to studies, dehydration not only triggers migraines but also impairs concentration. In one trial, the participants who had dehydration related headaches experienced the most relief within 30 minutes to 3 hours after drinking water. 
Dehydration can lead to the body to losing essential amino acids. Therefore becoming mineral deficient. Mineral deficiency is the root cause of most diseases in the human body. We can suffer anything from a mild headache to neurological disorders. Not to mention Alzheimer’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease etc. Dr. Linus Pauling, (1901-1994) the only person ever to receive two Nobel Prizes, said; “You could trace every disease and every ailment to a mineral deficiency.”.
Note: To keep your body constantly hydrated, avoid beverages that cause dehydration such as coffee, energy drinks, flavored milk, soda, alcohol, caffeinated tea etc.
2. Cherries (tart)
Cherries are not only delicious, but they also play a huge role in managing pain. In particular, tart cherries contain high concentrations of anthocyanins and phenolics, which are rich antioxidant compounds known to reduce inflammation. According to lead researchers at Oregon Health & Science University, tart cherries contain “highest anti-inflammatory content of any food.”
While cherries can be taken to manage different kinds of pain, the study at the university focused on osteoarthritis. The most common form of arthritis. In the study, twenty women aged between 40 to 70 who had inflammatory osteoarthritis consumed tart cherry juice twice daily for three weeks. The results showed a great reduction in inflammation, and in particular for the participants who had the highest inflammation. 
Fenugreek has been used for thousands of years for medicinal and culinary purposes, both in China and India. This remarkable herb is still relatively unknown in the West, although it has been gaining steady recognition in recent years. Fenugreek has green leaves with small white flowers and pods that hold its tiny golden-brown seeds.
Fenugreek reduces internal and external inflammation. Including eczema, mouth ulcers, bronchitis, kidney problems, chronic coughs, gout, cancer, tuberculosis etc. And since arthritis is an inflammation of the joints, research shows that fenugreek’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties can be an effective natural treatment. 
A well-known benefit of fenugreek is its ability to help with menstrual cramps. One form of cramps associated with periods is pelvic inflammatory disease. In one clinical trial, 50 women were given fenugreek seed powder for the first three days of their period for two consecutive menstrual cycles. They were instructed to take 2-3 capsules (900 mg) three times daily. The collected data demonstrated that fenugreek seed powder can severely reduce menstrual cramps. 
4. Willow Bark
What’s more effective than aspirin and safer than any synthetic painkiller? Willow Bark! This powder extracted from the bark of willow trees is known to have amazing health benefits that can be traced back to 5th century BC. Native Americans used it for its pain-relieving properties, and the notable Greek physician, Hippocrates (460 – 370 BCE), recommended it to his patients. He instructed those suffering from fever and pain to chew on willow-tree bark. 
If I have any pain, I usually drink willow bark tea and get relief within ten minutes of drinking it. In fact, the main component of the willow bark contains salicylic acid. This is the same compound that aspirin is synthetically derived from. But unlike aspirin, which has many side effects, taking willow bark for pain relief has no known negative effects.
Note: As there aren’t enough studies on its safety for pregnant or breastfeeding women, it’s best to avoid willow bark if you are expecting.
Did you know that magnesium deficiency can trigger common inflammation-related disorders including the following? 
• Migraine headaches
• Metabolic syndrome
• Type II diabetes
• High blood pressure
This is because every cell in our body and brain requires magnesium. If we don’t consume the right amount of this mineral, we risk affecting almost every system in our body. This deficiency can happen even with a relatively healthy diet if you do not consume the right amount of magnesium.
Lastly, it’s important to remember that magnesium is as essential to our wellbeing as water. Because our body and brain need this mineral to perform different functions. Unfortunately, studies show that 68% of adult Americans consume less than the recommended daily allowance of magnesium. 
In addition to using natural remedies to manage and treat pain, it’s also important to consider your lifestyle. Especially your diet. For example, a diet high in processed foods and refined sugar, vegetable oils and saturated fats trigger inflammation. Whilst leafy greens, fruits, extra virgin olive oil, and fatty fish actually fight inflammation.
About the Author
Ikram is passionate about health, wellness, and non-toxic living. She loves sharing tips on how to lead a healthier life using natural solutions. The undeniable link between lifestyle choices and chronic disease are of great interest to her. She writes about these topics on her blog: http://www.thehealthyhousehold.com/