Who hasn’t felt that heavy and achy feeling of overworked muscles?
It usually sets in a day or two after exercising beyond one’s current level of fitness. And, our first thought to deal with it is to go for over-the-counter painkillers or heavy pharmaceutical hitters prescribed by the doctors.
However, sometimes, all we need is a little extra something to take the edge off. In those moments turn to the power of natural remedies, whether in the form of herbs, food or anything else. Therefore, do give the following top 10 natural remedies a try to reduce the muscle pain and inflammation, because they are totally worth it.
The Top 10 Natural Remedies to Reduce Muscle Pain and Inflammation
To a cup of milk, add one tbsp of turmeric powder. Heat it over a low flame and drink it twice a day for speeding the internal healing. Alternatively, mix equal amounts of lemon juice with a freshly grated turmeric and salt. Apply this mixture to your aching muscles and leave it on for 30 minutes. Then, rinse it off with warm water and follow this procedure twice a day, until the pain is gone.
#2. Cayenne Pepper
Mix one tbsp of cayenne pepper powder with two tbsp of olive oil. Apply this mixture to the affected area and then cover it with a bandage. Leave it on for overnight and keep applying it for two to three days for best results. Alternatively, also try the massage option. Add five tbsp of cayenne pepper to a one-half cup of coconut oil. Warm it slightly and then allow it to sit for 24 hours. Strain the oil, store it and use this oil to gently massage into the affected muscle for two to three times a day for a few days.
#3. Epsom Salt
Hot water soak provides a quick relaxation and mild pain relief by increasing the blood flow and speeding up the healing process. However, use this remedy only after the first 24 hours of onset of the pain. Fill your bathtub with hot water and to it mix one cup of Epsom salt rich in magnesium, a muscle relaxation agent. Now, soak the affected body part in this water for at least 20 minutes. Repeat it a few times a day for 2 to 3 days to relax stiff and sore muscles.
#4. Devil’s Claw
It is a South African herb with a medicinally active root used to ease muscular tension along with the pain in the back, shoulder, and neck. Consume it in the form of a strong tea by boiling its roots in water for a few minutes. However, those with an ulcer, blood pressure, heart and diabetes issues are not recommended to take it.
#5. Tart Cherry
Tart cherry is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. The anti-inflammatory substance found in the peel has same active enzyme as that found in ibuprofen. So, when you're in pain, drink a cup of tart cherry juice, without adding sugar to it. Or, to prevent muscle pain after the workout, eat one to one-half cup of tart cherries. It will also boost the melatonin levels in the body to help you sleep better, hence recover faster.
Wrap four tbsp of freshly grated ginger in a tightly sealed piece of cloth. Put this cloth in hot water for less than a minute and let it cool down. Then, place it on the affected area for 15 minutes and repeat the process several times a day for two to three days. Instead, you can also opt to drink three cups of ginger tea a day. Just cut a small piece of ginger root and boil it using two cups of water for about 10 minutes, strain it, add a little honey and voila!
#7. Apple Cider Vinegar
Begin by adding apple cider vinegar (two cups only) to lukewarm bath water. To relieve the muscle pain and inflammation, soak in this water for 15-20 minutes. Until you recover completely, do this for a few days. Or, just add one tbsp of apple cider vinegar and a little honey to a glass of warm water and drink it once a day for a week.
#8. Mustard oil
Chop 10 garlic cloves and heat them in four tbsp of mustard oil until they turn golden. Add a little piece of camphor in it, if you like. Once the mixture cools down, strain it and with it gently massage the oil into the affected area. Follow this remedy many times a day for a few days.
Both fresh and dried rosemary leaves can be used to soothe inflamed muscle tissues and reduce the pain quickly. To reap the benefits of it, use eight cups of water to boil three ounces of dried rosemary leaves. Remove it from the heat and let it steep for 20 minutes. Now, soak the affected area in this solution for 15 minutes. Do this two to three times a day for two to three days at least.
#10. White Willow Bark
The active ingredient contained in white willow bark is salicin, the body converts it into salicylic acid and helps to heal the muscle pain and inflammation. Therefore, make the most of it by adding 1 to 2 tsp of white willow bark to 8 ounces of water. Boil it for 5 to 10 minutes and then let it steep for 20 to 30 minutes. Strain the bark out and add a few cinnamon sticks and honey to add a little flavor to it.
So, before you end up in a drug store buying some painkillers, do try these natural remedies. They may heal slowly, but their effects are long-lasting!
Evie Dawson is a fitness coach and health writer based in Boston, MA. Her passion includes encouraging people to live healthy life backed by hygiene through regular exercise and use of body wash wipes.