As the weather warms, more of us are out in the garden, digging, planting, and probably aching. Or maybe you’re a weekend warrior, getting outside on the weekends for more intense exercise. Or maybe you’re just getting older, and you know what it is to ache every day. The point is that all of us at one time or another experience pain.
Available over-the-counter drugs include NSAIDS, which sadly come with side effects. Use them too often and you can harm your stomach lining and negatively affect your gut microbiome. Thank goodness nature has provided us with many safe and effective alternatives.
By far, turmeric is the best-known herbal pain reliever because of its studied anti-inflammatory effects. But other herbs can be helpful, including ginger, Boswellia, Jamaican dogwood, and even rosemary. As a consumer, your best bet is to find herbal pain relievers in formulas; you’ll get more bang for your buck.
At Ruth’s you can choose from New Chapter’s Zyflamend (rosemary, turmeric, ginger, holy basil, and more), Gaia Herbs’ Tumeric Supreme Pain Support (turmeric, Jamaican dogwood, and more), Terry Naturally’s Curamin (curcumin, DLPA, and more), Garden of Life’s Tumeric Pain Relief (turmeric, Andrographis, ginger, and more), or Natural Factor’s Theracurmin (a patented form of curcumin in nano-particle form for greater absorption). Terry Naturally also recently developed Acute Pain Relief, which uses curcumin, black sesame oil, and Boswellia.
You can even get turmeric formulas in great-tasting gummies by Garden of Life or Solaray.
Many of our customers have found great pain relief from using CBD, and Ruth’s has several brands to choose from. Probably the best-known brand is Charlotte’s Web, which offers an array of strengths and forms: from 7 mg to 60 mg strength, and available in capsules, oils, gummies, or topicals formulations. Garden of Life is another brand offering a similar array, along with specialty formulas for sleep or anxiety. Solaray Leaf Therapeutics offers a line of softgels with CBD and some with additional herbs for anxiety or sleep.
CBD Medic, recently purchased by Charlotte’s Web, has long had a line of topical products designed to relieve pain for Back & Neck, Arthritis Aches, and Active Sport.
Joint pain is a common complaint among our customers. Several studies show that hydrolyzed collagen supplements can improve joint pain and even reduce cartilage deterioration. Ruth’s carries several excellent brands of such collagen: Garden of Life (offering several formulas from plain to those with added turmeric), BlueBonnet, Zhou Nutrition, Nature’s Plus, and Vital Proteins. Most are in powders, but some also are in capsule form.
While glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM have long been used for joint pain, many newer formulations are available. KAL Joint Guard, one of our most popular products, contains all of the above plus turmeric, Boswellia, ginger, and more. Gaia Herbs’ Tumeric Supreme Joint Health contains turmeric, quercetin, Boswellia, and more. Garden of Life’s Tumeric Joints & Mobility contains turmeric, ginger, and more. Terry Naturally’s Be Mobile contains glucosamine, chondroitin, hyaluronic acid, Boswellia, and more.
Sometimes when you’ve done too much, it’s sore and crampy muscles that are causing your pain. Good old simple magnesium can be a great help here. Or you could try a specialty formula like Redd Remedies’ Muscle Ease, containing magnesium, potassium, and several muscle-relaxing herbs. If magnesium tends to be too laxative for your system, you can choose from Life-Flo’s magnesium lotions, oils, or bath flakes and absorb the magnesium through your skin. If you’re prone to cramps at night, rubbing on magnesium lotion before bed can be a life saver.
Garden of Life makes a formula specifically designed for muscle recovery: Dr. Formulated Quercetin Recovery, which contains quercetin, zinc, and several anti-inflammatory herbs. Another specific formulation is Charlotte’s Web Recovery gummy, which contains CBD, ginger, and turmeric. Flavored with natural juices from fruits and vegetables, the flavor is really good.
Other beneficial supplements for muscle recovery include body-builder favorites of branched chain amino acids (BCAAs), l-glutamine (an amino acid that hastens muscle recovery), and even tart cherry. Recent studies show tart cherry’s anti-inflammatory effects that make it helpful for gout also make if effective for hastening exercise recovery.
More helpful products to consider are Enzymedica’s Repair Gold, which contains proteolytic enzymes designed to quicken muscle repair, and Tiger Balm’s potent heating ointment that speeds circulation and tissue healing.