Topical Pain Relievers - What Works Best?
With over 30+ years helping patients with chronic pain at our sister site, we are often asked "what will work best for me?". Honestly we don't know but what we do know is what has worked best for the vast preponderance of our 10,000+ patients over time.
Let's take a moment to explain the process that evolved. All our patients suffer from some form of chronic pain, sciatica, neck pain, shoulder pain, neuropathy, shingles, cancer pain, even RSD and Fibromyalgia. There has never been one "magic bullet" for any patient, nor has one topical pain product been the best at all times for any pain the patient experienced. Pain moves, the sensation changes, and sometimes a couple of products are necessary.
Historically we have sent several "sample pain kits" to our patients and let them decide which is best for them by actually trying the various products. We have relied upon our patients to tell us which products work best for them. As a result of listening we've found several products that have stood the test of time for the vast preponderance of our patients.
For many of our patients they use our "standing order" system which sends them monthly a kit of the best products that have proven effective for them personally. The kit contents can be changed monthly if needed. Kits are allowed by most insurance companies, including Medicare and Medicaid, once a patient has been prescribed a tens or Infrex unit for treating chronic pain syndromes. More about that on our pain relieving product video.
Listed below are the products that have stood the test of time with our patients. You can order them directly, or if you have or are purchasing a tens or Infrex unit, then we can ship to you monthly what is allowed and bill your insurance for the kit. Kits can be varied monthly according to your needs.
On your first order mention "new customer discount" and receive 10% off the entire order.
Cooling Topical Pain Products:
BioFreeze - Originally only available in Physical Therapist clinics, Pain Clinics etc. but over time became available for general consumer use.
Kool 'N Fit - Pain Relieving Gel or Liquid for muscles, joints, backaches, strains and bruises - active ingredients camphor and menthol.
Polar Frost Cold Gel - General pain agent for minor injuries using alcohol, Eucalyptus, carbomer and aloe
General Topical Pain Products:
Aromatherapy Patches - Each patch uses essential oils and the relief can be derived from the oil on the skin itself or the inhalation of the oil once the patch is on. Arnica oil is good pain management, lavender oil for sleep, and tea tree for topical infections are some of the differing patches and their uses.
Flexall- Uses different % of menthol for products ranging from 8% to 16%. Can be used with ultrasound coupling agent so when getting an ultrasound treatment the gel is in it and both physical and chemical relief.
Orthogel - Fast Acting Roll- On using Ilex ( also found in BioFreeze ), camphor, menthol, glucosamine, msm, aloe, curcumonoids, Bosewllia Serrata
Salonpas - Available in many forms including patches - active ingredients are menthol, 7% and methyl salicylate, 15%
Therapain - Spray or Roll On - Active ingredients, peppermint, eucalyptus and alcohol.
Tiger Balm Products - This is the oldest line of topical pain relieving products in the world. Originating more than 1,000 years ago and today it's still one of the leaders. The "patch" is immensely successful and lasts up to 8 hours. Active ingredients are camphor - 80 mg, Menthol - 24 mg, Capsicum 16 mg.
White Flower Balm - Active ingredients are camphor and wintergreen - often used for migraines with oil at temple, but not so low as to have oil vapors affect eyes.
Often our web site is searched for "sexual stimulant herbs" and we try to distance ourselves from those who sell "sexual potents" that lack scientific credentials. Many of the historical herb stimulants also reflect the culture of the region and are the result of lore and legend, but lack botanical documentation as to why the herb is useful as a sexual stimulant. This is not to deny the herb can be used as such, as many supplements appear to have as their main function, the belief it will work and therefore it does work for the patient that time or a few times. The botanical results with the essential oils and constituent chemicals that work each and every time leads one to move the herb to the zone of true medicinal properties, not placebo type.
Can the herb plant, turmeric, be used for upset stomach or other digestive problems?
Turmeric Plants Used Often In Ayurevedic Medicine Turmeric Roots
Below is reprinted from the National Institute of Health web site: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/662.html
This article has somewhat more than you need for digestive disorders but often the more information then the better for the patient if presented to be remembered. Generally speaking Turmeric is classified as a "spice", rather than an herb, due to we generally speak of herbs as being a plant whose parts are eaten, ie. the leaves of basil. A Spice is generally the nut, seed, of the plant itself. With tumeric we possibly have a "hybrid" since it's the root. So, what do you call garlic??? Brain teaser!!!
What is it?
Turmeric is a plant. You probably know turmeric as the main spice in curry. It has a warm, bitter taste and is frequently used to flavor or color curry powders, mustards, butters, and cheeses. But the root of turmeric is also used widely to make medicine.
Herbfest note: Curry is a blend of spices, not a specific plant.
Turmeric is used for heartburn (dyspepsia), stomach pain, diarrhea, intestinal gas, stomach bloating, loss of appetite, jaundice, liver problems and gallbladder disorders.
It is also used for headaches, bronchitis, colds, lung infections, fibromyalgia, leprosy, fever, menstrual problems, and cancer. Other uses include depression, Alzheimer’s disease, water retention, worms, and kidney problems.
Some people apply turmeric to the skin for pain, ringworm, bruising, leech bites, eye infections, inflammatory skin conditions, soreness inside of the mouth, and infected wounds.
In food and manufacturing, the essential oil of turmeric is used in perfumes, and its resin is used as a flavor and color component in foods.
Don’t confuse turmeric with Javanese turmeric root (Curcuma zedoaria).
How effective is it?
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate.
The effectiveness ratings for TURMERIC are as follows:
Possibly effective for...
Stomach upset (dyspepsia). Some research shows that taking turmeric by mouth might help improve an upset stomach.
Insufficient evidence to rate effectiveness for...
Skin cancer. There is some evidence that applying a turmeric ointment might help to relieve odor and itching caused by skin cancer.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Curcumin, a chemical in turmeric, might help reduce some symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
Liver and gallbladder problems.
More evidence is needed to rate turmeric for these uses.
How does it work?
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The chemicals in turmeric might decrease swelling (inflammation).
Are there safety concerns?
Turmeric is LIKELY SAFE when used in amounts found in food. It is POSSIBLY SAFE when used in medicinal amounts. But it can sometimes cause nausea or diarrhea.
Special precautions & warnings:
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Taking turmeric by mouth in medicinal amounts is LIKELY UNSAFE in pregnancy. It might promote a menstrual period or stimulate the uterus, putting the pregnancy at risk. Don’t take turmeric if you are pregnant.
There isn’t enough information to rate the safety of turmeric during breast-feeding. It’s best not to use it.
Gallbladder problems. Turmeric can make gallbladder problems worse. Don’t use turmeric if you have gallstones or a bile duct obstruction.
Surgery: Turmeric might slow blood clotting. It might cause extra bleeding during and after surgery. Stop using turmeric at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
Are there interactions with medications?
Be cautious with this combination.
Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs)
Turmeric might slow blood clotting. Taking turmeric along with medications that also slow clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding.
Some medications that slow blood clotting include aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, others), dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin, warfarin (Coumadin), and others.
Are there interactions with herbs and supplements?
Herbs and supplements that might slow blood clotting
Turmeric might slow blood clotting. Taking turmeric along with herbs that also slow clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding. These herbs include angelica, clove, danshen, garlic, ginger, ginkgo, Panax ginseng, red clover, willow, and others.
Are there interactions with foods?
There are no known interactions with foods.
What dose is used?
The following doses have been studied in scientific research:
For upset stomach (dyspepsia): 500 mg of turmeric four times daily.
Curcuma, Curcuma aromatica, Curcuma domestica, Curcuma longa, Curcumae Longa, Curcumae Longae Rhizoma, Curcumin, Curcumine, Curcuminoid, Curcuminoïde, Curcuminoïdes, Curcuminoids, Halada, Haldi, Haridra, Indian Saffron, Nisha, Pian Jiang Huang, Racine de Curcuma, Radix Curcumae, Rajani, Rhizoma Cucurmae Longae, Safran Bourbon, Safran de Batallita, Safran des Indes, Turmeric Root, Yu Jin.
To learn more about how this article was written, please see the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database methodology.
Baum L, Lam CW, Cheung SK, et al. Six-month randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, pilot clinical trial of curcumin in patients with Alzheimer disease (letter). J Clin Psychopharmacol 2008;28:110-3.
Thapliyal R, Maru GB. Inhibition of cytochrome P450 isozymes by curcumins in vitro and in vivo. Food Chem Toxicol 2001;39:541-7.
Thapliyal R, Deshpande SS, Maru GB. Mechanism(s) of turmeric-mediated protective effects against benzo(a)pyrene-derived DNA adducts. Cancer Lett 2002;175:79-88.
Sugiyama T, Nagata J, Yamagishi A, et al. Selective protection of curcumin against carbon tetrachloride-induced inactivation of hepatic cytochrome P450 isozymes in rats. Life Sci 2006;78:2188-93.
Takada Y, Bhardwaj A, Potdar P, Aggarwal BB. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents differ in their ability to suppress NF-kappaB activation, inhibition of expression of cyclooxygenase-2 and cyclin D1, and abrogation of tumor cell proliferation. Oncogene 2004;23:9247-58.
Lal B, Kapoor AK, Asthana OP, et al. Efficacy of curcumin in the management of chronic anterior uveitis. Phytother Res 1999;13:318-22.
Deodhar SD, Sethi R, Srimal RC. Preliminary study on antirheumatic activity of curcumin (diferuloyl methane). Indian J Med Res 1980;71:632-4.
Kuttan R, Sudheeran PC, Josph CD. Turmeric and curcumin as topical agents in cancer therapy. Tumori 1987;73:29-31.
Antony S, Kuttan R, Kuttan G. Immunomodulatory activity of curcumin. Immunol Invest 1999;28:291-303.
Hata M, Sasaki E, Ota M, et al . Allergic contact dermatitis from curcumin (turmeric). Contact Dermatitis 1997;36:107-8.
Johnson, Bob - collective knowledge of doing this stuff for over 40 years. Herbfest.net,MedfaxxInc.com
An excellent article is reprinted here from WebMd.com, http://www.webmd.com/rheumatoid-arthritis/guide/can-your-diet-help-relieve-rheumatoid-arthritis.
Often the herbal lore and legend subscribers are concerned with what herb plants help keep people healthy. We generally respond a big factor is what herbs change the palate so harmful foods are eliminated may be the reason for the health beneifits of herbs. This article on rheumatoid arthritis shows harmful foods such as high saturated fats, and beneficial foods like fish, omega 3 oil can help. The use of herbs often is beneficial by helping rheumatoid arthritis patients move to a less detrimental diet.
Can Your Diet Help Relieve Rheumatoid Arthritis?
If you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, you may have heard that a specific diet or certain foods can ease your pain, stiffness, and fatigue. Someday, food may be the medicine of choice for those with arthritis and related inflammatory diseases. For now, though, here's information that may help you separate the facts from the myths about diet and rheumatoid arthritis.
Eating certain foods or avoiding certain foods may help your rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. However, according to the Arthritis Foundation, there is no specific "arthritis diet." On the other hand, if you find certain foods worsen your rheumatoid arthritis symptoms and others help your symptoms to improve, it makes sense to make some adjustments in your diet.
A recent study showed that 30% to 40% of people with rheumatoid arthritis may benefit from excluding "suspect" foods that are identified with an elimination diet. An elimination diet guides you in removing suspected "trigger" foods from your daily diet. Then, after a period of time, you slowly add the suspect foods back into your diet and watch for increased pain and stiffness. For some people, eliminating those foods that seem to trigger pain and stiffness may help decrease rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.
Can Some Fats Increase Inflammation in Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Yes. Studies show that saturated fats may increase inflammation in the body. Foods high in saturated fats, such as animal products like bacon, steak, butter, and cream, may increase inflammatory chemicals in the body called prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are chemicals that cause inflammation, pain, swelling, and joint destruction in rheumatoid arthritis.
In addition, some findings confirm that meat contains high amounts of arachidonic acid. Arachidonic acid is a fatty acid that's converted to inflammatory prostaglandins in the body. Some people with rheumatoid arthritis find that a vegetarian diet helps relieve symptoms of pain and stiffness. Other people with rheumatoid arthritis, however, get no benefit from eating a diet that eliminates meat.
Is Omega-6 Fatty Acid Linked to Inflammation With Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Omega-6 fatty acids are in vegetable oils that contain linoleic acid. This group of vegetable oils includes corn oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil, wheat germ oil, and sesame oil. Studies show that a typical western diet has more omega-6 fatty acids compared to omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acid is a polyunsaturated fat found in cold-water fish.
Consuming excessive amounts of omega-6 fatty acids may promote illnesses such as cancer and cardiovascular disease. It may also promote inflammatory and/or autoimmune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis. Ingesting fewer omega-6 fatty acids and more omega-3 fatty acids, on the other hand, may suppress inflammation and decrease the risk of illness.
Many studies show that lowering the ratio of omega-6 fatty acids to omega-3 fatty acids contained in the diet can reduce the risk of illness.
How Can Omega-3 Fatty Acids Help Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Omega-3 fatty acids, the polyunsaturated fats found in cold-water fish, nuts, and other foods, may have an anti-inflammatory effect in the body. The marine omega-3 fatty acids contain EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). These are substances that may decrease inflammation. Some studies show a positive anti-inflammatory effect of omega-3 fatty acids with rheumatoid arthritis. The same is true for heart disease. This is important because people with rheumatoid arthritis also have a higher risk of heart disease.
Human studies with marine omega-3 fatty acids show a direct relationship between increased DHA consumption and diminished C-reactive protein levels. That means reduced inflammation.
Which Foods Have Omega-3 Fatty Acids That Might Help Rheumatoid Arthritis?
For omega-3 fatty acids, select cold-water fish such as salmon, tuna, and trout. Some plant foods are also sources of omega-3 fatty acids. They include walnuts, tofu, and soybean products, flaxseed and flaxseed oil, and canola oil.
Can Fish Oil Supplements Help Rheumatoid Arthritis?
According to the American College of Rheumatology, some patients with rheumatoid arthritis report an improvement in pain and joint tenderness when taking marine omega-3 fatty acid supplements. You may not notice any benefit at first from taking a fish oil supplement. It may take weeks or even months to see a decrease in symptoms. But studies do show that some people who have a high intake of omega-3 fatty acids benefit from decreased symptoms and less use of anti-inflammatory drugs.
The American College of Rheumatology reminds consumers that fish oil supplements may have high levels of vitamin A or mercury.
Can a Mediterranean-Type Diet Help Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Many studies suggest that a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and vitamin C may be linked to a lower risk of rheumatoid arthritis. In fact, we know that rheumatoid arthritis is less severe in some Mediterranean countries such as Greece and Italy. In those countries, the main diet consists of large amounts of fruits, vegetables, olive oil, and fatty fish high in omega-3s. The Mediterranean-type diet may even protect against severe rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.
Fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes are high in phytonutrients. These are chemicals in plants that have disease-fighting properties and immune-boosting antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, and the carotenoids. A plant-based diet is also high in bioflavonoids. These are plant compounds that reportedly have anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, and anti-tumor activities.
Nutrition researchers who test the antioxidant activity of foods believe that certain foods may reduce the risk of some degenerative diseases associated with aging. These diseases include arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. More recent findings show that the higher intake of omega-3 fatty acids with the Mediterranean diet may be linked to the improvement in rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.
What Vitamins and Minerals Are Important for Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Folic acid, or folate, is a B vitamin found in food. It can also be obtained by supplementation. It is important to you if you take methotrexate, a commonly prescribed medication for rheumatoid arthritis. Your body uses folic acid to manufacture red blood cells. Supplementing with folic acid may allow people with rheumatoid arthritis to avoid some side effects of methotrexate.
Selenium helps to fight free radicals that cause damage to healthy tissue. Some studies indicate that people with rheumatoid arthritis have reduced selenium levels in their blood. These findings are preliminary and no recommendations have been made for selenium supplementation. One 3.5-ounce serving of tuna gives you a full day's requirement of selenium.
Supplementing your diet with bone-boosting calcium and vitamin D is important, especially if you take corticosteroids (like prednisone) that can cause bone loss. The risk of bone loss is higher in people with rheumatoid arthritis. So check with your doctor to see how much calcium and vitamin D you need to get daily through foods, supplements, and sunlight.
What About Alcohol and Rheumatoid Arthritis?
A study published in the Annals of Rheumatic Diseases concluded that drinking alcohol may be linked to a significantly reduced chance of getting rheumatoid arthritis. While the researchers did not know how alcohol protects against rheumatoid arthritis, they believed the data should encourage further study on how arthritis may be prevented through diet and lifestyle measures. Talk to your doctor about drinking alcohol if you take any rheumatoid arthritis medication. Avoid alcohol if you take methotrexate because liver damage could be a serious side effect.
Can Weight Loss Help my Rheumatoid Pain and Stiffness?
Yes. Studies show that dropping extra pounds is important for your joints and overall health. Excess pounds put extra strain on knees, hips, and other weight-bearing joints, not to mention your heart. Being overweight or obese actually worsens the joints -- making them stiffer and more painful -- and can exacerbate rheumatoid arthritis flares.
The below herb tips are from http://www.tinnitus-treatment.org and are intended to be informational only.
I did notice the use of Rosemary, not specific to tinnitus as much as relevant to a possible causation, hypertension. You may want to also see our page on lowering blood pressure herbs. As mentioned many times over and over on our web site it is not sufficient to simply say "use a herb" as there are so many aspects to what is harvested, when, how distilled, what part used, time of day, season of year etc. Our herbal lore and legend series breaks out some of the considerations week by week in the informative and fun emails.
You may be one of the unfortunate sufferers of tinnitus. If the ringing in your ears is loud enough, you simply can’t ignore it. It may go away, but most likely it will not. Many doctor recommended therapies are costly. Some involve drastic measures like surgery. So many of the treatments for tinnitus are ineffective. So are there any herbal tinnitus treatments?
Actually, there are dozens of herbal treatments for tinnitus. Some are well-known herbs. Some are simply good sources of vitamins or minerals. Others are little known herbs which are obtained through an herbalist.
Ginkgo biloba is currently one of the most popular herbs. It is said to promote good memory function. It does this by increasing circulation in the brain. Probably for the same reason, it seems to work as a tinnitus herbal treatment. The only down side to using Ginkgo is that it can not be used with blood thinners.
Black Cohosh is an herb that has been used by Native Americans for centuries. It has been used often for women’s gynecological and obstetric problems. However, it has been used for other purposes. It is used for tinnitus, and this is probably because it improves blood flow in the brain. It is also a natural sedative. Since stress is sometimes a precipitating factor to tinnitus, this can help as well. This is true of many tinnitus herbal treatments.
Ligustrum is an herb that may help. It has no side effects that are known. Mullein is another plant that can be used. It is a mild diuretic. Tinnitus can be helped by a low sodium diet and diuretics, so this is a good tinnitus herbal treatment.
The use of a simple herb like rosemary can also have an affect. Sometimes tinnitus is brought on by high blood pressure. It is at these times that rosemary can be used as an herbal tinnitus treatment. It will dilate the blood vessels and make them stronger so that the inner ear, among other parts of the body, will function better. Another herb is avena sativa, better known as wild oats. This reduces cholesterol. This is the path this herb takes to increasing circulation, and thereby helping with tinnitus.
There is an herb called cornus. By itself, it is not a tinnitus herbal treatment. However, when taken in combination with other herbs, it can have a tremendous effect. Two of these are Chinese yam and Chinese foxglove. Either mixture must be performed by a skilled herbalist.
These are only a few of the vast array of herbal tinnitus treatments available. Some can be obtained in a local grocery or health food store. Some can be ordered through the mail. Others can be obtained through an herbalist. If you choose to treat tinnitus with herbs, it is easy to get started.
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