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Ayurvedic Herbs for Pain-Control

Safe and tested, Ayurvedic herbs are available at low cost locally and online

Posted September 28, 2009

Why use herbs originally from India for pain? They are safe, tested foods that are available in capsules at your healthfood store and online.

Using an over-the-counter pain-killer may work temporarily, but will it actually address the cause of your pain? Hazardous side-effects such as bleeding ulcers are often the result of using daily aspirin. Ibuprofen, a common non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that works by reducing hormones that cause inflammation and pain, should never be combined with alcohol: That combination causes liver damage. Ibuprofen can increase your risk of life-threatening heart or circulation problems, including heart attack or stroke. This risk will increase the longer you use ibuprofen.

Several Ayurvedic (East Indian) herbs can help to reduce everyday aches and pains, while supporting vitality and detoxifying the body from impurities. The type of food and herb remedy should suit the type and origin of pain. By the type of pain, we mean more than how it feels. It also refers to what body processes are involved to cause the pain. Do nerve irritation, inflammation or allergy, or overweight contribute to the particular pain? These are all important factors that help determine the quality and duration of pain. You wouldn’t sooth tooth pain with a skin salve. Choosing the right sort of pain-treatment, depending on its origin, can help prevent future pain.

To simplify, we can consider a practical 3 Dosha approach offered by Ayurveda. A Dosha may be considered a humour. Humours, such as black and yellow bile and phlegm, were used to explain illness in Westerm medicine until about 1900. They also explained a person’s predisposition to certain illnesses, temperament (bilious or phlegmatic), and the person’s body type. Western medicine got away from using the notion of humours with the wide-spread use of antibiotics. Antibiotics have their limits. Our understanding of pain, associated with an imbalance of humours, is useful for cooking and maintaining everyday vitality at home.

The three humours used in Ayurveda are Vata, Pitta and Kapha. When referring to the origin of our pain, they can be simplified to mean: nerve pain (Vata); Inflammatory pain (Pitta) and pain associated with overweight, poor digestion, and circulation problems (Kapha)




Trifala, a slimming, balancing laxative made from three fruits, is very helpful for maintaining health and beauty for all Doshas. Trifala should be avoided by pregnant women. However, amla, one of the ingredients in Trifala, is an excellent source of rejuvenating tannins that can be used during pregnancy. Using such supportive herbs daily is a wiser approach to pain-management than waiting for pain to strike. Why not improve vitality as you reduce pain?

Letha Hadady, alternative health expert and author, leads walking tours of Asian food and herb markets through New York Open Center. She is the author of many personal transformation books, including Feed Your Tiger: The Asian Diet Secret for Permanent Weight Loss and Vibrant Health. She is widely acknowledged as a top expert on natural health and beauty. Her website is


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