Let’s say you’re sore from an intense workout. Or maybe you have a headache, thanks to a long day at work. What do you do? Most of us pop a painkiller without a second thought. It could be anything from ibuprofen to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or even over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers that help any type of pain.
But if you want a more natural option, make a painkiller tea. No, you don’t mix hot water and crushed pills. The tea includes ingredients that have natural analgesic properties. Most importantly, they don’t have any harmful side effects.1
OTC painkillers are another story. They’re safe when used correctly, but overdoing it can damage organs. For instance, high doses of acetaminophen will harm the liver, while too much NSAIDs may cause kidney damage and stomach bleeding. It’s not a bad idea to limit your pill intake. Here’s how to make a painkiller tea and when it will come in handy.2
How To Make Painkiller Tea
- 8 ounces of water
- ½ thumb-sized piece of ginger
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- Honey and lemon to taste
- Bring 1 cup of water to a boil.
- Add ginger.
- Boil it for 10 minutes.
- Strain the tea.
- Add the turmeric and cinnamon.
- Mix it well.
- Add honey and lemon for taste.
- Mix it well and enjoy.
- For a kick of caffeine, add 1 teaspoon of black tea before straining.
Types Of Pains That The Tea Targets
But turmeric will save the day. Curcumin, an active compound in turmeric, has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. One 2012 study even found that curcumin does a better job at treating arthritis pain and swelling than NSAIDs.5 Ginger also fights arthritis inflammation, making this drink a joint-friendly beverage.6 7
Headaches are really common. You can get them from stress, crying, lack of sleep, or alcohol. Working too much or missed a meal? Expect a throbbing headache.8
Ginger is an excellent remedy. It fights inflammation, pain, and even allergies, so it’ll work if your headache is due to a reaction. And ginger’s medicinal properties come from active compounds called gingerols.9
Do you suffer from migraines? According to a 2014 study, ginger works just as well as the migraine drug sumatriptan.10
3. Stomach Ache
From irritable bowel syndrome to bacterial infections, stomach aches have countless causes. Even constipation, diarrhea, and nausea can spark pain. Ate one too many tacos? A stomach ache is in your future.11
4. Sore Muscles
Exercise, tension, and overuse often lead to muscle pain. It’s even more common if you have a physically demanding job. And often, more than one muscle is affected.14
5. Menstrual Cramps
More than half of menstruating women deal with dysmenorrhea or painful periods. Cramps can also show up even before the period starts. For most, this can make daily activities like work or school a literal pain.
According to a 2015 Iranian study, cinnamon can shorten and lessen the pain. It doesn’t work as well as ibuprofen, but there are fewer side effects. The anti-inflammatory properties of ginger and turmeric will also ease menstrual pain.17 18 19
This tea is best for conditions that can be treated at home. It won’t miraculously cure everything! And if you have other symptoms or the pain gets worse, visit your doctor as soon as possible.
|↑1||Pain Relievers. MedlinePlus, U.S. National Library of Medicine.|
|↑2||A Guide to Safe Use of Pain Medicine. U.S. Food & Drug Administration.|
|↑3||Arthritis. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.|
|↑4||Risk Factors. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.|
|↑5, ↑13||Gupta, Subash C., Sridevi Patchva, and Bharat B. Aggarwal. “Therapeutic roles of curcumin: lessons learned from clinical trials.” The AAPS journal 15, no. 1 (2013): 195-218.|
|↑6, ↑9, ↑12||Semwal, Ruchi Badoni, Deepak Kumar Semwal, Sandra Combrinck, and Alvaro M. Viljoen. “Gingerols and shogaols: important nutraceutical principles from ginger.” Phytochemistry 117 (2015): 554-568.|
|↑7||Chandran, Binu, and Ajay Goel. “A randomized, pilot study to assess the efficacy and safety of curcumin in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis.” Phytotherapy research 26, no. 11 (2012): 1719-1725.|
|↑8||Headache. MedlinePlus, U.S. National Library of Medicine.|
|↑10||Maghbooli, Mehdi, Farhad Golipour, Alireza Moghimi Esfandabadi, and Mehran Yousefi. “Comparison between the efficacy of ginger and sumatriptan in the ablative treatment of the common migraine.” Phytotherapy research 28, no. 3 (2014): 412-415.|
|↑11||Abdominal Pain Syndrome. American College of Gastroenterology.|
|↑14||Muscle Pain. FloridaHealthFinder. Agency for Health Care Administration.|
|↑15||Mashhadi, Nafiseh Shokri, Reza Ghiasvand, Gholamreza Askari, Awat Feizi, Mitra Hariri, Leila Darvishi, Azam Barani, Maryam Taghiyar, Afshin Shiranian, and Maryam Hajishafiee. “Influence of ginger and cinnamon intake on inflammation and muscle soreness endued by exercise in Iranian female athletes.” International journal of preventive medicine 4, no. Suppl 1 (2013): S11.|
|↑16||Matsumura, Melissa D., Gerald S. Zavorsky, and James M. Smoliga. “The effects of pre‐exercise ginger supplementation on muscle damage and delayed onset muscle soreness.” Phytotherapy Research 29, no. 6 (2015): 887-893.|
|↑17||Jaafarpour, Molouk, Masoud Hatefi, Ali Khani, and Javaher Khajavikhan. “Comparative effect of cinnamon and Ibuprofen for treatment of primary dysmenorrhea: a randomized double-blind clinical trial.” Journal of clinical and diagnostic research: JCDR 9, no. 4 (2015): QC04.|
|↑18||Jenabi, Ensiyeh. “The effect of ginger for relieving of primary dysmenorrhoea.” Age (year) 21, no. 1.16 (2013): 21-54.|
|↑19||Khayat, Samira, Hamed Fanaei, Masoomeh Kheirkhah, Zahra Behboodi Moghadam, Amir Kasaeian, and Mani Javadimehr. “Curcumin attenuates severity of premenstrual syndrome symptoms: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.” Complementary therapies in medicine 23, no. 3 (2015): 318-324.|