Everything you need to know about treating your pain with Infused Herbal Oils.
Everyone must have experienced pain at one point, resulting of any injury, stress or pre-existing condition.
Why do we feel pain?
When in pain our body sends electric signals to the brain which in return releases a substance called endorphins, which is responsible for generating pain. Pain is a mixture of emotions, experience and sensation which varies from person to person.
Pain, when experienced and left untreated, turns into chronic pain which can be challenging physically and mentally and prevents it from functioning normal. The common treatment preferred for pain management involves pain killers and other adjunctive therapies. Over-the-counter, painkillers when taken for a longer term can cause drug abuse and lead to fatal consequences.
What is the best treatment option?
Evidences suggest that those suffering from pain should prefer a holistic approach for pain management which involves the emphasis on massage therapy.
Massage therapy is one of the oldest, safest, effective and the best natural methods which relieve various types of pain. Experts also say that it reduces local inflammation and diminishes the level of depression which results in relaxation.
How massage therapy works in pain?
There are different types of massage techniques performed depending on the area and extent of pain. When performed, it relaxes the muscle which washes out the toxins and waste material in the form of lactic acid and promotes increased blood supply and oxygen to that area.
According to American massage therapy association, there are studies done which proves that massage have several health benefits which includes,
● Increase blood circulation
● Improve range of motion
● Increasing the endorphin level in the body – it is considered the greatest benefit as these substances are responsible for making us feel good and relaxed.
Besides the basic muscular benefits, massage also recovers the entire body. By improving circulation it encourages nutrients, oxygen and arterial blood components to visit the area being manipulated. To achieve the maximum benefits of massage, herbs incorporated into the oil during massage are useful in relieving the aches and pains due to inflammation. It is thus created using raw and dried herbs to mix in the carrier oil. By doing this, the infused oil formed has doubled the effects from the carrier oil as well as the herb infused.
How does infused oil with herbs work?
It works in two ways – The aroma of herbs and carrier oil causes emotional and physical response via the brain. Also, they penetrate the skin to underlying tissue and the blood system to distribute their therapeutic properties.
There are over 60 essential herbs that have amazing properties, which is used to make infused oils for relieving pain. Most of them can be found in the kitchen locally but not all measure up. Knowing some of the differences can help you choose the appropriate herb, best for the situation.
Here is the list of recommended herbs found locally in your kitchen which you can use for your infused oil,
This herb can be found locally in our kitchen, well-known from the ancient time for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It is being used for thousands of years as a spice and medicinal herb. This plant and its byproducts have an eventful history in various medical conditions, among which the important component is curcumin.
It has strong anti-inflammatory properties which fights at molecular level and inhibits substances involved in inflammation. Also, it increases antioxidant capacity of the body. As, Oxidative damage is one of the mechanisms involved behind many diseases which involves free radicals. Curcumin neutralizes free radicals and boosts activity of antioxidant enzymes. Turmeric root stalks or grounded can be infused in oil and applied to joint or muscle pain, affected by tenderness, stiffness or swelling.
This plant has been used as a traditional remedy against various ailments for centuries. Mustard seeds are rich in sinigrin which possess anti-inflammatory and wound healing properties. Because of its topical irritant effects, when infused in oil it relieves congestion and increases blood circulation to that surface which relieves spasm and neuralgia.
It has a strong anti-inflammatory compound known as allyl-isothiocyanate which helps in inhibiting inflammation. Also, the heating property of mustard seeds causes an increase in temperature when applied to affected areas and helps loosen up the stiffness present in joints and muscles.
This spice has been valued for thousands of years for its medicinal properties. Both raw and heat treated ginger reduces pain associated with muscle injury by about 24%. It has antioxidant content, which includes gingerols, shogals and zingerones. These compounds have anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties similar to NSAIDs. When applied topically, it helps reduce prostaglandins which is a compound associated with pain and acts as an analgesic, anti-arthritic, antispasmodic and peripheral stimulant
It is a terpene which is commonly used in creams, ointments and lotions, extracted from the bark of camphor trees. It is a counter irritant. When infused in oil and applied to a painful area, it numbs the nerve endings. The nerve endings thereafter no longer transmit the sensation of pain. Camphor when used produces cool sensation and acts as a mild local anesthetic. It is approved by FDA for topical use as a pain reliever and anesthetic.
It is a sterile hybrid of spearmint and watermint. Besides its use in food and beverages as a flavoring agent, it is widely used for its health benefits also. Its antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties reduce muscle spasm induced by any injury or exercise. The main components of peppermint are menthol and menthone. When infused in oil with massage the concentration of menthol acts as antispasmodic and excites the anti-pain channel which causes the pain sensing fibers to become less sensitive.
Facts about herbal infused oil
To make infused oil, you can blend 2-3 herbs or you can use it individually with any of the carrier oil. When mixed together with their diverse properties, it gives good results.
Blends for bone and joint pain - Ginger, Curcuma or Mustard
Blends for muscle pain - Peppermint, Camphor, Curcuma or Ginger
For the soothing and more calming effects rosemary and lavender extracts can also be mixed with these herbs.
Selection of carrier oil
There are many carrier oils available and most are suitable to use with all kinds of herbs. But, you need to consider a few things before choosing one.
Odor - Few oils have distinct odor and when herbs are added, it may alter the aroma
The best oil to select for making infused herb oil is Olive oil and sweet almond oil.
Precautions while using herb infused oils
Some herbs are not suitable for sensitive skin like ginger.
Do not use herbs like curcuma during pregnancy or nursing mothers as it can cause some hormonal stress.
If you have any history of epilepsy or other conditions.
Can cause local irritation and also people with spice allergies should avoid it.
Prior using a skin test is recommended for allergic reactions.
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