When a Primitive person became ill it was not necessary, or available for that matter, to have health plans. They didn’t have to pick a high deductible health plan to keep health insurance premiums down. What they did learn to pick, however, were medicinal plants that grew in the woods. I have always been fascinated by how people in ancient times were able to discover which plants healed what and which ones to avoid. The oldest form of healthcare known to mankind is herbal medicine. Historians believe that much of the medicinal use of plants seems to have been developed by watching wild animals and trial and error. Ancient humans would add the medicinal power of herbs in their area to their knowledge base. As time marched on they collected information on herbs and developed a herbal pharmacy. From the herbpalace.com “about 25% of the prescription drugs dispensed in the United States contain at least one active ingredient derived from plant material. Some are made from plant extracts; others are synthesized to mimic a natural plant compound.”

Let’s take a look at some of the herbs that have been known to be beneficial throughout history. Approaching the pain relief aisle is Devil’s Claw and Capsaicin. Devil’s claw is a South African herb whose roots ease muscular tension or pain in the back, shoulders and neck. It may also ease rheumatoid arthritic pain as well. Capsaicin is what makes hot peppers hot. It also manipulates the body’s perception of pain by triggering the release of pain-relieving endorphins and providing analgesic action. It is usually applied as a cream.

Interested in building up a herbal pain relief pharmacy for yourself? Here are some suggestions from herbcompanion.com:

  • Arnica available in creams and tablets, relieves osteoarthritic pain in the knee
  • Boswellia can soothe pain from sports injuries
  • Clove Oil great for an aching tooth
  • Fennel great tasting licorice-flavored tea helps to relieve menstrual cramps
  • Feverfew many people swear by this for headaches, even migraines. Available s a tea or in capsules
  • Gingerroot alleviates digestive cramps and mild pain from fibromyalgia
  • Green Tea with nine muscle-relaxing compounds, is great for stiff muscles
  • Licorice Root brew it as tea for a sore throat
  • Oregano, rosemary and thyme are herbs you should sprinkle liberally onto food for their analgesic, antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory capabilities

And finally; this just in from the US Department of Health and Human Services, ever wonder why lots of restaurants bring a peppermint candy with the check or offer them in bowls by the exit? It seems that new research shows that peppermint helps relieve the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. I bet Fred Flintstone could have told them that!