Tag Archives: pain relief

  • Tart Cherry Juice: An effective new remedy for sleep, pain, even your heart

    Exciting new studies have recently come out about the effectiveness of tart cherry juice as a remedy for a number of health issues. Dr. Oz is even talking about “nature’s ultimate antioxidant,” its anti-inflammatory properties, its ability to help fight heart disease by balancing cholesterol levels and aid in sleep as a natural source of melatonin.

    Tart cherry juice is made by juicing Montmorency cherries, which contain high amounts of antioxidants, vitamin c, potassium, magnesium, iron and folate, along with melatonin. This last ingredient is the key to an important new study that was recently published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. A team of researchers in the UK found that tart cherry juice from Montmorency cherries allowed participants to sleep longer and improved their quality of sleep. They divided 20 volunteers into two groups, one of which was given tart cherry juice to drink morning and evening; the other group received a placebo. The juice-drinking group saw a 5-6 percent increase in quality of sleep, and slept an average of 34 minutes longer each night. Researchers attribute this to the natural melatonin that exists in the tart cherry juice.   

    Another recent study analyzed the effects of tart cherry juice on a group of arthritis patients. Participants were given tart cherry juice or a placebo for a six-week period. The results showed that patients who drank two 8 ounce servings of tart cherry juice each day for six weeks had significantly decreased markers for inflammation, reported less pain and had lower WOMAC scores, which assess pain, joint stiffness, physical, social and emotional function of patients with osteoarthritis.

    Ready to try this superfruit? Pharmaca now carries Cheribundi Tart Cherry Juice, available in a number of interesting (and tasty!) flavors. Find it in the cooler case at your local Pharmaca.

    Creative Commons License, photo credit: {maira.gall}

  • Muscle Aches? Try Essential Oils for Pain

    Aches and pains got you down? If you’ve already run the gamut of prescription and over-the-counter medications, you may want try essential oils for pain and muscle aches. Essential oils, extracted from plants, flowers and trees, have powerful anti-inflammatory and analgesic (i.e. pain-relieving) properties. Essential oils also act as a detoxifying agent. Menstrual cramps, sports injuries and joint pain can all be treated safely and naturally with essential oils.

    Because essential oils are too concentrated to put directly on the skin, they have to be blended with carrier oils such as grapeseed or almond (bonus: these oils also help moisturize the skin). You can also add diluted essential oils to bath water or soak a washcloth in warm water and essential oils and place on the body at the site of the pain.

    Some popular essential oils to try for pain relief include chamomile, lavender, eucalyptus, rosemary, marjoram, peppermint, birch. So how do you use them? Here are some essential oils recipes for pain relief:

    • General muscle aches: Combine 5 drops lavender, 4 drops marjoram and 3 drops rosemary with 30 ml of a carrier oil in a hot bath
    • PMS pain: Blend 5 drops clary sage, 5 drops geranium and 5 drops chamomile oil. Rub in a clockwise direction as you massage into the affected area
    • Menstrual cramps: Blend 4 drops jasmine, 4 drops clary sage and 2 drops lavender with 5 tsp sweet almond oil. Massage in the abdominal region and around the lower back
    • Stomach cramps: Add 2 drops cardamom, 2 drops basil and 3 drops marjoram to 2 tsp of carrier oil and massage over stomach and abdomen

    Want to get started with your essential oil arsenal? Check out Pharmaca’s extensive line of essential oils for pain relief.

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