A common side effect of many
prescription drugs is to cause cramping and, for example, diuretics
that are taken for high blood pressure or heart disorders can cause
an imbalance of
which deplete or block absorption of
(pyridoxine) or zinc
can lead to diminished levels of a vital amino acid called
taurine in the body and this can lead to muscle cramps.
Check that medications are not
the cause of muscle cramps by asking the doctor for an alternative
and see if the cramps go away.
See also Medications
CAUSES OF CRAMP IN THE FEET OR LEGS
CAUSES OF CRAMP IN ALL PARTS OF THE BODY INCLUDING THE FEET AND LEGS
Muscle fatigue or stress.
Smoking tobacco constricts the blood vessels and can cause poor circulation which can lead to cramp especially in the feet and legs.
Swimming or intense exercise after eating a meal.
Thyroid and endocrine disorders.
Vitamin deficiency especially the B complex or vitamin D or vitamin E.
Cramps that happen during the night have not been explained by scientists but dehydration or an imbalance of the electrolytes calcium, magnesium and potassium are a common cause. See below for natural foods containing these important minerals.
DRUGS THAT CAN CAUSE CRAMPS
A common side effect of many prescription drugs is to cause cramps. For example, diuretics that are taken for high blood pressure or heart disorders can cause an imbalance of potassium and magnesium levels which can lead to cramps. Cholesterol is required for the body to make vitamin D and vitamin D is required for proper calcium absorption and thyroid function, therefore drugs which lower the body’s level of cholesterol can interfere with levels of vitamin D and calcium which can lead to muscle pain and cramps. Check that medications are not the cause of muscle cramps by asking the doctor for an alternative and see if the cramps go away or try natural remedies which will not cause this nutrient imbalance. Some examples of drugs that can cause cramps are:
Albuterol, Proventil and Ventolin (all used to treat asthma)
Donepezil (used for Alzheimer’s disease)
Furosemide (a diuretic)
Lovastatin (used to lower cholesterol)
Neostigmine (used for myasthenia gravis)
Raloxifene (used to prevent osteoporosis)
Tolcapone (used for Parkinson’s disease)
WHEN TO SEEK EMERGENCY MEDICAL ATTENTION
In most cases there is no need for concern, however, if any of the following also applies a professional health practitioner should be seen as soon as possible:
blood in the stools or urine.
fever and sweats.
inability to eat or feeling full very quickly.
inability to have a bowel movement or pass gas.
inability to pass urine.
pain and/or vaginal bleeding if pregnant.
pain in the scrotum if male.
pain and vomiting and shortness of breath.
pain and vomiting blood.
pain that spreads to the chest, jaw, left arm, neck or shoulder.
pale skin and clamminess.
pain lasting for more than an hour.
When any of the above applies it could be a sign of appendicitis, bacterial or viral infection, heart problems, intestinal blockage, kidney malfunction, miscarriage or possibly even cancer so it should be taken seriously and not ignored. Cramps that are recurrent and localised to one muscle group may suggest nerve root disease.
Polymyalgia rheumatica is an inflammatory condition that causes muscular aches, cramps, pain and stiffness. Any muscles can be affected, but it mainly affects the shoulder and thigh. It can start at any age from 50 onwards but mainly affects people over the age of 60. Women are affected more often than men and it affects about one in 2,000 people. Relief from this condition can be gained by making sure that the adrenal glands are making sufficient steroid hormones.
The first step is to cut out sugar, caffeine (found in coffee, tea and cola) and nicotine to reduce the stress being placed upon the adrenals. The next step is to boost the level of steroid hormone production. Pantethine, which is manufactured in the body from vitamin B5, plus vitamin B6 is essential for the proper functioning of the adrenal glands and for the production of natural steroids, called glucocorticoids. See below for natural foods that contain these nutrients. Many of the Nature Cures for cramps below also relieve pain and inflammation and can be of great benefit when suffering from polymyalgia rheumatic.
NATURE CURES FOR CRAMPS
Abuta is an Amazonian herb which is used as an analgesic to relieve tooth pain, rheumatism and menstrual cramps.
Algae such as chlorella, dulse, Irish moss and spirulina are rich in minerals often missing in the diet which can lead to muscle cramps.
Aloe vera juice or gel can help with cramps taken internally or rubbed onto the affected area.
Apple cider vinegar can prevent and provide relief from leg cramps due to its potassium content. It can also stop stomach cramps caused by diarrhoea or intestinal disorders. A table spoon per day is recommended and the easiest way to drink it is in a glass of apple juice or on salad, egg or fish dishes. Alternatively, add two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and one teaspoon of honey to a glass of warm water and drink for immediate relief from cramps.
Bicarbonate of soda: A quarter of a teaspoon of pure mined bicarbonate of soda, which has not been tainted with chemicals during the production process, taken in a glass of filtered or bottled mineral water or milk can help to address the pH balance of the body. This can help to stop cramps in all parts of the body.
Camphor is antispasmodic and gives immediate relief from spasms and cramps when applied topically as a compress.
Garlic and ginger, consumed daily, can help improve circulation which can prevent cramps occurring.
Herbs and spices: allspice, aloe vera, basil, black pepper, black seed, borage, burdock root, cayenne chilli pepper, chamomile, cinnamon, cumin, coriander, dandelion, devil's claw, dong quai, false unicorn, fennel, feverfew, frankincense, ginger, holy basil, hops, lavender oil, linden, maqui berries, motherwort, mustard seeds, noni, nutmeg, oat straw, paprika, peppermint oil, periwinkle, rosemary, senega root, turmeric and wood betony all have relaxant and pain relieving properties and can be taken as teas or in meals or added to a warm bath. These herbs and spices will also help to fight off bacterial and viral infections which can also be the cause of cramps.
Nuts and seeds: Add a handful of nuts such as almonds and walnuts and seeds such as flax, hemp, sesame and sunflower to the daily diet to provide the nutrients necessary to prevent and resolve cramp in any part of the body.
Papaya and pineapple: Foods containing proteolytic enzymes such as bromelain (pineapple) and papain (papaya) can help heal minor injuries and surgical wounds because they are anti-inflammatory and capable of being absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. Cramp often occurs in stomach muscles after surgery.
Pineapple juice and coconut water can rehydrate the body which can be a cause of cramps and dehydration can often be caused by diuretic medications or sweating profusely after intense exercise or during fevers.
Prickly pear is the only plant to contain 24 of the known betalains, which are potent anti-inflammatory agents. Betalains are polyphenol pigments also found in beetroot. Betalains give prickly pears their purple, red and yellow colours.
Psyllium husks: Take one teaspoon of this fibre rich food with a large tumbler of filtered of bottled mineral water or juice every day. This will help relieve stomach cramps and also improve colon health and help with the absorption and digestion of nutrients necessary to relieve all types of cramps.
Quince is said to have properties that can relieve cramps in the abdomen and legs.
Radishes, rocket and mustard and all other peppery tasting leaves and vegetables have powerful antibacterial and relaxant properties which can resolve some types of cramps.
Red krill oil and extra strength cod liver oil capsules, taken daily for one month, can provide omega-3 fatty acids which are nutrients required for all molecular processes.
Sea salt: Muscle cramps, especially in the feet or legs, can often be relieved by swallowing a teaspoon of pure unrefined sea salt in a glass of warm water.
Sour cherries: Menstrual cramps are very common and can be very uncomfortable. Relief can be gained from consuming sour cherries or a quarter of a teaspoon of both nutmeg and unrefined sea salt in a large glass of bottled mineral water.
Tea tree oil: Soaking in a tea tree oil and sea salt warm bath stimulates the blood flow and relaxes the spasms which cause painful cramps. Adding powdered kelp seaweed or any of the herbs or spices from the list above, when running the hot water into the bath, can provide extra relief.
Watercress is rich in minerals and vitamins which can help address any nutritional imbalances.
Wine corks: There is one strange remedy, for night leg and feet cramps, which appears to work for many who had tried it and was recommended by a qualified doctor from Devon. Take the corks from red wine bottles (the actual cork ones not the new rubber type) and either grip one in each hand when going to sleep or place some in a stocking or muslin bag and leave them at the bottom of the bed overnight so that they are next to the feet. It has not been studied how this works but worth trying if suffering from painful night time cramps.
THE IMPORTANCE OF MINERALS IN THE DIET
Only traces of many minerals are required by the body but, due to modern day intense farming techniques and food processing and refining practises, much of the mineral content is lost. Minerals are something many people do not consider as essential as protein or vitamins but they are absolutely vital for many cellular processes. Although the body can store minerals, it cannot manufacture them so consuming a wide range of different coloured natural foods can help replenish stores that may be lost. This is as important for those that are unwell or taking medications as it is for those that do strenuous exercise or sports.
Minerals are lost through diarrhoea, perspiration and many drugs (including alcohol) block the absorption and manufacture of the phytonutrients which help absorption of minerals or cause the body to lose minerals in the urine and this can lead to cramps, pain and inflammation. Alcohol, for instance, causes the body to expel zinc in the urine, See below for natural foods rich in zinc which can replace that which is lost.
It is important to have a full blood count test done by the health practitioner to check for any nutrient deficiencies if suffering from repetitive cramps.
NOTE: Taking supplements of vitamin C or vitamin E can cause an imbalance in minerals. It is always healthier to consume natural foods rich in the required nutrients instead and to consume foods rich in vitamin C and E at the same time such as fruit and nuts.
NUTRIENTS THAT CAN HELP TO CURE AND PREVENT CRAMPS
Actin is a cellular protein which is involved in muscular contraction, cellular movement and maintenance of cell shape and it also maintains the integrity of muscles. Natural foods rich in actin include: beef, chicken, cod, halibut, lamb, rabbit, salmon, scallops, soya beans, tuna, turkey and venison.
Alanine, also known as 3-aminopropionic acid, is an amino acid that combines with histidine to help form carnosine. Alanine elevates carnosine concentration in muscles and is useful in preventing cramps for individuals participating in sports which require explosive actions. Natural foods that are rich in this nutrient are: apples, apricots, beef, buckwheat, chlorella, cod, egg white, lamb, plums and prunes, quinoa, rye, millet, salmon, seaweed, sesame seeds, shellfish, soya beans, spirulina, sunflower seeds, veal, venison and whelks.
Arginine is used by the body to make nitric oxide, a compound that relaxes the blood vessels which can lower blood pressure and improve blood flow. Arginine also combines with another amino acid, glycine, to produce creatine which is involved in muscle contraction. A deficiency of this nutrient could lead to muscle cramps and it is especially important for children. Foods rich in arginine are: almonds, amaranth, apples, apricots, beef, black seeds, buckwheat, cod, egg white, nuts, peanuts, pheasant, pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, seaweed, sesame seeds, shellfish, soya beans, sunflower seeds, spirulina, tofu and walnuts.
Boron is a necessary mineral in order to maintain correct levels of calcium in the body. It is also involved in the metabolism of calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. Natural foods rich in boron include: almonds, apples (red), avocados, bananas, broccoli, carrots, chia seeds, chick peas, grapes (red), hemp seeds, honey, legumes, onions, oranges, pears, prunes, raisins, potatoes, parsnips, sumac, teff and walnuts.
Caesium, like potassium, enters cells and helps to maintain a balance of electrical charges between the inside and the outside of cells so that cells can perform tasks that depend on those electrical charges. Muscle and nerve cells require changing electrical charges in order to function properly and a lack of this mineral can lead to muscle cramps. Natural foods rich in caesium are: milk, mineral water, oily fish, shellfish and most fruits, legumes, nuts, seeds and vegetables.
Calcium: Without adequate levels of this mineral in the diet, the contractions of the heart will become faulty, the muscles will not contract properly to make the limbs move and blood will not clot. Calcium also stimulates enzymes in the digestive process and coordinates the functions of all other minerals in the body. Supplements are not advised as they can lead to disorders of the kidneys and bladder and kidney stones.
Highest sources of calcium in milligrams per 100 grams
Dried herbs such as basil, dill, marjoram, rosemary and thyme 2113 mg
Cheese such as goat’s, gruyere, parmesan, Romano and Swiss 1376 mg
Sesame seeds 975 mg
Mozzarella cheese 961 mg
Tinned fish with bones such as sardines, mackerel and pilchards 383 mg
Tofu 372 mg
Almonds 264 mg
Flaxseeds 255 mg
Mussels 180 mg
Oysters 170 mg
Brazil nuts 160 mg
Prawns 150 mg
Tripe 150 mg
Scallops, spirulina and watercress 120 mg
Whole milk and whole yoghurt 113 mg
Chinese cabbage 105 mg
Dark green leafy vegetables such as dandelion greens, kale, spinach, Swiss chard and turnip greens 99 mg
Okra 77 mg
Soya beans 75 mg
Boneless fish such as bass, herring, pike, perch, pollock and rainbow trout 74 mg
Kidney beans 70 mg
Eggs 60 mg
Broccoli 47 mg
Chromium deficiency can result in glucose intolerance (diabetes) which can caused cramps in the feet and legs. This deficiency could be caused by the soil levels of chromium which has been leached out due to modern day farming techniques and the widespread consumption of refined and processed foods which are typically low in chromium.
Highest sources of chromium in micrograms per 100 grams
μg is one microgram.
Natural sources chromium in alphabetical order: aloe vera, barley, black pepper, Brewer's yeast (always check label), broccoli, eggs, dulse, goat's milk, green beans, green chilli peppers, legumes, lentils, lettuce (romaine), mussels, oats, onions, organ meats, oysters, potatoes, rye, spices, spirulina, sumac, tomatoes and whole grains.
Copper is linked in thyroid metabolism especially in hormone production and absorption. Copper, together with zinc improves the absorption of vitamin D, the vitamin which aids in the absorption of calcium and a lack of any of these nutrients could lead to cramps.
Copper is found in most green and dark coloured legumes and vegetables as well as red meats, seafood and whole grains such as adzuki beans, alfalfa, allspice, almonds, amaranth, apples, apricots, artichoke (globe and Jerusalem), aubergine, basil, beef, beetroot, berries, black eyed peas, black seeds, black strap molasses, bok choy, brassicas, buckwheat, cantaloupe, capers, caraway seeds, cashew nuts, chaga mushrooms, cherries, chlorella, clams, courgette, daikon, dates, dried beans, drumstick leaves, dulse, durum wheat, egg yolk, fennel, goji berries, grapes, guava, hazelnuts, hemp seeds, horseradish, kelp, kidney beans, kiwi fruit, kombu seaweed, lamb, lemons, lentils, mango, marrow, mosambi juice, melon, millet, mushrooms, nuts, oats, oily fish, organ meats, pears, peas, persimmon fruit, pistachio nuts, plums, poppy seeds, potatoes, propolis, prunes, pumpkins and their seeds, quinoa, rabbit, radishes, raisins, raspberries, rye, sage, sesame seeds and oil, shellfish, spinach, spirulina, spring onions, strawberries, sumac, Swede, tea, teff, venison, walnuts, watercress, whole grains and yams.
Gold is a good electrical conductor and there are many reports which state that gold increases the ability of each cell to conduct better electrical impulses which can help prevent and resolve cramps in the muscles. Colloidal gold is found in all purple coloured natural foods such as aubergine, beetroot, black grapes, grape seeds, plums and prunes.
Iodine is important for thyroid function and a disorder of the thyroid gland can cause cramp.
Highest sources of iodine in micrograms serving
Chlorella, dulse, spirulina algae and kelp (1 tablespoon or 5 g) 750 µg
Himalayan crystal salt (half a gram) 450 µg
Cranberries (4 oz or 114 g) 400 µg
Lobster (3.53 oz or 100 g) 100 µg
Cod (3 oz or 85 g) 99 µg
Plain yoghurt (8 oz or 227 g) 75 µg
Seafood, clams etc (3.53 oz or 100 g) 66 µg
Potato (one medium size) 60 µg
Milk (8oz or 227 g) 59 µg
Shrimp (3 oz or 85 g) 35 µg
Navy beans (4 oz or 114 g) 32 µg
Turkey (3 oz or 85 g) 34 µg
One medium sized egg 24 µg
Cheddar cheese (1 oz or 28 g) 23 µg
Tinned tuna (3 oz or 85 g) 17 µg
Gouda cheese (1.42 oz or 40 g) 14 µg
Prunes (five) 13 µg
Strawberries (8 oz or 227 g) 13 µg
Butter beans (4 oz or 114 g) 8 µg
Lean beef (3 oz or 85 g) 8 µg
Apple juice (8oz or 227 g) 7 µg
Peas (4 oz or 114 g) 3 µg
Green beans (4 oz or 114 g) 3 µg
Banana (one medium) 3 µg
Lithium has an effect on the potassium and sodium balance in the body and lack of this mineral can lead to cramps.
Highest sources of lithium in micrograms per 100 grams
Milk 7533 µg
Eggs 7373 µg
Tomatoes 6707 µg
Mushrooms 5788 µg
Cucumbers 5017 µg
Pork 3844 µg
Black Tea 3737 µg
Red Cabbage 3579 µg
Cauliflower 3462 µg
Beef 3428 µg
Swede 2966 µg
Paprika 2316 µg
Poultry 2379 µg
Marjoram 2289 µg
Soft Cheese 2276 µg
Asparagus 2217 µg
White Cabbage 1874 µg
Herring 1734 µg
Cocoa 1728 µg
Potatoes 1592 µg
Apples 1449 µg
Rice 1260 µg
Butter 1070 µg
Cinnamon 1046 µg
Barley 995 µg
Wheat Flour 905 µg
Lentils 748 µg
Semolina 538 µg
Honey 527 µg
Bananas 383 µg
Red Wine 329 µg
White Wine 305 µg
Natural sources of lithium in alphabetical order: aubergine, bell peppers, black strap molasses, chilli peppers, eggs, goji berries, hemp seeds, kelp, milk, mineral water, oily fish, organ meats, paprika, potatoes, rabbit, seaweed, shellfish, sumac, sweet potato, tomatoes and venison.
Magnesium is involved in releasing energy from the diet and is involved in a good functioning nervous system and muscles and therefore a lack of this mineral can lead to muscle cramps.
Highest sources of magnesium in milligrams per 100 grams
Rice bran 781 mg
Basil, coriander, dill and sage 694 mg
Hemp seeds 640 mg
Pumpkin and squash seeds 535 mg
Raw cocoa 499 mg
Flaxseeds 392 mg
Brazil nuts 376 mg
Sesame seeds 353 mg
Sunflower seeds 346 mg
Chia seeds 335 mg
Chlorella 315 mg
Wheat germ 313 mg
Cashew nuts 292 mg
Almonds 268 mg
Caraway seeds 258 mg
Black strap molasses and dulse 242 mg
Buckwheat 231 mg
Spirulina 189 mg
Oats 177 mg
Durum wheat 144 mg
Macadamia nuts 130 mg
Adzuki beans 127 mg
Kelp 121 mg
Millet 114 mg
Kale 88 mg
Amaranth 65 mg
Globe artichoke 60 mg
Okra and nettles 57 mg
Chestnuts 54 mg
Rocket 47 mg
Dates 43 mg
Plantain 37 mg
Lentils 36 mg
Butternut squash 34 mg
Coconut 32 mg
Potatoes with skin 30 mg
Passion fruit 29 mg
Savoy cabbage, halibut 28 mg
Bananas, rabbit 27 mg
Green beans 25 mg
Peas 24 mg
Raspberries 22 mg
Guava 22 mg
Blackberries 20 mg
Courgettes 18 mg
Kiwi fruit, fennel, figs 17 mg
Endive 15 mg
Cucumber, lettuce 13 mg
NOTE: Soils where crops are grown intensely can be lacking in this important mineral so organically grown natural foods are a better choice.
Manganese aids in the coordination of nerve impulses and muscular actions, the metabolism of glucose and the formation of thyroxin which is a hormone produced by the thyroid gland. Diabetes, thyroid gland dysfunction and poor elasticity of the muscles can all be a result of a lack of manganese in the diet and all of these disorders can lead to cramps.
Highest sources of manganese in milligrams per 100 grams
NOTE: Manganese is concentrated in the outer covering of nuts, in the green leaves of edible plants and green vegetables such as peas and runner beans.
Omega-3 fatty acids help the body absorb nutrients, smooth muscle cell proliferation and can supply energy for extended periods of physical activity which can prevent muscle cramps. Natural foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids include: anchovies, black seeds, borage, carp fish, chia seeds, cod liver oil, durum wheat, flaxseed, hemp seeds, kale, krill oil, leafy greens, maqui berry, melon, milk, millet, mustard greens and seeds, oats, octopus, oily fish, pepperwort, poppy seeds, pumpkin seeds, rapeseed, raspberries, rye, shellfish, soya, spirulina, squid, sumac, Swede and walnuts.
Ornithine is a non-essential amino acid which is involve with the production of the growth hormones which are needed to build and maintain muscle, especially during intense physical training and lack of this nutrient can lead to muscle cramps. Natural foods containing ornithine are: beef, cheese (non-pasteurised), eggs, organ meats, fish, plain yoghurt and venison.
Potassium regulates bodily fluids and prevents dehydration and is important as an alkalizing agent in keeping a proper acid-alkaline balance in the blood and tissues. It is also essential for muscle contraction and a lack of this mineral can lead to cramps.
Highest sources of potassium in milligrams per 100 grams
Dried basil, chervil, coriander, dill, parsley 4240 mg
Sun dried tomatoes 3427 mg
Raw cocoa 2509 mg
Whey powder 2289 mg
Paprika and chilli powder 2280 mg
Yeast extract 2100 mg
Rice bran 1485 mg
Black strap molasses 1464 mg
Dried soya beans 1364 mg
Spirulina 1363 mg
Pistachio nuts 1007 mg
Squash and pumpkin seeds 919 mg
Sunflower seeds 850 mg
Prunes 732 mg
Almonds 705 mg
Dates 696 mg
Whelks 694 mg
Dried figs 680 mg
Clams 628 mg
Watermelon seeds 648 mg
Chestnuts 592 mg
Cashews 565 mg
Avocados 485 mg
Guava 417 mg
Brussel sprouts (juiced raw) 389 mg
Bananas 358 mg
Passion fruit 348 mg
Kiwi fruit 316 mg
Apricots 259 mg
Coconut water 250 mg
Orange juice 200 mg
Silica has a powerful influence on the absorption of minerals required by the body and hence can prevent cramps occurring. It enhances the function of iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium and boron. Natural foods rich in silica include: almonds, apples, asparagus, bamboo, beetroot, cherries, cucumber, grapes, honey, mineral water, onions, peanuts, radishes, yams and the juices and green leaves of most vegetables.
Strontium can relieve
bone pain, reduce fractures and improve mobility in persons
osteoporosis, and reduce
cavities in teeth. It also has a a cartilage growth promoting affect which can help
Natural sources of strontium are: cabbage, goat's milk, lettuce, kelp, onions, mineral water, octopus, oily fish, root vegetables, seaweed and shellfish.
Sulphur is critical to many of the body's biological processes and without adequate sulphur glucose metabolism is inhibited and this can lead to metabolic syndrome, low energy levels, weight gain and muscle and skeletal disorders which causes inflammation and pain.
Highest sources of sulphur in milligrams per 100 grams
Many plant foods contain sulphur, but the amount of sulphur is low unless the plants are grown in sulphur-rich soil.
Vitamin B4 (adenine) A deficiency of adenine can lead to headaches and muscle cramps. Natural sources of adenine are: alfalfa, aloe vera, apples, avocado, bananas, blessed thistle, blue cohosh, brewer's yeast, burdock, caraway, cascara sagrada, catnip, cayenne chilli pepper, chlorella, cloves, couch grass, cress, ginger, golden seal, hawthorn, honey, hops, jojoba, kelp, lady’s slipper, mullein, oranges, propolis, rose hips, royal jelly, sage, spearmint, spinach, spirulina, tangerines, thyme, tomatoes, whole grains, yucca and all green leafy vegetables and herbs.
Vitamin B5, (pantothenic acid) is vital for good muscle function and a lack of this vitamin can lead to ‘burning feet’ syndrome and cramps.
Highest sources of vitamin B5 in milligrams per 100 grams
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) is vital for the balance of potassium and sodium in the body and therefore a deficiency of it in the diet can lead to cramps. It also useful for balancing hormones and can help to prevent cramps during menstruation.
Highest sources of vitamin B6 in milligrams per 100 grams
NOTE: Wild salmon (0.94 mg) contains far more vitamin B6 than farmed salmon (0.56 mg) and fresh salmon and tuna are far richer in vitamin B6 than tinned.
Vitamin B7 (biotin or vitamin H) can help to prevent muscle pain and cramps when in adequate supply.
Highest sources of vitamin B7 in micrograms per 100 grams
Chicken livers 180 µg
Egg yolk 60 µg
Walnuts 39 µg
Oatmeal 35 µg
Peanuts 34 µg
Fish 20 µg
Natural sources of vitamin B7 in alphabetical order: ashitaba, almonds, avocado, Brewer's yeast, cabbage, cashew nuts, cauliflower, coffee beans (raw unprocessed), cranberries, cucumbers, egg yolk, hazelnuts, lamb, milk, mushrooms, onions, organ meats, peanuts, pecans, pistachio nuts, pork, poultry, raspberries, soybeans, strawberries, sunflower seeds, Swiss chard, tea, whole grains, walnuts and yoghurt.
Vitamin B8 (inositol) acts as an analgesic for pain control. Deficiency can be caused by alcohol and coffee which block absorption of inositol. Antibiotics and many other medications and recreational drugs block B vitamins and vital co-factors like inositol from being absorbed. Stress and intense exercise uses up all nutrients (especially the B-group vitamins and their co-factors) at a
much faster rate.
Highest sources of vitamin B8 (200 mg plus per 100 grams)
Stone ground wheat
Highest sources of vitamin B8 (100 - 200 mg per 100 grams)
Highest sources of vitamin B8 (10 - 100 mg per 100 grams)
White kidney beans
Vitamin B12 (Cyanocobalamin) A major function of vitamin B12 involves its participation in the development of nerve cells. A coating which encloses the nerves, called the myelin sheath, forms less successfully whenever B12 is deficient. Although the vitamin plays an indirect role in this process, consumption of foods rich in vitamin B12 has been shown to be effective in relieving pain and other symptoms in a variety of nervous system disorders. Low levels of vitamin B12 can result in a sore tongue, weakness, fatigue, weight loss, back pain, lethargy and apathy.
Highest sources of vitamin B12 in micrograms per 100 grams
Clams 98.9 μg
Liver 83.1 μg
Barley grass juice 80 μg
Nori seaweed 63.6 μg
Octopus 36 μg
Caviar/fish eggs 20.0 μg
Ashitaba powder 17.0 μg
Herring 13.7 μg
Tuna fish 10.9 μg
Crab 10.4 μg
Mackerel 8.7 μg
Lean grass fed beef 8.2 μg
Duck eggs, goose eggs, rabbit 6 μg
Crayfish, pork heart, rainbow trout 5 μg
Shiitake mushrooms 4.8 μg
Lobster 4 μg
Lamb, venison 3.7 μg
Swiss Cheese 3.3 μg
Salmon 3.2 μg
Whey powder 2.37 μg
Golden chanterelle mushrooms 2 μg
Tuna 1.9 μg
Halibut 1.2 μg
Chicken egg 1.1 μg
Chicken, turkey 1.0 μg
Ashitaba 0.4 μg
NOTE: One μg is one microgram.
Vitamin B15 (pangamic acid) can reduce the build-up of lactic acid in athletes, hence, lessening muscle fatigue and cramps. Natural foods rich in this vitamin include: apricot kernels, beef blood, Brewer's yeast, brown rice, buckwheat, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and whole grains.
Vitamin B16 (dimethylamino acetic acid) can reduce lactic acid build-up in the blood during strenuous exercise or stressful events hence preventing cramps in the muscles. Natural foods that contain this vitamin include: Brewer's yeast, brown rice, buckwheat, lamb, legumes, liver, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and whole grains.
Vitamin D (secosteroids) is required because it increases the absorption of calcium and is involved with proper thyroid gland function and a deficiency of this vitamin can cause muscle twitching and cramps. The skin can make vitamin D from sunlight but this will not take place for those who cover their skin or wear sun block or through a window. In the northern hemisphere the sun is too weak during October to April for this process to take place therefore, in all these cases, natural foods containing vitamin D should be added more often to the diet such as: aloe vera, aubergine, carp fish, cheese, cod liver oil, eel, eggs, goat's milk, halibut, hemp seeds, krill oil, oily fish, rosehips, sea bass, swordfish, trout, tuna (fresh), turbot, white bait and wild mushrooms.
Highest sources of vitamin D per serving
Krill oil - 1 teaspoon: 1000 IU
Eel - 85 g or 3 oz: 792 IU
Maitake mushrooms - 70 g: 786 IU
Rainbow trout - 85 g or 3 oz: 540 IU
Cod liver oil - 1 teaspoon: 440 IU
Mackerel - 85 g or 3 oz: 400 IU
Salmon - 85 g or 3 oz: 400 IU
Halibut - 85 g or 3 oz: 196 IU
Tuna - 85 g or 3 oz: 228 IU
Sardines - 85 g or 3 oz: 164 IU
Chanterelle mushrooms - 85 g or 3 oz: 155 IU
Raw milk - 1 glass or 8 oz: 98 IU
Egg yolk - 1 large: 41 IU
Caviar - 28g or 1 oz: 33 IU
Hemp seeds - 100 g or 3.5 oz: 22 IU
Portabella mushrooms - 85 g or 3 oz: 6 IU
NOTE: One IU is the biological equivalent of 0.3 μg or 0.3 micrograms.
Vitamin E (tocopherols and tocotrienols) helps to increase manganese and zinc absorption, promotes faster healing and a reduction of scar tissue and nourishes the muscles which can help to prevent cramps.
Highest sources of vitamin E in milligrams per 100 grams
Wheat germ 149.4 mg
Hemp seeds 55 mg
Hazelnut oil 47 mg
Almond oil 39 mg
Sunflower seeds 38.3 mg
Chilli powder 38.1 mg
Paprika 38 mg
Rice bran oil 32 mg
Grape seed oil 29 mg
Almonds 26.2 mg
Oregano 18.3 mg
Hazelnuts 17 mg
Flaxseed oil 17 mg
Peanut oil 16 mg
Hazelnuts 15.3 mg
Corn oil 15 mg
Olive oil 14 mg
Soya bean oil 12 mg
Pine nuts 9.3 mg
Cloves (ground) 9 mg
Peanuts 8 mg
Celery flakes (dried) 6 mg
Spirulina 5 mg
Dried apricots 4.3 mg
Bell peppers (red), eel, olives and salmon 4 mg
Jalapeno peppers 3.6 mg
Anchovies 3.3 mg
Broccoli, chicken, chilli peppers (sun-dried), cod, crayfish, dandelion greens, egg yolk, duck, goose, pecan nuts, spinach, tomatoes (tinned or pureed) turkey and turnip greens 3 mg
Avocado, beef, bilberries, blue berries, butter, chicory greens, cinnamon (ground), crab, halibut, herring (pickled), mackerel, marjoram, mustard greens, pistachio nuts, poppy seeds, sardines, sesame seeds, Swiss chard, trout, tuna, turnips and walnuts 2 mg
Fish roe 1.9 mg
Asparagus, kiwi fruit and parsnips 1.5 mg
Black berries 1.2 mg
Chlorella 1.1 mg
Zinc, together with copper improves the absorption of vitamin D which aids in the absorption of calcium. It also is the healing mineral which can help with cramps associated with scar tissues or trauma. Alcohol causes the expulsion of zinc so it is advisable to consume more zinc rich foods when drinking often.
Highest sources of zinc in milligrams per 100 grams
Oysters 78.6 mg
Chlorella 71 mg
Wheat germ 16.7 mg
Beef 12.3 mg
Calf's liver 11.9 mg
Hemp seeds 11.5 mg
Pumpkin and squash seeds 10.3 mg
Sesame and watermelon seeds 10.2 mg
Bamboo shoots, endives and gourds 9 mg
Chervil (herb) 8.8 mg
Lamb 8.7 mg
Venison 8.6 mg
Alfalfa seeds (sprouted), amaranth leaves, Crimini mushrooms, Irish moss and tea 8 mg
Crab 7.6 mg
Lobster 7.3 mg
Agave, basil, beefalo, broccoli, elk, emu, oats, ostrich, spinach and turkey 7 mg
Cocoa powder 6.8 mg
Asparagus, chicken livers, laver seaweed, mushrooms, parsley and rice bran 5.7 mg
Cashew nuts 5.6 mg
Pork 5.1 mg
Jute (herb), lemon grass, mung beans, Portobello mushrooms, radishes and shiitake mushrooms 5 mg
Agar seaweed, butterbur, cauliflower, chicory, Chinese cabbage, chives, coriander, green beans, lentils, lettuce, okra, rocket, spring onions, summer squash, Swiss chard, tomatoes and wasabi (yellow) 3.4 mg
Peanuts 3.3 mg
Cheddar cheese 3.1 mg
Mozzarella cheese 2.9 mg
Anchovies and rabbit 2.4 mg
Cabbage, cucumber, jalapeno peppers, , kidney beans, navy beans, spirulina and turnip greens 2 mg
Mussels 1.6 mg
Arrowroot, artichokes (globe), beetroot, bell peppers, black eyed peas, borage, broad beans, Brussel sprouts, butter beans, cabbage, carrots, celery, chilli peppers, courgettes, dandelion greens, garlic, horseradish, kale, kelp, mustard greens, peas, pinto beans, potatoes, pumpkin, turnips, Swede, sweet potato, tomatoes (red), wakame (seaweed), watercress and winged beans 1.2 mg
NATURE CURES TIPS TO PREVENT CRAMPS
aubergines, bell peppers, tomatoes and white potatoes when suffering from repetitive cramps.
Cut out processed, refined and sugary foods and unnecessary drugs and cut down on alcohol and coffee.
Drink six glasses of filtered of bottled mineral water per day and always drink the last glass before going to sleep to keep the body hydrated overnight.
Ensure that the diet includes all colours of vegetables and fruits during the week to ensure there is adequate mineral and vitamin intake.
Have a full blood count test
done by the health practitioner to check for any nutrient deficiencies.
Ask for a print out of your blood test results to keep a personal record.
If suffering from stomach cramps try removing milk or wheat from the diet as this could be due to lactose or gluten intolerance.
Including fermented and probiotic foods in the diet such as brine pickles, kimchi, Kombucha, miso soup, sauerkraut and plain yoghurt with live cultures can help to relieve many types of cramps as it replaces the beneficial bacteria in the stomach which are responsible for manufacturing nutrients and keeping infections away.
Menstrual cramps are very common
and can be very painful. Relief can be gained from consuming sour cherries or a 1/4 teaspoon of both nutmeg and unrefined sea salt or Himalayan pink salt crystals in a large glass of bottled mineral water.
Never go swimming after eating a full meal.
Raw juice therapy can help to prevent and relieve cramps. The best natural foods to juice are: beetroot, carrot, celery, cucumber, ginger, grapefruit, lemon, lettuce, lime, pineapple, sour apple and sour cherry.
If suffering from stomach cramps try removing milk or wheat from the diet as the cramping may be due to lactose or gluten intolerance.
Stretching and non-weight bearing exercises can help to prevent cramp.
Take the time to relax when eating a meal. Make sure to chew food well and do not drink liquids with meals as this dilutes the stomach acid and can lead to digestive disorders and improper breakdown of nutrients.
natural remedies for cramp relief below.
Headaches and migraines can be caused by
dehydration, eye strain, allergies to foods
containing certain elements such as
over indulgence in
The faeces from the worms that live in beer pipes can cause bad
headaches if the publican does not clean the pipes regularly once a
week at least.
To alleviate headaches, rest and natural
nutritious foods that rehydrate and reduce inflammation as well as
cleanse the body of toxins are the best way to recover. See
the root cause of headaches is vital. So an elimination process,
where foods are removed from the diet one at a time for two weeks,
is a good idea when headaches are frequent.
Have the vision tested to ensure this is
not the cause of frequent headaches.
Pineapple juice can rehydrate when dehydration is the cause.
Almonds; eating 10 - 12 almonds can provide the same relief as 2 aspirins.
Black seed has head pain relieving properties.
Himalayan pink salt crystals. Add one to two teaspoon of the pink crystals to a cup of warm water and add the juice and zest of half a lemon and one teaspoon of honey for instant migraine relief. NOTE: Do not try this remedy if suffering with high blood pressure.
Passion fruit contains components which have the ability to
relax the nerves and relieve
Mustard seeds consumed on a regular basis have been found to be
beneficial for reducing the frequency of migraines.
lavender essential oil
peppermint essential oil
can relieve headaches when rubbed onto
the temples and forehead.
NOTE: Essential oils are not suitable for pregnant or breast
feeding women or children under 5.
mint leaves, 1/2 a sliced
cucumber and 1/2 a
lemon squeezed (all organic) in a glass of mineral water can
help to relieve headaches.
spirulina can remove heavy metals and other toxins from the
body which can cause headaches.
Low levels of
tin can cause headaches.
The food additive
E621 monosodium glutamate found in most processed meat products
can cause headaches.
Yeast products like
brewer's yeast, yeast spreads etc contain
glutamic acid which can cause headaches.
See below for more
Remedies To Reduce Pain.
Constant pain in the torso, chest, left arm, groin, stomach and
abdomen must be investigated promptly to establish the cause.
Taking pain killers and carrying on as normal is not the answer
because the underlying cause could be serious and further damage
or even organ failure could be the result. Appendicitis, bacterial and fungal infections, heart attacks, intestinal blockages, peritonitis, viral infections and any disorders of the bladder, gall bladder, kidneys, liver, lungs, pancreas and spleen must be treated by a professional health practitioner immediately.
unbalanced diet is usually the root cause of many organ
disorders therefore changing the diet to healthy natural foods
can eliminate the risk of developing any of these conditions and
having to undergo surgery or take powerful
medications with serious side effects.
Migraines are caused by a
misfiring of the nervous system. There is an overwhelming build-up of
nerve cell activity in the brain stem at the base of the brain and the
effect of this spreads in a cascade to produce the migraine headache
that lasts for several hours to a day or more before it gradually
recedes. The misfiring can spread to other parts of the brain to produce
visual distortions, pins and needles in the face and strange tastes
before the headache starts. Some sufferers may recognise that they are
building up to an attack days before it starts. Different sufferers have
many different patterns of symptoms. Migraines can also cause nausea
(feeling sick) and an increased sensitivity to light or sound.
Migraine sufferers have
trigger zones, the most common ones being at the back of the head, over
the eyes and over the temples. These are due to the distribution of the
Occipital Nerve and the Ophthalmic Branch of the Trigeminal Nerve.
commonly experience an 'aura' between 20 minutes and one hour before the
headache stage of their migraine. An aura is a warning sign that a
migraine is about to happen. The main symptoms of an aura are visual
problems such as blurred vision (difficulty focussing), blind spots,
flashes of light, or a zigzag pattern moving from the central field of
vision towards the edge. Other aura symptoms include tingling sensations
(pins and needles) in the face, lips and tongue, or in the arms and
legs; speech problems such as slurred speech; dizziness; a stiff neck;
and, very rarely, loss of consciousness.
The main symptoms of
migraine are an intense, throbbing or pounding headache often affecting
the front or one side of the head, nausea (feeling sick) and vomiting
(being sick), and an increased sensitivity to light and sound. The
throbbing headache is often made worse by the person moving. Other
symptoms of migraine might include poor concentration, feeling hot or
cold, perspiration (sweating), and an increased need to pass urine.
People might also experience stomach aches and diarrhoea. It is common
for people to feel tired for up to two or three days after a migraine.
Lack of food (dieting),
irregular meals, dehydration, alcohol, caffeine, certain foods (see
below) and certain food additives such as monosodium glutamate (MSG),
aspartame (a sweetener), Tyramine and nitrates can trigger a migraine.
Certain foods, especially
those that contain
tannins, can trigger migraines such as
betel nut, blueberries, cinnamon, cloves,
cocoa, corn, cranberries, cumin, grapes, hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans, strawberries, tarragon, tea, thyme, vanilla, walnuts
and red wine.
Other food and drinks
that can be responsible are:
tea, carob beans,
grape juice, ice cream,
legumes (dark coloured),
St John's Wort,
vanilla, wood smoked fish or meat.
The food additive
E621 monosodium glutamate found in most processed meat products
can cause migraines.
Yeast products like
brewer's yeast, yeast spreads etc contain
glutamic acid which can cause migraines.
If food is the culprit
eliminating these from the diet then introducing one at a time can help
discover triggers for migraines.
excitement, shock and stress can trigger migraines
Hormonal changes during a
menstrual cycle and those with
high blood pressure may be more prone to migraines.
Tiredness, loss of sleep,
irregular sleep, tension in the neck or shoulders, eye strain (for
example, after using a computer screen) and dental problems (for
example, teeth grinding) can also bring on a migraine.
Bright lights, loud
noises, a smoky atmosphere, some sleeping tablets and smoking tobacco
can also cause migraines in susceptible people.
NATURE CURES FOR MIGRAINES
Try eliminating the above
to see if this stops migraines occurring. Discovering the cause can then
provide the right treatment. The following foods can help treat
migraines. Pineapple is good if dehydration is the cause. Reducing salt
intake can help to lower blood pressure if this is a cause. See the
High Blood Pressure page for more remedies.
Drink plenty of bottled or filtered
Whole grains: all
black strap molasses,
Quinoa is high
(riboflavin) which provides relief for migraine sufferers.
See more natural remedies for pain and inflammation
damage and pain can result from a poor unbalanced diet, trauma,
alcohol abuse, infections,
bone disorders and repetitive strain syndrome. Finding out the
cause and then making the necessary adjustments to lifestyle is the
way to eliminate pain and inflammation without medication.
Inflammation can trap and pinch nerves causing excruciating pain so
foods that help to reduce inflammation in the body should be
Ylang ylang strengthens the nervous system and repairs any damage,
reduces stress on the nerves and protects them from developing a number
of nervous disorders.
Some can be affected by nerve pain
after a shingles attack. See the
Shingles section for Nature Cures remedies.
The term neuralgia refers to a combination of two words "neuro"
meaning relating to nerves and "algesia" meaning sensitivity to
Normally, pain is triggered by the stimulation of pain receptors but
in the case of neuralgia, pain occurs without excitation of these
receptors and is instead caused by an abnormal change in the
structure or function of the nerves.
There are two main types of neuralgia which are categorised
according to the location of the pain:
This describes neuralgia originating in the spinal cord or brain.
This is a severely painful situation caused when the ninth cranial
nerve is impacted due to swelling of the surrounding blood vessels.
This refers to neuralgia originating in the peripheral nervous
Some of the most common examples of neuralgia include:
Atypical trigeminal neuralgia
Characterized by an aching and burning in the cheeks, sinuses,
forehead, jaws, eye area and temples along with a persistent
headache and, occasionally, an electric shock-like sensation. Unlike
typical neuralgia, this neuralgia can also be felt across the scalp
Glossopharyngeal neuralgia A rare disorder that causes
repeated pain in the tonsil and surrounding area of the throat and
back of the tongue due to a disorder of the glossopharyngeal nerve.
Also sometimes called Arnold's neuralgia. In this condition, damage
to the lesser and greater optical nerves causes pain or reduced
sensation in the neck, back of the head area and behind the eyes.
Which arises as a result of herpes varicella virus and follows a
herpes zoster outbreak, otherwise known of as
shingles. This condition causes a variable degree of pain which
may range from mild to severe and can be felt as a burning or
Where pain originating from the trigeminal nerve causes intense
facial pain that may be felt as an electric shock sensation, a
shooting pain or a burning, crushing or pressing feeling.
Camphor oil can make the blood vessels contract and thereby
reduce pressure on the nerves.
Yang ylang strengthens the
nervous system and repairs any damage, reduces stress on the
nerves and protects them from developing a number of nervous
See more pain-relieving remedies below.
This is a result of nerve damage, often causes weakness, numbness
and pain, usually in the hands and feet, but it may also occur in
other areas of the body. The pain is like a tingling and burning
sensation and the sufferer may feel like they are walking on
cobblestones if it is located in the feet. It can result from
problems such as traumatic injuries, metabolic problems, infections
Lyme disease, alcoholism,
thyroid disease and
toxins, autoimmune disorders such as
neurological conditions, carpal tunnel syndrome and
Statin drugs and chemotherapy can also cause neuropathy.
Diabetes is the number one cause of peripheral neuropathy, since up to half of all diabetics will experience nerve damage. However, autoimmune conditions such as coeliac disease, non-coeliac gluten sensitivity and gluten ataxia have also been linked with peripheral neuropathy. Peripheral neuropathy is one of the most common non-digestive symptoms of coeliac disease and sometimes an individual will have no noticeable gastrointestinal symptoms of coeliac disease, but instead have mainly peripheral neuropathy and other neurological symptoms.
See Food Allergies.
In many cases, if it is caused by an underlying condition that can
be treated or resolved, peripheral neuropathy symptoms improve with
NATURE CURES FOR PERIPHERAL NEUROPATHY
Light non weight bearing exercise such as swimming, cycling and yoga
are very useful in treating peripheral neuropathy.
If the feet are affected by peripheral neuropathy, any wounds or
blisters must be taken care of well, as infection can set in very
easily. Regularly soaking them in a bowl of warm water with some
tea tree oil,
coconut oil or
aloe vera is beneficial and will kill off any bacteria or fungal
A balanced diet is important when suffering from peripheral
neuropathy, especially for diabetics.
tobacco should be eliminated as well as
sugar, processed foods, fast foods, foods sprayed with
contained in diet drinks and processed foods such as
a good balance of
omega-6 fatty acids are important. Often the diet is too rich in omega-6 fatty acids so therefore more omega-3 fatty acids rich foods should be consumed.
Natural sources of omega 3 (linolenic acid) are: anchovies,
collard greens, flaxseed, halibut, herring, kale, mustard greens, oily fish, pumpkin seeds, rapeseed, soya, walnuts, cod liver oil, menhaden, octopus, shellfish, spinach,
Alpha lipoic acid is a powerful antioxidant which can treat
peripheral nerve degeneration caused by diabetes. It is a sulphur
containing fatty acid that works as an antioxidant in both water and
fatty tissue, enabling it to enter all parts of the nerve cell and
protect it from the damage caused by peripheral neuropathy. Natural
sources of alpha lipoic acid are brewers yeast, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, organ meats, peas
Cysteine detoxifies the body by helping it produce glutathione.
Natural sources of cysteine are: broccoli, egg yolks, garlic, oats, onions, poultry, red peppers,
(plain, organic with live cultures)
Magnesium soothes the nervous system. Natural sources of
black strap molasses,
walnuts and gluten-free
Vitamin B6 deficiency can aggravate or even cause neuropathic
pain. Foods rich in vitamin B6 are: ashitaba, avocados, bananas, barley, beef, brewer's yeast, brown rice, buckwheat, carrots, collard greens, eggs, oats, potatoes, peanuts, pistachio nuts, poultry, quinoa,
sunflower seeds, venison, walnuts
gluten-free whole grains
Cayenne pepper massaged into the skin has been known to relieve
Scutellaria (skullcap) soothes the entire nervous
system. The suggested dosage is fifteen drops of tincture in a glass
of water three to six times a day or as needed for pain.
Evening primrose oil can be effective in preventing nerve
damage and in keeping the condition from getting worse.
Colloidal silver may help nerves regenerate and studies in
Hungary found specific silver receptors on human nerve tissue.
Camphor oil can make the blood vessels contract and thereby
reduce pressure on the nerves.
Yang ylang strengthens the
nervous system and repairs any damage, reduces stress on the
nerves and protects them from developing a number of nervous
See more pain-relieving remedies below.
This is when the nerve
running from the spine down the back of the thigh becomes pinched. It
can happen for a variety of reasons and cause great pain and disability
due to inflammation. One way to cure sciatica is to have someone strong
and taller than you stand back to back with you. Then link arms and
allow them to gently lift you backwards over their back while you remain
relaxed and limp and then they should gently bounce you on their spine.
This can release the trapped nerve and provide instant and permanent
NOTE: This will only work for those that have managed to get the nerve pinched within the spinal discs. It will not work if the pinched nerve is due to something like a cyst or tumour. If it is due to an injury this should not be attempted.
Hot and cold treatment can
relieve inflammation. Use a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a towel and
place over the area of pain for 15 minutes then replace with hot water
bottle wrapped in a towel for a further 15 minutes. Alternate these
treatments a few times during the day to bring down inflammation.
A major function of
vitamin B12 involves its participation in the development of nerve
cells. A coating which encloses the nerves, called the myelin sheath,
forms less successfully whenever B12 is deficient. Although the vitamin
plays an indirect role in this process, consumption of foods rich in
vitamin B12 has been shown to be effective in relieving pain and other
symptoms in a variety of nervous system disorders.
Foods rich in vitamin
B12 are: ashitaba, beef
grass fed), blue cheese, calf's liver,
cod, eggs, goat's milk, halibut,
lamb, milk, octopus, oily fish, organ meats, rabbit, shellfish,
See more pain-relieving remedies below.
TOOTHACHE AND GUM PAIN
Inflamed gums are often a sign of an
imbalance of the bacteria that lives in the intestines. Alcohol and
tobacco can lead to gum recession and inflammation and eventually to
Sugary foods and corn syrup are the biggest cause of tooth decay
because sugar feeds the pathogenic bacteria in the mouth as well as
Citrus fruit can also damage the teeth.
Natural toothpastes, coconut oil
bicarbonate of soda used after every meal can prevent tooth
damage and clean the mouth without adding toxins from chemicals that
exist in most commercial toothpaste brands. Mouthwashes containing alcohol
should be avoided as these can provide an environment in the guts
that allows parasites to thrive.
Green tea can also help cleanse the mouth of bad bacteria and
provides many phytonutrients which the body needs. See the
Tooth and Gum page for more natural remedies.
NATURE CURES TO REDUCE PAIN, CRAMPS AND INFLAMMATION
illness that ends with “itis” is an inflammatory disease.
This is a list of natural foods with anti inflammatory and pain relieving
Apple cider vinegar helps reduce joint pain by eliminating accumulated toxins from the joints and connective tissues. Due to its alkalising effect, it is particularly beneficial for those suffering from arthritis. Plus, it is rich in minerals like magnesium, calcium, potassium and phosphorus. Mix one to three teaspoons of organic apple cider vinegar and a little honey in a cup of warm water. Drink this solution two or three times a day, preferably before meals. This treatment can be taken on a regular basis because, in addition to helping with joint pain, it is good for overall health and cleanses the liver.
All spice can relieve stomach
pains and used as a compress can relieve rheumatism.
Aloe vera juice or gel can help with heartburn, cramps, personal
mood swings and bad breath.
Basil tea is good for arthritis, rheumatism and joint pain as it
is analgesic and anti-inflammatory.
Cinnamon and/or ginger powder, in tea, can be used to relieve chronic
inflammatory pain and stiffness in joints.
Use mineral bath crystals or powdered
kelp seaweed for a relaxing bath. Add some drops of
tea tree oil
Coconut water can rehydrate the body quickly to relieve
Fenugreek: Swallow one teaspoon of finely ground fenugreek seeds followed by a glass of lukewarm water. Do this daily in the morning until the pain is relieved. Alternatively, soak one teaspoon of fenugreek seeds in water overnight and eat them the next morning.
Feverfew is an effective for treating migraines. It reduces
inflammation, which takes pressure off the nerves and can help
prevent migraines entirely.
Frankincense can alleviate the pain in joints rapidly with its
anti inflammatory properties but may cause acid reflux. To combat
this take with
ginger. Ginger is also a natural anti-inflammatory,
but it increases stomach acid secretion, so it will help with
digestion of the frankincense.
Daikon radish can also assist with absorption of frankincense
and is high in calcium and other phytonutrients beneficial to the
Ginger tea: Crush an inch of ginger root and add it to boiling water and leave to steep for 20 minutes. This homemade tea reduces inflammation in the same amount of time as it takes an aspirin to work.
Consuming 250 mg of ginger root four times a day is as effective as the drugs mefenamic acid and ibuprofen for relieving pain in women associated with their menstrual cycle.
Ginseng has analgesic and anti-inflammatory activity similar to ibuprofen and can help those with rheumatoid arthritis.
Maqui berries are the richest source of anthocyanins of any other
natural food. The anthocyanins give plants their dark purple and blue
colour and exhibit powerful anti-inflammatory activity, and do it as
well as drugs for the same purposes, without the negative side effects.
Mineral water: Drink at least a litre of bottled
mineral water throughout the day
Oat straw mends bones, relieves cramps and
Olive oil: contains a compound known as oleocanthal has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties similar to ibuprofen.
Pineapple juice can rehydrate the body quickly to relieve
headaches and pineapples contain bromelain that is an enzyme that helps to rid the body that can cause inflammation and pain in various tissues and organs of the body. To maximize bromelain's anti-inflammatory effects, pineapple should be eaten alone between meals or its enzymes will be used up digesting food. The potassium in pineapple can help to balance electrolytes which can reduce cramps.
Prickly pear is the only plant to contain 24 of the known betalains, which are potent anti-inflammatory agents. Betalains are
polyphenolic pigments also found in beetroot. Betalains give prickly pears their purple, red and
contains a compound known as baicalin that is as powerful as ibuprofen in reducing pain without the side effects.
St. John’s wort is twice as effective as ibuprofen as a pain-killer.
Turmeric: For joint pain and inflammation mix one teaspoon of turmeric powder and a little honey in a glass of warm milk. Drink it daily, at least for a few days.
More foods with anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties
can interact with certain medications. Check before consuming.
HERBS WITH ANTI-INFLAMMATORY AND PAIN RELIEVING PROPERTIES
senega root and white willow bark.
See more on the A-Z of Herbs and Spices page.
NOTE: Essential oils and rosemary are not suitable for pregnant or breast feeding women.
SPICES WITH ANTI-INFLAMMATORY AND PAIN RELIEVING PROPERTIES
cayenne chilli pepper,
HOW TO USE HERBS AND SPICES
Infusions are a simple way of extracting the active principles
of herbs through the action of hot water. The preparation of
infusions is similar to way tea is prepared. This method is used
to extract the volatile components of the dried or green aerial
parts of herbs and plants like flowers and leaves. Infusions may
use single herbs or a blend of herbs, vegetables, fruits and
spices and are drunk hot or cold. Certainly this is the most
common and cheap method of extracting the medicinal compounds of
Most of the volatile components of medicinal plants and herbs
are soluble in alcohol. By immersing dried or fresh parts of
plants in alcohol, the active principles are easily extracted at
concentrations that exceed those that can be achieved by
infusion or decoction. Highly concentrate solutions that will
last for one to two years are a convenient way to store and use
medicinal plants constituents.
Ideally tinctures should be made
using pure ethyl alcohol distilled from cereals. However, since
this product is not available to the public, good Vodka with
45-35% alcohol can be used. The extraction is fairly quick. A
50% mixture of herbs and alcohol kept in a tightly closed jar
will hold a tincture ready for use at the prescribed dosage.
Never use methyl alcohol, methylated spirits, isopropyl alcohol
or any other kind of unknown spirit to make tinctures.
MORE TIPS TO
ELIMINATE PAIN AND
Avoid acid forming foods from the nightshade family which can increase painful inflammation. Foods such as aubergine, bell peppers, tomatoes and white potatoes.
Avoid sugar, coffee and all other drinks containing caffeine
Consume six different colours of fruits and vegetables everyday. See Nature's Colour Codes
Include probiotic foods in the diet such as natural live yoghurt, brine pickles, kimchi, kombucha and miso soup.
Purchase a powerful 900 watt juicer and start drinking raw juices through out the day. The best natural foods to juice are: beetroot, carrot, cucumber, grapefruit, lemon, lettuce, pineapple, sour apple, sour cherry and spinach
Reduce meat intake and consume more oily fish and 1000 mg of krill oil daily.
Replace sugar with pure honey and sweet fruits.
Replace table salt with natural unrefined coarse sea salt, Himalayan pink salt crystals, kelp, seaweed or spices
NUTRIENTS THAT CAN HELP REDUCE PAIN AND INFLAMMATION
Anthocyanins are as effective as ibuprofen and naproxen at suppressing the inflammation-associated enzyme known as cyclooxygenase-1 and 2.
Natural sources of anthocyanins
Acai berry, apples (red), aubergine, beans (black and red), beetroot, bilberries, blackberries, black currants, black rice, blueberries, broccoli tops (purple), cabbage (red),
cashew nuts, cherries, chokeberries, cranberries, elderberry, grapefruit (pink), grapes (red and black), kidney beans, maqui berries, mulberries, onions (red), oranges (blood), pears (red), plums, potatoes (red skinned), pomegranates, radishes (red), raspberries, rhubarb,
rosehips, saw palmetto berries, strawberries,
sumac, sweet potato (purple variety), Swiss chard and winged beans.
Foods containing proteolytic enzymes such as bromelain (pineapple) and papain (papaya) can help heal minor injuries because they are anti-inflammatory and capable of being absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. Bromelain and papain can help reduce pain and swelling and promote faster healing in people with a variety of painful conditions including back strain.
A combination of foods rich in vitamins B1, B6 and B12 has proved useful for preventing pain linked to vertebral problems as well as reducing the amount of anti-inflammatory medications needed to control pain.
Foods rich in copper, vitamin B9, vitamin C, vitamin D and zinc can help alleviate pain and inflammation
Natural foods rich in tin can relieve pain and inflammation.
Natural sources of tin
devils claw, dog grass,
yellow dock root.
NOTE Tin may interact with iron and copper, particularly in the gut, and so inhibit absorption of these elements so foods containing tin should be consumed separately to foods rich in iron and copper.
THE IMPORTANCE OF MINERALS IN THE DIET
Only traces of many minerals are required by the body but due to today's farming and food processing techniques much of the mineral content has been lost. Minerals are something many people do not consider as essential as protein or vitamins but they are absolutely vital for many cellular processes. Although the body can store minerals, it cannot manufacture them so consuming a wide range of coloured natural foods can help replenish stores that may be lost.
This is as important for those that are unwell or taking medications as it is for those that do strenuous exercise or sports. Minerals are lost through perspiration and many drugs (including alcohol) block the absorption and manufacture of the nutrients which help absorption of minerals or cause the body to lose minerals in the urine. For example alcohol causes the body to expel zinc in the urine. See the Minerals page for natural sources of all the essential minerals required by the body.
NATURE CURES RECIPE TO ELIMINATE PAIN AND
This highly nutritious meals will not only reduce
inflammation and pain but will also provide all the essential
phytochemicals and minerals to correct the balance of nutrients in
the body to aid with healing. If consumed at least once a week it
will also prevent further damage and infections. If suffering from diverticulitis, nuts and seeds should be avoided but steeping nuts and seeds in hot water for 30 minutes then straining and drinking as a tea provides a way to ingest their nutrients. Adding honey, herbs, spices and lemon juice to the tea can provide more essential nutrients and improve the taste.
Dessert, Breakfast or Snack
(red, blue and black),
with low fat live probiotic
See more nutritious recipes on the Nature Cures Healthy Recipes page.
To make it easier to consume a wider range purchase a blender and puree
your selection of different coloured fruit, steamed vegetables, legumes, herbs
and spices in a blender as potage soups and juices. Add organic probiotic live yoghurt for a creamy effect.
When vegetables and fruits are first chopped they should be left aside
for 10 minutes for beneficial chemical reactions to take place. Then
they should eaten raw or lightly steamed and consumed straight away because they begin to
lose nutritional value after this. Pre-packed chopped fruit and
vegetables have very little nutritional value compared to freshly
prepared natural food.
urine, tears and sweat the body rids itself of toxins that would
otherwise build up and lead to sickness and disease. Fevers
and skin eruptions are actually a natural part of the cleansing process
and should not be suppressed. Cleansing allows the body to restore
balance and occurs when imbalance is too great and threatens health and life.
Ingesting live organic natural plant foods encourages this process.
and Detoxify page to find out which natural foods can help the body
clean itself inside and out.
Nutrients from seeds, fresh or dried herbs, leaves and roots can be
ingested easily without the bulk by
making them into teas. Simply pour hot (but not quite boiling) water over them leave
to steep for 20 minutes then strain and sip
the juice. Try experimenting and making unusual teas by mixing
different herbs, spices and adding honey or coconut juice.
Juicing is another way to gain high nutrition with less bulk in the
daily diet. See the
Raw Juice Therapy page for more information.
To gain a wide selection of essential nutrients in small portions of sprouts try growing your own in a jam jar with just a daily rinse of water. Visit the
Nature Cures Micro Diet Sprouts page to find out how to grow beans, seeds, whole grains and legumes.
EXTERNAL REMEDIES TO ELIMINATE PAIN AND INFLAMMATION
Compresses and poultices using any of the above mentioned herbs and spices can provide
pain relief as can adding them to a hot bath.
Poultice and Compress
There are various types of poultices that can be used to treat a
wide variety of complaints from acne, arthritis and respiratory
conditions to bruises and sprains. Some people advocate the use
of porridge, carrot, bread, milk, potatoes, clay, cabbage and
herbal poultices and many use poultices as a home remedy for
their horses' ailments. A poultice will also help ease out
anything that's embedded under the skin such as wood or metal
splinters and can also bring boils or abscesses to the surface
and draw out bee sting poison.
A homemade poultice is
made by mashing herbs, plant material or another substance with
warm water or natural oils to make a paste. Pure pressed coconut
oil is especially good to use. The paste can be applied directly
to the skin and covered with a piece of clean cloth. If the herb
used is potent such as onion, garlic, ginger, mustard, etc., it
is advisable to place a layer of thin cloth between the skin and
the herb. The cloth can then be covered with plastic wrap to
hold in the moisture. The poultice should be changed every 3 to
4 hours or more if it dries out. Then the area should be washed
with soap and dried thoroughly and left uncovered.
A compress is used the same way but usually warm liquids are
applied to the cloth instead of raw cold substances. Tinctures
or herbal infusions are great for compresses.
Massage therapy helps relieve joint pain by improving circulation and soothing inflammation. In fact, several studies indicate that regular massage can improve pain, stiffness and range of motion in the affected joint. To massage the affected area, use warm oil like coconut, olive, mustard, castor or garlic oil and apply gentle pressure while massaging.
Apple cider vinegar and olive oil for joint pain: Massage the affected area with a mixture of one tablespoon each of apple cider vinegar and olive oil. Do this daily until the joint pain is gone.
Cayenne pepper contains a compound called capsaicin with natural analgesic or pain-relieving properties. Slightly heat one-half cup of coconut oil. Mix in two tablespoons of cayenne pepper powder. Apply it on the affected area, leave it on for 20 minutes and then rinse it off. Do this a few times a day. NOTE: Cayenne may initially cause a burning sensation. Do not apply it on open skin or wounds.
lavender oil and
peppermint oil can relieve headaches when rubbed onto the
temples and forehead.
NOTE: Essential oils are not suitable for pregnant or breast feeding women or children under 5.
WHAT TO AVOID WHEN
All essential oils if pregnant or breast feeding. Also not suitable for children under 5.
Allspice if suffering from stomach ulcers, ulcerative colitis and diverticulitis.
Almonds, cabbage and kale, plums and prunes if suffering from gout, bladder stones, gallstones or kidney stones, joint problems, osteoporosis or thyroid gland problems.
Aloe vera, cats claw, dandelion, Echinacea and astragalus if pregnant or breast feeding or have high blood pressure.
Angelica (dong quai), cumin, ginger, Japanese knotweed, motherwort and turmeric if taking anticoagulants (blood thinning medication) hormone therapies and contraception or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as aspirin and ibuprofen, have heart problems and during the first trimester of pregnancy.
Chlorella and spirulina if suffering from a seafood or iodine allergy, a metabolic condition called phenylketonuria (PKU), multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis or lupus. If pregnant or nursing or have hyperthyroidism, consult a healthcare provider before taking spirulina. It may interfere with medications to suppress the immune system.
Devil's claw if diabetic or taking blood pressure or blood-thinning medications.
Ginseng if pregnant or breast feeding or suffering from asthma, emphysema, fibrocystic breasts, high blood pressure, clotting problems and cardiac arrhythmia
Goji berries if taking medication for diabetes, high blood pressure or anti-coagulants (blood thinners) such as warfarin or aspirin.
Grapefruit can interact with many types of medications, such as statins or blood pressure medications amongst others, by reducing or increasing their effectiveness.
Land caltrop can cause foetal miscarriage and must be avoided by pregnant or breast feeding women or individuals with breast or prostate cancer. Excess consumption of land caltrop can cause sleep disturbances and irregular menstruation and high doses may adversely affect the eyes and liver.
Linden if suffering from heart disease or are pregnant or breast feeding or if taking diuretics as it could increase the concentration of lithium in the blood.
Liquorice root if suffering from high blood pressure, a heart condition, oedema or are taking certain medications such as warfarin or diuretics.
Marshmallow herb if suffering with diabetes, alcohol dependency or liver disease or if pregnant or breast feeding.
Nettles if suffering from heart or kidney problems.
Reishi mushrooms if taking medication for anti-hypertensive, blood sugar lowering medications and anti-coagulants or are pregnant.
Rosemary if pregnant or breastfeeding or suffering from high blood pressure.
Sage if pregnant or suffering from epilepsy.
Scutellaria if pregnant or breastfeeding.
Senega root if hypersensitive to salicylates or aspirin or pregnant.
Siberian ginseng if suffering from high blood pressure or anxiety.
Swiss chard if there is an existing and untreated kidney or gallbladder problem.
Whole nuts and seeds if suffering from diverticulitis (grind to a fine powder first).
NOTE: Motherwort may be habit forming.
CAUTION: Many herbs are powerful and can react with medications. Always check before taking at the same time as any drugs.
NOTE: Some nutritional yeasts, especially brewer’s yeast, can also interact with medications. Those who are on Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitor antidepressants (MAOIs) medication are especially at risk. It is also best avoided by those carrying the herpes virus as it can induce a attack.
Only eat the following fruit and vegetables if they
are organic because of the risk of
pesticides, herbicides and fungicides:
Mange toute peas
Tooth and Gum Disorders
Kratom, also known as Mitragyna speciosa, is a plant indigenous to the Thailand region and grows in Southeast Asia that has natural pain-killing and sedative abilities. See kratomproject.org
"Nature cures not the physician..." Hippocrates 460 BC
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