, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

HealthWc-Icon-4Recent research indicates that sport related injuries can be treated using natural substances such as herbs, spices and tonics, so no wonder that these natural cures are gaining traction among athletes and fitness enthusiasts. And what is more they are effective and have no side effects.

Here are four natural ways to ease aches and pains as well as to heal injuries:

Epsom salt contains magnesium and sulphur, which reduce inflammation and flush out toxins. For best results, dissolve a cup of Epsom salt in a tub of hot water and relax in it for at least 20 minutes. Ingesting Epsom salt by sprinkling it over your food, or by dissolving a quarter teaspoon in water and drinking it, is believed to produce serotonin which is a natural remedy for depression; but remember, too much salt is never a good thing. Capsaicin cream relieves muscular and joint pain and is used for the treatment of a host of musculoskeletal conditions including arthritis, fibromyalgia and neuralgia. Capsaicin is found in cayenne pepper, and ingesting small doses of it is believed to reduce muscular and joint pain.

Vinegar eases inflammation as well as sore muscles and joints. When ingested, it removes lactic acid deposits from the cells that cause pain. To maximise vinegar’s analgesic properties, make a vinegar tonic by mixing two teaspoons each of apple cider vinegar and honey in eight ounces of water and drink it three times a day. Alternatively, soak a towel in a diluted solution of vinegar and keep it wrapped around the affected area overnight.

Bromelain is a proteolytic enzyme that relieves pain and swelling by dissolving ‘waste proteins’ that cause inflammation. It also has antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. The best source of bromelain is pineapple, although it is also found in citrus fruit, which is why their juice can relieve pain and help people relax. Bromelain is also found in several creams and lotions. – Prof Dr Rashida Ali The writer is an Adjunct Professor & Consultant at the Department of Food Science and Technology and ICCBS, University of Karachi. First published in the Health Advertiser Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on June 8, 2014.