Just when you think natural remedies are only good for a couple of things, think again. These herbal medicines are as good as conventional medicines sold in pharmacies and drugstores. In fact, these natural alternatives are also used as ingredients in most, if not all, painkillers. Here are a couple of these natural herbal components.

Capsaicin: This chili pepper component desensitizes the nerve receptors called C-fibers. Capsaicin is usually available in pharmacies as ointments and creams. This is best used for arthritis and neuropathy. According to research conducted by the University of Oxford, topical Capsaicin cream has been tested effective for about 40 percent of arthritis patients and 60 percent of neuropathy patients

Ginger, Turmeric and Holy Basil: These natural remedies have anti-inflammatory properties that help deal with arthritis. Curcumin, a component of turmeric, also helps relieve inflammation caused by psoriasis.

Arnica: This component is derived from a European flower and is also known for its anti-inflammatory properties. German doctors say that this herbal remedy minimizes knee swelling. British researchers say it also reduces pain after tonsillectomy.

Aquamin: Taking red seaweed supplements can help relieve pain and discomfort due to osteoarthritis. Nutrition Journal published the results of a study where 70 volunteers experienced relief from arthritis pain by 20 percent after taking aquamin.

Fish Oil: Scottish scientists found out that fish oil helps reduce inflammation due to arthritis. Taking 1,000 mg of fish oil is also proven to be good for the heart. Fish oil is also known to help deal with autoimmune diseases relating to joint pain.

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Interventional pain specialist Arif B. Khan, MD, offers lasting solutions for several pain conditions. He has helped people of all ages in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex area of TX. His treatment recommendations always start with conservative interventions such as activity modification, therapeutic exercise or physical therapy.

I'm very pleased with the Medtronic Neurostimulator I received on the advice of Dr Khan. - Bridget.E

Arif B. Khan, MD, is the medical director of Texas Interventional Pain Care, an interventional pain center specializing in the treatment of many painful conditions, and located at 2201 N. Central Express Way, Suite 171, Richardson, TX 75080; 222 South Collins Road Suite 101, Sunnyvale, TX 75182. Phone: 972-952-0290 or fax 972-952-0293.