Aloe Vera is a succulent plant grown in tropical locations including South America, Latin America and the Caribbean. It has been used for thousands of years to treat burns, wounds and skin irritations. Aloe Vera contains substances known as glycoproteins that speed the healing process by stopping pain and inflammation and polysaccharides that stimulate growth and repair.
Arnica Montana is a flowering herb belonging to the sunflower family and is native to Europe and Siberia. Arnica Montana, the most popular among several species, grows wild on alpine meadows across most of Europe. The natural oil derived from flowering plants help soothes muscles and ease bruising. Used for medicinal purposes since the 1500’s Arnica contains helenalin, an ingredient used in anti-inflammatory preparations. Arnica also aids in stimulating the flow of white blood cells, which helps disperse trapped fluid from muscles and joints.
Burdock is a herbal flower belonging to the daisy family and is native to Europe and Northern Asia. Burdock root has been used for centuries as a diuretic, blood purifier and topical remedy for skin. Research has found it to be effective in helping the breakdown and elimination of toxins which can lead to inflammation that causes a host of other ailments, including arthritis and rheumatism. The plant is antibacterial and antifungal and has soothing properties that are helpful in treating burns and bruises. The root is enjoyed as a food, particularly in Asian cuisines.
Boswellia or Indian Frankincense is an ancient sap-producing tree native to India but grown throughout Western and Central China. Boswellia serrata has long been used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat coughs, arthritis and stomach upset among many other conditions. The active component boswellic acid gives Boswellia its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. These anti-inflammatory effects may be beneficial in treating osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Calendula is a flower native to Southwestern Asia, Western Europe and the Mediterranean. The common name ‘marigold’ grown in gardens is not the same used for treatment purposes. Marigold was considered by the ancient Egyptians to have rejuvenating properties but known for its medicinal purposes since at least the 12th century. Calendula contains saponins which produce the anti-inflammatory properties and has been shown to promote metabolism of proteins and collagen to help to grow new, healthy cells, thereby accelerating wound healing.
Capsaicin is the active component of chillies, typically derived from the seeds and membranes. The chemical responsible for the spiciness of hot chilli stimulates heat sensors without causing an actual change in temperature. When used topically, it decreases the transmission of pain signals to the brain through lowering the neurotransmitter, substance P (SP). Substance P is secreted by nerves and inflammatory cells found in the brain and spinal cord and acts by binding to the neurokinin-1 receptor (NK-1R). SP is basically associated with sensations of inflammation and pain. Research has shown that increased levels of SP are found in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and contributes to the pathophysiology of joint inflammation. This makes capsaicin possibly effective in treating arthritic and nerve http:percutane
Comfrey is a perennial herb native to Europe and typically found in Britain and Ireland. It also grows in profusion in North America and Western Asia. The main constituent of comfrey root is allantoin which promotes wound healing and regeneration of cells. It’s been used for centuries for its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties making it useful for relief of sprains, bruises, joint pain and fractures. For centuries, its bone healing properties earned its name as knitbone or boneset and have been used in folk medicine to treat skin infections and wounds (not recommended now). Comfrey should only be used topically due to pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs), which are toxic to the liver.
Eucalyptus is a fast growing evergreen tree belonging to the myrtle family. There are 700 species of eucalyptus, mostly native to Australia but cultivated worldwide. The essential oil is extracted from select eucalyptus species through a steam distillation process. The Aboriginals used eucalyptus infusions for fever, sinus, colds and body pains. Eucalyptus is known for its anti-bacterial, antiseptic and analgesic properties with *one study indicating its analgesic properties being possibly beneficial for athletes as a passive form of warm-up. Other benefits include helping muscular pain, arthritis, mental exhaustion, sinus pain, bronchitis, coughs and respiratory infections.
Hypericum Perforatum, commonly known as “St John’s Wort”, is a flowering perennial herb native to parts of Europe that can now be found throughout the world. The herb extract is prepared using the flowers and leaves of the plant. Hypericum perforatum has been a part of herbal history for 2500 years. Traditionally, St. John’s Wort has also been used for relief of joint pain and pain associated with rheumatic disorders. It contains hyperforin and hypericin compounds that are used as anti-inflammatory agents and is recognised for its antiangiogenic (growth of new blood cells), anticarcinogenic, antimicrobial and antidepressant properties. St John’s Wort is said to speed up healing when applied topically, supporting the recovery of bruises, wounds and mild burns. It may also be useful for treating sciatica, rheumatoid arthritis and nerve pain.
Lavender is a perennial herb native to the Mediterranean but many species grow elsewhere, including France and England. Typically, the oil is distilled from flowering tops and leaves. Historically lavender has been used to dispel dizziness, cure headaches and treat wounds. The Romans used it to scent their washing water. Lavender oil is antiseptic and has antiviral, antifungal, anticonvulsive and sedative properties. Significant uses have been to relieve pain of neuralgia, muscle tension or injury, relieve stress and improve sleep. Lavender’s cooling quality reduces inflammation by carrying excess heat away from the injured area, thus allowing nutrients and energy to the site.
Magnesium is a cofactor in more than 300 enzyme systems including muscle and nerve function, blood glucose control and blood pressure regulation. It is a highly important and vital mineral needed for energy production, bone development, muscle contraction, nerve transmissions and healthy kidney function. Insufficient uptake of magnesium over time can affect calcium and vitamin D levels in the body which may be associated with an increased risk of osteoporosis, muscle cramps, hypertension and cardiovascular disease.
Melaleuca Australian Tea Tree oil grows native in Australia (New South Wales and south eastern Queensland) and parts of South East Asia. Although there are hundreds of species, it’s the melaleuca alternifolia variety that is commonly cultivated. Tea tree is related to cajuput, another tropical tree, and shares cajuput’s antiseptic properties. Tea tree was studied by Dr Arthur Penfold who first published reports of its antimicrobial properties in the 1920’s and 1930’s. Tea tree is one of the most extensively researched essential oils and one most backed by findings from research studies. Tea Tree Oil has natural antiseptic, antibacterial and antifungal properties. Tea tree oil is able to penetrate and desensitise irritated nerve endings, making it effective for arthritis relief. Tea Tree was originally used by the indigenous people along the east coast of Australia as an antiseptic to treat wounds and burns and reportedly chewed to help ease headaches
Mint, also known as menthol, is a group of around 15-20 plant species, including peppermint and spearmint. The Greek scholar Hippocrates treated sprains, joint pains and inflammation by cooling the skin, and traditional Chinese used mint oil to the same end. Mint has analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. A study at the University of Edinburgh discovered a receptor found in nerve cells in the human skin (TRPM8) that inhibits pain messages to the brain when activated by the cooling qualities of mint. This makes the pain relieving properties of mint a good treatment for chronic pain patients, including those with arthritis.
Pawpaw/Papaya (Carica Papaya) is a fruit native to the tropics of central America, southern and northern South America. Pawpaw contains the only source of an important enzyme, papain. Papain is a potent anti-inflammatory beneficial for those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis. Papain is also known to relieve pain from stings, burns, wounds and postoperative pain by increasing production of immune cells called cytokines to speed healing. Research has indicated that the anti-inflammatory properties of papain are just as effective as many non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Papain improves circulation and boosts oxygen and nutrients to an inflamed area.
Sandalwood is a slow growing medium sized tree native to Australia and India. Both the wood and the oil has been valued for its distinctive fragrance and traditional medicine for centuries in Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine. The organic compound, santalol that is classified as a sesquiterpene, were found to have strong anti-inflammatory effects. Sandalwood also has anti-fungal, anti-proliferation and anti-bacterial properties. Western Australia currently has the largest sandalwood plantation resource in the world.
Turmeric is a perennial plant of the ginger family, native to tropical regions of Southern Asia and most typically grown in India. Turmeric has been used to treat a variety of conditions in Ayurvedic medicine for over 4,000 years. This potent herb has hundreds of actives working together that produce powerful effects in the body. The primary active ingredient of turmeric is a group of 3 cuminoids, including curcumin, which gives turmeric its yellow pigment. Curcumin lowers the levels of two enzymes in the body that cause inflammation. This anti-inflammatory property may assist in the relief of inflammation-based pain.
Wintergreen oil is extracted from a shrubby plant native to North America. The oil is commonly used as a pain reliever for muscle aches, cramps, bone pain and joint pain. Wintergreen oil is rapidly absorbed into the skin where it can numb the area and stimulate blood circulation around muscle and tissues, creating a warming effect. It is a rich source of methyl salicylate, a natural anti-inflammatory with aspirin-like painkiller properties. Only to be used diluted in safe carrier oils.