- When it comes to joint pain, it can affect everything about your life. It is so disruptive that you may find yourself reaching for the OTC.
- Acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol, is the single largest cause of liver failure worldwide.
- Prescription painkillers come with their own risks, not the least of which is death due to overdose.
When it comes to joint pain, it can affect everything about your life. It is so disruptive that you may find yourself reaching for the OTC pain pills multiple times, or even seeking out a doctor’s prescription for addictive opiates. But while these remedies are good at reducing pain, they come with a lot of scary side effects.
Acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol, is the single largest cause of liver failure worldwide. Aspirin has been linked to bleeding disorders. Ibuprofen, generally considered quite safe, will wreak havoc on your digestive system if taken every day. Prescription painkillers come with their own risks, not the least of which is death due to overdose.
Olive oil is recommended highly over vegetable oils because it is naturally extracted, rather than chemically created. It is high in a group of antioxidants called polyphenols, which studies show are able to slow down the aging of your cells. Therefore, chronic conditions that cause joint pain, such as arthritis, take longer to affect cells to the point that you experience pain.
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But olive oil also attacks inflammation directly via a compound called oleocanthal. Oleocanthal is able to prevent enzymes responsible for inflammation from ever being activated. This mechanism is the same as that used by ibuprofen to reduce inflammation.
Sea salt is a different breed of salt that contains much more nutritive value than table salt. While table salt has been heavily processed to remove minerals and prevent clumping, sea salt is grainier but delivers a good amount of magnesium, potassium, calcium, copper, and zinc. Because sea salt is harvested rather than processed, the level of these minerals varies depending on the source.
Now, despite the healthy minerals contained in sea salt, it does contain about as much sodium as table salt. Eating too much sodium is known to cause inflammation, so we recommend getting your vitamins and minerals from other healthy food sources like lean meat and organic produce. However, when rubbed on the skin during massage, sea salt can impart the benefit of its minerals without the price of eating sodium.
The oil recipe we are going to share is applied through gentle massage to the affected joints. Massage itself is an excellent remedy for inflammation for a couple of reasons. One is that it relaxes the body and reduces stress. Stress causes a major drain on our immune systems. Another is that it increases blood flow to affected areas.
However, when you are dealing with inflammation, it is important that your massage be gentle. Too much pressure will cause micro tears in your muscle fibers – this is normally okay because repairing those tears is how stronger muscles are built. But it also causes inflammation, the very thing you want to reduce in areas around painful joints.
The recipe is simple and easy to prepare.
- 1 cup (200 ml) water
- 20 tablespoons (300 ml) of olive oil
- 10 tablespoons (150 ml) of sea salt
Simply mix the ingredients until the salt has dissolved fully. For ease of application, we recommend storing your oil in a spray bottle; just remember to shake it before use to reintegrate the ingredients. When you are ready to apply it, simply spray a light coating over your affected joints and massage them gently for a few minutes.
Start with just a minute or two upon your first application, but gradually work up to 15 minutes of massage per day. For even better results, you can prepare your skin to receive the oil by applying a warm wet compress for 10 minutes prior to the massage. This opens up pores and relaxes the muscles around your joints, which may be clenched due to pain. The heat is also great for easing stiff joints.