When you are in pain, you reach for anything that will help it to go away. But what if your usual over-the-counter painkillers are less safe than a natural remedy that you could easily store in your kitchen?

Aspirin, acetaminophin, ibuprofin and naproxen sodium all go by other brand names on the drug store shelves. All of these have information on their warning labels about possible serious side effects and interactions with other medications.

Risks associated with these painkillers are higher for the very young or old. Other risks of over-the-counter medications exist for those who have pre-existing medical conditions like diabetes, asthma or immune system problems.

Studies of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs show significant problems with major upper gastrointestinal bleeding as the most important adverse effect of aspirin and other over-the-counter painkillers. The concern over stomach bleeding is especially true of these painkillers in higher doses.

Other studies show that for people with a risk of cardiovascular disease, ibuprofen may add an increased risk of thrombotic and congestive heart failure events. Ibuprofen had a risk that was similar to that of prescription painkillers, especially when combined with aspirin.

Consult with your medical provider if you have concerns about interactions with natural painkillers. It is also wise to discuss your plan to seek natural pain remedies and ask if there are any concerns associated with your preferred natural solution.

15 Natural Remedies That Can Replace Painkillers

Apple Cider Vinegar

ACV, as it’s known in herbal remedy shorthand, can help to relieve arthritis and minor muscle pain. It is also believed that ACV helps improve joint mobility in older adults. Try 2 teaspoons of ACV in a glass of water daily to help with these pains.

Lavender essential oil

Some hospitals have found that using lavender essential oil for aromatherapy has helped to keep patients feeling calm before and after surgical procedures. In addition to that, the scent of lavender has been shown to reduce the amount of painkillers needed for women experiencing the intense labor pains childbirth.


Clove essential oil can help oral health and can also relieve the pain of a toothache. If you don’t have any clove oil handy, you can also use raw whole cloves to chew on. Cloves contain eugenol which is a natural anesthetic.


Turmeric has excellent potential to be a painkiller that is as effective as aspirin and other over the counter medications. This natural painkiller can be used to relieve arthritic pain. You can read more about turmeric and other plant remedies that are better than pills here.

Cranberry juice

Most women who have experienced a bladder infection know that it comes with some intense pain and discomfort. Flushing your system with cranberry juice can help clear up a minor bladder infection.


As a painkiller, peppermint tea can help with a sore throat. Peppermint is also good for the discomfort of an upset stomach, headache and minor muscle pain. It is believed that the menthol in peppermint prevents nerves from responding to painful stimuli.

Raw honey

Honey helps coat a sore throat in your hot tea. Raw honey also has excellent anti-inflammation properties. The antioxidants in honey help the body’s natural healing process. Honey can be applied to minor cuts and burns externally.

Tart cherry

The painkillers in tart cherry and raspberries come from the flavonoids and anthrocyanins found in these fruits. It is believed that the natural anti-inflammatory properties of tart cherry juice can help reverse oxidative damage that can happen with strenuous exercise, like that from long distance running.


Arnica gel is a topical painkiller that can help with osteoarthritis. In one study, arnica was given both as oral tablets and an ointment for patients who were recovering from carpal tunnel surgery. The patients who were given arnica had significantly less pain after 2 weeks. Arnica is also used for reducing bruising and swelling after minor injuries.


In a study of patients with osteoarthritis of the knee, those who were given ginger extract had a 63% reduction in knee pain. Ginger is also traditionally used to help cure the discomfort of an upset stomach. Ginger can also help relieve menstrual pain.

Omega 3

Omega-3 fatty acids can be as effective as ibuprofen in reducing arthritis pain, but with the added benefit of having less side effects and more health benefits.

Olive oil

As a painkiller, olive oil is a natural anti-inflammatory ingredient.


Ginseng has both painkilling and anti-inflammatory properties that are as effective as ibuprofen. This root also has potential as a solution for those who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis.

Chinese skullcap

As a painkiller, Chinese skullcap has been used to treat infections, inflammation and headaches. It may also have antifungal and antiviral effects in addition to reducing pain.


This carotenoid extract of algae has anti-inflammatory properties that help reduces arthritis pain. It is also a powerful antioxidant.