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Pain relief is huge for any athlete, but with the many ailments that cyclists face, it is one of the most important things. And pills only do so much; plus, too many pills can cause stomach issues. Your best friend when it comes to pain relief is a natural remedy. Thankfully, there are many available to help ease your issues. Below are the best natural pain relief remedies for cyclists (and anyone else).

Ginger, Turmeric, & Holy Basil

This set of herbs forms a sort of trinity in Ayurvedic medicine. All of them have anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric (a curry ingredient) contains curcumins which ease inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis,

Devil’s Claw

This ominous sounding herb is actually great for treating numerous health conditions, among them are liver problems and heart burn. It also has anti-inflammatory effects and can reduce pain from arthritis, headaches, and low back discomfort.

Birch Leaf

The leaves from the Birch tree act much like cortisone, a prescription drug used to treat endocrine disorders, arthritis, lupus, skin disease, autoimmune disorders, and more. A main chemical compound found in Birch leaves is methyl salicylate, similar to salicylic acid used in aspirin. It is anti-spasmodic, analgesic, astringent, antifungal, diuretic, detoxifying, reduces oxidative damage to skin (stopping wrinkles), and enhances circulation. It also promotes enzymatic secretions in the body. It is truly one of the first powerful pain-relievers ever used.

Wintergreen Essential Oil

Also among natural pain relievers, Wintergreen Essential Oil contains 85-99% of methyl salicylate, the same component of aspirin.

White Willow Bark

The active ingredient in white willow is salicin, which the body converts into salicylic acid. This tree’s covering lowers the body’s levels of prostaglandins, hormone-like compounds that can cause aches, pain, and inflammation. What’s more, white willow bark doesn’t upset the stomach or cause internal bleeding like many over-the-counter aspirins.Turn to this herb for relief from menstrual cramps, muscle pains, arthritis, or after knee or hip surgery as it promotes blood flow and reduces swelling.

Capsaicin

Found in hot chile peppers, this natural remedy does wonders for pain. Capsaicin, the active pain-reducing ingredient, temporarily desensitizes nerve receptors called C-fibers which cause the pain response. Capsaicin also diminishes soreness for 3 to 5 weeks while the C-fibers regain sensation. A single 60-min application in patients with neuropathic pain produced effective pain relief for up to 12 weeks. Patients at the New England Center for Headache decreased their migraine and cluster headache intensity by applying capsaicin cream to their nasal passages.

GLA

GLA can be found in numerous seed oils. According to University of Maryland, people who consume these essential fatty acids are able to reduce nerve pain associated with diabetic conditions.

Cherries

Due to the presence of compounds called anthocyanins—the same phytonutrients that give cherries their rich ruby hue – you can count on cherries to tamp down pain.