3 Natural Ways To Relieve Knee Pain, Allergies, and Tiredness
Save yourself a doctor’s visit with this advice.
Aches, pain, and fatigue does a number on your body — to the point where it’s hard to do everyday tasks. The good news is, you don’t have to suffer through any of those ailments especially gearing up for the fall season. We spoke to Heather Moday, MD, who offers three natural remedies to relieve health hassles.
Q: I have arthritis and my knees are constantly aching. I’ve hardly been able to enjoy the summer! A friend told me there are shoes that can help, but they’re over my budget. What else can I try?
A: It’s true. There are so many options for shoes that are engineered specifically to absorb the stress on your joints when you take a step to reduce pain. And they work: A new study conducted at UCLA confirmed that one brand, GDEFY shoes (GravityDefyer.com) can ease knee pain by as much as 85 percent, plus reduce pain in the back, ankles and feet. But the shoes are expensive, and many women, like you, are wary of making the investment.
I can suggest a few other ways you can get relief. Try using comfrey cream, which is made from an herb that contains powerful anti-inflammatories that help ease pain. In fact, a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that massaging the cream into your knees three times daily can reduce pain by 95 percent in just four days.
Another easy fix? Supplementing with curcumin. Multiple studies have proven the natural turmeric extract helps ease pain-causing inflammation. One study published in the journal Biomedcentral found that taking 500 milligrams (mg) of curcumin daily reduced osteoarthritis knee pain by 50 percent for 94 percent of study participants.
Finally, consider incorporating tai chi into your routine. Tufts University researchers found that regular practice can lower pain by 60 percent and stiffness by 80 percent in 12 weeks. That’s because the gentle movement improves range of motion and mobility, and it helps stretch and loosen joints without adding weight or impact that can lead to more pain. To try it for free, search “tai chi for beginners” on YouTube.
Q: I usually take a walk after I eat lunch, but for the past few weeks, I’ve felt foggy and tired afterward. I haven’t made any changes to my diet or lifestyle — what could be causing this?
A: It’s possible the weather is behind your symptoms. New research in the journal Building and Environment found that exercising in hot weather can hinder thinking and slow reaction time. The good news: Simple tweaks can help you avoid this problem.
First, I recommend switching your walk to the morning, when it’s cooler. Not only will it help you avoid the heat, other studies have shown it can actually increase focus and energy throughout the day. If you don’t want to walk first thing, you can also try walking at night, but whenever you walk, be sure to have water with you so you stay hydrated.
At lunchtime, instead of walking, try taking 10 to 15 minutes to relax outside. The sun exposure prompts your body to produce vitamin D, which can boost your energy to help you power through the afternoon. You’re not alone! Many women say their symptoms are worse than ever this year. But you can take steps to fortify your defenses.
Q: My ragweed allergies are worse than ever! Is there anything natural I can take to help relieve my symptoms?
A: I advise supplementing with butterbur. It’s one of the most powerful natural allergy remedies, as it stops the release of leukotriene, an inflammatory chemical that triggers congestion and sneezing. Research in the British Medical Journal found that butterbur is as effective as over-the-counter antihistamines — without side effects. Start with 50 mg daily; if you don’t feel better in a week, increase your dose by 50 mg daily, up to 150 mg. Note: Choose a product that’s free of pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PA), a compound toxic to the liver (we like Solaray Vital Extracts Butterbur, Buy from iHerb, $13.59). And talk to your doctor before taking butterbur if you have liver disease.
Put FIRST to work for you!
Heather Moday, MD, is director of the Moday Center in Philadelphia. She is board-certified in allergy and immunology, as well as integrative and holistic medicine. You can follow her on Instagram (@theimmunitymd), where she shares information on health topics. And to ask her a question here, send an email to email@example.com.
A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.
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