Have You Considered Natural Pain Cures?

The era in which homeopathic medicine was viewed as something only witch doctors recommended is over, and natural remedies are giving conventional drugs a run for its money.

Next time you reach for an aspirin when you have a headache, you may want to think about alternative choices, which might offer you the same type of relief. However, you should always check with your doctor before trying something new.

The World Health Organization estimates that more than 65 percent of the world's population (about 3 billion people) rely on natural medicine as their primary form of health care.

The U.S. government sponsors the use of acupuncture in drug rehabilitation programs, and almost one-third of American medical schools are offering courses in alternative medicine, including Yale, John's Hopkins, and Georgetown Universities.

Besides acupuncture, here are some other natural pain cures to consider:

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1. Drink water

It seems simple, but stopping dehydration before it starts can ward off countless ailments, including headaches, cramping and fatigue.

2. Caffeine

Caffeine is an ingredient in many major over-the-counter pain relievers. Why not try it naturally, like in a cup of joe?

3. Fish Oil

Enthusiasts claim that fish oil reduces inflammation and works by restricting the blood vessels in your temples. This could be good news for the more than 30 million Americans who suffer from migraines.

4. Eat Ginger or Take Ginger Capsules

Nausea can be difficult to treat, even with over-the-counter drugs. Ginger is recommended to treat pregnant women, who often suffer from nausea, but are prohibited from taking other medications.

5. Willowbark

Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum, director of The Annapolis Center for Effective CFS/Fibromyalgia Therapies in Maryland, told FoxNews.com that willowbark can act as a natural form of aspirin.

"Willowbark contains salocin, which is the active ingredient of aspirin. But the difference is used as willowbark, it's twice as effective as aspirin and normal arthritis medications, but without causing any of the stomach upset or even bleeding ulcers caused by the medications," he said.

6. Hops

Teitelbaum also recommeneds adding hops to your diet if you have joint pain—and yes, you can find it in beer.

"It's not just the alcohol that numbs the pain, hops is a very potent anti-inflammatory. So if you're going to have a drink in the evening and you have arthritis or other pain, make it a beer."