Manataka® American Indian Council



Proudly Presents





Medicine for the People

By Harvey Walks With Hawks Doyle, BSNH


Natural Pain Solutions and Old Remedies


As we all know when something hurts, you want to feel better quickly.  Some of our brothers and sisters reach for an over-the-counter or prescription drug.  There are natural pain stoppers or eliminators that can help us if you try and believe in the old ways handed down by our ancestors.  I have tried some of these and also it has been said by our old ones that these practices sometimes worked.  It might work for you and it might not work.  I think that 90% of healing is to believe and giving the spirit time to work the situation out of you.  This can be applied to your physical body with out risk of hurting your body with additives or poisons.


Aspirin and ibuprofen (Advil) can both cause intestinal bleeding, acetaminophen (Tylenol) can lead to liver damage; powerful prescription pain relievers, such as acetaminophen,hydrocodone, (Vicodin) and acetaminophen with codeine, may make you drowsy and can be addictive.


Despite the dangers, these medications are valuable for treating occasional severe (long lasting) or acute (sudden, but stopping abruptly) pain.  Many chronic conditions that need ongoing relief, such as osteoarthritis, natural pain stoppers work just as well with a much lower risk for side effects.


Caution:  Severe pain, or mild pain that gets suddenly worse, can be a sign of a serious injury or other medical problem and the best advice is to seek medical attention immediately.


Some Natural Remedies that could be recommended

For each common pain problem discussed here; there is more than one treatment or old practice.


You may have more success or simply prefer a different approach but this is only an old suggestion that might help your pain.  If something has worked for you in the past, start there.  If you don’t get much relief from a treatment, try another option.  If you get only partial improvement, try adding another suggested treatment mentioned below.  You may even have some old improvements stored away in one of your old book of treatments.  Natural remedies have a very low risk for serious side effects, it’s usually safe to use them in combination with a prescription or non-prescription medications.  Natural remedies also work well in combination with pain relieving “body work”, such as chiropractic, physical therapy, and acupuncture.


Migraines and other headaches are often set off by food sensitivities, most commonly, to red wine, caffeine, chocolate and food additives, such as monosodium glutamate.  Other triggers, such as lack of sleep or hormonal fluctuations, can also leave you with headache pain. Best:  Pay attention to patterns and avoid things that trigger them.


Mild (Tension) Headaches.  First try acupressure.  This ancient Chinese technique uses gentle pressure and light massage on specific points.  In traditional Chinese medicine chi (chee) is the vital energy of all living things.  Your chi flows along 12 meridians that run through your body and nourish your tissues.  Each meridian is associated with a particular organ, such as the liver or gallbladder.  Along each meridian are specific points, designated by numbers that are spots where the flow of chi can be affected. 


For Headaches, the standard acupressure points are:

Gallbladder:  The small indentation below the base of the skull, in the space between the two vertical neck muscles.  Push gently 10 to 15 seconds, wait 10 seconds, then repeat five to 10 times.

Large Intestine:  Located in the webbing between the thumb and index finger.  Push gently for 10 to 15 seconds as described above.  Do this on one hand, and then switch to the other.

Yuyao:  The indentation in the middle of each eyebrow straight up from the pupil.  Push gently for 10 to 15 seconds as described above on both points as the same time.  If this don’t give you some relief from the headache then move on to other points.

Herbs:  A cup of peppermint tea, or a dab of peppermint oil on the temples, can banish a mild headache quickly.  Note:  Peppermint oil is highly concentrated, do not use internally.  To brew peppermint tea, make an infusion using one to two teaspoons dried peppermint leaf in eight ounces of boiling water.  Let steep for five minutes.  You may find relief after one cup.  Drink as much and as often as necessary.


The herb feverfew has been used effectively for centuries to treat migraines.  Take a feverfew capsule standardized to contain 300 micrograms (msg) of the active ingredient parthenolide every 30 minutes.  Starting at the onset of symptoms.  Maximum of four doses daily or until you feel relief.  Also you can take a feverfew capsule containing 300 to 400 mcg of parthenolide or 30 drops of a standardized tincture, either in a few ounces of water or directly on your tongue, every day.  In about three months, you should notice dramatically fewer migraines, and/or less severe symptoms.  Caution:  Feverfew may thin your blood, so consult your health care provider or physician if you are taking blood thinners such as warfarin (Coumadin etc).


This information is for educational purposes only.  It is not intended to diagnose, cure or is in any way suggestive as far as medicinal advice.