Willow bark is used for pain and inflammation, though I'm not sure how it tastes.
Topically, clove oil has a numbing effect. Usually it's used for tooth pain but can be used on skin also.
It could be completely placebo or there could be something to it, I don't know but I always had great results with Dit Da Jow when I was fight training.
It's an herbal, topical medicine that helped with bruises, joint pain and swelling.
Isn't medicine, for the most part, not primal anyway?
“Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.” -Oscar Wilde
"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." -George Bernard Shaw
"The trouble with jogging is that the ice falls out of your glass." -Martin Mull
You could try Eucalyptus oil - works for headaches.
Most of the hunter-gatherer tribes of today have a vast knowledge of their local fauna (heck even some chimps have figured it out for anti-parasitic treatment)...
Any specific reason why you want to take pain-relief back to paleolithic times?
@ Matt, I know you are trying to be cheeky, but I actually have an answer for you. Ibuprofen has been proven to inhibit muscle growth.
"We discovered that both ibuprofen and acetaminophen inhibit the way muscles respond to exercise," says Todd A. Trappe, PhD, an associate professor of geriatrics and physiology at the University of Arkansas and the study's lead researcher. Usually, muscle tissue is broken down after a vigorous workout, only to rebuild itself and come back stronger. But it turns out that along with blocking pain, both ibuprofen and acetaminophen block muscle building, at least when taken after exercise. "If you take either pain reliever regularly, then over the long haul you might not get the benefits you're looking for," says Trappe.</blockquote>
That, and OTC meds give me rebound headaches. But I wanted to sound smart.
With sore muscles or aching joints I like these remedies:
1. Epsom salt bath or sauna
2. Deep tissue massage
3. Tiger balm!
(or all three depending on how sore I feel)