Recipes for Pain Relief

We’ve collected a few simple recipes that use Dr. Rosenthal’s principles of using fresh, plant-based foods as your medicines.

We found some simple recipes that use Dr. Rosenthal’s principles in ‘Doctor, I Hurt’ — Food as the Ultimate Prescription for Pain Relief. Enjoy!


For Muscle Aches

We found this fabulous morning oatmeal recipe that combines many of the foods that decrease muscle pain. Bonus — it’s quick, easy and tasty!

Ultimate Winter Porridge from Myra Manek

For porridge:
2-3 Tbsps Oats
3/4 cup water
1 Tbsp ground flax seeds
3/4 cup almond milk

Mix in a bowl:
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
Pinch black pepper
1-inch piece of grated ginger
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp honey

Optional toppings: flaked almonds, fresh berries, goji berries, coconut chips

Place the oats, ground flax seeds, water and almond milk in a small to medium pan and stir on low heat. Leave this to cook while you mix together the grated ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, black pepper and honey in a small bowl. Pour this mixture into the hot porridge and keep stirring until the porridge starts to thicken. It should still be quite runny, but if you like it thicker, add more oats. Taste for sweetness and add more honey or cinnamon to taste. Pour in a serving bowl, top with flaked almonds or any other topping of your choice. Enjoy!

For Joint Pain

Dr. Rosenthal recommends flaxseed oil because of its high concentration of ALA (alpha-linolenic acid). We were not familiar with flaxseed oil, so we looked for some tips on how to use it. Here’s what we found on

Don’t use flax oil for cooking. Oils high in essential fatty acids are not good for cooking. In fact, heat can turn these healthy fats into harmful ones. Add flax oil to foods after cooking and just before serving.

Flaxseed oil turns rancid quickly. Healthy fats spoil quickly, with olive oil being an exception to the rule. (The fats with a long shelf life are the hydrogenated shortenings, which of course are bad for you.) To prevent spoilage, follow these tips:

    • Purchase only refrigerated flax oil stored in black containers.
    • Keep your flax oil in the refrigerator with the lid on tight. Minimize exposure to heat, light and air.
    • Because the oil is likely to turn rancid within 6 weeks of pressing, buy flax oil in smaller containers (8-12 ounces, depending on how fast you use it).

Here’s a simple salad dressing recipe using flaxseed oil from Because fresh flaxseed oil tastes clean, crisp and mildly nutty, you can spread the oil lightly on top of cooked meat, add it to protein shakes or stir a bit in soup.

Salad Dressing
2 tablespoons of flaxseed oil, 3 tablespoons of white wine vinegar, a teaspoon of honey, juice of half a lime, sea salt and black pepper; mix and add to any salad.

For Head Pain

Dr. Rosenthal recommends foods rich in magnesium and foods rich in vitamin D. This stir-fry from Migraine Relief Recipes checks those boxes.

Bitter Greens Stir-Fry for Chinese New Year

Servings: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes

1/2 bunch broccoli rabe
2 baby bok choy
1 bunch green onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 chile peppers, hot, such as jalapeño, optional
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp dark toasted sesame oil
1 tsp hot sesame oil, optional
2 Tbsp sesame seeds

Wash, shake dry, and thinly slice the vegetables, including the hot peppers if using.
Heat a large cast-iron skillet or wok over medium-high heat.
Add the olive oil, swirling to coat.
Add the broccoli rabe, bok choy, onions, garlic, and hot pepper if using. Stir-fry for 3 minutes.
Sprinkle on the sesame seeds and stir to mix.
Add the dark sesame oil and hot sesame oil (if using). Continue to stir-fry until the vegetables are crisp-tender and just starting to brown.
Serve at once.
*An optional ingredient is deleted from this version.

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