Ibuprofen is extensively used by athletes as it helps them get through the aches and pains caused by their extreme training. However, professional athletes are not the only ones who count on non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSADs) for pain relief. As a matter of fact, over 30 million Americans use NSAIDs, such as aspirin, naproxen, and ibuprofen, to deal with muscle cramps, headaches, sport injuries and chronic conditions like back pain, neuropathy, and arthritis.
The primary cause of this pain is the inflammation, a defensive response which results in swelling in the tissues. NSAIDs minimize pain by preventing inflammation-causing enzymes. Nevertheless, the problem with these drugs is that they cause some severe side effects, such as bleeding in the stomach, kidney damage, heart attack, strokes, increased threat of ulcers, and hormonal imbalance. “I wouldn’t take them on a regular basis for more than a few months, if at all,” says Jonathan Wright, MD, medical director of the Tahoma Clinic in Washington. “Some people might even experience side effects after simply a couple of days.”
The good news is that there are natural remedies available. They are natural, safe to use, and exceptionally efficient in lowering inflammation and soothing pain. They are:
1. WHITE WILLOW BARK AND FEVERFEW
White willow bark is extremely effective in treating headaches, as it consists of a substance (salicin) whose effects are really just like the once of an aspirin. It decreases inflammation like aspirin, however it is much gentler. It is advised to take 120-240 mg standardized salicin every 3-4 hours and never give it to children due to the risk of Reye’ s syndrome.
Feverfew supplies a long-term relief and it helps avoid headaches. It has the ability to relax capillary in the brain, which in turn prevents constriction, the main reason for migraines. According to a current research study on migraines, 16-week treatment with feverfew extract reduces migraine headache attacks from five a month to less than 3 a month. This herb avoids migraines rather than treating ones that have actually already developed. It is suggested to take 100-200 mg every day. Make sure the standardized type contains at least 0.2% of parthenolide, its active ingredient. Note that it takes 1-2 months to see the advantages.
Boswellia, also called frankincense, relieves both minor and chronic pains. Its components minimize the production of inflammatory substances which are associated with many chronic diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis. Select a formula standardized to 60% boswelic acids. You need to take 750 mg daily in 3 divided doses.
Turmeric contains curcumin, an ingredient that prevents inflammatory properties and improves body’s ability to fight inflammation. It has been scientifically shown that curcumin relieves chronic pain triggered by rheumatoid arthritis and lots of research studies done on animals have actually revealed that it helps prevent cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease. Take 400-600 mg of curcumin three times on a daily basis. It is suggested to take it in addition to bromelain in order to increase its bioavailability. Bromelain is an anti-inflammatory enzyme which is naturally found in pineapples.
Ginger consists of enzymes which stop the production of inflammatory substances. According to Paul Anderson, ND, at Bastyr University in Seattle, “the quantity of ginger in a spice, tea, or candy isn’t going to supply much pain relief, no matter how great it tastes.” For acute pain, take 2 grams of ground dehydrated ginger on a daily basis. For chronic conditions, minimize the intake to a gram of it day-to-day divided into three dosages.
Arnica has been long used for medicinal functions. It is gotten from the yellow arnica flower which grows in the alpine meadows of Europe. It consists of sesquiterpene lactones, substances which improves immunity and reduce inflammation.
According to a 2007 research study done on more than 200 individuals with osteoarthritis, topical application of arnica relieves pain and brings back joint functions, just as ibuprofen does. It can be likewise used to alleviate intense injuries, consisting of swellings, stress, sprains, and postoperative healing. For that reason, apply arnica gel or cream 3-4 times every day. For a one-two punch, use arnica homeopathically, using solutions of 6c, 12c, or 30c strength, 3 pellets under the tongue, 3 times on a daily basis.
6. OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS
These are critical for long-term pain decrease,” says Wright, “since your body breaks omega-3 fats down into anti-inflammatory compounds.” Moreover, absence of omega-3 fats in your diet will make you more vulnerable to pain and higher inflammation in cases of sickness and injuries.
Omega-3s are naturally discovered in hempseed, flaxseed and cold-water fish like sardines, mackerel, and salmon. They also can be found in the form of supplement. For upkeep, take 1,000-2,000 mg daily. For chronic pain, increase the intake to 2,000-4,000 mg daily. You should take 400 IU of vitamin E daily too, as it prevents oxidization of omega-3s in the body and attacks on the healthy cells.
7. DEVIL’S CLAW
Devil’s claw is native to South Africa and it is actually a fruit covered with little hooks which snag into the skin and trigger pain. Remarkably, when used as a remedy it decreases pain and current research studies show that it is extremely reliable in reducing back pain and arthritis.
According to a 4-month research study done on 120 individuals with knee and hip osteoarthritis, devil’s claw minimized pain and enhanced function, just as osteoarthritis medications do. In addition, other research studies on this herb show that it works in minimizing low-back pain.
Wright states that devil’s claw contains ingredients which have effective pain-relieving and inflammation-causing properties. A few of those substances include iridoid glycosides, especially harpagoside. It is suggested to take 50-100 mg of harpagoside daily or 400mg dried devil’s claw.
Note: Given the fact that devil’s claw promotes the production of stomach acid, individuals with stomach ulcers must consult their physician before consuming it.