Athletes regularly use Ibuprofen because it can help them get through the pains and aches causes as a result of their training. But, athletes are not the only ones who use NSAD to relieve pain. Actually, more than 30 million people in the US use NSAIDs like ibuprofen, aspirin and naproxen, to treat headaches, muscle cramps, sport injuries as well as chronic conditions like arthritis, back pain and neuropathy.
The primary cause of such pain is inflammation, which is a defensive reaction that leads to tissue swelling. NSAIDs lower the pain by inhibiting the enzymes that cause inflammation. But, the issue with these medications is that they can cause serious side effects, like stomach bleeding, heart attack, kidney damage, strokes, hormonal imbalance and greater risk of ulcers. Dr. Jonathan Wright doesn’t recommend them for usage in a period longer than few months. He claims that some people might even experience negative effects after a few days.
Fortunately, you can try some natural remedies. They are completely safe and very efficient for soothing the pain and reducing the inflammations. These are some of them:
1. FEVERFEW AND WHITE WILLOW BARK
White willow bark is very effective for treating headaches, since it contains salicin, whose effects are very similar to those of aspirin. It can reduce the inflammation much like aspirin, but much more gentler. It is advised to take about 120-240 miligrams of standardized salicin every 4 hours and do not give it to kids because of the risk of developing Reye`s syndrome.
Feverfew offers pain relief and helps prevent headaches. It can relax the blood vessels in your brain, which in turn can prevent constriction, the primary cause of migraines. A recent study found that 16-week treatment with feverfew decreases the migraines to less than 3 in a month. It is especially good because it prevents the migraines, rather than just treating those that were already developed. It is advised to take about 150 mg every day. Make sure to use the extract with at least 0.2% of parthenolide. Keep in mind that it will take you about a month to see the results.
This herb known by the name frankincense, can soothe minor and chronic pain. The active ingredients have the ability to reduce the production of the inflammatory compounds, responsible for various chronic diseases, like rheumatoid arthritis. Choose a standardized formula to 60% of boswelic acids. Take 750 mg every day in three separate doses.
Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric that can inhibit the inflammations and improve the ability of the body to fight inflammations. It was scientifically proven that curcumin can alleviate chronic pain as a result of rheumatoid arthritis and numerous studies conducted on animals found that it prevents diabetes, heart disease and Alzheimer`s. Consume about 500 mg of curcumin 3 times a day. It is advised to take curcumin together with bromelain to increase the bioavailability. Bromelain is an enzyme with anti-inflammatory properties and can be found in pineapples.
The miraculous ginger contains enzymes which block the production of the inflammatory compounds. Dr. Paul Anderson claims that the quantities of ginger in tea, spice or candies will not offer much pain relief. If you have acute pain, consume two grams of ground ginger every day. If you have chronic conditions, consume one gram a day divided in3 doses.
For centuries, this herb has been utilized for its medicinal properties. It’s obtained from the yellow flower of the arnica plant that grows in the alpine regions of Europe. Arnica contains sesquiterpene lactones, compounds that improve the immunity and stop the inflammation.
A study conducted on over 200 people suffering from osteoarthritis, found that topical application of arnica alleviates the pain and improves joint functions, much like ibuprofen. It can also treat acute injuries, like bruises, sprains, strains as well as postoperative healing. To treat acute injuries apply arnica cream or gel about three times a day.
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for long-term reduction of the pain, because the body breaks these fatty acids down, turning them into anti-inflammatory compounds. Furthermore, lack of omega-3 will make you more susceptible to pain in cases of injuries.
Omega-3 can be found in flaxseed, hempseed and cold-water fish including salmon, sardines and mackerel. But you can also consume it as supplements. For keeping your overall health, consume 1500 mg a day. If you have chronic pain, take about 3,000 a day. Also, take 400 IU of vitamin E, to prevent oxidization of the fatty acids in the body.
7. DEVIL`S CLAW
This is a fruit native to South Africa, covered with tiny hooks that can snag in the skin and cause you pain. However, if you use it as a natural remedy it can reduce the pain and studies have found that it’s very efficient in alleviating arthritis and reducing back pain.
A study conducted on 120 people suffering from hip and knee osteoarthritis, found that this fruit reduced the pain, much like osteoarthritis drugs do. Additionally, other studies have found that it is efficient in eliminating lower back pain.
The devil`s claw has active ingredients that have strong pain-relieving properties. Take about 400 mg of dried devil`s claw.
Note: Since devil`s claw triggers the production of gastric acid, people who are having stomach ulcers should consult their doctor before using it.