Nowadays, NSAID drugs, such as Ibuprofen (Advil) or Diclofenac (Voltaren), are widely (over)used to treat pain and inflammation. Chronic inflammation has shown to be the culprit of many of our modern day diseases. It can easily be prevented through a healthy, whole food diet, regular exercise and reducing stress levels. However, these approaches take time, energy, and discipline.
Therefore, many people choose the easy way out and opt for over-the-counter drugs, such as ibuprofen, which stops the pain immediately.
Although these drugs may be a quick-fix-solution to relieve pain, they don’t tackle the root cause of the pain and inflammation. They only mask the symptoms and allow your body to get more inflamed, instead of providing a long term cure and solution.
According to research, the negative effects of ibuprofen are linked to a higher risk of heart failure and sudden cardiac arrest, DNA damage, high blood pressure, anemia, miscarriage, influenza and impaired hearing. In fact, the entire group of anti-inflammatory and non-steroidal drugs produces these side effects.
Statistical data reveal that there were approximately 30,000 cases of heart failure and sudden cardiac arrest as a result of Vioxx usage between 1999 and 2003. A 2000 study showed that these medications lead to increased heart rate and are linked to heart failure and strokes. Yet, FDA, Merck, and other pharmaceutical companies, remained silent on this issue.
In addition, long-term high-dose use of painkillers such as Ibuprofen (Advil) or Diclofenac (Voltaren) is equally dangerous in terms of heart attack and stroke risk as use of the drug Vioxx, which was withdrawn due to its potential dangers, researchers said.
Natural alternatives to NSAID
1.Topical arnica – The plant has a potent anti-inflammatory and anti-pain activity and usually is applied topically as a cream, ointment or tincture. A study from 2007 showed that arnica gel has the same effects as ibuprofen in reducing osteoarthritis in hands.
2.Ginger root – A 2013 study published in the journal Arthritis, revealed that ginger root is better than ibuprofen for pain relief. Ginger extract stops the formation of inflammatory compounds prostaglandins, and its antioxidant effects break down the existing inflammation and acidity in the joints.
The dosage is 250 mg ginger capsule to relieve the pain or a half teaspoon ginger powder, four times daily. For arthritis pain or minor injuries, you can apply ginger powder externally.
4.White willow bark – It contains salicin, a chemical that is similar to aspirin. Salicin is responsible for the anti-inflammatory and anti-pain effects of the herb, in combination with other anti-inflammatory plant compounds (flavonoids).
The usual dose is 1 to 3 grams of dried bark daily, or approximately 60 to 240mg salicin. Children under 12 years old should not take willow bark, because of the danger of developing Reye syndrome.
5.Panax ginseng – It has pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties similar to those in ibuprofen, which also indicates its possible anti-rheumatoid arthritis properties.
6.Holy Basil (Tulsi) – Another study found holy basil, also known as Tulsi, to contain anti-inflammatory compounds with similar effects as ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin.
7.Omega 3 fatty acids – They have very potent anti-inflammatory properties. These anti-inflammatory properties can be useful for people who suffer from some inflammatory joint conditions. Suggested dose is 1000 mg daily.