Over-the-counter medicines (OTCs) are a double-edged sword: They are readily available and can relieve your symptoms quickly, but once you have become reliant on them, they can make you sicker with adverse side effects. Ibuprofen is one such OTC medicine: While it’s used at a rate of billions of doses every year to treat pain, it’s also responsible for a host of other adverse side effects.
Ibuprofen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) commonly taken to treat pain and fever from conditions such as arthritis, menstrual cramps, headaches, colds and the flu. The drug, however, can also cause numerous side effects such as abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, heartburn, indigestion, vomiting and much more.
In addition, studies show that ibuprofen is responsible for thousands of cardiovascular disease-related deaths.
With all these negative effects associated with taking ibuprofen and other NSAIDs, many people have turned to natural alternatives to address and relieve different kinds of pain. Here are six of them:
Arnica is a plant of the daisy family native to cooler regions of the northern hemisphere. The arnica plant is commonly used medicinally, in the form of gels and lotions, especially for the treatment of bruises.
A 2007 study found that arnica is as effective as five percent ibuprofen gel for relieving symptoms associated with osteoarthritis of the wrist, and with fewer side effects.
“Arnica has had a safe history of use as a topical product by millions of people. This study shows that there is a solid, efficacious choice out there for people who do not want to use a NSAID topical,” said Eileen Sheets, managing director of Bioforce USA.
Ginger is the rhizome of the Zingiber officinale plant. It is a common herbal drug with potent anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, which make it an efficient natural alternative to synthetic pain-relieving agents like ibuprofen. In particular, research shows that ginger is as effective as ibuprofen for pain symptoms associated with difficult menstrual cycles, such as dysmenorrhea.
Turmeric is a widely used spice in Southeast Asian cuisine. Its active compound curcumin is known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can promote healing.
Studies have found that turmeric has pain-reducing power that is as effective as that of prescription and OTC medications. The anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric have been shown to help improve rheumatoid arthritis, post-operative inflammation, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome and stomach ulcers.
Moreover, turmeric extracts have been found to be as effective as ibuprofen for relieving symptoms of knee osteoarthritis. (Related: Coffee found to be just as effective as ibuprofen for easing pain.)
Thyme is a well-known antibacterial and anti-fungal herb. Its active ingredient thymol is a common ingredient in antibacterial products such as mouthwash.
The essential oil of thyme has a long history of use as natural medicine. One study shows that thyme essential oil is as effective as ibuprofen in reducing pain and spasms associated with dysmenorrhea.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Few nutrients have been studied as thoroughly as omega-3 fatty acids. They have many powerful health benefits for the body and brain.
A 2006 study found that omega-3 supplementation with fish oil helped neurosurgery patients reduce their need for medications. Another study showed that omega-3 supplementation is a safer alternative to ibuprofen in treating discogenic pain.
A warm cup of cinnamon tea has been known to provide relief from chronic pain due to arthritis, rheumatism, fibromyalgia, Crohn’s disease or other inflammatory conditions. Research has found that cinnamon is also as effective as ibuprofen for pain associated with dysmenorrhea.
Pain is a fact of life, but you can deal with it safely and effectively using natural alternatives. Read up on other painkillers from Mother Nature at NaturalCures.news.