Natural Alternatives to Drugs for Pain Relief

When you have pain, you want it to stop right now. That’s why you may consider grabbing the nearest NSAID or aspirin.

However, you do have options you may not realize – ones from the herbal kingdom that have been around since the beginning of time.

Take a look at two solutions below. Understand what it is you must accomplish in order to reduce your pain and also bring healing to the parts of your body that ache.

Herbs That Have Research Supporting Pain Relief

Cat’s claw herb (Uncaria tomentosa)

Cat’s claw herb hails from the Peruvian rainforest where it grows as a vine. What an incredible plant this is because it contains a medicinal constituent called mitraphylline. This substance inhibits about 50% of the interleukins that cause inflammation in the body. Interleukins are substances produced by the cells that are linked to inflammation.

When compared to the prescription medication dexamethasone, mitraphylline is the true cat’s meow because it reduced about 40% of the interleukin-4 produced during inflammation while dexamethasone’s response was zero. Mitraphylline (and cat’s claw herb) is nontoxic to cells as well. You could call it a natural alternative to painkiller drugs.

And that’s only one part of this herb. Cat’s claw prevents macrophage Pac-man like cells of the immune system from dying when hit by free radicals and inhibits negative genetic changes from occurring in the body from fat oxidation. It also helps inflammation in the intestines heal from damage done by a prescription NSAID called indomethacin. These attributes make scientists admit that it’s an effective anti-inflammatory agent plus it contains antioxidants.

Early research on Cat’s claw found that it increases the number and activity of the white blood cell army by 33% within 2 hours. This is a benefit to you because if you suddenly develop the aches and pains in your muscles due to the common cold or flu, taking cat’s claw could nip the virus in the bud.

Many people can feel a difference in the pain they have in their body within a few hours if the pain is caused by inflammation or infection by taking a few 500 mg capsules, and continue taking this dosage three times total per day.

Curcumin, a Constituent of Turmeric

Turmeric is a spice used in some great Indian food dishes, and its regular consumption can only do good in the body. One of the active ingredients in turmeric is curcumin.

Curcumin is great because it regulates the inflammatory mediators in the body; those chemicals in the body that travel around creating inflammation no matter where they go. An example of an inflammatory mediator is histamine. When histamine levels rise in your skin, you begin to itch.

Curcumin also attacks the inflammatory mediators that are created from fat cells, which can cause obesity, inflammation throughout your whole body, and metabolic disorders such as diabetes.

In one rat study, curcumin was compared to hydrocortisone when animals had fibrosis of the lungs. The herb decreased inflammation as much as the hydrocortisone did.

One of the ways that curcumin acts against inflammation is via going right after the substances that produce free radicals and nipping them in the bud, so to speak. These antioxidant functions are to your benefit when you have pain because once the inflammation is gone, so is your pain. Quenching free radicals always results in lessened inflammation.

Curcumin is widely available at health food stores and it’s not uncommon to take five to six 900 mg capsules daily for an inflammation, and up to 12 capsules if results are desired immediately. One capsule is equivalent to about 5 curry meals so it’s easiest simply to take the active ingredient rather than eat an extra few meals a day!

Herbs work, and now it’s up to you to start using this information to your advantage. The primary rule to remember is to never mix herbs plus medications. Always take them one hour away from medications to prevent any potential reaction but do also remember that many herbs enhance the effects of medications.

When using herbal knowledge, your health ascends to a new higher level, one where you live a brand new existence. You know that whenever you have pain, you simply get busy and eliminate it yourself. And that alone is life-transforming!

Now get out there and start eliminating your pain. Make it a discovery process, and let the herbs do all the work. Stand by and observe the results and be amazed.

Sources:

J Ethnopharmacol 2012 Oct 11; 143(3): 801-4.

Aliment Pharmacol Ther 1998 Dec; 12(12): 1279-89.

Mediators Inflamm 2013; 2013: 329740.

PLoS One 2013 Nov 19;8(11): e81252. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24260564

Int Immunopharmacol 2013 Dec; 17(4): 1101-7. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24157330

J Ethnopharmacol 2007 Jun 13;112(2): 292-9. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17434272