Looking for a natural alternative to ibuprofen has become absolutely necessary after the many concerns regarding its health risks and side effects, including bleeding, perforation of the gut, circulatory problems, gastrointestinal conditions, and heart disease.
Other Factors Linked to the Harmful Side Effects of Ibuprofen
While these detrimental side-effects are mostly due to the long- term use of ibuprofen, the field is quite complicated since, among other factors, it is necessary to take into consideration person`s health, age, and taking of any medications.
The Natural Alternative to Ibuprofen through Herbal Medicine
Long before modern medicine took over, people used natural remedies to deal with pain. Most of these natural remedies are time-tested, and are still widely used by proponents of alternative medicine. If you are interested in learning more about this, read on! Below you have a list of the top six natural alternatives to ibuprofen. Check them out:
1. White Willow Bark
The use of white willow bark goes back in time, more than 2000 years. It is obtained from the bark of willow trees and has been long used by ancient cultures like the Romans and the ancient Chinese. Apart from being effective in treating osteoarthritis, lower back pain, tendinitis, and bursitis, it works wonders for headache, too.
This herb contains salicin, a natural chemical which is turned into salicylic acid by the body and works as natural pain reliever. As a matter of fact, salicin in willow bark is Mother Nature`s rival to aspirin, which has been first engineered back in the 1800s. Even though willow bark takes more time to provide relief, its effects are longer- lasting.
2. Cat`s Claw
As the name itself suggests, this herb is very similar to cat`s claw. It has claw-shaped thorns and is known to climb as high as 100 feet. It is its bark and root which are used to make the herbal remedy.
It has been scientifically shown that cat`s claw is capable of stimulating the immune system, so make sure you don’t take it if you are on medication to suppress immune system function. It also contains anti-inflammatory properties which inhibit the production of a hormone known as prostaglandin, which is responsible for inflammation and pain.
According to a research, this herb can be used to relax smooth muscles, as natural diuretic to help the body flush out excess water, and dilate blood vessels. It is also often used by people suffering from osteoarthritis of the knee.
Also known as Indian frankincense, this herb has been long used in Ayurvedic to treat chronic inflammatory conditions and disorders like asthma, inflammatory bowel disorders, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
What makes Boswellia so effective in alleviating arthritis symptoms is its Boswellic acid content, which is known to enhance blood flow to the joints and prevent white blood cells from causing inflammation. These days you can purchase Boswellia in the form of resin, tablet form, or a cream for topical application.
Capsaicin is the active ingredient of Chili Pepper which is made into cream designed for topical application. This ingredient has the ability to interfere with the process of sending pain signals to the brain, this bringing relief almost instantly. It may causes stinging or burning in the beginning, but these sensations are no longer experienced after a few applications.
Curcumin is the active ingredient of turmeric, a plant which has been long used in Auyrvdic medicine. It works similarly to capsaicin, by blocking the transmission of pain signals to the brain. It is also known to inhibit certain proteins which cause inflammation.
According to an article published in Natural News, it is used to treat arthritis pain, joint pain, stomach pain, diarrhea, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, liver problems, hemorrhage, intestinal gas, stomach bloating, bypass surgery, jaundice, and many more.
6. Essential Oils
Essential oils are capable of fighting off one of the most common form of pain- headache. Most headaches are manifested as symptoms of bad lifestyle and stress, and rubbing essential oils into the temples and scalp may treat them effectively and naturally. They work on three levels:
- Work on natural chemical level
- Work on sensory level, through the sense of smell
- The massage itself relieves tension
Some of the best oils you can use include lavender (natural pain reliever), Roman chamomile (muscle relaxant), and clary sage (reduces stress and tension).