Original Article on Healthy Holistic Living
Seeking a natural alternative to ibuprofen is not just for those who prefer natural remedies to conventional medicines. For many people it is something they are passionate about because of the many concerns that have been voiced linking ibuprofen to things like heart disease, circulatory problems, and gastrointestinal conditions. Fears have also been raised with regard to bleeding and/or perforation of the gut and the intestinal tract.
Other Factors Linked to the Harmful Side Effects of Ibuprofen
Whilst these harmful side-effects are mostly attributed to the repetitive use of ibuprofen over time, the field is somewhat complicated because, amongst other factors, one must also has to take into account a person’s general health, the taking of any other medications, and the individual’s age.
When the Natural Messenger needs Heeding
Pain is Mother Nature’s way of telling is that there is something wrong, so dealing with her natural messenger in a natural way does have a kind of poetic justice about it. But through all of this, there is one thing that should be borne in mind. There’s no reason that anyone subjected to pain should have to suffer it unaided. The only thing to be careful of is that if the pain is repetitive, the underlying cause should be diagnosed by a medical practitioner. Just treating the symptom may mean delaying a diagnosis that could have significant impact on your general health.
The Natural Alternative to Ibuprofen through Herbal Medicine
Long before modern medical science came into being, mankind has dealing with pain via natural means. Many of these natural herbal remedies have borne the test of time, and are still being used today by those who belong to the herbal remedy school. In terms of a holistic health lifestyle, these natural alternatives to ibuprofen, and any other manufactured pain relief treatments, are more in keeping with holistic ideals, so let’s take a look at some of them now.
1. White Willow Bark
White Willow Bark is an herbal remedy that stretches back in time, over 2000 years. It is gathered from the bark of various species of willow trees and has been used in many herbal medicine cultures, including that of the ancient Chinese, and Romans. As well as being used to treat lower back pain, osteoarthritis and other conditions including bursitis and tendinitis, it can also be used as a natural headache relief medicine.
White Willow Bark contains a natural chemical known as Salicin. Aspirin, which contains Acetylsalicylic Acid, was modeled on Salicin when it was first engineered back in the 1800s. Although it is not as fast acting as aspirin, the effects of White Willow Bark may have a longer lasting effect.
2. Cats Claw
Cat’s Claw is so named because of its resemblance to… yes – you’ve got it… a cat’s claw! It’s a thorny vine that is known to climb as high as 100 feet, and it’s the bark and the root of the plant that are used to make the herbal medication. The plant is found in South and Central America, but mostly in the rainforests of the Amazon. The majority of Cat’s Claw that is sold here in the USA is imported from Peru.
Research indicates that Cat’s Claw may be able to stimulate the immune system. Because of this it is advisable not to take it if you are on medication to suppress your immune system function. Cat’s Claw contains an anti-inflammatory agent that prohibits the manufacture of a hormone known as prostaglandin, a hormone which is in part responsible for pain and inflammation. It also contains antioxidants.
The research carried out to date also suggests that Cat’s Claw can be taken to relax smooth muscles, to dilate blood vessels (thus helping to lower hypertension), and as a natural Diuretic, to help the body to lose excess water. It is often taken by people who suffer from osteoarthritis of the knee.
It can be purchased in capsule form, or in its natural form, when it is used to make a tea or tincture.
Boswellia is also known as Indian frankincense. It comes from the Boswell Serrata tree which grows in India and has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. Traditionally, it has been used in resin format to treat chronic inflammatory conditions, as well as a number of other disorders. These include:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Inflammatory bowel disorders
The reason that Boswellia may be able to assist with arthritic symptoms is that it contains Boswellic Acid which is believed to improve the blood flow to the joints, thus preventing white blood cells from entering and causing inflammation.
Today, Boswellia can be bought in the form of a cream for topical application, a resin as previously mentioned, or in tablet form. When used to treat arthritis, it is believed that it may be able to prevent cartilage loss.
Capsaicin is an ingredient of the Chili Pepper. It is made into a cream that can then be applied topically to any painful area (not the eyes). When we experience pain, a substance known as substance “P” carries pain signals to the brain. Capsaicin is able to interfere with this process. It can be purchased in different grades of strength, and upon initial application can cause some localized stinging or burning, which then quickly subsides. After several applications, (it should be applied 3 to 4 times per day), these sensations are no longer felt.
Because Capsaicin comes from Chili Peppers, certain precautions should be made, such as washing your hands thoroughly after applying it, and keeping it away from your eyes, and from children too.
As well as being available in cream or ointment format, it is also available in patches.
Curcumin is an ingredient that comes from the herb known as Turmeric. It comes from India, where it has a long history of being used in Ayurvedic medicine. It works in a similar way to Capsaicin in as much as it blocks the transmission of substance “P”, but it’s also credited with the ability to block certain proteins that cause inflammation.
It is used to treat arthritic pain but has many other capabilities too according to this article published in Natural News. It is the most medically researched natural herb and it still undergoing tests.
6. Essential Oils
Whilst not strictly speaking a direct alternative to ibuprofen as an out and out pain killer, essential oils have the ability to combat one of the most common forms of pain – that of the headache – essential oils are a natural headache relief.
Many headaches, such as tension headaches, are a symptom of stress or bad lifestyle, and massaging essential oils into the scalp and temples can be an effective, natural, remedy. They work on two levels – three in actual fact, if you take the massaging process into account as well.
In the first instance, they work on a natural chemical level. In the second instance, they work on the sensory level, through your sense of smell. In the third instance, when applied through light finger massage (rather than being poured into a bath in which you then soak for 20 or 30 minutes), the massage itself helps to relieve tension. There are three main essential oils to consider. They are:
- Roman Chamomile – great as a muscle relaxant
- Lavender – a wonderful natural pain reliever
- Clary Sage – lowers heart rate and blood pressure, reducing stress and tension
If you’d like to find out more about how much oil you should use, and the techniques for applying, then check out this article here in the British online newspaper the Mail Online
Try them and see
For those of a holistic health persuasion, minimizing the amount of unnatural chemicals you put into your body is of high importance. I hope this article gives you some great natural alternatives to Ibuprofen that will work for you.