When pain strikes, many of us instinctively reach for a bottle of ibuprofen, an over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that can help to relieve aches and pains, reduce fever, and alleviate inflammation. However, ibuprofen is not without its risks, and long-term or excessive use can cause a range of side effects, including gastrointestinal problems, kidney damage, and increased risk of heart attack and stroke. Furthermore, recent studies have suggested that ibuprofen may increase the risk of cardiac arrest, a sudden and often fatal condition in which the heart stops beating.
Fortunately, there are a number of natural alternatives to ibuprofen that may help to reduce pain and inflammation without the same risk of side effects. Here are six options to consider:
Arnica is a plant that grows in mountainous regions and has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for pain and inflammation. Studies have shown that arnica can be effective for reducing pain and stiffness in people with osteoarthritis, as well as for reducing inflammation after surgery. Arnica can be applied topically as a cream, gel, or ointment, or taken orally in homeopathic preparations. It’s important to note, however, that arnica should not be taken internally in large amounts, as it can be toxic.
Ginger is a spice with potent anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. It contains compounds called gingerols and shogaols that have been shown to reduce pain and inflammation in people with osteoarthritis, menstrual pain, and other conditions. Ginger can be taken in a variety of forms, including fresh or dried root, tea, capsules, or as an oil or cream. While ginger is generally safe and well-tolerated, it can cause mild side effects such as heartburn, diarrhea, and skin irritation in some people.
Turmeric is a bright yellow spice that is commonly used in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine. It contains a compound called curcumin, which has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Studies have shown that curcumin can be effective for reducing pain and inflammation in people with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and other conditions. Turmeric can be taken as a spice in cooking, or in supplement form as a capsule or tablet. While turmeric is generally safe and well-tolerated, it can cause stomach upset and other side effects in some people.
Members Only Content
To continue reading please subscribe to WellnessPlus by Dr. Jess MD
Be your own best doctor with our comprehensive suite of online health coaching tools.