There’s mounting evidence that one of the most popular over-the-counter painkillers – Ibuprofen, can incur some serious health issues including an increased risk of a heart attack and stroke. The alarming thing is that this common analgesic is used on a regular basis to treat a wide array of ailments from headaches to inflammatory joint or muscle pain.
Ibuprofen, also found as Motrin and Advil, belongs to the group of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, which, according to medical statistics, cause at least 16,000 deaths per annum and send other 100,000 people to hospitals in the U.S only. Unfortunately, most people are unaware that this type of pain killers has adverse effects on their health.
According to research, the negative effects of ibuprofen have been linked to a higher risk of heart failure and sudden cardiac arrest, DNA damage, high blood pressure, anemia, miscarriage, influenza, kidney damage and impaired hearing. In fact, the entire group of anti-inflammatory and non-steroidal drugs produces these side effects.
Better Safe Than Sorry
What ibuprofen does in the body is block the secretion of prostaglandin, prostacyclin and thromboxane, lipid compounds that act as mediators of inflammation and pain. When ibuprofen is metabolized by the liver, it seriously affects this organ, causing injury, liver failure, or liver disease such as jaundice over time. Even the FDA warned against the side effects of these drugs in 2005reporting that they increase a person’s risk of heart failure.
According to the FDA:
- Heart attack and stroke risk increase even with short-term use, and the risk may begin within a few weeks of starting to take an NSAID.
- The risk of a heart attack and stroke increases with higher doses of NSAIDs taken for longer periods of time.
- The risk is somewhat higher for people who already have heart disease.
These drugs have also been linked to hypertension and they carry a much higher risk for people over 40. Despite the dire warnings on NSAIDs serious health risks, most people still resort to these painkillers, such as ibuprofen, as this is an easier alternative that provides immediate pain relief.
The Natural Alternative
Turmeric is undoubtedly one of the most health-beneficial spices in the world. Aside from improving the taste of your dishes, but, it also acts as a natural pain reliever. To be more specific, turmeric is the most powerful natural anti-inflammatory and there’s mounting evidence to support that. This spice has actually been found more efficient in relieving arthritic knee pain than ibuprofen. The thing is curcumin, the active compound in turmeric, has analgesic properties similar to ibuprofen. It relieves pain by triggering a response in the opioid receptors in the brain. But, as opposed to drugs, turmeric doesn’t cause any side effects or addiction.
According to a recent study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, turmeric can also effectively relieve symptoms of osteoarthritis. For a six-week’s period, the study subjects were divided in two groups and were given 800mg ibuprofen or 2,000mg turmeric per day respectively. At the end of the study, the turmeric group had greater improvement and fewer side effects than the ibuprofen group.
DIY Turmeric Supplements
- 1/3 cup organic, ground turmeric
- a pinch of ground black pepper
- 3 tbs. raw, organic honey
- 1 tbs. melted coconut oil
- In a bowl mix all ingredients together to make a paste.
- Take a bit of the turmeric paste and roll it into a small ball. Do the same with the rest of the paste.
- Place the turmeric balls in a freezer for about 1 hour then take out.
- Store in a glass container and keep refrigerated.
- Take 2-3 turmeric balls a day.
- In a glass mix 1 tbsp. turmeric powder, 1 cup of honey and the juice of 1 lemon.
- Add 1 of the mixture into a cup of warm water or tea 3 times a day.
Important: To increase turmeric absorption in the body always mix it with some fat such as coconut oil and a pinch of black pepper.