The other day a patient said to me (Dr. J) ..."I am sick of taking pain medications. What are natural options for decreasing my inflammation and pain?"
There is a lot of information out there and sometimes it is hard to know what to believe. I went to the medical journals to find out what some of the most researched natural anti inflammatory agents are for pain relief.
There are many articles and one in particular was called "Natural anti-inflammatory agents for pain relief" in Surgical Neurology International. Read the entire article at the link or read below and I will hit the highlights. (Remember to always consult with your doctor before altering prescriptions and this is not meant to diagnose, treat, or cure any conditions)
The article goes on to say..
"Plant- and animal-derived nutraceutical preparations have been used for hundreds and even thousands of years to obtain effective pain relief. Herbal medications are becoming increasingly popular because of their relatively few side effects. Nevertheless, there are problems associated with these dietary supplements, and their use requires knowledge of their biological action, clinical studies (both affirmative and negative), and potential interactions with other nutraceutical products and prescription medications.
The evaluation of nutraceutical preparations with appropriately designed controlled studies has exploded in recent years. There is now a greater degree of confidence based on controlled study design and improved quality of the investigators that has strengthened positive findings found using natural compounds to treat diseases."
Here are the ones listed in the article in no particular order for Natural anti-inflammatory agents for pain relief":
1. Omega-3 EFAs (fish oil)
The use of fish oil (in the form of cod liver oil), an omega-3 EFA, for the treatment of muscular, skeletal, and discogenic diseases, can be traced back to the late 18th century
2. White Willow Bark
Bark from the white willow tree is one of the oldest herbal remedies for pain and inflammation, dating back to ancient Egyptian, Roman, Greek, and Indian civilizations, as an analgesic and antipyretic agent.
3. Curcumin (Turmeric)
Several clinical trials have demonstrated curcumin’s antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antineoplastic effects.
Here is the link to the Turmeric we use and recommend:
Results of a study by Zandi and Karin suggested that curcumin might be efficacious in the treatment of cystic fibrosis because of its anti-inflammatory effect. Curcumin is known to inhibit inflammation by suppressing NF-kB, restricting various activators of NF-kB as well as stemming its expression.
Curcumin has also been suggested as a treatment for colitis, chronic neurodegenerative diseases, arthritis, and cancer. In addition, it regulates the activity of several enzymes and cytokines by inhibiting both COX-1 and COX-2. Most studies to date have been performed in animals, but given the centuries of use of curcumin, as well as its now demonstrated activity in the NF-kB, COX-1, and COX-2 inflammatory pathways, it may be considered a viable natural alternative to nonsteroidal agents for the treatment of inflammation.
4. Green Tea
Green tea has long been recognized to have cardiovascular and cancer preventative characteristics due to its antioxidant properties. Its use in the treatment of arthritic disease as an anti-inflammatory agent has been recognized more recently. Green tea research now demonstrates both anti-inflammatory and chondroprotective effects. Additionally, green tea research includes the “Asian paradox”, which theorizes that increased green tea consumption in Asia may lead to significant cardiovascular, neuroprotective and cancer prevention properties.
5. Pycnogenol (maritime pine bark)
Pycnogenol is derived from the bark of the maritime pine tree (Pinus maritima) and has been used for more than 2000 years. It has been considered helpful for wound healing, treating scurvy, healing of ulcers, and reducing vascular inflammation.
6. Boswellia serrata resin (Frankincense)
This resin possesses anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritic, and analgesic properties.
Resveratrol has also been found to have significant anti-mutation, anti-inflammatory, antoxidant and DNA protective actions, when consumed by animals and humans.
I hope you found this interesting