The longer you live, the higher your likelihood of experiencing some sort of bodily discomfort. It’s unfortunate but it’s a part of growing older. That’s why people are always looking for ways to reduce pain, especially in the joints and muscles.
A study published in the journal Scientific Reports, found that the most common type of painkiller that’s generally overused can damage a vital organ in the body at normal dosage.
The study from the University of California Davis found that ibuprofen could harm the liver.
“The liver plays a key role in energy metabolism and is essential for whole-body homeostasis [the stabilization of bodily functions] via the regulation of glucose, lipid, and amino acid metabolism,” the researchers explain in their study paper.
The liver is the body’s primary filter.
It processes everything we ingest, including drugs and alcohol. So it’s no surprise that medication can have unwanted effects on the liver.
To find out how ibuprofen could cause liver problems, the study team gave a daily dosage equivalent to an adult human taking around 486 mg of ibuprofen to mice for 1 week.
At the end of the week, researchers observed changes in at least 34 metabolic pathways that are responsible for dealing with amino acids, hormones, vitamins, and the release of reactive oxygen and hydrogen peroxide within cells.
“We found that ibuprofen caused many more protein expression changes in the liver than we expected,” says study co-author Prof. Aldrin Gomes.
When poorly regulated, hydrogen peroxide can damage proteins and apply stress to cells in the liver, affecting the organ’s health, the researchers explain.
“No drug is perfect, as all drugs have side effects. However, many commonly used drugs, such as ibuprofen, are being overused and should not be used for certain conditions, such as mild pain.” – Prof. Aldrin Gomes
Natural alternatives you should consider taking for mild pain.
1. Willow Bark has been used for centuries for pain relief. The active ingredient in willow bark is called salicin, which is also what’s used to make aspirin.
You can find willow bark tea in most health food stores. Simply steep willow bark tea for two to three minutes in hot water and drink. Willow bark can also be used topically.
If you’re sensitive or allergic to aspirin, you should choose another natural pain reliever from the list.
2. Cloves are one of the best topical solution for pain relief. If you’ve ever had a bad toothache and couldn’t get to a dentist, this is the most effective alternative you can use. Check out this article if you’re curious as to why it works.
3. Fish Oil is something you should already be consuming. Most of us don’t get enough omega-3 fatty acids in our diet. This potent anti-inflammatory has been found to help with joint pain and is an essential nutrient.
4. Epsom Salt is rich in magnesium. And if you’ve ever read one of our articles on this mineral, then you know exactly how good it is for the body. If your body is sore from a hard day of work or you pushed yourself too hard during your last workout, try an epsom salt bath. It’ll work wonders!
5. Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory spice. It’s active ingredient called curcumin is well-known for reducing inflammation and blocking pain. If you’re not already taking it, here’s a few turmeric recipes you can try.