Live with less pain
What are pain and inflammation?
Difficult to define and treat because everyone experiences pain differently and reacts to it in a unique way. Pain is an emotional experience which is an unpleasant sensation linked to inflammation or tissue damage.
To manage pain and inflammation, we used to take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) such as ibuprofen, naproxen, diclofenac, etc… However, the long term use of these drugs proved to be harmful due to their side effects.
The pharmaceutical drugs may not be the only path to pain relief. Extensive research on herbal medicine led to the discovery of new molecules and highlighted the various herbal compounds which could have direct synergistic therapeutic effects when combined in different herbal supplements formulations. The phyto-pharmaceuticals sources are a potent protector against various pro-inflammatory mediators and helping decrease inflammation in different diseases and disorders . Many medicinal plants has low or no side effects according to the recommended concentration and quantity taken.
Natural remedies are made from different parts of plants including leaves, twigs, berries, barks, roots and buds. All the active ingredients plus the vitamins and minerals contained in the plants can help control pain and inflammation, saving joints and regenerating mobility.
Here are some of the most important natural remedies with strong anti-inflammatory virtues:
1. Indian frankincense or olibanum
It’s a resin with long tradition in Indian, Chinese and Arabic natural medicine, with a powerful anti-inflammatory effect comparable with NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). The main compounds of this resin are boswellic acid, incensole acetate and various types of terpenes, which are powerful anti-inflammatory, antioxidants and protective of healthy cells .
Several pharmacological properties of Indian frankincense:
- Anti-inflammatory for joint disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, bursitis.
- Pain killer abilities, inhibiting the release of inflammatory compounds.
- Hypolipidemic effect – reduction of triglycerides in serum .
- Booster for immunity system and prevention against autoimmune diseases.
- Antibacterial effect of essential oil with high capacity to eliminate the bacteria and microbes .
- Anti-infective properties in urinary and respiratory infections.
- Helpful against cerebral edema and skin diseases in a topical ointment.
- Potentially anticancer effects.
- Improves inflammatory bowel diseases.
- Protective effects on cerebral ischemic injury (incensole acetate) with potential therapeutic treatment in cerebral ischemia .
2. Curcuma or turmeric (Curcuma longa)
Turmeric is an ancient medicinal plant, but its roots and herbs are still used in traditional daily meals in India. Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic Medicine have valued turmeric for its health benefits due to the active ingredient curcumin, the yellow-orange pigment.
Several pharmacological properties of curcumin:
- Anti-inflammatory effect helps to reduce pain and increase mobility in osteoarthritis.
- Antioxidant five to eight times stronger than vitamins C and E.
- Antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral activity.
- Huge potential against various diseases: diabetes, allergies, Alzheimer, arthritis.
- Anti-cancer activities, helps the body.
- Enhance liver function and supports.
- Potent anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic effects in melanoma cells.
Oral bioavailability of curcumin is a subject of intense research and the results have proved that the Biocurcumax (BCM-95) and the combination curcumin-lecithin-piperine provide enhanced bio-availability . Curcumin in combination with acid boswellic increases the efficiency of osteoarthritis treatment due to synergic effects .
3. Blackcurrant (Ribes nigrum)
Blackcurrant is an amazing plant frequently used in herbal medicine for its berries, leaves, buds extract and oil obtained from its seeds.
The berries of blackcurrant are used due to their rich concentration in anthocyanins - antioxidants like polyphenolic compounds- and vitamin C, gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) - a type of omega 6 fatty acid responsible for helping to ease inflammation in the body. They are rich in vitamins B5, B6, B1, and E. The blackcurrant seeds oil is useful for dry, itching and stinging skin. It is also recommended for easing the symptoms of psoriasis.
The main pharmacological properties of blackcurrant leaves and berries extracts are:
- Anti-inflammatory effect due to gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), improving joint health and modulating inflammatory response . Pro-anthocyanidins isolated from blackcurrant leaves interfere with the accumulation of circulating leukocytes, thus being associated with a reduction of pro-inflammatory factors .
- Protects the immune system, due to its high level of vitamin C.
- Improves vision and eye health, slowing the development of macular degeneration.
- Promotes kidneys’ health.
- Optimizes the digestive system activity and improves gut’s health.
- Prevents circulatory problems and improves blood flow.
- Significant hypoglycemic effect of blackcurrant leaves extracts in non-insulin dependent diabetes .
- Antioxidant activity with anti-aging effect. Using fruits and blackcurrant leaves extracts help to fight free radicals and increases resistance to various diseases .
- Antimicrobial and antiviral activity against influenza virus .
- Anticancer activity by suppression of the inflammatory cascade.
- Blackcurrant phytochemicals are used in chemoprevention of inflammation-driven hepatocellular cancer .
4. Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica)
Nettle is a common sight in backyards and gardens with an herbaceous perennial flowering aspect, native to Europe, Asia, northern Africa and North America. The leaves and stems have stinging hairs called “trichomes”, which act like needles that inject chemicals when touched, including histamine, formic acid, serotonin, and acetylcholine that produces an irritating and uncomfortable sensation on the skin. Because of its active ingredients: calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, boron, manganese, phosphorous, selenium, vitamins (A, K,B1,B6,B2,PP), folate, quercetin and rutin, the nettle can help the body function to work optimally. Nettle is a popular steamed food with high nutritional content and tonic properties.
Stinging nettle has essential health benefits:
- Detoxify the body and improve metabolic efficiency. The body’s toxins are neutralized, then rapidly eliminated, because of its diuretic effect.
- Nettle leaf has been used in osteoarthritis due to a significant alleviation of pain and stiffness .
- Anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects have been observed in rheumatoid arthritis in oral doses and external application .
- Chondroprotective and anti-inflammatory effects proved in vitro studies when combining nettle leaf with rosehip and willow bark .
- Inhibitory potential on pro-inflammatory factor was proved with nettle leaf extract .
- Anti-inflammatory potential in allergies .
- Regulate hormonal activity and prevents diabetes.
- Boost immunity and improve respiratory conditions.
- Hypotensive action of Urtica dioica indicates a direct effect on the cardiovascular system , .
- Relieves fatigue or anemia because of the combination of vitamin C and iron.
- Efficiency in pregnancy and childbirth.
- Promotes women's health by minimizing the discomfort associated with menstruation and menopausal symptoms.
- Improves energy levels of the body and prostate health.
- The anti-proliferative effect of nettle roots upon epithelial cells of the human prostate was already proven .
- Skin care support by preventing bacterial infection and promoting anti-aging effects by reducing wrinkles and age spots.
5. Cat’s claw (Uncaria Tomentosa)
Cat's claw is a climbing vine from the Amazon rainforest and other tropical areas of South and Central America. As an herbal medicine, it is widely used to treat inflammatory disorders due to its high content of glycosides . It represents a real support to a healthy functioning of the immune system because of its high content of oxindole alkaloids.
The main pharmacological properties of cat’s claw are:
- Benefits in alleviating pain, swelling and tenderness of joints .
- Effective treatment of osteoarthritis due to antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties , , .
- Cat’s claw edible extract may exhibit protective action against inflammation associated with various respiratory conditions .
- Provide intestinal support for people with irritable bowel syndrome and remission in enteritis , .
- The plant’s bark has shown an anti-inflammatory effect similar with dexamethasone .
- Remarkable impact on the immune system, boosting its activity .
- Prevent and reduce the risk of certain types of cancer .
- Prevent degenerative diseases .
- Increases wounds’ healing when used in external applications.
All the information provided on this article is intended only as a general reference for further exploration, and is not a replacement for professional health advice. It’s important to remember that this content doesn’t provide dosage information, formal recommendations, toxicity levels, or possible interactions with prescription drugs. This information should be used under the direct supervision of a qualified health practitioner. Ensure that you won’t be complicating any ongoing treatments.