Pain is the subjective experience of discomfort and can be accompanied by itching, burning or inflammation. While there are tests that can be used to establish the presence of conditions that are associated with pain, there are no tests that can directly confirm its presence.
The absence of objective diagnostic criteria has resulted in over-reporting and liberal prescribing. Long-term use of prescription narcotics can result in dependence, addiction and serious health consequences. The rising costs of health care and the increase in the manufacture of synthetic opiates converge to exacerbate the death toll from accidental overdose.
Natural Alternatives to Prescription Medications
In this context, many people are discovering natural remedies to treat chronic inflammation resulting from conditions such as arthritis and other auto-immune disorders. The three natural substances discussed in this narrative are especially effective in relieving inflammation.
Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric and is also found in curry powder and ginger. It blocks NF-kB, which activates inflammation at the molecular level. This beneficial compound also has the ability to directly reduce synaptic sensitivity that causes discomfort.
Curcumin is poorly absorbed by the body but the piperine in black pepper greatly enhances usability. Because this compound is fat soluble, its absorption by the body will be enhanced when consumed with a fatty meal. Turmeric spice contains only a small amount of the active ingredient and supplements are recommended if a more expedient solution is desired.
Fish oil is an important source of omega-3 fatty acids and occurs in high concentrations in coldwater fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, lake trout, and tuna.
Oily fish contains two types of omega-3 fatty acid, Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Of these two, EPA plays the most significant role in protecting against inflammation. EPA inhibits the production of arachidonic acid, which mediates inflammation at the cellular level.
Boswellia, also known as Indian frankincense, is an extract of the Boswellia serrata tree. The main active ingredient, boswellic acid, functions in a manner similar to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) but long-term use does not lead to irritation of the stomach lining.
Not to be confused with frankincense, this compound prohibits the formation of inflammation-producing leukotriene. It can be purchased as a resin, pill, cream or powder. The herb can be added to salads, smoothies and main dishes to create healthy and flavorful variations of common food items.
Persons who suffer from chronic inflammation might benefit from the regular use of curcumin, fish oil and boswellia. These nutrients are found in everyday food items and their use often requires only slight adjustments to the daily diet.
While it usually takes a period of consistent use to realize the full health benefits of each substance, these natural alternatives are far cheaper and safer than prescription narcotics. Not only can they effectively and permanently reduce or eliminate inflammation, but consistent long-term use will often result in unanticipated and invaluable health benefits.