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Five Supplements to Use Instead of NSAIDs for Pain and Inflammation.

Many people are dealing with pain and often turn to over-the-counter drugs like Tylenol and Ibuprofen to deal with it. Inflammation plays a role in our everyday aches and pains. One of the most popular OTC drugs for everyday pain is Ibuprofen, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that is effective but has some side effects.

While undoubtedly effective against pain, they are a short-term solution that does nothing to address the cause of pain. Long term use of these OTCs can cause other problems to develop, Tylenol stresses the system which detoxifies most exo-toxins (like drugs and chemicals) and can decrease the function of the liver. Ibuprofen reduces inflammation by inhibiting an enzyme [COX-2] enzyme in the inflammatory response, like damming a river. This enzyme inhibition shuts down inflammation and pain, but some level of inflammation is necessary for other processes that need to occur for the body to work. Specifically, key steps in keeping the gut healthy and ensuring a healthy gut mucosa. The same mechanism that allows the Ibuprofen to work also significantly disrupts the healthy function of the gut, which can lead to all sorts of problems from brain fog to blood loss.

The reason herbs and nutrients can control inflammation better is that they act at multiple, lower impact points in the pathway while often having other effects that can protect tissues and systems. Turmeric is a splendid example of this, some of the plant decreases inflammation and some directly supports the gut. By addressing the problem at multiple places, while lending support to others, we achieve a more targeted medicine.


Here are five supplements that are good alternatives to NSAIDs:

  1. Best Anti-inflammatory Zyflamend from New Chapter is a splendid example of herbal synergy at work. It is a blend of turmeric, ginger, rosemary, green tea, holy basil, and five other botanicals in a blend that is greater than the sum of its parts. Supercritical extraction yields a potent botanical medicine that measures up to NSAIDs in clinical studies.

  2. Most Versatile. BCQ from Vital Nutrients is short for Boswellia and Curcumin extracts with Quercetin, and adds a second ‘B,’ Bromelain, a proteolytic enzyme derived from the pineapple plant. The BCQ provides a powerful antioxidant blend designed to reduce inflammation and levels of Substance P (the neurotransmitter for pain signals). This distinctive formula also supports gastrointestinal function and maintains healthy connective tissue. I have even used BCQ to treat acute seasonal allergies with success and less side effects than medications

  3. Best Pain Killer. Phyto UltraComfort from Pure Encapsulations focuses on the herbs Willow Bark, Turmeric, Devil’s Claw, and Boswellia, which are all shown to reduce pain and the inflammation cycle. dl-Phenylalanine supports enkephalin activity, which reduces the perception of pain.

  4. Best for Stress Associated Pain. L-Theanine from Integrative Therapeutics. L-theanine is an amino acid that “helps promote a restful, relaxed state without diminishing daytime alertness.” Studies suggest that L-theanine has a calming effect on the brain, promoting a sense of calm, and reducing the acute effects of stress on the body. Since this acute stress reaction causes inflammation, L-theanine can reduce chronic pain and the suffering associated with long term pain.

  5. Best Bang for the Buck. D-flame from Protocol for Life Balance is another synergistic blend of herbal medicines that focuses more on Holy Basil, which contains triterpene, a potent anti-inflammatory compound. It also contains substances like Boswellia, turmeric, ginger, and green tea. D-flame uses slightly less potent extraction techniques than Zyflamend, but Is still potent at half the price.

This is just a smattering of some of the products on the market that will help control inflammation and pain. Remember that any supplement is just a part of a treatment plan that includes dosage and use of supplements, healthy food choices, exercise, and appropriate therapeutics. We here at World Tree Natural Medicine would be happy to help you find a plan that fits your needs.


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