Between the period of 1999 and 2003 there were nearly 30,000 excess cases of heart attacks as well as sudden cardiac deaths caused by Vioxx. Even though a scientific research accumulated even before 2000 connecting the drug with increased rate of heart attacks and strokes, Merck and the FDA, drug manufacturers remained silent. Another research published in Lancet that indicated the increased risk of heart attack and heart failure doubles with users of NSAID drugs.
Why so many people take NSAID drugs such as ibuprofen?
Default body states nowadays are pain and unhealthy levels of inflammation. The best solution for people is to adjust the underlying pro-inflammatory conditions through making changes in the diet, reducing stress as well as environmental chemical exposures, but all this takes a lot of time, discipline, energy, and we sometimes want the pain stop immediately. Those compulsive moments make us pop an over-the-counter pill to kill the pain. The main issue with this is that if it happens often, we may worsen our health, or kill ourselves.
Adverse health effects
The most perfect example of this is ibuprofen as it has been connected to increased risk of heart attack as well as increased cardiac and all-cause mortality (in combination with aspirin). It is also linked to: anemia, DNA damage, miscarriage, influenza mortality, hypertension, and hearing loss. Moreover, the entire category of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs have this under-recognized dark side associated with their use
Research on Natural alternatives to Ibuprofen
These are some evidence-based researches on the alternatives to ibuprofen:
- Topical Arnica – it is as effective as ibuprofen for hand osteoarthritis with lower incidences of side effects (study published in 2007);
- Ginger – its capsules (250 mg 4 times a day) are as effective as mefenamic acid and ibuprofen for pain relief in menstrual cycles among women (study published in 2009);
- John’s Wort – it is two times stronger and effective than ibuprofen as a pain-killer (an animal study from 2004);
- Panax Ginseng – it has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties similar to those in ibuprofen which also indicates its possible anti-rheumatoid arthritis properties (an animal study from 2008);
- Omega-3 fatty acids – 1200-2400 mg daily are effective as ibuprofen for reducing arthritis pain with less side effects (human study from 2006);
- Chinese Skullcap (baicalin) – a compound which can be found in it known as baicalin is equipotent to ibuprofen in reducing pain (animal study from 2003);
- Combination of Vitamin C, Ginkgo biloba, and Astaxanthin – it is equal to and even better than ibuprofen in reducing asthma-associated respiratory inflammation (animal study from 2011);
- Olive oil – its compound named oleocanthal has anti-inflammatory properties like those of ibuprofen;
- Holy Basil – its compounds have anti-inflammatory properties comparable to aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen (study from 2000);
- Anthocyanin from Raspberries and Sweet Cherries – its power is equal to that of naproxen and ibuprofen in suppressing inflammation-associated enzyme familiar as cyclooxygenase-1 and -2 (a study from 2001).
Moreover, there are as well aroma therapeutic approaches which do not require ingestion of anything, but still the best thing is to consider what actually causes that pain and afterwards remove the cause, if possible. This requires dramatic dietary shit away from pro-inflammatory foods like dairy, wheat, wheat-green grains, nightshade vegetables, and many more.