You might be one of those people who reach for over-the-counter pain relievers and painkillers at the first sign of pain, be it a headache, toothache, backache, or any other type of pain. These drugs are usually based on Ibuprofen, including Motrin, Nurofen, Advil and Nuprin.
Ibuprofen is an over-the-counter painkiller, which belongs to a group of painkillers called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). It helps relieve mild to moderate pain very quickly, sometimes within only 15 minutes, however, its effect is only temporary and it, therefore, doesn’t offer a long-term solution to the problem.
No matter how excruciating the pain you feel is at the moment, you should always consider the possible side-effects of taking too many painkillers or taking them too often. Some of the common side-effects due to excessive painkiller use include hypertension (high blood pressure), diarrhea, nausea, increased risk of heart attack, risk of kidney cancer development, erectile dysfunction, and gastrointestinal bleeding, among others.
“Abuse of prescription painkillers is at epidemic levels. In fact, after marijuana, prescription painkillers are now the most abused group of drugs in the nation, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.”
Since long-term use of painkillers can cause addiction and some serious side effects, scientists are constantly searching for other, safer alternatives, which have potential anti-inflammatory benefits that can be used long-term without any side effects.
For this reason, it is best to use completely natural ways to relieve pain whenever and in whichever body part it occurs. One of the best painkillers that nature has to offer would definitely be the popular Indian spice, turmeric.
The difference between how ibuprofen and other similar NSAIDs work and how turmeric works are consisted in that the former inhibits the Cyclooxygenase 2 or COX-2 enzyme, which may lead to further inflammation, while the latter has a mild effect which provides great results without any side effects.
The active ingredient contained in turmeric, known as curcumin, is the one that gives this spice its authentic color as well as its powerful properties. In fact, turmeric tea is considered to be one of the oldest and most effective natural treatments for pain and inflammation. Turmeric tea has been proven to have the ability to soothe joint and muscle pain thereby relaxing the entire body.
We will show you how to prepare this powerful tea in the comfort of your home. Other ingredients than the ones listed below, such as ginger, black pepper or cinnamon, can also be added if you want to increase its effectiveness.
Turmeric Pain Relief Tea
- 4 cups of water
- 2 tablespoons of grated fresh turmeric; or 1 full teaspoon of ground turmeric
- fresh lemon/honey to taste
Pour the 4 cups of water in a kettle and bring it to a boil. Next, add the turmeric, fresh or ground, reduce the heat and allow it to simmer. If you use fresh turmeric, simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes, while if you use ground turmeric, simmer for at least 10 minutes. Afterwards, strain the tea using a fine sieve. In the end, add lemon and honey to your taste.
As a variation, you can add a teaspoon of ginger powder to this tea. Cinnamon would also be a great addition.
Since curcumin has low levels of bioavailability, it would also be great to add some black pepper to your turmeric tea as piperine is said to aid its absorption.
Note: Pregnant or breastfeeding women should not consume this potent tea. Also, diabetic patients, those due for surgery and those with gallbladder problems must stop using turmeric supplements. If you suffer from some specific medical problems and are not sure about using them, please consult your doctor.