Ibuprofen Kills Thousands Each Year, So What Is The Alternative?

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A recent Reuters’ article was opened with this spectacularly stunning sentence:

“Long-term high-dose use of painkillers for example diclofenac or ibuprofen is equally hazardous when we talk about heart attack risk as the daily use of the famous drug Vioxx, which is actually potential dangerous killer, said the reasearchers.”

The 2004 Vioxx recall, as you can remember, was spurred by more than 30,000 excess cases of heart attacks and of course sudden cardiac deaths caused by this very same drug in the period between 1999-2003.

The Reuters report was focused on a totally new research which shows that a risk of heart attack is increased as much as a third and the risk of heart failure is doubled among the users of NSAID drugs.

INFLAMED: Our Default Bodily State

Why are so many folks taking NSAID drugs like ibuprofen anyway?

Pain, stress or unhealthy levels of inflammation are fast become default bodily states in the modern world. In the previously mentioned situations or compulsive moments we find ourselves taking pills to stop the pain.

The problem comes from the fact that, if we do it often enough, we may kill ourselves together with the pain…

Ibuprofen really is an awesome example of this. As we already mentioned, this petrochemical-derivative is linked to significantly increased risk of heart attack or similar increased cardiac and all-cause mortality (if we combine it with aspirin), adversing health effects, including:


DNA Damage[2]

Hearing Loss[3]


Influenza Mortality[5]


But, pay attention of this very important fact, that not just Ibuprofen is dangerous for us, but the entire category of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs  are recognized for its dark side; cardiac mortality and cardiovascular disease score highest on the recent list of over 150 unintended adverse health effects associated with their use.  You can also check some analysis of the rarely acknowledged dark side to aspirin:

The Evidence against Aspirin

For Natural Alternatives.

Research on Natural Alternatives To Ibuprofen

Here is a list of some evidence-based research on alternatives for ibuprofen, found in the National Library of Medicine:

Ginger – A great study form 2009 found that ginger capsules (250 mg, four times daily) are also effective as the drugs mefenamic acid or even ibuprofen for relieving pain in women at the time of their menstrual cycle (primary dysmenorrhea). [7]

Topical Arnica – A human study form 2007 shows that topical treatment with the powerful arnica was also as effective as ibuprofen for treating hand osteoarthritis, but with lower incidence of bad side effects.[8]

Combination of Vitamin C, Astaxanthin and Ginkgo biloba – An animal study from 2011 showed that this combination is equal to or even better than ibuprofen incases for reducing asthma-associated respiratory inflammation.[9]

Chinese Skullcap (baicalin) – Another animal study from 2003 described that a compound in Chinese skullcap also known as baicalin was equal  to ibuprofen in reducing pain.[10]

Omega-3 fatty acids: A human study from 2006 showed that omega-3 fatty acids are as effective as ibuprofen for reducing arthritis pain.[11]

Panax Ginseng – An animal study from 2008 found that panax ginseng had anti-inflammatory and analgesic activity which similar to ibuprofen.

St. John’s Wort – An animal study from 2004 explains that St. John’s wort was even twice as effective as ibuprofen when we talk about a pain-killer.[13]

Anthrocyanins from Sweet Cherries & Raspberries – A 2001 cell study found that anthocyanins extracted from sweet cherries and raspberries are as effective as naproxen and ibuprofen.

Holy Basil – A study from 2000 found that holy basil has compounds with similar activity as aspirin, naproxen and ibuprofen, but without any side effects.[15]

Olive Oil (oleocanthal) – a compound found within olive oil well- known as oleocanthal has anti-inflammatory properties similar to ibuprofen.[16]

There are, of course, millions of other substances which are daily researched for their pain-relief and anti-inflammatory effects.

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