Big Pharma is at it again… Creating and selling a drug that causes thousands of heart attacks and strokes each year.
In 2015, the FDA asked drug makers to strengthen their warning labels.
Since then, most have listed their dangerous side effects on the bottle.
But one manufacturer thought they didn’t have to warn people about their dangerous drug.
They marketed their product as a “unique” breakthrough. They even published studies promising it was “safe for long-term use.” 1
The drug is a 7-year-old arthritis drug called Actemra. It’s made by the Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche.
But a new investigation has linked it to at least 1,128 heart attack and stroke deaths.
Thousands more have suffered serious side effects. These include heart failure, stroke and lung disease.2
Researchers did a side-by-side comparison of Actemra to other arthritis drugs.
They found the rate of stroke and heart failure in Actemra patients was 1.5 times higher.
So far, neither Roche nor the FDA has alerted patients or doctors to its deadly risks.
It’s another example of why I recommend plant-based remedies to my patients. These safe medicines have been used for thousands of years.
Like Boswellia serrata, or Indian frankincense. Back in Biblical days, it was even more highly prized than gold.
And it’s one of the most effective treatments for arthritis pain and inflammation I’ve found.
Ayurvedic healers have used it for centuries to treat arthritis. But it remains almost unheard of in the West.
But that’s changing.
Ayurvedic Relief for Arthritis Pain
1. Frankincense. Researchers found that frankincense contains enzymes that block a hormone-like chemical in your body called prostaglandin e2 (PGe2).
PGe2 is produced in response to an injury. It causes blood vessels to dilate and expand. This causes the injured area to become swollen and arthritic.
But by directly attacking PGe2, frankincense stops inflammation before it starts.
In a large study, researchers followed 440 arthritis patients for six months. They found that frankincense relieved pain as effectively as painkillers. It also significantly improved knee function.3
Another study found that who took frankincense for eight weeks had better knee function, less swelling and more comfort. They could also walk further and had a better range of motion.4
I suggest taking 400 mg three times a day. Frankincense is also available as an essential oil. You can place a drop of two under your tongue. Or dilute a drop in a glass of water or a teaspoon of honey.
2. Ashwagandha. This “smart plant” is also called Indian ginseng and winter cherry. It’s an adaptogen, which means your body uses it only as needed.
In a recent study, researchers gave 60 arthritis patients ashwagandha or a placebo. After 12 weeks, those taking the herb reported significantly less pain using three different pain score tests.5
I recommend 300 to 500 mg twice a day. Or you can buy dried ashwagandha root powder. Look for a product that’s 100% organic with no artificial flavors or colors. I like to add 1 teaspoon to a cup of boiling organic milk. I let is simmer for 5 minutes. Then add little honey to taste.
3. Curcumin. I call curcumin the “Golden Miracle.”
It has more than 615 health benefits, supported by almost 7,000 studies. But it’s best known as a powerful anti-inflammatory. In fact, studies show it reduces arthritis joint pain by 60% and joint swelling by 73%.6 Another clinical trial found it was more effective than prescription strength NSAID.
Look for a supplement that contains piperine. This black pepper extract boosts absorbency by 2,000%.
I recommend 400 to 500 mg twice a day.
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD, CNS
1. Yamamoto K, et al. “Longterm Safety of Tocilizumab: Results from 3 Years of Followup Postmarketing Surveillance of 5573 Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis in Japan.” J Rheumatol. 2015 Aug;42(8):1368-75.
2. Giles J, at al. “Comparative Cardiovascular Safety of Tocilizumab Vs Etanercept in Rheumatoid Arthritis: Results of a Randomized, Parallel-Group, Multicenter, Noninferiority, Phase 4 Clinical Trial.” American College of Rheumatology Meeting Abstracts. October 19, 2016.
3. Chopra A, et al. “Ayurvedic medicine offers a good alternative to glucosamine and celecoxib in the treatment of symptomatic knee osteoarthritis: a randomized, double-blind, controlled equivalence drug trial.” Rheumatology (Oxford). 2013 Aug;52(8):1408-17.
4. Kimmatkar N, et al. “Efficacy and tolerability of Boswellia serrata extract of osteoarthritis of knee–a randomized double blind placebo controlled trial.” Phytomedicine. 2003 Jan;10(1):3-7.
5. Chopra A, et al. “Ayurveda–modern medicine interface: A critical appraisal of studies of Ayurvedic medicines to treat osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.” J Ayurveda Integr Med. 2010 Jul-Sep; 1(3): 190–198.
6. Chandran B, Goel A. “A randomized, pilot study to assess the efficacy and safety of curcumin in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis.” Phytother Res. 2012;26(11):1719-25.