I’ve been warning about the excessive reliance on over-the-counter pain relievers for years.
Now the American College of Cardiology (ACC) reports 20% of adults with high blood pressure are also taking drugs that raise blood pressure… like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).1
It’s a health disaster waiting to happen. Multiple studies report NSAIDs cause “clinically significant” spikes in blood pressure.2
In fact, ACC researchers estimate that up to 4 million patients could get their blood pressure back under control if they’d only stop taking drugs known to raise it.
This is a serious indictment of conventional, drug-based medicine. Let me explain….
Common Pain Relievers That Often Kill Patients
I tell my patients aspirin may be worse than taking nothing. Every year, thousands of Americans die from acute upper gastrointestinal bleeding triggered by NSAIDs.3
NSAIDs increase the risk of heart disease,4 stroke,5,6 liver damage,7 and kidney damage.8 They even impair your ability to empathize.9
But, the good news is you don’t have to rely on these dangerous drugs. Here’s why…
Three Natural Ways to Fight Inflammation
Here are three natural alternatives that work just as well as NSAIDs – without side effects:
- Tulsi — To help give your liver and kidneys a break, I recommend tulsi, a.k.a. holy basil. It’s a powerful adaptogen that supports healthy liver and kidney function while also reducing inflammation.10
Tulsi activates powerful antioxidants, including glutathione and superoxide dismutase (SOD). And it contains ursolic acid, which inhibits production of the inflammatory COX-2 enzyme. I recommend taking 150 mg three times a day.
- Indian Frankincense — Indian Frankincense, also known as Boswellia, “significantly increases” both pain threshold and pain tolerance.11 Researchers even recommend it as a treatment for osteoarthritis.12 I suggest 400 mg three times a day.
- Meadowsweet Tea — To further quell inflammation, enjoy a delicious cup of meadowsweet tea. It contains a more natural form of the salicylic acid in aspirin and anti-inflammatory flavonoids like quercetin.13 Just steep 1-2 tablespoons of loose-leaf meadowsweet tea in hot water. Flavor with ginger, turmeric, or cardamom to enhance the effect. Enjoy!
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD, CNS
1. Have High Blood Pressure? You May Want to Check Your Meds. (2021, May 6). Retrieved June 3, 2021, from American College of Cardiology website.
2. Johnson, A. G. (1997). NSAIDs and Increased Blood Pressure. Drug Safety, 17(5), 277–289.
3. Ask the Expert: Do NSAIDs Cause More Deaths Than Opioids? (2013, December). Retrieved from Practical Pain Management website.
4. Arfè, A., Scotti, L., Varas-Lorenzo, C., Nicotra, F., Zambon, A., Kollhorst, B., … Corrao, G. (2016). Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and risk of heart failure in four European countries: nested case-control study. BMJ, i4857.
5. Grosser, T., Fries, S., & FitzGerald, G. A. (2006). Biological basis for the cardiovascular consequences of COX-2 inhibition: therapeutic challenges and opportunities. Journal of Clinical Investigation.
6. Mitchell, J. A., & Warner, T. D. (2006). COX isoforms in the cardiovascular system: understanding the activities of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Nature Reviews. Drug Discovery, 5(1), 75–86.
7. Food and Drug Administration (2020). Acetaminophen: Avoiding Liver Injury. FDA. Retrieved from the FDA website on June 4, 2021.
8. Schneider, V., Lévesque, L. E., Zhang, B., Hutchinson, T., & Brophy, J. M. (2006). Association of Selective and Conventional Nonsteroidal Antiinflammatory Drugs with Acute Renal Failure: A Population-based, Nested Case-Control Analysis. American Journal of Epidemiology, 164(9), 881–889.
9. Mischkowski, D., Crocker, J., & Way, B. M. (2016). From painkiller to empathy killer: acetaminophen (paracetamol) reduces empathy for pain. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 11(9), 1345–1353.
10. Cohen, M. (2014). Tulsi – Ocimum sanctum: A herb for all reasons. Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine, 5(4), 251.
11. Prabhavathi, K., Chandra, U. S., Soanker, R., & Rani, Pu. (2014). A randomized, double blind, placebo controlled, cross over study to evaluate the analgesic activity of Boswellia serrata in healthy volunteers using mechanical pain model. Indian Journal of Pharmacology, 46(5), 475.
12. Yu, G., Xiang, W., Zhang, T., Zeng, L., Yang, K., & Li, J. (2020). Effectiveness of Boswellia and Boswellia extract for osteoarthritis patients: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies, 20(1).
13. Walsh, D. (2014, September 17). The anti-inflammatory properties of meadowsweet. Retrieved April 11, 2021, from The Pharmaceutical Journal website.