Natural Pain Relief Herbs That Work
QUESTION: I have painful arthritis (psoriatic) and I heard on the news that my medicine can cause cancer. I am afraid of it being recalled because I need my Enbrel.
ANSWER: Currently, the FDA has not recalled any of the controversial drugs, they have just asked manufacturers to strengthen warnings about the potential dangers. Some studies point to an association with cancer, others do not, so it remains inconclusive.
The blockbuster drugs taking the heat include Humira, Remicade, Cimzia, Simponi and Enbrel. They are prescribed to treat rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, Crohn's disease and other inflammatory and autoimmune conditions. When I give lectures, it surprises people to hear that there are natural herbs that work on the same biochemical pathway as these drugs, and that help relieve many painful disorders.
Many of the following herbs could be used with (or instead of) prescription pain relievers so ask your doctor what's right for you:
- Curcumin: Derived from turmeric spice, studies show it's a very powerful anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory herb.
- Resveratrol: You know it as a red wine extract, but don't drink the wine, it won't work, plus it hurts your pancreas. Supplements seem to reduce inflammation and regulate blood sugar. Labels may read "Hu Zhang," "Japanese Knotwood" or "polygonum cuspidatum."
- Cordyceps sinensis: A medicinal mushroom that is used in traditional Chinese medicine to boost immunity.
- Boswellia: This extract of "Boswella serrata" has been used for centuries. Today's supplements may prevent the deterioration of joint and cartilage tissue.
- Serrapeptase: Derived from silk moths, this is a very strong anti- inflammatory supplement.
- Ginger: This is an anti-inflammatory and stomach soother.