Safe and effective alternatives to over-the-counter painkillers such as ibuprofen, naproxen, and acetaminophen that work fast for headaches, sinus pain, joint or general body discomfort, and fevers.
When most people think about abuse of painkillers, the opioid epidemic is likely the first thing that comes to mind. However, over-the-counter painkiller use is also a serious problem and unfortunately, not a habit that most people usually give a second thought to even if they are popping these pills nearly every day.
Eight in ten people regularly reach for over-the-counter painkillers for relief from discomfort of all kinds. Of these, nearly twenty percent of users of NSAID pain relievers like ibuprofen (Advil) or naproxen (Aleve) admit to exceeding the recommended daily maximum dose. (1)
Even non-NSAID painkillers that are used infrequently can have lifelong health risks. For example, Tylenol (acetaminophen) only once per month risks asthma development in children.
Over The Counter Painkillers Harm Health Too
Why don’t more people make an effort to eliminate dependence on non-prescription strength painkillers? Even though you can buy them without a doctor’s script, their use is not risk-free.
Consider that the average adult pops nearly 400 over-the-counter painkillers every single year! That’s at least one every single day! (2)
These drugs can have serious side effects including gastrointestinal bleeding and heart attacks, according to Dr. David Kaufman, professor of epidemiology at the Boston University School of Public Health. (3)
What’s more, these seemingly “safer” drugs land over 200,000 people in the hospital every year. (4)
In my view, people continue to use these easily procured drugs because they simply have no idea what else to use.
The good news is that you don’t have to know how to make herbal tinctures to put the power of herbs to use to resolve pain issues!
Truly SAFE Alternatives to Ibuprofen, Aleve, and Tylenol
Note that HERBS form the basis of these patented painkillers on pharmacy shelves in many cases. Instead of using the synthetic form, why not try the natural plant-based versions instead?
Why not join the 20% of people who DO NOT regularly use over the counter painkillers due to this knowledge?
Without a doubt, headaches are the most common reason people reach for over-the-counter painkillers on a regular basis. While I’ve written before about effective ways to relieve headaches naturally, the fact is that many people trying to get away from a drug-based approach to this problem prefer to just pop a pill when needed.
If this is the case in your home, I recommend these headache relief herbal capsules that are a blend of four powerful headache reducers: feverfew, Boswellia, white willow bark, and skullcap.
They work very fast. I had a tension headache just yesterday, took one of these capsules, and experienced complete relief in less than 15 minutes. While you don’t need to take them with food, they seem to work a bit faster if you do.
A single-arm, observational study of this combination of herbs for headaches found that 79% of the participants experienced relief within 30 minutes.
If you take over-the-counter painkillers frequently for headaches, I highly recommend these herbal capsules as the best thing I’ve tried for safe, effective relief as an easy alternative with no caffeine. They are inexpensive, safe, and really work! Carry a small bottle with you so that you are never tempted to use ibuprofen, Aleve, or Tylenol ever again!
General Pain Relief or Fever
For those seeking relief from general joint or body pain, white willow bark alone is your best bet. This powerful herb works FAST too…usually in 30 minutes or less.
We use these 500 mg capsules. I recommend this form over a tincture or tea as the most effective and long-lasting.
This standard dosage is also helpful for temporary relief from fever (although note that reducing fever is not typically ideal in most cases).
According to the peer-reviewed journal Phytotherapy Research,
Willow bark extract has been used for thousands of years as an anti-inflammatory, antipyretic (fever reducer), and analgesic (painkiller). (5)
Note that both of these suggestions contain salicylates, and thus, are not advisable for those sensitive to aspirin, already taking aspirin, or those on some forms of blood thinners. If you are pregnant or nursing, consult with your practitioner first.
Do you use herbs as an effective substitute for over the counter painkillers? What have you experienced?
(1) Exceeding the daily dosing limit of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs among ibuprofen users
(2) 373. That’s the Number of OTC Painkillers the Average Person Pops Every Year
(3) Americans are abusing over-the-counter drugs as well as opioids
(4) The Other Overdose Crisis: Over-the-counter Pain Medications
(5) Efficacy and Safety of White Willow Bark (Salix alba) Extracts