Tag Archive: Natural Pain Relievers

Fibromyalgia pain and IL-8

Natural fibromyalgia relief using anti-inflammatory herbs

On cytokines, inflammation, pain and fibromyalgia Cytokines are inter-cellular chemical messengers produced mostly by white blood cells. Some are generally pro-inflammatory (inflammatory cytokines turn inflammation ‘on’) while others are generally anti-inflammatory (they turn inflammation ‘off’). High levels of inflammatory cytokines indicate an ongoing inflammatory process. There might not be the appearance of ‘inflammation’ as we…

Immunosuppression by milk thistle in the animal model of multiple sclerosis

October, 2007 Immunosuppressive effect of silibinin in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. Summary of the Abstract Silibinin is the major pharmacologically active compound of silymarin, the Silybum marianum fruit extract. Hepatoprotective activities of silibinin/silymarin are well-known, and recent studies demonstrated their anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic effects which are due to inhibition of the transcription factor NF-kappaB. Based on…

Rosmarinic acid, found in peppermint, suppreses collagen-induced arthritis

J Rheumatol. 2003 Jun;30(6):1203-7. Beneficial effects of rosmarinic acid on suppression of collagen induced arthritis. Youn J, Lee KH, Won J, Huh SJ, Yun HS, Cho WG, Paik DJ. Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology and Institute of Biomedical Science, College of Medicine, Hanyang University, Seoul, Korea. Abstract OBJECTIVE: To assess the therapeutic potential of…

Alpha-pinene inhibits IL-1 induction of NF-kappaB activation and NO production

Lemon = 14,000 ppm Turmeric = 5,300 ppm (essential oil) Ginger = 1,950 Peppermint = 230 ppm Planta Med. 2010 Feb;76(3):303-8. Epub 2009 Sep 11. Screening of five essential oils for identification of potential inhibitors of IL-1-induced Nf-kappaB activation and NO production in human chondrocytes: characterization of the inhibitory activity of alpha-pinene. Neves A, Rosa…

Use of milk thistle to treat osteoarthritis, alone or with NSAIDs

Saudi Med J. 2009 Jan;30(1):98-103. Anti-inflammatory activity of silymarin in patients with knee osteoarthritis. A comparative study with piroxicam and meloxicam. Hussain SA, Jassim NA, Numan IT, Al-Khalifa II, Abdullah TA. Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, College of Pharmacy, University of Baghdad, Baghdad, Iraq. saad_alzaidi@yahoo.com Abstract OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the anti-inflammatory effect of Silymarin in…

A novel theory of fibromyalgia

Natural fibromyalgia relief using anti-inflammatory herbs

This site presents a novel theory. It is proposed that fibromyalgia results from a form of ‘inflammation’ – specifically a dysfunction in the inflammatory response system leading to cytokine imbalance, including a persistent elevation in pro-inflammatory cytokines, especially IL-8.

Cytokine abnormalities, including elevations in IL-8 and other pro-inflammatory cytokines, are well-documented in fibromyalgia. Of special interest, pain intensity has been shown to correlate with IL-8 elevation. When IL-8 levels decrease – so does pain.

IL-8 is a potent activator of NF-kappaB (a central mediator of inflammation.) Once activated (by IL-8 or any one of many other agents,) NF-kappaB triggers the production of more pro-inflammatory cytokines, including more IL-8. This positive feedback loop (IL-8 acts via NF-kappaB to increase the production of IL-8) could easily become a vicious cycle. It seems that might be what happens in those with fibromyalgia, as suggested by the observation that such individuals have excess IL-8 as well as excess NF-kappaB activation.

Raw, vegan diet for fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis

Raw Vegetables Reduce Inflammation

In a nutshell 😉 those suffering with fibromyalgia or rheumatoid arthritis experienced a substantial improvement in their conditions when they switched to a raw, vegan diet. Specifically, they experienced a decrease in pain and stiffness and self-perception of their health was improved.

The problem, of course, is that this diet represents a substantial and some would say extreme departure from our ‘normal’ diet. A vegan diet includes no animal products whatsoever – no milk, eggs, butter. The “living food” diet studied here included only raw foods – no cooking whatsoever.

The obvious reality is that very few people will ever attempt such an extreme dietary modification, and fewer still will adhere to it. Nonetheless, it is one option, and might result in general improvement in conditions related to inflammation other than those specifically studied.

As an alternative, one might want to add more fruits and vegetables to the diet, especially fresh, raw fruits and vegetables. Supplements might be considered as well.

Turmeric – a promising autoimmune drug you’ll never be offered

curcumin turmeric

Let’s take a look at a recent publication that briefly reviews curcumin for autoimmune disease.

We’ll see that curcumin (an active ingredient in turmeric,) is recognized as safe, and that it has recently been shown to be effective against several serious conditions in human and/or animal studies.

That sounds promising. But your doctor will never have a chance to prescribe it for you. Why might that be?

The citrus flavonoid hesperidin is an effective anti-inflammatory agent

Endotoxin shock represents an extreme in whole body inflammation. The ability of the citrus flavonoid hesperidin to suppress endotoxin induced shock suggests that it is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent.

Lemon peel inhibits NF-kappaB activation, reduces inflammation

Lemon peel is a rich source of nobiletin, found in this study to inhibit NF-kB. Inhibition of NF-kB was associated with a decrease in: NO production, PGE-2, and COX-2, each of which is an important mediator of pain and inflammation in arthritis.

Something good to say about dandelions – a dandelion extract found to reduce pain and inflammation!

Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) has a long history of use as a natural medicine for the relief of pain and inflammation. On investigating dandelion the researchers whose publication is summarized below demonstrated a diversity of effects attributable to an extract of dandelion, including a reduction in numerous markers of inflammation.The historic use of dandelion is thereby confirmed by modern research.

Ginger appears to be more effective than aspirin in reducing pain and inflammation

When properly administered, ginger offers greater potential for relief of pain and inflammation than non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) – but with fewer side effects – for several reasons.

Ginger directly inhibits prostaglandin synthesis and thereby acts as both a COX-I and COX-II inhibitor.

Ginger also inhibits 5-lipoxygenase by direct action – thereby inhibiting the production of leukotrienes. Leukotrienes are key regulators (promoters) of inflammation. They may be of particular importance in allergy and asthma, but are probably involved in promoting and sustaining inflammation generally. Recent studies suggest a role for leukotrienes in cancer, arthritis, pain perception, cardiovascular disease and neurological disease.

Ginger further exerts its anti-inflammatory and anti-pain effect by inhibiting expression of pro-inflammatory genes that encode cytokines, chemokines, and the inducible enzyme cyclooxygenase-2. Chief among these effects is its inhibition of NF-kB – the inflammation Master Switch.

Banjo delivers a combination of herbal extracts, including ginger extract, by means of a lozenge. By allowing the lozenge to dissolve in your mouth, active components (actives) are absorbed trans-mucosally (through the lining of the mouth.) This results in faster delivery of a higher concentration of actives to the bloodstream. Of perhaps greater significance, actives are not first subject to the harsh, destructive environment of the stomach, neither are they immediately destroyed by the liver (the “first pass” effect.)

The traditional means of administering ginger – as well as other medicinal herbs – was by chewing or eating. Of course both chewing and eating require that the product spend a substantial time in direct contact with the mucous membranes of the mouth. That might be important.

Most such products are now delivered by means of a gelatin capsule that is immediately swallowed, which may be one reason for the limited efficacy of such products. Banjo provides effective relief from pain and inflammation by employing an effective combination of agents, delivered so as to ensure maximum bio-availability.

Ginger reduces inflammation in multiple sclerosis

Activated macrophages are present in high concentrations in a number of inflammatory lesions. The most common inflammatory cell identified in active central nervous system lesions of multiple sclerosis is, for example, the macrophage.

The study briefly summarized below may have implications on the possible use of ginger extract in the treatment of multiple sclerosis, especially to the extent that ginger extract was associated with a significant reduction in T cell proliferation in response to allostimulation – thought to be important in the pathology of multiple sclerosis.

Feverfew use in migraine reduces NO production via inhibition of NF-kappaB

In the study below, using the nitroglycerin induced model of migraine, it was shown that parthenolide, the purported active ingredient in feverfew, inhibited nitric oxide (NO) production in the trigeminal nucleus by inhibiting NF-kB.

Excess NO production is implicated in the pathogenesis of all headache. It is also an important mediator in other disease conditions.

Feverfew plus ginger found effective in acute treatment of migraine

Feverfew and ginger, delivered sublingually, were effective in preventing migraine progression when administered at the mild pain phase of the acute attack.

Two hours after treatment, 48% of patients were pain free and another 34% had only mild headache pain.

No significant side effects were reported.

A combination of ginger and feverfew, when administered sublingualy at the mild pain phase, was found to be both safe and effective at relieving the pain and associated symptoms of migraine.

Parthenolide (feverfew) for migraine and multiple sclerosis

Parthenolide, though previously shown to inhibit NF-kB, was shown in the study summarized below to inhibit NO production through an alternate pathway. It is likely that parthenolide (the presumptive active component of feverfew) acts by various mechanisms in the body.

The investigators conclude that parthenolide might be useful in the treatment of those conditions where excess NO is believed to play a significant role, such as multiple sclerosis and migraine.

Ginger extract may have beneficial effects in migraine

Ginger components found to inhibit platelet aggregation, suggesting they might be useful in the treatment of migraine.

Many drugs effective in the treatment of migraine have effects on platelet aggregation.

One theory holds that a migraine begins when platelets clump, releasing serotonin and setting off an inflammatory cascade that eventually leads to full-blown migraine. Indeed, platelet ‘over-responsiveness’ is commonly observed in patients with migraine, and may account for the observed higher risk of stroke documented especially among those who have migraine with aura.

In the study briefly summarized below a traditional Japanese migraine medication is investigated. One of the four herbal extracts used in that medication is an aqueous extract of ginger. Two of the components of ginger extract, 6-shogaol and 6-gingerol, were each found to inhibit platelet aggregation.

Feverfew extract for migraine

Feverfew extract found to be safe and effective in the prevention of migraine.

After taking the feverfew extract three times a day, by the third month those migraine patients who experienced an average of 4.76 attacks per month were only experiencing 2.86 attacks per month – a decrease of 1.9 monthly migraine attacks. Whereas those on placebo only experienced a 1.3 migraine per month decrease in monthly attack frequency.

Ginger extract reduces inflammation in arthritis

Ginger root extract was found to reduce inflammation in this study of cartilage cells in a pig model of arthritis.

Nitric oxide (NO) and prostaglandin-E2 (PGE2) were both reduced within 24 hours after application of ginger root extract. Both are key pro-inflammatory agents thought to be important in the pain and inflammation of arthritis.

It is suggested that ginger root extract may play an important role in the future treatment of arthritis.

Ginger an effective anti-inflammatory agent in arthritis

Ginger shown to reduce COX2 and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) – probably via inhibition of NF-kB.

Arthritis is characterized by joint inflammation that causes pain and results in cartilage destruction.

TNF-alpha plays a key role in the course and progression of arthritis. It is both a product and an activator of NF-kB. It is probably by means of this NF-kB activating effect that it leads to an increase in other pro-inflammatory cytokines as well as destructive enzymes – all of which means that TNF-alpha plays a central role in arthritis.

In the study summarized below, ginger was found to decrease the level of TNF-alpha while also reducing the level of pro-inflammatory cytokines and destructive enzymes.

A decrease in the level of activated NF-kB was also observed, which is the most likely mechanism by which ginger exerts its beneficial effects in arthritis.

Synergy of multiple NF-kappaB inhibitors

Turmeric (curcumin) and resveratrol found to act synergistically in the treatment of arthritis.

This is an essential publication because it demonstrates that by combining different natural inhibitors of NF-kB, a greater anti-inflammatory effect may be achieved than is possible with either agent alone. The study further suggests that this might be especially true when the different agents act to inhibit NF-kB through different mechanisms.

By implication, the observed synergy will not be limited to the specific combination studied (curcumin + resveratrol.)

Banjo combines a number of different natural NF-kB inhibitors, each of which may act through a slightly different mechanism in the inhibition of NF-kB. While many of the individual agents might provide some benefit, Banjo is expected to provide a substantially greater benefit than any single agent. That possibility is confirmed by the study briefly summarized below.

Ginger: ancient remedy, modern miracle

Ginger has been used safely for thousands of years in traditional and folk medicine. Advanced technology enables the validation of these traditional experiences.

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) has evaluated the results of the available studies, rating the reports from “suggestive” (for short-term use of Ginger for safe relief from pregnancy related nausea and vomiting), to “mixed” (when used for nausea caused by motion sickness, chemotherapy, or surgery), and to “unclear” for treating rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, or joint and muscle pain).

The scope of ginger’s use will soon be clearly identified and incorporated into mainstream therapeutic options, thereby integrating east and west, old with new, to render ginger as a true “Universal Remedy”.

NF-kappaB controls harmful bone resorption in osteoarthritis

Excess activation of NF-kB leads to osteoclast over-activation and increased bone destruction in arthritis.

Healthy bone metabolism requires a balance between osteoclasts (break down and re-absorb bone) and osteoblasts (make new bone.)

Osteoclasts – the bone destroying cells – are over-active in many disease conditions that include bone destruction (such as osteoarthritis.)

In the study summarized below, it was found that excess NF-kB activation led to osteoclast over-activity.

The authors note that the NF-kB inhibitor parthenolide (a major active component in the herb feverfew) has shown a beneficial therapeutic effect in reducing inflammation induced bone destruction in a mouse model.

It is noted that NF-kB over-activation and associated osteoclast over-activity is also seen in Paget’s disease of bone, and periodontitis.

NF-kappaB inhibition in arthritis

Inhibiting NF-kB in an affected joint resulted in marked suppression of joint destruction, with a great reduction in inflammatory cytokines and matrix metalloproteinase production from stimulated synovial cells derived from rheumatoid arthritis patients.

Curcumin effectively inhibits NF-kappaB only in combination with IL-10

Curcumin effectively inhibits NF-kB only in combination with IL-10.

This is a key publication because it:

* Demonstrates one likely reason you can’t overdose on curcumin or any other natural NF-kB inhibitor;
* Suggests ‘cooperation’ between these natural NF-kB inhibitors and the immune system – a ‘vitamin like’ action; and,
* Provides one example of the importance of natural NF-kB inhibitors in shutting down inflammation.

Ginger may be effective in the treatment of migraine

Ginger is suggested as both an abortive (acute) and prophylactic (preventative) medication for the treatment of migraine. My experience suggests that ginger, used alone, is unlikely to be effective, but that it can be valuable when used in combination with other herbal extracts.

Migraine treatment via NF-kappaB inhibition

An inhibitor of NF-kB might be a novel, effective, anti-migraine drug.

Turmeric as wonder drug

Curcumin, or turmeric, is believed to have many beneficial effects relative to inflammation and disease. It is an inhibitor of NF-kB, but also affects other pathways and mediators of inflammation.

Curcumin: Great effects – no side effects

Efficacy of curcumin demonstrated in rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory eye diseases, inflammatory bowel disease, chronic pancreatitis, psoriasis, hyperlipidemia, and cancers. Patients taking up to 8 grams of pure curcumin daily for 4 months reported no significant side effects.

Turmeric reduces pain and joint damage in rheumatoid arthritis

In rheumatoid arthritis the synovium becomes thickened and develops finger-like projections extending out into the joint space. This thickening process is called “hyperplasia,”and typically leads to pannus formation. Pannus means “flap” – and the pannus in rhuematoid arthritis contributes to the joint destruction characteristic of that disease.

Gooseberry, a natural NF-kB inhibitor, may be useful for rheumatoid arthritis

Osteoclasts (OCs) are involved in several pathologies associated with bone loss, including rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, bone metastasis of myeloma, osteosarcoma, and breast cancer.

In this review we determined the effects of natural compounds, including extracts from medicinal plants, on differentiation and survival of human primary osteoclasts.

Dandelion and turmeric in arthritis

Bone undergoes continuous remodeling through bone formation and resorption, and maintaining the balance for skeletal rigidity. Bone resorption and loss are generally attributed to osteoclasts. Osteoclast activity is inhibited by turmeric and dandelion, probably by means of NF-kB.

Ginger plus turmeric for wound healing

This study suggests that a combination of turmeric (curcumin) and ginger extract might provide a novel approach to improving structure and function in skin and, concomitantly, reducing formation of non-healing wounds.

Ginger: Potent anti-oxidant

Ginger has been traditionally used in Ayurvedic, Chinese and Tibb-Unani herbal medicines for the treatment of various illnesses that involve inflammation and which are caused by oxidative stress. Does it work?

Ginger inhibits inflammation and is anti-carcinogenic

Ginger is known to have potent anti-inflammation and anti-cancer properties. In researching these qualities, many previous efforts have focused on the compounds identified as “gingerols.” This research suggests that more benefits might be obtained by using a full-spectrum extract.

A brief history of aspirin

powdered aspirin bayer_aspirin

The origins of aspirin date back over 3500 years. The Eberus papyrus (a collection of medicinal recipes dating back to the middle of the second millennium BC) describes an infusion of dried myrtle leaves used to ease the pain of rheumatism and for back problems. Juice extracted from the bark of willow trees was later used by Hippocrates, the celebrated ‘father of medicine’, in the fifth century BC to ease pain and fevers. Both of these preparations contain salicylic acid, the precursor of modern aspirin.

Ginger treats gout

Gout is a rheumatic disease that is manifestated by an intense inflammation secondary to monosodium urate crystal deposition in joints.