Twice now I have had pericarditis, which is inflammation of the sac the heart's contained in...and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. I was plagued with constant stabbing chest pain, shortness of breath, being unable to lay down comfortably, coughing, and dizziness. It is pretty miserable and limiting…I don’t recommend it.
The first time I had it I started out on the typical western medicine treatment course of high dose Advil around the clock, this is supposed to continue for two weeks. I knew I didn’t want to take Advil that long so I searched for other options…of the holistic kind. Turns out there are many potent natural anti-inflammatories that have minimal side effects, unlike Advil. I quickly started myself on Serrapeptase around the clock and was surprised to see how effective it was. I stopped taking the Advil cold turkey and continued out the two week treatment with Serrapeptase, homeopathy, and other anti-inflammatories. My pericarditis disappeared and I was good for two years.
Then that sharp pain came back again, of course I tried to convince myself it was anything but pericarditis…which worked for all but two days, until the other symptoms surfaced as well. At that point I was much worse off than my first go around with the disease, my symptoms were more severe and new complaints arose. I even questioned going to the ER at one point, which is a HUGE deal if you know me. Once coming to terms with the fact that I indeed had pericarditis again I knew I was not going to try Advil at all. Yes, I used myself as a science experiment…ethically questionable to some, but I won’t tell anyone if you won’t.
I immediately started on Serrapeptase every 6 hours and started to feel some relief in 12 hours. I then was prescribed a homeopathic remedy and dosed myself with as many natural anti-inflammatories as I could. Overnight I felt 90% better and all of the symptoms subsided in a week. To say I was amazed would be an understatement. I was happy to see my pericarditis resolve but even more so that I treated it 100% naturally and it worked even better and more immediate than the western medicine treatment from the first go around.
What’s So Bad About Tylenol and NSAIDs Anyways?
Doesn’t it seem like we all take Advil and Tylenol at the drop of a hat? Have a headache, take a Advil. Have a fever, take Tylenol. Have arthritis, take both. While the marketing of these companies has done a good job at making us think these little pain pills are harmless, in reality they are not. However, I know that no one wants to live with aches and pains so I see how using them can become second nature. I used to get migraines, so believe me, I have taken more than my fair share of pain relievers. However, I am here today to show you there are other options.
Natural anti-inflammatories are powerful and are quite abundant in nature. I have complied ones for both acute and chronic pain. Arthritis suffers, headache getters, and everyone in between. These natural options can and do work. One Advil (Ibuprofen) here or there isn’t going to do much harm but long term the risks are high. Liver and kidney damage and lots of GI problems. Nausea, cramping, diarrhea, GI bleeding, heartburn, and abdominal pain are common side effects, (source). And by far the worst side effect of NSAIDs is intestinal damage and leaky gut. These three studies all conclude this. (source),(source), (source).
To read more about why NO one wants leaky gut read this post. NSAIDs and Tylenol do cause damage and most importantly intestinal changes. Avoidig leaky gut is the root of maintaining health. Almost every chronic disease has an inflammatory component and inflammation is caused by leaky gut. Avoid NSAIDs and avoid long term health problems.
The Five Alternatives
Serrapeptase for acute and chronic pain (and respiratory problems)
This is a proteolytic enzyme formed by the bacteria Serratia which are found in silk worms GI tract. The worms use this enzyme to digest their cocoons, so as you can imagine it has this digestive property in our body as well. It is a potent anti-inflammatory and works by digesting inflammations and dead tissue throughout the body. It has little to no side-effects and has been used widely in Europe and Asia in mainstream medicine. Serrapeptase can be used to treat sinus infections, excessive respiratory mucous production (smokers or COPD), surgical pain and swelling, traumatic injuries (twisted ankle, etc), arthritis, heart plaques (atherosclerosis), breast cysts and other cysts, and adhesions, (source).
Like I mentioned above I used this, instead of Advil, to treat my two cases of pericarditis. I can attest to its strong anti-inflammatory effects. I had pain reduction after just the first dose, with complete resolution in one week. Serrapeptase is very powerful indeed, you must try it if you have any sort of chronic inflammatory disease…perfect for arthritis. I always keep some around my house incase of an acute injury or respiratory illness.
Here are some studies that shows its effectiveness:
- This study shows that Serrapeptase is as effective as voltaren (an NSAID like Advil) in animal studies at reducing body wide inflammation.
- This study shows it reduced pain and swelling after wisdom teeth removal.
- It even is used to treat infections because it enhances antibacterial activity.
- This study shows its efficacy against ear, nose, and throat disorders (hallmarked by inflammation). Pain, mucous production, and other symptoms were greatly reduced.
I always use Doctors Best Serrapeptase because of its high quality. They make two different dosages, I use the 40,000 units dose. Most importantly the pills contain minimal fillers (cellulose), a vegetarian capsule, and Serrateric which is an alternative to toxic enteric coated capsules. Serrapeptase must be enteric coated in order for the body to use it properly. Their Serrateric is a gmo-free natural coating alternative that protect the enzymes from the stomach acid. I get mine here.
Turmeric for chronic pain
Curcumin, which is the active component of turmeric is a strong anti-inflammatory as well as antimicrobial, anti tumor, and antioxidant, (source)(source). It is non-toxic, safe, and with minimal side effects. Although curcumin is available in capsule form I prefer to use either dried or fresh turmeric. There is some debate as to the efficacy of the packaged form of curcumin, so I err on the side of caution and go with the real mccoy. I love to cook with turmeric by adding it into rice or sautéed potatoes. However, by far the best way and most potent dose is Turmeric Milk Tea (I love this recipe). Either fresh or dried turmeric can be used and the result is a creamy earthy beverage perfect in the morning or before bedtime. I consistently drink this tea every week or two throughout cold and flu season to prevent illness. I also used this during my second case of pericarditis.
Turmeric can be used for any chronic pain especially great for arthritis, nerve pain, and back pain, to ward of colds and flus. This study shows curcumin is stronger at decreasing cell proliferation than NSAIDs. Meaning stronger at reducing inflammation and pain. You should know that turmeric increases the effects of blood clotting medications, this is true with any anti-inflammatory. So always consult a doctor before use. I also use turmeric on my skin, check out my detox mask recipe here.
Lavender Essential Oil for Headaches
I have successfully used lavender essential oil to combat mild to moderate headaches and migraines. I always get mine from Mountain Rose Herbs. A drop on each temple and then some in a diffuser works great to stop the pain. It’s also great rubbed into the back of your neck. This study confirms these findings. It also reports inhaled lavender reduces needs for morphine after surgery, alleviates back pain, and reduces pain after child birth. For more information on how oral encapsulated lavender can treat depression, anxiety, and sleep problems check out my article here.
Peppermint Essential Oil for Headaches and Muscular Aches
Peppermint is another cooling essential oil that is great for pain. Unlike lavender, it must be diluted in a carrier oil before use. A drop of peppermint (get some here) to three drops carrier oil will suffice. Rub on temples and back of neck for headache relief. This study shows it to be as effective as tylenol for headache relief. Also, rub directly on sore muscles, which is great after exercising or strains. Also know that peppermint of any route is not safe for use on children under 30 months and topically under 12, (source). A blend of one drop lavender and one drop peppermint with 3 drops carrier is my fav choice for headache relief. If you want to learn more about essential oils check out my Essential Oils for Beginners article.
Fermented Cod Liver Oil For Chronic Pain
For the whole scoop on FCLO read my article here. It is a super powerful anti-inflammatory, full of omega-3’s and vitamin D. Take it daily to ward off chronic pain from arthritis, fibromyalgia, migraines, etc. There are loads of other benefits so be sure to read the full article.
To save our GI systems avoiding NSAIDs and Tylenol should be a major priority. As you can see there are many natural alternatives to Advil and other over the counter pain relievers. With great choices for both chronic and acute pain these remedies are proven to work in clinical studies as well as my own use. Serrapeptase, turmeric, peppermint and lavender essential oils, and fermented cod liver oil should all be in our medicine cabinets. Make sure to stock up now, so that when you do need them you have them handy. Otherwise, NSAIDs will sneak their way back into your treatment plan because no one likes pain.
Disclosure: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary or other types of compensation for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. However, I always give my honest opinion and findings of the products and would not recommend anything that I do not use for myself or family. All of the products recommended will adhere to the Standards of Clean, listed here.
Disclaimer: The information found on cleansthenewblack.com is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any illness/disease. Nor is to intended to supplement the advice of a licensed physician or the like. You should not rely upon the information in this blog to make medical decisions prior to consult with your medical doctor.
- Van Wijck K, Lenaerts K, Van Bijnen AA, Boonen B, Van Loon LJ, Dejong CH, Buurman WA. Aggravation of exercise-induced intestinal injury by Ibuprofen in athletes. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2012 Dec;44(12):2257-62. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e318265dd3d. PubMed PMID: 22776871.
- Jurenka JS. Anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin, a major constituent of Curcuma longa: a review of preclinical and clinical research. Altern Med Rev. 2009 Jun;14(2):141-53. Review. Erratum in: Altern Med Rev. 2009 Sep;14(3):277. PubMed PMID: 19594223.
- Al-Khateeb TH, Nusair Y. Effect of the proteolytic enzyme serrapeptase on swelling, pain and trismus after surgical extraction of mandibular third molars. Int J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2008 Mar;37(3):264-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ijom.2007.11.011. Epub 2008 Feb 12. PubMed PMID: 18272344.
- Göbel H, Fresenius J, Heinze A, Dworschak M, Soyka D. Effectiveness of Oleum menthae piperitae and paracetamol in therapy of headache of the tension type. Nervenarzt. 1996 Aug;67(8):672-81. German. PubMed PMID: 8805113.
- Bjarnason I, Hayllar J, MacPherson AJ, Russell AS. Side effects of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs on the small and large intestine in humans. Gastroenterology. 1993 Jun;104(6):1832-47. Review. PubMed PMID: 8500743.
- Koulivand, P. H., Khaleghi Ghadiri, M., & Gorji, A. (2013). Lavender and the Nervous System. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine : eCAM, 2013, 681304. doi:10.1155/2013/681304
- Aggarwal, B. B., & Harikumar, K. B. (2009). Potential Therapeutic Effects of Curcumin, the Anti-inflammatory Agent, Against Neurodegenerative, Cardiovascular, Pulmonary, Metabolic, Autoimmune and Neoplastic Diseases. The International Journal of Biochemistry & Cell Biology, 41(1), 40–59. doi:10.1016/j.biocel.2008.06.010
- Mecikoglu, M. , Saygi, B., et.al. The Effect of Proteolytic Enzyme Serratiopeptidase in the Treatment of Experimental Implant-Related InfectionThe Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery Jun 2006, 88 (6) 1208-1214; DOI: 10.2106/JBJS.E.00007
- Jadav, S. P., Patel, N. H., Shah, T. G., Gajera, M. V., Trivedi, H. R., & Shah, B. K. (2010). Comparison of anti-inflammatory activity of serratiopeptidase and diclofenac in albino rats. Journal of Pharmacology & Pharmacotherapeutics, 1(2), 116–117. doi:10.4103/0976-500X.72362