When we get headaches or other everyday pains, most of us don’t think twice about taking a small dose of over-the-counter painkillers. These drugs usually take care of the immediate problem—along with a glass of water, of course.

Unfortunately, we don’t often think about the aftermath of taking these drugs so regularly, especially in the long term. Recent research is suggesting that one painkiller in particular can be toxic for the heart muscle, making it especially dangerous for people over the age of 40.

The most shocking part? It’s so common that you probably have it in your medicine cabinet right now…

When most people get a headache or experience minor pain, they head to their medicine cabinet to grab a suggested dose of over-the-counter painkillers. It’s a quick fix that solves the immediate problem in a short amount of time.

There’s no denying that these painkillers are incredibly effective for those kinds of everyday pains. In fact, after ingesting them, most people forget that they ever had a headache or minor pain within 30 minutes! Why wouldn’t you use such a effective and fast-acting medicine?

Jose Navarro / Flickr

If you’re one of the these people who head right for the ibuprofen bottle when you feel a headache coming on, you might want to think again. It turns out this commonly used painkiller might actually be causing you harm, especially if you’re over 40…

ibuprofen1Wikipedia

In 2015, the FDA decided to strengthen the warning labels on ibuprofen. This caution was taken after learning that a heart attack or stroke can occur even in the first few weeks of using the drug, making it especially risky for people in their forties.

Luckily, there’s a number of safer, more natural ways to relieve your pain. Researchers studying the effects of ibuprofen on human beings over prolonged periods of time suggest using turmeric, a plant native to Asia that has extraordinary healing powers. So, how does it work?

ibuprofen3Wikipedia

Often found at grocery stores and pharmacies in powder form, turmeric is loaded with polyphenols and has been used in Eastern medicine for centuries. It has a spicy, earthy taste that can be added into a variety of recipes.

different types of turmeric barksHealthy Food House

One such recipe that will help alleviate your pain and improve your overall health is turmeric tea. To make it, mix one tablespoon of turmeric powder, one cup honey, and the juice from one lemon, then mix it with warm water or tea. How’s that for beating a headache?

Another natural remedy for such aches and pains is capsaicin, a topical solution which hails from spicy chili peppers. It can be found in both gel and cream forms, and it’s most often used to help reduce muscle, joint, and nerve pain.

Researchers have also suggested the use of ginger. According to one study, ginger “blocks the formation of the inflammatory compounds—prostaglandins and leukotrienes—and also has antioxidant effects that break down existing inflammation and acidity in the fluid within the joints.”

If these different methods aren’t exactly your cup of tea, perhaps you could try combating your aches and pains with essential oils. Research has shown that rubbing lavender, chamomile, or sage on your temples can help fight headaches. Not to mention, it’ll smell great, too!

Of course, these are just a few possible natural alternatives to ibuprofen. Before trying them yourself, you should always consult your doctor first.

Learning the different methods of fighting pain is important, especially when they’re natural. Just be sure to check with your doctor before giving any of these natural methods a try.

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