We all experience headaches and stomachaches – they are a part of life, and some are afflicted more than others. When symptoms strike, many of us reach for seemingly harmless over-the-counter medications such as aspirin and Pepto-Bismol to alleviate the discomfort and continue with our daily lives. However, taking these types of medications on a regular basis can be detrimental to our health. The side effects of both aspirin and Pepto-Bismol are troubling, and consequently, it is well worth the time to research natural alternatives.
Aspirin is the common name for acetylsalicylic acid, a drug commonly used for pain and fever relief. It is also used and as an anticoagulant, and is often prescribed for daily use for heart attack prevention. Acetylsalicylic acid belongs to a common class of allergens, and a single dose is potentially fatal for those who are unwittingly allergic to it. It is also a stomach-lining irritant, and consequently, an accidental overdose can result in ulcers and gastric bleeding. Additionally, it has been shown that with daily use, aspirin depletes the body’s supply of folic acid, which can result in anemia, fatigue, insomnia, diarrhea, hair loss, increased risk of infection and, ironically, headaches.
Pepto-Bismol and many other over-the-counter stomach remedies contain bismuth, an element found in the ores of metals such as tin, silver, and nickel. Bismuth is also a common by-product of smelting lead and copper. While the body can handle bismuth in small doses, an overdose can cause side effects including extreme weight loss, fever, depression, skin reactions and anemia, as well as stomach symptoms such as nausea and diarrhea – the very symptoms it is being utilized to treat. A severe overdose of bismuth can cause ulcers, liver and kidney damage, and even death.
Given the troubling truth of these common over-the-counter drugs, try the following natural solutions for your everyday aches and pains. Butterbur and feverfew are two anti-inflammatory herbs that have proven effective against headaches and migraines. Similarly, magnesium relaxes overstimulated nerves, and vitamin B12, also known as riboflaven, boosts energy production within nerve cells, leading to migraine relief. Studies have also shown that vitamin D may aid in migraine relief.
For upset stomachs, try teas brewed from ginger, peppermint, chamomile, fennel or licorice. Instead of commercial antacids, mix a teaspoon or so of baking soda into a mug of warm water. Water with a little bit of lemon, or even warm saltwater, can also sometimes do the trick. There are many options to try before accepting the risks involved with dangerous over-the-counter medications.
– The Alternative Daily