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Are Prescription Pain Killers All They’re Cracked Up to Be?

Are Prescription Pain Killers All They’re Cracked Up to Be?

Even though we’re passionate about natural health, we recognize that mainstream medicine has its place in our lives. Sometimes it’s necessary and incredibly beneficial.

With that said, the realm of pain management within modern medicine continues to be abused while many drug manufacturers and countless others turn a blind eye.

Though necessary in many cases (and we’re thankful they are there when needed), some pain killers could be just as effectively replaced with safer, more natural pain relievers in the form of herbs, oils and more.

The Case for More Natural Pain Relief

Did you know the federal government has officially declared the opioid crisis to be a public health emergency? In 2016, 64,000 people died from opioid overdoses – nearly twice as many as died in car accidents. This was an alarming 21% increase from the previous year.

It Began with the Opium Poppy

Mankind has a long, love-hate relationship with opioids. The opium poppy has been grown for at least 5,000 years for pain relief and recreational use. Hippocrates, the ancient Greek father of medicine, recommended mixing poppy juice with nettle for treating illnesses and pain. 

But in 1805, men learned how to produce morphine and codeine from opium. Opium's addictive qualities were well-known, but no one knew morphine was also addictive. So, in what may be one of history's worst ideas ever, morphine was used as a cure for opium addictions.

To say it didn't work as they hoped is an understatement. It’s now known that morphine is 10 times stronger than opium. 

Heroin Instead?

In 1898, the Bayer Pharmaceutical Company produced heroin commercially. In the early 1900s, the bad idea was repeated. Free heroin samples were given to morphine addicts to help them break the habit. You can guess how well that worked out. Heroin, now known to be 3 times stronger than morphine, was eventually declared illegal.

Synthetic Opiates 

Synthetic opioids such as demerol, fentanyl and methadone can be very potent. Fentanyl is an estimated 50x stronger than heroin with much of it now coming from Chinese drug companies.

Over time, opiates became more addictive and even more deadly.

Big Pharma Targets America 

The lion's share of these dangerous opioids are legally produced by pharmaceutical companies in quantities far in excess of legitimate purposes. For example, drug wholesalers shipped 9 MILLION opioid painkillers to a West Virginia pharmacy in a town with only 400 residents. On top of that, Big Pharma ships opioids into the US from all over the world.

Natural Painkillers - Safer and You Won't Become Addicted

When someone is suffering from severe pain, a strong prescription painkiller can be exactly what’s needed.

Much of the time, however, there are natural painkillers that can do the job without the dangerous side effects. If you've ever read the warnings listed on the tiny print brochure that comes with many OTC painkillers, you'll find that most hammer the kidneys.

Those small-print lists are enough to encourage anyone to try a different way.

 If you’re interested in seeking relief naturally, here are some safe pain relief alternatives:

  • Turmeric: Reduces inflammation
  • Devil's Claw Root: For arthritis and back pain
  • Capsaicin from chili peppers: Apply as a cream or take a capsule
  • Cloves: Contains eugenol, a natural painkiller. A tiny amount of clove oil on the gums can relieve toothache
  • Acupuncture: Used successfully for many centuries, even on animals
  • Heat and ice: Use ice first to reduce inflammation and swelling. Use heat later to reduce stiffness and pain.
  • Massage therapy: Can reduce how the body perceives pain


For everyday aches and pains, a topical pain reliever can be all you need. As a rule of thumb though, try to always use as little painkiller as possible.