From the Editors of E/The Environmental Magazine
Dear EarthTalk: Are there natural headache remedies that can get me off of Tylenol, Advil and other medicines whose side effects can be as bad as or worse than the pain that led me to use them? — Jan Levinson, Portland, ME
Many of us may be too dependent on over-the-counter painkillers to treat the occasional headache, especially given the side effects of such drugs. Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) can increase the risk of heart and circulation problems—including heart attack and stroke—and is also tough on the digestive tract. Too much acetaminophen (Tylenol) has been linked to nausea, diarrhea, and kidney and liver problems. Many natural health care practitioners disparage drugs for merely masking the symptoms of larger problems.