Can Turmeric Replace Aspirin? Side Effects & Natural Alternatives
7 minute read
Aspirin is usually the go-to resource for pesky headaches, but many people have to use it daily as part of a heart-healthy regimen. Individuals at risk for heart attack and stroke are advised to take daily doses of aspirin, but there are some health concerns when it comes to prolonged use of anti-inflammatory medications like aspirin.
With the potential dangers, many people are turning to alternative and more natural forms of treatment and anti-inflammatory supplements. To see why this is, it’s important to first understand exactly what aspirin does and what it’s used for.
The Uses of Aspirin
Aspirin is taken for three main reasons: to relieve pain and inflammation, to reduce fevers, and to prevent cardiovascular problems like heart attacks and stroke.
Aspirin works by reducing the level of hormone-like substances (prostaglandins) that are responsible for the inflammatory response. By inhibiting these compounds, inflammation is reduced in your body.
Taking aspirin daily is not advised by the FDA, but this is a common preventative option for those at risk of heart attacks and stroke. When it comes to these serious health problems, the seriousness of them outweighs any risks associated with prolonged aspirin use, so it is deemed safe.
You should always check with your doctor first before starting a daily aspirin regimen, but the benefits of preventing cardiovascular problems are significant.
The Bad Side to Aspirin
Taking aspirin occasionally for a health issue is fine, but daily use over a long period of time comes with risks and potential health complications.
Stomach Ulcers: Perhaps the most commonly cited side effect to aspirin use, stomach ulcers are painful and linked to digestive troubles. Aspirin is the second-leading cause of ulcers, and continued use after the development of an ulcer is extremely dangerous.
Already existing ulcers can perforate and bleed, so continuing aspirin regimens when you have an ulcer increases your risk of serious illness.
Kidney Failure: Long-term use of analgesic medications like aspirin can cause kidney damage. The development of this condition often goes unnoticed, as symptoms do not appear right away. This damage can then lead to kidney failure, which may be deadly.
Since aspirin is prescribed as a preventative heart attack option, doses over 80 milligrams are not advised, as these are more likely to contribute to kidney failure.
Liver Failure: Like all medications, aspirin ends up in your liver as part of the detoxification process. Too much aspirin means too many toxins, and your liver is unable to process them effectively, causing liver failure.
Studies have shown that in high doses, aspirin can cause fatal damage to the liver, as the body becomes overloaded with toxins.
Hemorrhagic Stroke: Many people take aspirin to thin their blood to prevent stroke, but too much can end up doing more harm than good. Blood-thinning aspirin can cause bleeding in the brain, potentially leading to some strokes.
| Related: How Turmeric Can Lower Heart Disease Risk |
Therefore, it is important for the risks of a stroke to be weighed against potential cardiovascular benefits carefully.
Ringing Ears: Tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, is usually caused by an underlying health condition, but it can also be caused by overuse of aspirin. When it comes to toxicity in your ears, the dose of aspirin you take is important, as more adverse effects are linked to higher doses.
Reye’s Syndrome: This is a fatal condition that damages the brain and liver, especially in children. This condition typically develops in patients recovering from the flu, but it has also been linked to aspirin use.
It is thought that the drug acts as a cofactor in susceptible patients, leading to brain stem damage and death in about 40 percent of cases. It is therefore advised that aspirin be avoided by any individuals fighting viral infections.
What Else Can You Do?
To avoid the possible risks associated with aspirin use, there are a number of more natural alternative treatments you can try. It is always important to speak with your doctor about starting or finishing an aspirin regimen, and all health risks and benefits need to be carefully considered.
If you are using aspirin to control inflammation in your body, the natural options below may be more effective and come with less risk.
The powerful anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin, the main compound of turmeric supplements, are ideal for controlling inflammation in your body. Used for centuries, the antioxidants in turmeric extract help to inhibit the activities on inflammatory markers, thus helping with pain and swelling as well as protecting you from the adverse effects of medications.
Curcumin supplements also act as an anti-thrombotic agent, helping you to maintain anticoagulant status and protection from clots and stroke.
Ginger possesses the ability to prevent the formation of blood clots, which in turn can prevent heart attacks and stroke as effectively as aspirin. In addition to this, ginger is more therapeutic and reduces pain by acting directly on nerve endings.
Ginger’s abilities to help with inflammation and pain make it ideal for hypertension, arthritis, and atherosclerosis.
This important mineral is not designed to perform the same function as aspirin. Rather, it acts as a preventative agent, promoting cardiovascular health so that aspirin is not needed.
Magnesium deficiency can cause blood pressure problems, which can lead to arrhythmia, heart disease, and hypertension, so keeping your intake up will keep your heart healthy and aspirin-free.
With inflammation being the main reason to take aspirin, switching to an anti-inflammatory diet can be a beneficial step.
Avoiding foods that trigger inflammation such as sugars, processed foods, spicy foods, and saturated fats as well as eating more anti-inflammatory foods like turmeric, leafy greens, berries, and healthy fats will prevent inflammation and reduce your need for aspirin.
The Bottom Line
Inflammation is linked to numerous diseases and is easily controlled with NSAIDs like aspirin. Like all medications, aspirin comes with adverse side effects and dangers, causing people to question its use.
The effects of inflammation can be easily controlled with more natural treatment options, so you can promote optimal health and avoid any further health dangers. Better diet, lifestyle changes, and anti-inflammatory supplements will keep you inflammation-free and prevent the dangers of aspirin in the medicine cabinet.