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Exploring Natural Alternatives to Ibuprofen

by Tatiana Alcazar

April 28, 2021

pink Ibuprofen tablets
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Ibuprofen is commonly known as Advil. It is use for relieving aches, pains, fever, and headaches.

However, you may be unaware that there are some very serious side-effects associated with taking ibuprofen.

Fortunately, there are a few natural alternatives to taking ibuprofen as an anti-inflammatory.

Continue reading below to learn exactly what the side-effects are, and what natural alternatives you can consume instead of taking ibuprofen.

What Are the Problems with Taking Ibuprofen?

Though it’s easy to forget that this drug can come with some serious side-effects, as it is so widely available and used. Hence, just like any other drug ibuprofen comes with risks.

1. Heart Problems

For most people taking ibuprofen the risks of having a heart attack or stroke are rare. However, if you take this drug for a prolonged period of time, you are already at a greater risk of having a heart attack or stroke, and you may be more likely to develop heart issues.

2. Kidney Function

Ibuprofen works by limiting prostaglandins in your body.

These are hormone-like substances responsible for the inflammation and pain response when you sustain an injury.

Prostaglandins also help maintain the pressure in your kidneys, which is vital for filtering fluids and maintaining your blood pressure.

This drug changes the number of prostaglandins in your body, for this reason taking it can lead to an imbalance of fluid and blood pressure.

3. Ulcers and Bleeding

Damage to the gastrointestinal tract is one of the main concerns when taking ibuprofen for a prolonged period of time. In fact, this can cause serious stomach damage like bleeding.

More importantly, you have to take additional medication to protect your stomach lining, especially if you are taking this drug for a long time.

4. Allergy

An allergic reaction is also another rare side-effect of taking ibuprofen. In fact, any drug can cause an allergic reaction, although it's rare the reaction to medication can range from mild to life-threatening.

5. Liver Failure

Liver failure is another risk of taking ibuprofen. Moreover, the risk is increasing if you take it for a prolonged period of time.

Early onset symptoms include nausea, tiredness, itchiness, lack of energy, and flu-like symptoms, this may be signs of liver damage or liver failure.

6. Pregnancy

Doctors do not recommend taking ibuprofen while pregnant, because this can increase your risk of miscarriage, and it may delay the delivery.

Common Side Effects

Not actually everyone who takes Ibuprofen has these serious symptoms. Others may experience common symptoms;

  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Blurry and Eye Irritation
  • Ankle Swelling
  • Sweating
  • Vomiting
  • Drowsiness

What Alternatives Are There to Ibuprofen?

There are many foods available that have anti-inflammatory properties such as;

  • Tomatoes
  • Olive oil
  • Leafy veg
  • Nuts
  • Fatty fish
  • Berries and citrus fruits
  • Tumeric
  • Garlic
  • Pineapple

At the same time fruits and vegetables like blueberries are high in natural antioxidants, and non-processed nuts can also reduce inflammation, heart disease, and diabetes.

Coffee may help with inflammation too. As well as eating vegetables, fruits, whole-grains, fish, and healthy fats can also reduce the levels of inflammation in the body.

Consuming a healthy diet will benefit your overall physical and mental health. Moreover, a healthy diet isn’t just for reducing the risk of inflammation or chronic diseases, but also for living and for filling a good quality of life.

Anti-inflammatory diet on the other hand is considered healthy, so even if it doesn't help in your condition, still it helps to lower your chances of having another problem.

Inflammatory Foods that you Should Avoid

If you want to reduce the overall inflammation in your body, it may help to change your habits, and there are also some foods that you should avoid. 

  • Processed Foods
  • Processed Beverages
  • Sugar
  • Refined Carbohydrates
  • Deep-fried Food
  • Processed Fats

In fact, consuming these foods regularly will increase the overall inflammation response in your body, and they are also associated with chronic diseases such as Type II diabetes and heart disease.

While these types of foods can contribute to weight gain, which is also known to increase inflammation in the body. Still, it’s best to avoid any type of processed food which includes bread, pasta, deep-fried food, takeaway, and sugary beverages.

Anti-Inflammatory Supplements

So, if a diet change isn’t enough, there also some natural food supplements you can try. In some cases, taking food supplements may be useful as well.

1. Alpha-Lipoic Acid

The Alpha-lipoic acid is a fatty acid already produced in your body. It helps your metabolism and energy, also works as an antioxidant in your body. 

It also protects your cells from damage and helps to maintain other levels of antioxidants. Therefore, Alpha-lipoic acid decreases inflammation and inflammatory markers in the blood. 

It has been proven to reduce several inflammatory markers in patients with heart disease. 

Unfortunately, it is not recommended for pregnant women.  But anyone who isn’t pregnant can enjoy taking this supplement. 

2. Curcumin

We find this in turmeric. Whereas the health benefits of consuming turmeric has a lot of medicinal properties.

Turmeric does also have anti-inflammatory properties which have reduced inflammation for arthritis patients.  

3. Fish Oil

The Fish oil supplements contain omega-3 fatty acids that contribute to overall health. It reduces the type of inflammation link to diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. 

4. Ginger

This is a common ingredient in sweet treats such as cake and biscuits. But, in its purest form, it can help reduce inflammation in your body.

It is especially good at reducing inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract

5. Resveratrol

This is an antioxidant found in blueberries, grapes, and other purple fruits. In this case, resveratrol is good at reducing inflammation associated with heart and gastrointestinal diseases. 

6. Boswellia

 In India it has shown that the extract of the plant boswellia can reduce pain and improve knee joint function. 

7. Essential Oils

An essential oil like lavender can be a good analgesic. Applying it topically provides pain relief and ability to calm and relax the affected area. Eucalyptus oil has a cooling effect on muscles and reduces pain.

8. Capsaicin

The capsaicin is the compound found in chili peppers. It is well-known to its pain relieving properties. When capsaicin used on the body it provides a heat sensation that activates the nerve cells. 

Swap Ibuprofen for a Natural Alternative!

There are so many choices for natural alternatives for ibuprofen. Change your diet to a non-processed diet and take anti-inflammatory supplements for the strongest anti-inflammatory effect. 

Consume plenty of fruits and vegetables in a rainbow of colors to benefit from their vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. 

For more information on this and other topics, take a look at other articles on our blog.


  1. Skibska, Beata, "The Protective Effect of Lipoic Acid on Selected Cardiovascular Diseases Caused by Age-Related Oxidative Stress." Hindawi, 2015, https://www.hindawi.com/journals/omcl/2015/313021/
  2. Y Panahi, "Mitigation of Systemic Oxidative Stress by Curcuminoids in Osteoarthritis: Results of a Randomized Controlled Trial." NCBI, 17 Feb. 2015, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25688638
  3. AM Zivcovic, "Dietary omega-3 fatty acids aid in the modulation of inflammation and metabolic health." NCBI, 2011, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24860193
  4. A Rashidian, "Protective effect of ginger volatile oil against acetic acid-induced colitis in rats: a light microscopic evaluation." NCBI, 2014, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24666677
  5. G Riccioni, "Resveratrol and anti-atherogenic effects." NCBI, 2015, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26306466

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About the author 

Tatiana Alcazar  -  A software engineer, former IBMer, co-founder of Naravis Corporation and a mom, with a passion for finding the solution and root cause to everything that comes across, including health. It has been a long journey since founding Naravis and trying to find solutions to my leaky gut syndrome and pursue natural health. Throughout this journey I have learned an enormous amount of information (acquired knowledge) and I feel it's my duty to share my knowledge and my experience with you.

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