Many people search for natural analgesics that create a bridge between the wisdom of our body and pain relief.
The development of natural analgesics
In 1986, Professor Erminio Costa, a world-famous neurologist, gave a compelling lecture in Washington titled To Follow Where Nature Leads.
Costa explains that nature can be our teacher in the development of new medicines, such as natural analgesics. Costa emphasises that we need a new, innovative way of researching that rejects the monocausale schools of thought. This can be done by following the principle ‘where nature leads us’, in which we use curing and analgesic mechanisms that are found in the body.We only need to stimulate these mechanisms; our body and nature will do the rest. For example, taking substances that activate the natural, analgesic mechanisms in our own body.
Natural analgesics: nature as our teacher
The idea behind this school of thought is that there are several molecules in nature which, based on their characteristics, can restore the balance in disrupted biological systems. Substances that our body produces itself. Substances with mechanisms of action that have matured in nature. No wonder that these natural molecules influence the natural balance in our body. Nature's laboratory has been dealing with this for millions of years while the pharmaceutical industry has been trying to match this in merely 10 years. Consequently, these molecules do more than just relieve pain. These natural analgesics achieve much more in the body than the analgesics developed by the pharmaceutical industry. In general, synthetic analgesics suppress pain, switch off the body’s alarm signal and do not tackle the cause of the pain. Furthermore, these remedies have many side-effects.
Our body’s natural analgesics
Our body produces natural analgesics. These substances are mainly produced in the brain when we experience pain. There are two main groups of analgesics: opiate-like substances, such as endorphins, and fatty substances that have special signalling functions, such as anandamide and 2-acylgycerol.
By now, scientists are looking for new natural analgesics. These natural analgesics need to be suitable for intake by means of tablets or capsules. For example, with endorphins this is not possible, because these natural analgesics are broken down in the gastrointestinal tract.
However, there are substances from the second group—the fatty substances—that are currently studied worldwide as natural analgesics.Also the pharmaceutical industry is making an all-out effort in looking for enzyme inhibitors, which inhibit the breakdown of natural analgesics that the body produces. The great disadvantage of these enzyme inhibitors is that often, enzyme systems that are necessary for other biological functions are inhibited. Therefore, chemical enzyme inhabitation can never stimulate natural analgesia without side-effects.
Research in natural analgesics
In the footsteps of Professor Erminio Costa and of winner of the Nobel Prize in Medicine, Professor Rita Levi-Montalcini, JP Russell Science Global Ltd is researching natural analgesics without side-effects.