Pain is a huge global health problem. Over one in five adults worldwide suffer from pain, while more than 10% of the world’s population suffers from chronic pain. Over 100 million people suffer from some kind of chronic pain in the US alone! To help alleviate it, people use various prescription drugs.
But many Ayurvedic doctors and medical experts today increasingly prescribe Vijaya and its derived Ayurvedic medicines. This important herb is well-known for its robust pain-relieving properties and has been used since ancient times to help alleviate various painful health conditions.
In this article, we explore the action of conventional prescription drugs vs. Vijaya on relieving pain and compare their efficacy.
Painkillers are some of the most prescribed drugs in the world because of the condition’s high prevalence. But they are often some of the most addictive because they are majorly derived from the compound opium. These drugs called opioids give the patients a sense of ‘high’ or euphoria, which causes dependency.
Common types of prescription pain relievers include
- Opioids (the most common),
- Muscle relaxants,
- Topical (skin creams, gels, sprays, patches).
They are usually prescribed for –
- Cancer pain
- Postoperative pain
- Neuropathic pain
- Severe muscle ache
- Traumatic injuries like broken bones, burns, etc.
How Do They Work?
The painkillers do not directly impact the body part that hurts. They rather go to the nerve cells in the body and stimulate their function. The body is full of nerve endings in the skin cells and organ tissues. When there is damage to any organ, its cells release a chemical substance called prostaglandins.
The nerve endings that can sense pain are very sensitive to this chemical. They immediately transfer pain signals through the nervous system to the brain. When patients consume painkillers, the drugs bind to the organs’ protein receptors and prevent their cells from releasing prostaglandins.
Hence, no signals go to the brain, and no pain is felt by the body. These drugs often do not only reduce prostaglandins production in the affected area but do so throughout the body. It causes severe side effects, including digestive issues (indigestion, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, ulcers, bleeding, IBDs, etc.)
Some painkillers do not stop prostaglandins production. They rather act directly on the brain and prevent it from receiving those pain signals.
These conventional medicines often worsen the patients’ pre-existing conditions, including chronic pain, asthma, blood pressure, and diabetes. Moreover, they rarely alleviate the pain effectively. Their single doses are not as efficacious as advertised, leading to increased dosage and the consequent health risks.
Conventional Painkiller’s Side Effects
Common side effects of prescription painkillers include:
- Mood swings
- Impaired cognition and decision-making ability
- Mental health issues (depression, stress, anxiety)
- Constipation and/or diarrhea
- Fatigue and drowsiness
- Respiratory issues
- Skin allergies
- Weight gain
This is because opioid receptors are spread all around the body. Hence, the patients might consume them to alleviate pain, but the drugs affect other body organs as well, and unnecessarily interfere with their activity. These medications further exhibit an increased risk of damage to vital organs like the brain, spinal cord, heart, liver, etc.
Due to prolonged use of these drugs, patients get dependent on and develop a certain tolerance for these medications. This means their bodies demand higher doses of the same drugs to alleviate a similar pain in the future, leading to addiction and overdose. This has severe physical and psychological consequences.
It also leads to withdrawal symptoms when they try to reduce their consumption. As per statistics, the largest percentage of drug overdose deaths happen due to prescription drug abuse. Another report documented over 100,306 drug overdose deaths in the US between April 2020 and April 2021.
But since pain is a very common health condition, the consumption of these harmful drugs is very high. Hence, doctors increasingly prescribe these drugs, and pharmaceutical companies intensely market them. This caused social acceptability of their consumption, irrespective of their side effects.
In a 2018 Canadian study, it was found that over 11.8 million people in the country used opioid pain medication at some point in their lives. A US study in 2019 showed that over 9.7 million people misused prescription pain-relieving drugs for recreation.
Vijaya for Pain Relief
In Ayurveda, Vijaya has been used for pain relief for many centuries. And modern medical professionals have conducted various studies and clinical trials to explore its efficacy.
- In a Canadian study, it was found that Vijaya not only alleviated pain but also reduced prescription opioid consumption among patients. It further significantly improved their overall quality of life.
- A 2021 US study found that Vijaya-derived Ayurvedic medicines alleviated chronic pain in over 59% of the patients and reduced the prescription pain medications among 68% of the patients. A majority of the study’s participants found Vijaya to be a safe, non-addictive, and effective treatment option for their chronic pain.
- In a combination of nine studies involving over 7000 patients, close to a 75% of reduction in opioid usage was seen when they consumed Ayurvedic cannabis solutions.
This is why Ayurvedic doctors and medical experts today prescribe Vijaya and its Ayurvedic cannabis solutionsfor effective pain relief. Furthermore, patients worldwide are increasingly expressing a desire to learn more about Vijaya’s pain-killing action.
Let us look at how this herb helps act on this condition and why it is a more holistic, effective, and safer alternative to conventional prescription painkillers.
How Vijaya Works On Pain
When patients consume Vijaya, its chemical compounds bind to the cannabinoid receptors in the body’s ECS. The ECS or the endocannabinoid system is one of the most important and elaborate biological systems. It plays a vital role in regulating pain and inflammation.
The ECS’s cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2 are spread throughout the body. The former is mainly found in the pain-processing regions of the brain and the spinal cord. Whereas the latter is prominently concentrated in the immune cells.
The Vijaya-derived Ayurvedic medicinesbind to the CB1 receptors to inhibit the transport of the pain signals to the brain and reduce pain perception. And by activating the CB2 receptors, Vijaya prevents the immune cells from producing inflammatory cytokine and chemokine cells that are prominent causes of pain in the body.
This is what separates the herb from traditional drugs that act on the nerve endings in the brain and the spinal cord, making them unsafe for consumption.
Moreover, similar to opioid receptors, the cannabinoid receptors are spread throughout the various organs and their tissues. Vijaya activates them to reduce the damage conventional medications have done to those organs and improves their function.
The Common Side Effects of Vijaya
Since Ayurvedic cannabis solutionshave herbal ingredients, they are safe for consumption. But misusing them without proper consultation can cause minor side effects such as-
- Mild headache
- Mood changes
- Reduced appetite
While the side effects of prescription drugs can be severe and life-threatening, the side effects of Vijaya are mild and alleviate within a few days. To know more about how you can leverage Vijaya to provide relief from your pain, contact Hempstreet and get the best Ayurvedic consultation for yourself.