(NaturalNews) Popping an aspirin or an ibuprofen to relieve a headache has become commonplace in the industrialized world, but there are actually natural plants and herbs that are capable of helping to relieve pain as well. Lemon grass is a great example of this, as researchers from Griffith University recently released the results of a five-year study on the plant showing that it is capable of relieving headaches and migraines.
Indigenous Australians have long used lemon grass as a traditional medicine, and modern medicine is finally catching on to its therapeutic power. And in the recent study published in the journal, Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, lemon grass was found in tests to inhibit the clumping of human blood platelets in a similar fashion to the way aspirin does.
Professor Lyn Griffiths, Dr. Darren Grice and Dr. Kelly Rogers worked on the study which found that a specific extract in lemon grass, called eugenol, exhibited an effect similar to aspirin in preventing clots.
"Headaches and migraines cause abnormal activities in our bodies, such as altering our serotonin levels and interfering with the normal function of our blood platelets," explained Dr. Grice in a press release. "The compound [eugenol] inhibits platelets clumping together and the release of serotonin."
Dr. Grice also explained that, in general, traditional medicines like lemon grass have not been effectively studied in depth, and that many of them contain therapeutic values that are largely unknown.
"Nature's medicines hold enormous potential to cure health problems and traditional medicines are a source of good leads for new scientific discovery," he explained.
All of this makes perfect sense when considering that most pharmaceuticals are synthetic modifications of natural plants and herbs. Scientists will take a plant extract and modify it, patent it, and sell it to the public at a premium. But unlike natural extracts, pharmaceuticals almost always cause negative side effects and do not work as effectively as the real thing.
It is encouraging to see increased attention in science and medicine on natural plants and herbs because these hold the most potential in helping people to prevent and cure disease. Many medicinal plants and herbs are abundant, easy to grow and cultivate, and effective at targeting disease and increasing health.
As far as headaches go, white willow bark is also an effective remedy. Its compounds are what scientists use to produce commercial aspirin but, like lemon grass, it is far safer than the synthetic drug variety.