Continuing on with our exploration of herbal actions, we come to analgesics. Many of you have probably heard this term before and it is a common one not just in herbal medicine but also in modern pharmaceutical practices. An analgesic compound is one that relieves pain. Some herbs are falsely called analgesics but rather work on the inflammatory pathway, relieving pain. Some of these herbs include arnica, tumeric, and calendula which are not true analgesic herbs.
Herbs that are true analgesics act on pain receptors in the body. Because of this, many of them are used topically. A pain receptor is a protein that detects a molecule in the body. The protein then sends a signal to the brain that there is a problem. Our brain interprets this information and we experience pain. Analgesic herbs either block the protein from detecting the molecules or they encourage a signal to be…
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