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Ancient Minty Painkiller Worked, Modern Study Suggests

 
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Kim
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2006 12:06 pm    Post subject: Ancient Minty Painkiller Worked, Modern Study Suggests Reply with quote

[As a side note -- Vick's VapoRub and its generic equivalents also works well on sore muscles and joints, and as an itch-reliever and antiseptic on mosquito and other itchy bug bites. The main ingredients of camphor, menthol, and eucalyptus have antiseptic and analgesic properties. And petrolatum and/or pure lanolin seem to work better than "diaper rash creams" on rashes of chafing and irritation.]


Heather Whipps
Special to LiveScience
LiveScience.comMon Aug 28, 12:30 PM ET

The doctors of ancient Greece and China had it right when they applied cool and minty salves to soothe aches and pains, a new study suggests.

A synthetic treatment with the same properties as mint oil is an effective painkiller when applied directly to the skin. The new cooling compounds could be especially beneficial to millions suffering with the chronic pain of arthritis and diseases affecting nerve endings, scientists say.

“They work particularly well in ongoing pain states where the nervous system becomes hypersensitive so even the lightest touch becomes painful,” said study leader Susan Fleetwood-Walker, a professor of neuroscience at the University of Edinburgh.

Ancient smarts

Healers in ancient Chinese societies treated injuries with mint oil, which contains anti-inflammatory properties and produces a cooling effect on the skin.

Cold compresses were also recommended in the fifth century BC by Hippocrates, who is considered the father of modern medicine. Swelling and joint pain could be eased by the numbing effect of copious amounts of cold water, the ancient Greek scholar said.

The new compounds use the same soothing chemicals found in mint oil, but incorporate a few other important elements that work specifically with a pain receptor nerve in the skin called TRTM8, newly discovered by Fleetwood-Walker and her team.

“Chemicals in mint oil and cooling the skin can activate these painkilling nerves but neither traditional method is very specific,” she told LiveScience. “We have shown that the TRTM8 receptor is the critical molecular target for this pain killing effect.”

Special analgesic ingredients in the compounds—telling the receptor to turn off pain messages going to the brain—make them even more effective, the results showed.

Fewer side-effects

The minty formula offers significant advantages versus some other pain medications, which do not always work on sufferers of long-term pain, say the researchers.

“Some types of chronic pain, especially following nerve injury, are resistant to morphine,” Fleetwood-Walker said. “These compounds act powerfully as pain killers on many types of chronic pain including nerve injury pain.”

Because the compounds are applied externally, they should also come with a shorter list of potential adverse reactions, she said. “They seem to be just as powerful as morphine, but work through an entirely separate mechanism, with what we think will be less side effects.

”The findings appear in an August issue of the journal Current Biology.
The Pain Truth: How and Why We Hurt Chronic Pain Shrinks People’s Brains Discovery Offers Hope to Chronic Pain Sufferers Maggots and Leeches: Old Medicine is New Original Story: Ancient Minty Painkiller Worked, Modern Study Suggests

Visit LiveScience.com for more daily news, views and scientific inquiry with an original, provocative point of view. LiveScience reports amazing, real world breakthroughs, made simple and stimulating for people on the go. Check out our collection of Science, Animal and Dinosaur Pictures, Science Videos, Hot Topics, Trivia, Top 10s, Voting, Amazing Images, Reader Favorites, and more. Get cool gadgets at the new LiveScience Store, sign up for our free daily email newsletter and check out our RSS feeds today!

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Copyright © 2006 Yahoo! Inc. All rights reserved.

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Rosie B.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2006 3:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Teresa Graedon's column in our newspaper has listed many uses for Vick's Vapo Rub. It's really amazing stuff and works wonders on your feet as well. I know, I've used it.

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nuccia
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2006 3:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just called my brother to tell Mom to try some on her knee. It looks like shes going to have to have knee replacement surgery. She went to a specialist yoday and they've recommended a MIR and surgery. Her other tests all came back ok, thankfully but she can no longer walk properly.

I guess the two hardest things in the world are to see your children or your parents suffering....

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Carole B
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2006 8:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're right there Nuccia. Watching your loved ones in pain and suffering is truly awful. But lets hope that your Mum can get some relief for her painful knee(s) whatever she tries.

Give her my best regards and do let us know how she gets on won't you......

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nuccia
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2006 11:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Carole...

I appreciate your thoughts and I'll keep you posted. I'm going over today or tomoorow for a few hours. I'll let her know you were asking about her.

Very Happy

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Emmy
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2006 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Nuccia

Sorry to hear about your Mum. I just know 'first hand' how painful it can be. Tell her not to worry too much about the knee-replacement surgery, after surgery they do give lots of painrelief medication and , over here, they have you back up and on your feet walking 2 days after the operation. I was given a leaflet with exercises to do before and after surgery. When and if I can find it I will email a copy to you to give to your mum. Believe me, although the exercises are sometimes a struggle at the beginning they DO help.
The only thing I cant do now with the leg that has already had the knee replacement is kneel, but that didnt make any difference because I couldnt do that before the operation in any case. Laughing Laughing

Hopefully I'm to get the other one replaced in October.

God Bless
Emmy

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2006 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nuccia, my own mom had hip replacement surgery and was out on her [CENSORED] boat excursions five weeks after her surgery. I think your mother's knee replacement surgery will go just fine.

Make sure to tell her we're ALL thinking of her and wish her the best!

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nuccia
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2006 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Guys,

Thanks! You all just made me feel much better!!! Very Happy Very Happy

emmy...Jens wondering if you're mad at her. Everyday she checks the forum for your messages and shes disappointed when she doesn't see a post..everyday when she gets home the first words out of her mouth are "Mom...did emmy reply?? Why won't she write to me anymore?" I think you made quite on impression with her. And shes dying for some jam!!!

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2006 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Nuccia,

I'm sure I did reply to Jen's post a couple of days ago , I certainly wont stop posting to her. I'm certain I posted a reply to Jen the same time I replied to yours. Ill go now and double check.

God Bless
Emmy

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2006 3:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nuccia
Have just checked and I did post a reply to Jen on Thursday 14th.
Tell her to have a look.

Emmy

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marisa6
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2006 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of my Dad's pals had his knees done a few years back, and he is like a new man! He has lost weight because he is much more mobile, and is in so much less pain. Its great. Tell your mum not to worry - (easier said than done) - she will be climbing trees in no time......

Well - maybe not trees - but you know what I mean Very Happy

Marisa
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2006 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks emmy!

big hugs and kisses

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2006 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

marisa6 wrote:
One of my Dad's pals had his knees done a few years back, and he is like a new man! He has lost weight because he is much more mobile, and is in so much less pain. Its great. Tell your mum not to worry - (easier said than done) - she will be climbing trees in no time......

Well - maybe not trees - but you know what I mean Very Happy

Marisa


Thanks Marisa...

Shes already panicking. "What if they find something else" is all she says. I think its becasue her Dad went in for routine cataract testing and they found a brain tumour that killed him shortly afterwards.

When she turned 62 she had to go have hers done (and it was the same age as when her Dad had gone in) and we went crazy watching her. This woman is the strongest woman I've ever met and has only been sick a few times inher life so it makes it that much more difficult because she is normally a very together person.

But of course...this too shall pass...

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