Pain from surgery can be minimized with natural options.

My wife had major surgery five days ago. She remained overnight and came home on Wednesday afternoon. She followed all the pre-op instructions about eating, clear liquids, and more before surgery. However, she also started taking whole fruit mangosteen juice and turmeric with piperine several days before surgery and immediately after recovery.

Why is this important? Because controlling the COX-2 enzyme can reduce or eliminate pain. She came home from the hospital without pain and could move around well. A day later, she walked a half-mile with me in the park. She sleeps exceptionally well and never complains about pain, even from a three-hour surgery.

Inflammation Inflammation in the body is normal. Except for the lymph and thymus glands, your immune system works at the cellular and sub-cellular levels. The regulation of your immune system is controlled chemically.

All the body’s cells have thousands of receptors on their surfaces, serving as docking points for chemical messengers – inflammatory cytokines. When docked at a receptor, these messengers signal a cell to act or not perform to a specific condition. A single receptor has no impact on the big scheme of things.

When sliced and diced in surgery, anesthesia controls the pre-surgery, surgery, and post-surgery pain. Removing, realigning, and reattaching ligaments can lead to post-operative pain when the anesthesia wears off. However, if planned correctly, the receptor cells in those parts of your body can be stimulated not to start the internal processes leading to pain, swelling, limited movement, etc.

Aspirin Aspirin predecessors (willow bark salicylates) have been used for over 2,500 years to treat various inflammatory conditions. At the end of the 19th century, the German chemist, Felix Hoffmann, working for Friedrich Bayer & Co., created aspirin, a pain reliever. Aspirin is the most used non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). Other NSAIDs include acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen, etc.

NSAIDs The inflammation response mechanism of NSAIDs in the body was determined in the early 1970s. Aspirin, and other NSAIDs, block the cyclooxygenase (COX) enzyme responsible for initiating the inflammatory process.

The COX enzyme controls the production of prostaglandins from arachidonic acid. The prostaglandins are messengers that signal the immune system to start the inflammatory processes.
Blood flow and pressure are increased to the injured site. As a result, blood vessels expand, tissues swell, heat, and redness set in, endothelial cells that line the capillaries shrink, causing spaces between the walls for white blood cells to enter, and pain becomes noticeable.

This is the body’s response to injury, trauma, or surgery, and it protects itself from further infection or damage that bacteria, viruses, or fungi might cause. Aspirin (NSAIDs) inhibit the synthesis of prostaglandins and thereby reduce both pain and inflammation.

COX Enzymes Daniel Simmons (Brigham Young University) discovered two kinds of COX enzymes inhibited by NSAIDs – the COX-1 and COX-2 enzymes. The COX-1 enzyme reacts with arachidonic acid to produce basal prostaglandins, which support healthy kidney function, blood clotting, and stomach functioning.

The COX-2 enzyme reacts with arachidonic acid to produce prostaglandin E2, responsible for the symptoms associated with inflammation. NSAIDs treat both pain and inflammation because COX-2 is activated and COX-1 is inhibited. Potentially, kidney damage, bleeding problems, ulcers, and stomach irritation can occur with the overuse of NSAIDs.

COX-2 Selective Inhibitors In the late 1990s, scientists studied the effects of various drugs on both the COX-1 and COX-2 enzymes. They created a ‘COX-2’ selective inhibitor – Vioxx, Celebrex, and Bextra.

Early NSAIDs were equipotent at inhibiting both COX-1 and COX-2 enzymes. The COX-2 selective inhibitors were 30 to 300 times more potent in inhibiting COX-2 than COX-1 without gastrointestinal irritation.

Celebrex and Vioxx were introduced in 1999 and rapidly became the most frequently prescribed drug in the United States. However, additional side effects have been cataloged regarding the COX-2 inhibitors – primarily Vioxx, which was withdrawn voluntarily from the marketplace due to an increased risk of myocardial infarction and stroke.

Prescription medicines inhibit the COX-2 enzyme more than the COX-1 but still inhibit the COX-1 enzyme. This causes additional and potentially more hazardous side effects.

Scientific research takes many forms – ‘in vitro (laboratory dishes), ‘in-vivo’ (laboratory animals), and clinical studies involving human subjects. Both ‘in vitro’ and ‘in vivo’ studies have been done on various natural products that might inhibit COX-2 and not inhibit COX-1. Very few were found.
My research shows that a specific xanthone, gamma mangostin, in the mangosteen fruit effectively shuts down the COX-2 enzyme without affecting the protective COX-1 enzyme.

Gamma-mangostin Dr. K. Nakatani and others working at the Department of Pharmaceutical Molecular Biology at the Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan, determined that when gamma-mangostin was present in your body, the production of prostaglandin E2 was blocked – effectively shutting down the inflammatory response of the COX-2 enzyme while having zero effect on the COX-1 enzyme. The first study demonstrated that gamma-mangostin directly and selectively inhibited only the COX-2 enzyme.

Dr. James Duke, a world-famous ethnobotanist, lists many of mangosteen’s (Garcinia Mangostana) benefits. Scientific proof can be found in almost 150 independent published scientific articles. Physicians are starting to replace prescription drugs with whole-fruit mangosteen juice.

Dr. Sam Walters and Dr. J. Fredric Templeman offer their opinions on the efficacy of the whole-fruit mangosteen juice to be equal to or outperform the prescription drugs Valium Xanax, Vicodin, Percocet, Celebrex, Vioxx, Bextra, Ultram, Talwin, Midrin, Fioricet, etc.

Curcumin (Turmeric)
Turmeric is a spice. The yellow color of curry comes from turmeric. The active molecule responsible for its health benefits is called curcumin. However, the bioavailability of curcumin in the body is very low. This bioactivity (getting more usable curcumin into the body) can be increased by 2000% by adding piperine, black pepper extract. It is also best to take turmeric (curcumin) with a meal.

Many studies have proven curcumin acts as a natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. It also boosts brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which helps support the life of neurons in our brains. Research scientists tell us that curcumin can lower the risk of heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, it is used to treat arthritis and depression.

COX-1 & COX-2 Arachidonic acid is used to synthesize prostaglandins, lipids that are made at the site of injury or trauma, to control the body’s immune responses. Curcumin inhibits the cyclooxygenase enzymes by inhibiting the phosphorylation process that creates prostaglandins.

Both the COX-2 and COX-1 enzymes are inhibited naturally by curcumin. NSAIDs do the same thing but have side effects. The suppression or inhibition of the COX-1 enzyme approximates the ‘selective inhibition’ seen with the prescription drugs Vioxx, Celebrex, and Bextra without any side effects.


Whole-fruit mangosteen juice is needed because most of the xanthones are in the skin or rind of the fruit. I remember vividly one day crushing my knuckle in the car door when I accidentally closed it. It hurt – a lot! I drank about six ounces (double my normal daily amount) of mangosteen juice within five minutes of the accident.

My finger never had any pain unless I squeezed the crushed area. I had total flexibility and mobility. There was no swelling, redness, or heat. I shut down the COX-2 response before it could activate my normal body processes to treat inflammation. I have heard many similar results, from decades-old back pain to migraines.

My wife’s immediate post-operative time has been with literally zero pain. There are only two incidents that I heard her yelp quickly. One was the first time she sat down in her favorite chair – she plopped rather than gently sat down an hour after coming home from the hospital. That has not happened twice!

The second time was when I misjudged a speed bump in a parking lot, and the car’s sudden motion caused her to let me know that she was aware I went over that bump too quickly. Again, that has not happened since. From a pain perspective, it is like she never had surgery.

Mangosteen juice is a fruit juice. Therefore, it is not medicine and cannot be prescribed. However, before buying a bottle and self-treating, talk over your plan with a knowledgeable medical authority to ensure that other drugs you are taking might not become problems.

Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin –


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