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The Dangers of Tylenol + 5 Natural Alternatives

  • Published on: 21 April, 2015
  • Last update: 10 August, 2017

10919297_434124313416349_941688987_nScientists recently discovered that a common ingredient found in everyday pain relievers like Tylenol, Aspirin & Ibuprofen is responsible for inhibiting people’s ability to feel positive emotions. What?!


If you take Tylenol to ease your pain, you might actually be experiencing an unexpected side effect: apathy. New research shows that acetaminophen, the main ingredient in Tylenol, can dull positive emotions as well as any pain you’re feeling. Acetaminophen is the main ingredient in Tylenol, and it’s been used for more than 70 years in the United States. It has also been shown to relieve psychological pain, and now research from Ohio State University scientists shows that it actually reduces people’s positive emotions.

“This means that using Tylenol or similar products might have broader consequences than previously thought,” says Geoffrey Durso, the lead author of the study and a doctoral student at OSU. “Rather than just being a pain reliever, acetaminophen can be seen as an all-purpose emotion reliever.”

The study examined participants who took acetaminophen before viewing very pleasant pictures and before viewing very disturbing pictures. Compared to participants who took placebos, participants who took acetaminophen reported less strong emotions to both set of photographs. Results also showed that they were not aware of their blunted emotions.

It’s interesting to note that in Traditional Chinese Medicine, the liver is the seat of emotion. Whenever there is anger, irritability, depression, or emotional upset, TCM practitioners look to stagnation in the liver. Damaging the liver (as we’ll talk about below) in theory could of course blunt or damage one’s emotions.

Beyond emotions: liver damage & glutathione depletion

Beyond possible emotional effects, there is a serious problem with the usage of acetaminophen: glutathione depletion.

Glutathione is the body’s most important endogenous antioxidant (endogenous means that the body produces it). It is a sulfur-containing molecule that can absorb the impact of toxins and free radicals. I’ve posted about sulfur a few times before (1, 2). Here’s my terrible drawing of the liver and its detox pathways:


When your body is faced with a toxin of any kind, the liver’s first step of geting rid of it is by converting it from fat soluble to water soluble, and by opening up Phase 1 detoxification pathways. If your body has the nutrients to open up Phase 2 detoxification pathways, you’re set — your liver will successfully convert the toxin to a water soluble compound and excrete it via urine, bile, or stool. However, if Phase 2 pathways are blocked (ahem, due to the deficiency of sulfur or glutathione), the body has no way to excrete it! Instead, it recirculates toxins back into the body causing inflammation, skin problems, and more. In fact, the definition of a carcinogen is a substance that increases Phase 1 liver detox without increasing Phase 2!

When the body takes a large oxidative “hit” (whether from chemicals, pathogens, metals, or an injury), it causes the depletion of active glutathione. The result is a lot of oxidative damage to your cells. Glutathione is especially important because it is active in the brain, unlike most other antioxidants. Depletion of glutathione in the brain leads to inflammation and brain injury (as seen in autism). This is why there’s a lot of buzz about chemicals like pesticides and adjuvants correlating with autism. These toxins can especially play a role in a child’s regression if he or she is already glutathione depleted. There is new research that prenatal and perinatal exposure to acetaminophen is linked to autism. There is also research that using Tylenol after the MMR vaccine may cause autism.

According to Dr. Erika Krumbeck, ND:

“At this point there is quite a bit of data about glutathione and ASD – to the point where glutathione levels and enzymes involved in glutathione production could actually predict ASD. It makes a lot of sense, actually, given what we know about oxidative damage in the brain. Many children with ASD have poor transsulfuration and methylation – they can’t make glutathione and even worse, they can’t activate many neurotransmitters in the brain.”

Tylenol is actually somewhat notorious for depleting glutathione. Tylenol overdoses (which occur at very low doses compared to other pharmaceuticals) cause massive liver damage.

As Dr. Krumbeck explains,

“It has to do with the way it is processed in the liver – the chemical it is converted to requires a HUGE amount of glutathione to make it less toxic. Acetaminophen is the number 1 cause of liver failure in the U.K., and the 2nd most common cause in the U.S.”

Tylenol Alternatives

11117065_465241940297005_357749646_n1) Peppermint Oil

Dab some on your temples, across the forehead, under your nose, on the nape of your neck, and across your wrists. Rub some on your stomach if you’re having pain there. This will relieve headaches, nausea, inflammation, and mood.

It also helps for apathy (ironically, considering the opening study), shock, headache, migraine, nervous stress, vertigo and faintness and general respiratory disorders.

2) Bromelain

This enzyme found in pineapples is a natural anti-inflammatory. My dad used to take 2 acetaminophen upon rising and every 4 hours for body-wide inflammation. Taking bromelain tablets has the same effect without the toxicity. It’s especially wonderful for arthritis. The enzymatic action of bromelain can help ‘eat up’ the pathogens, mycoplasma, and other invaders that live in and excrete waste into the joints causing joint pain and inflammation. If you look closely on the CDC website, they’ll even admit that mycoplasma is “suspected” to be the largest cause of rhumetoid arthritis in humans, and is proven to be the top cause of RA in animals.

3) Ginger Tea

This herb is anti-inflammatory and offers pain relief and stomach-settling properties. A cup of ginger tea in the morning will set you straight all day long. It slowly kills parasites and unwanted pathogens in your body over time, warms your muscles/joints, and reduces systemic inflammation.

4) Boswellia

Also known as boswellin or “Indian frankincense,” this herb contains specific active anti-inflammatory ingredients.


Unlike NSAIDs, boswellia fights inflammation by blocking pro-inflammatory 5-LOX (5-lipoxygenase). 5-LOX is the first enzyme in the metabolic pathway leading to the synthesis of leukotrienes, which are harmful inflammatory substances that scientists believe may have a direct influence on a number of disease processes. Efforts to develop 5-LOX inhibitors that target asthma and cancer suggest that boswellia extract may well have applications in managing these and other disease conditions.

5) EFT Tapping technique for any pain:

Here’s my YouTube video about how to use EFT for a panic attack or any pain you’re suffering from. I’ve used it for headaches, stomach aches, and even muscle soreness. Hope you enjoy!

xoxo, Organic Olivia


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It’s crazy how doctors tell you that you can only take Tylenol during your pregnancy.


Thank you for this information. I just took aspirin because I have been having some menstrual cramping and dull aches in my back. Do you find that these alternative pain relievers also help with that kind of pain? How about turmeric as well? 🙂


Hi Ol! I have many questions, but I’ll stick to asking just a few. I try to do my own research, but sometimes I feel like drowning in the information, too much and contradicting. Anyways.. I’m doing a parasite cleanse soon, I’m ordering as I write ( NOW foods walnut wormwood, bentonite clay, phsyllium husk, castor oil) then some probiotics to restore gut bacteria( plus some kimchi and sauerkraut). I want to buy dandelion to cleanse the liver too, but capsules are expensives ( and how fresh are they?) So I thought I’d buy tea, is that powerful enough? Then I thought maybe if I drank the tea = leaves? I researched that, some say no dont drink the leaves its dangerous and others say its ok. One more thing, in tcm, we might be to cold, to yin, too damp etc. Are some born being too yin? and then would always have to be careful with cold cooling raw food? Or can we just eat all the elements everyday to have balance all the time? I’m plantbased, so I start the day with fruit, then have salad for lunch ( both raw and steamed ingredients) then have a steamed dinner. Is it possible to have balance according to tcm as a vegan? Thank you thank you so so much. I realize that this might be to much, if so you can only reply to my first question. I just want to say you have been such a big inspiration to me, I have changed so much! I started researching and making changes in my own life. The way I think, the way I act, everything is changing. From being a victim to having an attitude of gratitude. I love life. THANK YOU OLIVIA.

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