An All-Natural Alternative to Ibuprofen :: Herbal Anti-Inflammatory Capsules

Make your own herbal ibuprofen with this easy to follow recipe.


A multitude of people turn to ibuprofen daily due to pain, swelling/inflammation, and fever.

This class of over-the-counter (and occasionally prescription) medication known as a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), is most often used to treat:

Chronic Inflammatory Aliments (long-term/develop over a period of time) such as:

  • arthritis/joint disorders
  • headaches
  • typical aches and pains

Acute Inflammatory Conditions (short-term/come on quickly) such as:

  • menstrual cramps
  • abrasions
  • minor wounds
  • muscle sprains or strains
  • insect bites and stings
  • bumps and bruises
  • shingles
  • irritations

As Philip Fritchey, in his book Practical Herbalism: Ordinary Plants with Extraordinary PowersAn All-Natural Alternative to Ibuprofen :: Herbal Anti-Inflammatory Capsules, writes:

Inflammation is very often a defense or repair function, and as such it should be aided, not suppressed, until the cause is removed…Once the cause has been addressed, the inflammatory response may be mitigated by the use of [herbal] anti-inflammatories.

Nevertheless, use of synthetic NSAIDs — most frequently used to mask the pain — are of astronomical proportions! The FDA — in preparation for a 2002 Nonprescription Drugs Advisory Committee (NDAC) meeting — came to the conclusion, based on market data, that in the year 2001:

…approximately 14.5 billion tablets of OTC single-ingredient aspirin, 12.7 billion tablets of OTC single-ingredient adult ibuprofen, 2.8 billion tablets of OTC adult naproxen sodium and 55 million tablets of OTC adult ketoprofen were purchased.

And what’s more…it is most likely safe to assume these numbers have risen over the past 10-12 years!

Looking for an all-natural anti-inflammatory remedy?
Check out this link to purchase
this handcrafted Ginger Turmeric Herbal Tea Blend.


Although the general population is quickly learning the negative effects of ibuprofen use — there are those still unaware, and/or those who feel they have no other alternatives.

The consumption of ibuprofen (NSAIDs) has been associated with an increased risk for:

There are a multitude of factors that regulate the effects of the drug — length of drug use, age of the individual, strength of the immune system, poly pharmacy (combination drug use), etc.


Effective, safe, and inexpensive, medicinal herbs have been used for centuries to naturally fortify the body against inflammatory conditions.

Various medicinal actions of herbs — primarily that of the anodynes (pain killers) and anti-inflammatories — can be used as alternatives to ibuprofen.

And the best news…they generally have little to no side effects! Working hard to preserve and support a healthy inflammatory response from the body!

Today I’d like to share my recipe for an all-natural, herbal alternative to ibuprofen…one you can make in the comfort of your own kitchen!

*Please Note: You should always consult a professional health-care provider prior to using any herbal supplements.


Supplies Needed

The Capsule Machine (optional)
-”00″ gelatin or vegetable capsules


*Parts are to be measured by volume not weight.


  1. In a non-reactive bowl, mix all of the herbal powders together until well combined.
  2. With the use of The Capsule Machine, fill as many capsules as you think your family will use within a 6-12 month period. Note: Don’t have a Capsule Machine? It’s okay…simply scoop the powder into each piece of the capsule and pack it tight prior to recapping the ends.
  3. Store the capsules in a small glass mason jar and place the lid on tight. Keep in a cool, dark, dry place. These capsules should stay fresh for 6-12 months.

Click here to read more about making your own homemade herbal capsules…

To Use
*Not for children, adult use only. Do not take these capsules if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Don’t use if you have asthma or if you are allergic to aspirin

To use for acute conditions: Take 1-2 caps every 2 hr., but no more than 8 caps daily.
To use for chronic ailments: Take 2-3 caps 2-3 times daily, but no more than 6 caps daily.


For improved reduction in pain associated with inflammation consider adding these vitamins and minerals to your daily diet:


Mountain Rose Herbs…they have everything you’ll need! It’s your one-stop shop.

Looking for an all-natural anti-inflammatory remedy?
Check out this link to purchase
this handcrafted Ginger Turmeric Herbal Tea Blend.


  1. i am breastfeeding and get occassional migraines. i am looking for something safe and all my doctors will say is tylenol…which is not really safe at all. is there any research done on these herbs to prove them to be a safe alternative for breastfeeding moms?

    • It says not to use if pregnant or breastfeeding.

    • Many pregnant women and many migraine sufferers have benefitted greatly from chiropractic care with smoother, complication-free delivery and migraine sufferers have enjoyed cessation of migraines forever when receiving chiropractic care because chiropractic fixes structural problems which automatically improves function rather than patching up symptoms. It gets to the causes of problems not merely the symptoms that there is a problem. Talk with several chiropractors until you find just the right one for you and your baby’s needs.

      • willow Green says:

        ALL my migraines were caused from gluten. Gluten intolerance was problem I was born with. Now that ALL gluten is gone from my diet, so are ALL the migraines.

        • Júlía Garðarsdóttir says:

          Mine to! I stop eating gluten because of my stomach but my migraines stopped as well. And if I eat a bit gluten my headaches come instantly.

          • I also used to react badly to gluten, even from a small amount. Now I am healing my gut and can tolerate small amounts on occasion. I haven’t allowed myself to consume very much of it, but I’m certainly not as sensitive to it as I once was. I am using GAPS as my healing protocol. If you ever consider doing it, I strongly recommend getting the book by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride. It is important to read & understand the book as a foundation, then you can explore it further online. 🙂

    • Elizabeth says:

      I used to get migraines all the time. I started taking a good quality greens supplement and they all but went away. Now I just get the occasional headache when the air pressure changes before a storm. This could be a good complement to the chiropractic work that Lizzie suggested. You really want to look for quality, though. Not all products are good. I personally took the ones from “The Aim Companies”. It’s an MLM, but I think you can order online without committing to anything.

    • Essential oils are also great for migraines – and many of them are fine when pregnant or breastfeeding. Frankincense, peppermint (after the 1st trimester), and rosemary, to name a few.

      • There is also a “morphine bomb” using essential oils I have used with great success. The recipe is:
        12 drops Wintergreen Essential Oil
        8 drops Vetiver Essential Oil
        8 drops Helichrysum Essential Oil

        • My :morphine bomb” consists of
          5 drops Copaiba
          5 drops Frankincense
          5 drops Idaho Balsam Fir
          put it capsule .
          Please make sure that the oils say for internal use on them if you take them orally!

        • Gabesgrammie says:

          What do you mean “morphine bomb”???
          It acts like morphine? It replaces morphine?
          It counteracts the use of morphine?
          My daughter is a former Marine of 11 years, and has fibro: she takes heavy doses of morphine for the pain: that is why I’m asking. I know this is months from your original comment, but I hope to see a reply. Thank you!

          • please look at Reliv nutrition . Check out the website. there you will find all the science you need (as well as at .) check out the blog, product stories to see how many people have had help with fibromyalgia using Reliv nutrition. glad to be of help if needed

            • Except that Reliv is loaded with soy (& not properly prepared soy). Its also a highly processed supplement with a lot of fructose (which can be hard on the liver). I’m sure people have seen “results” with Reliv, but I’ve studied nutrition in great depth & I strongly question the science behind their products. I’m impressed that they (supposedly) use non-GMO soy, but the fact that they claim soy as a health food terrifies me. I won’t touch soy products (GMO or not) unless they have been properly fermented with a traditional method (which takes at least a year) & even when soy is properly prepared, it is meant to be a condiment, not a staple food. You can check out the research of Dr. Kaayla T. Daniels (the “Naughty Nutritionist”) about how to “practice safe soy”.

          • Look up Faster Eft on google. This technique can eliminate fibro in one 1hr session.

          • D.J. Hadwin says:

            Try on pinterest. There’s alot of info. I have severe arthritis. N fibro. I myself have put on alot of natural n homeopathic things. As I’m studying to become a homeopathic natural practitioner. But I’m under DJ. On pinterest. Or email me n I will pass on info. And young Lady . Thank you n God Bless you for your sacrifice n service. N your family . God bless you all.

        • do you put your “morphine-bombs” in a capsule? for use daily ?

      • Rosemary is contraindicated for pregnancy as it is used for a labor inducer. 🙂

    • Linda Van Scotter says:

      find someone who does craniosacral therapy or myofascial release for your migraines

    • Amber necklaces are a great option. They generally making them for teething babies. When the amber comes into contact with your skin it releases small amounts of oil. The oil acts as a natural pain reliever. My MIL has fibro and chronic migraines. She wears 2 everyday and swears by it! I also have chronic neck and shoulder pain and its worked well for me. The key is you need to consistently wear it.

    • Agreeing with some of the folks above: Ice, relaxation tapes (at libarary- but not the hypnotist kind), safely use essential oils, cranio-sacral therapy is phenomenal, myofascial release therapy, osteopathic manipulation (much safer and gentler than chiropractic), trigger point injections (preferrably done by a DO who uses arnica instead of steroids), and the vitamins mentioned above – magnesium, vitamin D, and fish or flax oils. I agree that trying a gluten free diet might help – there should be plenty of books on this at your local library. Avoiding GMOs may help you digest your food better also. Stay well.

    • Use peppermint essential oils. take two drops in you palm and with your finger dab it and rub on temples and massage into skin. and do the same with the other temple.

      If its a REALLY bad headache take a shower rinse your hair put your shampoo in your hand add about 5 drops into the shampoo and mix it up with your finger then massage your hair and head with it.

      Both options you will feel activity. Its a good thing it means it working. its the feeling of the oil penetrating the layers of skin and relaxing pressure and tension in your muscles.

      -Aesthetician Katelynn Saunders

    • Hi Jackie,

      I hope you no longer suffer from migraines and your breastfeeding is going well. If you are still have recurring migraines (or really any other issues) I suggest seeing an acupuncturist. An acupuncturist will have many resources with which to help you resolve your symptoms and treat the root which is causing the symptoms. Acupuncture is safe, not painful (many of the needles are the size of human hair) and greatly effective.

      • Jackie is right about the acupuncture. I have MS and it has helped me sooo much. I have never researched it for pregnancy or breast feeding. I can only tell you that after they do the consultation they know where to place the needles for the best results for you. My tremors are so bad and the pain is overwhelming but after 1 week of 3 visits, it all went away. The 1st round, it helped for over a year after I quit going (very stupid of me) I am now going back and maybe I can have a normal life again.

    • Kimberly Petree , HHP,LMT, says:

      I would recommend you try a certified Trigger Point therapist. Manual Trigger
      Point therapy works on 98% of my patients with migraines.

    • Massage is wonderful for migraines. As a Licensed Massage Therapist, I agree with the Trigger Point therapy option or Bowen therapy. Even regular deep tissue can help.

  2. Ava Hoffer says:

    Can I avoid capsules altogether by simply mixing the ingredients and leaving them in a tightly sealed jar? I’m thinking that perhaps 1/8 teaspoon would equal one capsule? I have arthritis so find that manipulating small objects is difficult and tedious. Just measuring with a 1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon would be so much easier for me to accomplish. Thanks!

    • Ava: yes. however, capsules are used because the herbs are pungent, particularly devil’s claw. you can mix it with a *small* amount of orange juice to help it go down. also, for arthritis you can 1. make a strong tea and soak your hands in the warm water; or 2. soak a washcloth in the hot tea, wring excess, then apply to affected area. In conjunction with ingestion, you should have some relief. good luck.

    • Ava and others, you do know arthritis can be helped with nutrition? My Dad improved hugely after reading this book: A Doctor’s Proven Home Cure for Arthritis by Dr Giraud Campbell (older version), but he had to find recipes in different cookbooks (some vegetarian, macrobiotic etc) and reduce meat to twice a week or so. The book is great for inspiration and worldview change, recipes need to be found elsewhere too!
      Otherwise, great idea for making DIY meds from herbs!

    • For arthritis is also good to drink kombucha everyday, soak your limbs in water with epsom salt for 20 min everyday

    • For arthritis is also good to drink kombucha everyday, soak your limbs in water with epsom salt for 20 min everyday,
      for migraines, and for many other things great to do regularly Bowen Therapy – this is not invasive type of treatment, that does wonders to the whole body.

    • Amy Stanley says:

      Is it osteo or rheumatoid arthritis? If NOT rheumatoid, a necklace made of amber will probably help. Amber helps to reduce pain and inflammation. I know, I have arthritis and it’s helped me. The other recommendations I have are chiro, a GOOD message therapist and turmeric with a little black powder. I take it in milk, kind of like a chai tea.

      • Melissa Gerber says:

        No offense, but, how would that help? I’m interested in gem therapy, and have heard of amber for goiter. Not everyone is enthusiastic about New Age crystal healing, though.

        • Any ailment is an inflammation of one or more systems of the body. Each person is uniquely made therefore my recommendation is before randomly administer things to resolve the symptoms the goal is get to the root and physiologically balance all symptoms. Any benefits from stones is coming from the lack of minerals in the body. Learn if your immune system is in high gear and spasm (known as autoimmune disease-hyper) or stagnant, needs a boost (hypo). It is important to know if your body systems need to relax or be stimulated. All in all…most people are dehydrated physiologically with water and knowing the spiritual truth. As a person learns about self he/she can’t go wrong starting today by drinking more water with the goal to at least minimum intake ounces half his/her body weight. Also spend alone time meditating with his/her one and only creator-It is food for the soul.

      • Sarah Davis says:

        what is “black powder”?

  3. Hi! Do you think this would work well as a tincture?

  4. jackie, re: breastfeeding w/migraines. 1st, food & stress are huge factors for prevention. 2nd, you should see a holistic doctor or experienced herbalist to make sure there are no cautions for you. in the meantime, have you tried cutting a lime in half & rubbing across your forehead? [make sure the juice doesn’t run down into your eyes! – maybe lie back w/ a washcloth over the eyes.] sounds odd, but works fairly quickly. no dosage danger or cautions except being allergic to citrus. good luck.

    • Jackie, re: breastfeeding w/migraines – While working with my nutritionist on hormonal issues. I have found that many of our health problems are a result of being dehydrated. Before my niece became pregnant she was seeing our nutritionist for migraines. Her number one cure for them these days, is drinking more water, it also helped with inflammation. Her feet were swelling like crazy and she was told to drink more water. She thought she would be in the bathroom every ten minutes, but once our bodies are fully hydrated, the need to pee subsides. We need to be drinking a minimum of half our weight in ounces of water, this is especially important while breast feeding. If you are dehydrated your milk production will decrease, also. That was my problem 15 years ago. I hope you get relief from your migraines so that you are able to enjoy these precious moments with your baby.

      • Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate! Our brain is made up of 80% water alone, average adult body is 70%. Minimum sedentary lifestyle is half your body weight. You can include fresh produce into that calculation for example, melons are great. Increase water intake based upon lifestyle, example pregnancy, breast feeding, any concentrated foods and prescriptions, environment, activity level, physical health. Remember: sugar and caffeinated drinks, coffee, black tea are diuretics therefore dehydrate you.

    • There is one caution with lime on the skin. That is all citrus oils are phototoxic, you may know of this from the concept of using lemon juice to lighten your hair. So be careful not to get a sunburn within 12 hours of applying the lime to your skin. If you wash it off then there are no worries. As a migraine sufferer I use essential oils on the back of my neck and drink plenty of fluid.

  5. I have RA and will try your herb concoction to fight my stiffness.

    • organic apple cider vinegar (Braggs is a good manufacture) is great for arthritis, kidney cleanse, and much more. make sure you shake the bottle before use so you get the mother (stuff/particles inside)

  6. Beverlee says:

    I cannot find the bladderwrack seaweed powder!!

  7. veronique says:

    do you have anything for children? daughter is 7 years old and son is 2 years old. Would love alternative for them.

  8. While I am a strong believer in anything natural vs. synthetic, my one concern for this recipe is actual dosage. The recipe does not say if the capsules are to be filled completely, one half of the capsule, or? This makes a HUGE difference in how much is actually being ingested with any dose. How does the machine “pack” the capsules vs. doing it by hand? That seems important to me. Any information? Thanks!

    • it does say to pack both halves of the capsule before fitting back together… going by volume not weight seems a bit loose on the quantities, too…

      • Actually this is a very good way to measure bulk herbs, as some herbs weigh more than others, If you use the part method you get a more acurate formula. i.e. 1 cup = 1 part, 1/2 cup = 1/2 part etc. or 1/2 cup = 1 part , 1/4 cup = 1/2 part determine what you want your “part” to be and just be sure to keep it consistant.
        Using a capsule machine you only put herbs into the “bottom” half of the capsule and then fit the top over it and press down. You would not be able to fill both sides or they won’t fit together.

    • Dosage is very important to acknowledge due to body weight, age, and metabolism. Seek licensed/certified for advice.

  9. I have been taking 300mg of Magnesium instead of ibuprofen. it works great, relaxes muscles and even helps me sleep!

  10. fyi, kava kava has been known to cause some serious liver problems. Remember – just because something is “natural” doesn’t mean it’s healthy or meant for us (snake venom? stricnine?); yes, NSAIDs have side-effects, but they are well known because they’ve been studied. Herbals have side effects as well, just less studied.. Good idea to run these ingredients by your physician. And consider adding ‘all natural’ to your list of red flags whenever you buy a product.

    • Andrea Adams says:

      For minor ailments, this capsule might not be worth the time to investigate. But for people who deal with chronic pain, like Rheumatoid Arthritis, we must explore all options. You would too, because after you have RA for awhile you learn that just because something is “studied” or prescribed by your Dr. that does not guarantee that is safe either. The FDA appears to be bought and owned by the Drug Makers.

    • yes, seek professional and licensed naturalist. A good one is the study of both western and eastern medicine.

    • Melissa Gerber says:

      fyi, the cases in which supposed liver problems occurred were caused by either egregious abuse, or other factors like medical drugs also being taken. It may be prudent to avoid Kava Kava products that use stems and leaves, and stick to roots.

    • Doctors are clueless about herbs. What good is it to ask them? They don’t even have time to know
      about all the drugs that are available.

  11. I don’t do too well with capsules so I mix the contents with a little applesauce..

  12. Andrea, you state not to use if you “are allergic to aspirin” – what in here would cause a reaction.
    I don’t see anyhing in this formula that would cause a reaction similar to that of aspirin – what am I missing?

    • I would like to know this too. Does it upset the stomach like aspirin can? I get extremely sick to my stomach when I take aspirin but not sure if that is an allergic reaction or just a sensitivity to something in it. I take a lot of ibuprophen for chronic pain and would like to find something else that works that is more natural since I do seem to do better with natural products over pharmaceuticals.

    • It’s the meadowsweet…the inflorescence plant parts consist of salicylic acid, which we know to be used in the synthesis of aspirin.

      • Thank you! I’m going to give this a try. Thanks for posting the recipe.

      • Another question, is there anything that can be substituted for the meadowsweet? Or do you think the recipe would still work if that one ingredient was omitted for those with aspirin sensitivities?

  13. I take Young Living Essential oils internally and apply them topically for pain and inflammation. Essential oils have also helped with my stomach issues.

  14. Can I tincture all of these instead of capsules and what about adding Boswelia?

  15. Please be extremely careful using Kava-kava.. it is a known hallucinogen… I used it back in my “hippie” days….. really can be some nasty stuff, even in small quantities. Personally, I don’t believe posting this was a very responsible thing to have done. Before someone get hurt, please review what you are posting.

    • I do TONS of research — and personal testing — prior to posting recipes. Kava kava ethically-farmed and purchased from reputable sources, and used with respect and wisdom…is a wonderful plant healer.

      It is unfortunate that the misuse of many herbs causes people to fear their benefits.

      As always, I encourage everyone to ***do your own research*** prior to taking any herbal supplement.

    • Leslie Holman-Anderson says:

      RE: Kava Kava: I have joint pain cause by muscle stiffness & contractions, for which I’ve been taking kava kava (also sometimes labeled kava root) for years. I have had no ill effects and have never had anything resembling an hallucination. If you’re concerned about liver function, take milk thistle, the best liver tonic on earth. And if kava kava makes you hallucinate, you are either taking far too much or mixing it with alcohol. Don’t.

  16. Is a part like a 1/4 teaspoon? Or what is the approximate amount?

    • Leslie Holman-Anderson says:

      @Jessica: A ‘part’ has no fixed quantity; it’s measured in relation to the rest of the ingredients. So if you wanted to make enough to have on hand for a long time, one ‘part’ might be a cup or a pound (depending on whether the recipe called for measuring by volume or weight,) while if you only wanted to make enough for a few capsules it might be a quarter-teaspoon or half a gram. It’s totally up to you!

  17. I am a certified massage therapist in the state of California. I do truly believe in natural care and had worked on pregnant, elderly, chronic and acute physiological conditions. Herbals do have great benefits. Fresh herbs & produce have water in them. Dry herbs & natural vitamins are merely dehydrated creating high concentration. Essential oils and tinctures are highly concentrated with a oil or alcohol base. Caution is encouraged. Lack of water intake. Think of herbs as medicine not your daily produce intake. Just as you should not take certain over the counter meds when pregnant, diagnosed with an ailment, and/or taking medicine. It is advisable to seek a physician (homeopathic/nutritionist/herbalist/osteopath) that believes and licensed western and eastern medicine. Natural first then chemical is my encouragement. Ice is GREAT for inflammation and headaches 🙂 A good chiropractor, massage therapist, acupuncturist that has a natural sense of touch for soft tissue & skeletal is recommended. Hydrate Hydrate Hydrate with non caffeine & non sugar drinks – start there. I hope this helps.

  18. April Z. says:

    I wanted to concur with the hydration, chiropractor, message therapist & essential oil use for breast feeding & pregnancy. I have recently learned how important sunshine is. It is very easy in our society to not get enough sunshine/natural vit D. It can really help many health issues. I have been pg many times. I was so surprised when my doc recommended sunshine. It really helped my headaches/migraines go away. They would last for days sometimes.

  19. Just want to mention that Devil’s Claw can tear up a stomach just as badly as nsaids. I had both me and elder dogs on it for arthritis and within a week we were all sick. I’m still trying to recover from it, ending up flaring Gerd again, and it’s been 5 months.

  20. Carol Lafon says:

    Wow, so many great suggestions here. We recently have been drinking Tibicos fermented water grains. Look them up on line for information about them. I got my grains off eBay for under $5.00. We were drinking kombucha tea but the grains are quicker and cleaner to do. My husband had chronic kidney disease due to complications from diabeties. His kidneys have started functioning again and his doctor took him off 3 of his medications. I know since I started drinking it I’ve lost 22 pounds and my body aches are gone. Also look into gluten intolerances they can be a big factor in sickness. Hope this helps someone!:-)

  21. Kava Kava was withdrawn from the Irish Market due to European reports that it causes liver damage.

  22. I have had good results from several herbs and herbal tinctures. Devil’s Claw in capsule form is very effective. Cat’s Claw tincture too. Very good quality tinctures are available through St. Francis Herb Farms: Always figure out your own tolerance levels. I found that taking additional calcium helped a lot with diarreha from Cat’s Claw. Magnesium is really good for muscular pain. Also recommended: Pau D’arco and SAMe. For good information: Prescription for Nutritional Healing by Phyllis A. Balch 4th edition – we call it “The Balch Bible”. Hope this helps.

  23. I noticed where it says what amount to take that the numbers do not make sense.
    “To use for acute conditions: Take 1-2 caps every 2hrs. but no more than 8 caps daily.
    To use for chronic conditions: Take 2-3 caps 2-3 times daily but no more than 6 caps a day”
    Chronic conditions are more severe than acute yet the amount states to you can take more in a day for acute conditions.
    Shouldn’t it say at least 9 caps for the chronic amount for a day?
    Thanks for the great recipe I just made up a batch of 300 last night 🙂
    Peace and blessings….

  24. Have just been reading some comments posted on ur site and have found them very helpful, what is DIY, and where can I get these herbs if I want to make the capsules myself and if I choose to purchase the capsules already done. Where can I buy these???.

    • DIY = Do it yourself
      find everything you need from the herbs, to the capsules, to a “capsule machine” (aids in putting capsules together) at

  25. Is there no product i could buy with these herbs? if i have to buy every herb and capsules and a capsule machine… i’m just not going to do that. does anyone want to volunteer to make a bunch of batches of these and sell them on etsy or something? i’m grateful for the information, but it is a lot of trouble.

  26. what about white willow bark ? Mr Bayer patented his aspirin pain killer from ingredients from this .

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