Numb your pain
Pain is a protective mechanism; it lets us know that tissue damage is occurring or about to occur.
Pain is perceived through nociceptors, consisting of naked nerve endings.
There are three
categories of pain receptors: mechanical, thermal and polymodal. Thermal receptors respond to
high or low temperatures, mechanical receptors respond to pressure and polymodal receptors
respond to several stimuli. The intensity of pain is influenced by our emotional and behavioral
perception, a characteristic that is unique to pain and not seen with other sensations. The brain
has a way to suppress painful sensations. This analgesic system is based on the presence and
activation of several receptors. Once molecules attach to analgesic receptors, the sensation of
pain diminishes. The process is known as antinociception.
Decursinol is an extract from Angelica Gigas, a plant also known as Korean angelica. In animals,
decursinol was shown to reduce the sensation of pain in various animal models known to
correspond with painful sensations in humans. Decursinol inhibited inflammatory pain, increased
pain threshold, reduced reflex action associated with pain and lessened the pain associated with
inflammatory messengers. Decursinol supplementation reduces pain through its effect on the
central nervous system, and through its ability to influence noradrenergic, serotonergic, adenosine
and histamine receptors.
Inflammation is a response to injury; it is therefore not surprising that
inflammation and pain are closely connected. Inflammation is driven by
immune cells, which release pro-inflammatory cellular messengers such
as nitric oxide, COX-2 and matrix-degrading enzymes, IL-1, IL-6, TNF-
a, and TGF-ß. Macrophages are intrinsically linked to inflammation.
In chronic inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid
arthritis, specific enzymes released by macrophages lead to the destruction of the surrounding tissues. In the case of arthritis,
this process inflicts serious damage to cartilaginous structures leading to weak and inf