The Problem With Acetaminophen + Safe Herbal Alternatives

Thanks to new research we may have greater insight into the growing issue of hyperactivity and other behavioral and emotional issues in children.

According to the medical journal JAMA Pediatrics, researchers found a link between acetaminophen use during pregnancy and later hyperactivity in children. The study authors speculate that the drug may be linked to abnormal fetal neurological development. They collected data from 7,796 mothers as well as their partners and children. The study also found that acetaminophen use during pregnancy contributed to a higher amount of emotional symptoms in children.

The American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology found that more than 50 percent of pregnant women use the drug at some point during their pregnancy, suggesting a massive concern to the health of developing children. In a study on mice published in the journal Toxicological Sciences, researchers found that the drug had a significant effect on the animals’ cognitive function and resulted in a decline in a compound called BDNF, which is short for brain-derived neurotropic factor. It acts on varies parts of the brain linked to learning and memory, helping the brain to form new connections. This study found that animals that had fetal exposures to acetaminophen experienced altered locomotor activity and a failure to acquire spatial learning in adulthood.

Other Side-Effects of Acetaminophen

Acetaminophen is known under the brand name of Tylenol but can also be found in Cepacol, Actifed, Benadryl, Dristan, Midol, Robitussin, Vicks, Nyquil, Sudafed, Anacin, Dimetapp, Vicodin and many other drugs. The manufacturer of Tylenol, Johnson and Johnson, has become the subject of multiple lawsuits due to the ability of the drug to result in liver failure. Some of the signs of liver failure include: nausea, vomiting, sweating, pain over the upper right side of the abdomen, dark-colored urine, clay-colored stools, yellowing of the eyes and irregular heartbeat.

This new research can be added to a long list of side-effects of using acetaminophen, some of which include:

-bleeding gums

-blood in the urine or stools

-difficulty breathing

-difficulty swallowing




-liver failure

Safe Alternatives to Acetaminophen

The herb, gingerroot, or ginger, is my preferred option for relieving the pain of arthritis, other types of joint pain, and muscle pain. Research conducted by Dr. Krishna Srivastava found that ginger is a highly effective pain remedy that also helps reduce swelling and morning stiffness linked to arthritis. Dr. Srivastava found that ginger not only blocks the formation of inflammatory compounds in the body it also has an antioxidant effect that reduces inflammation within the joints of the body, which is not something drug options do.

Research published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that ginger is effective against muscle pain and helps to reduce inflammation in the muscles as well. It may also accelerate the rate of healing of muscle injuries. You can use dried ginger added to hot water or your favorite foods. You can also brew a tea by using two inches of fresh gingerroot, chopped, in one quart (one Liter) of water, bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer for at least 45 minutes. Strain and drink. It is especially good with a little stevia to naturally sweeten the beverage. Drink 3 cups daily for best results.

The herb thyme has also been found by medical anthropologist, John Heinerman, author of Heinerman’s Encyclopedia of Fruits, Vegetables, and Herbs, to be effective against headaches. In this book he recommends drinking thyme tea as a headache treatment, using one teaspoon of dried thyme per cup of hot water. He also recommends soaking cloths in thyme to use as a compress to ease neck, back and shoulder pain and tension headaches.

Regular culinary use of ginger and thyme are considered safe during pregnancy but you should check with your doctor before using higher doses of these herbs.


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Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM is an international best-selling and 20-time published book author whose works include: Be Your Own Herbalist: Essential Herbs for Health, Beauty, and Cooking (New World Library).



John B
John B2 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

John B
John B2 years ago

Thanks Michell for sharing the info.

Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill2 years ago


Jim Ven
Jim Ven2 years ago

thanks for sharing.

Melania Padilla
Melania P2 years ago

This is well known, I didn't know of thyme as an option. Thank you

natasha salgado
Past Member 2 years ago

Great info--thanks

federico bortoletto

Grazie per l'articolo.

Marie W.
Marie W2 years ago

Paracetamol and liver toxicity is a well estabished link.

Joanna M.
Joanna M2 years ago

September is Chronic Pain Awareness Month! Help spread the word...

Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.