Have a cup of mint tea and call me in the morning?

A centuries-old folk remedy for aches and pains just earned a nod of recognition from modern medicine: researchers from the U.K.’s Newcastle University determined that Hypnis crenata, or Brazilian mint, is an effective pain reliever. Researchers first traveled to Brazil to observe traditional preparation of the remedy to determine …

Can morphine accelerate the spread of cancer?

Research presented last week at a major cancer research conference suggests that morphine, which is regularly prescribed to cancer patients to treat pain, may actually spur cancer growth. For the past seven years, the notion that opiates might stimulate cancer growth has slowly been gaining attention in the medical research community, …

FDA Announces New Effort to Fight Drug Errors, Surgical Fires

Around 1.5 million preventable medication errors occur in the American health system each year at a cost of over $4 billion annually, according to a new report released yesterday by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  The report’s release marks the start of a new effort to reduce those numbers.

The FDA’s “Safe Use” …

Can smoking pot lower your threshold for pain?

A study published this week in Science suggests that the active ingredient in marijuana, cannabinoids—which include THC and other chemicals—may limit the body’s ability to tamp down pain responses, and, as a result, turn short term acute pain into more long term discomfort. While there has been a growing amount of research analyzing …

The science of itching

Scientists have found a way to manipulate the neurons in mice that respond to itch — and, in the process, have settled a longstanding debate: Is itchiness just a form of pain, or a separate, unique sensation?

It turns out the brain treats itch and pain completely differently, even though they can both be excruciating.

What Causes Back Pain?

A common back-pain surgery works no better than a faked surgical procedure, according to a study released today in the New England Journal of Medicine. But the setback for the treatment may raise new questions about what really …

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