Researchers have discovered a natural painkiller that may be as powerful as morphine, without its dangerous side effects.
Crepe jasmine leaves are a well-known traditional Asian pain remedy. Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute are now conducting clinical trials on the bark of the crepe jasmine plant, and have found that conolidine, a substance within the bark, can relieve pain and reduce inflammation.
Synthetic conolidine works just as well to reduce pain and inflammation, which is important because natural conolidine is rare.
So far, conolidine has no side effects. Morphine, on the other hand, can cause respiratory issues, constipation and nausea. It’s also very addictive, and can be lethal if taken in large quantities.
Researcher Laura Bohn said, “The lack of side effects makes it a very good candidate for development. On the other hand, if there were side effects, they might provide additional clues as to how the compound works at the molecular level.”