Human saliva contains a natural painkiller called opiorphin. Due to its powerful painkilling ability, scientists are trying to synthesize a new natural painkiller from opiorphin. It is great, because it doesn’t have the same addicting attributes that morphine does and would work better with the body.
In a study, 1 milligram of opiorphin gave the same results as 3 milligrams of morphine did. In another study, involving rats standing on pins, they needed 6 times more morphine than opiorphin to make them oblivious to the pain.
Opiorphin works in the nerve cells of the spine. It stops the usual destruction of natural pain killing opiates in the spine called enkephalins. It is such a simple molecule, that scientists believe it’ll be possible to synthesize it and produce large quantities of it without needing to isolate it from saliva. Another approach is to find a drug that will make the body produce more opiorphin to manage pain.