Herbs for pain relief have been used for thousands of years in traditional medicine to alleviate a wide range of pain conditions. From ginger and turmeric to willow bark and devil’s claw, these natural remedies have been proven to have pain-relieving properties and are becoming increasingly popular among those seeking a safer alternative to over-the-counter pain medications.
Pain can be debilitating and affects millions of people around the world. While over-the-counter pain medications are commonly used, many people are searching for natural and safer alternatives. Herbs have been used for thousands of years to treat and provide natural pain relief, and today they continue to be a popular choice for those seeking herbal pain relief.
What Herbs Are Best for Pain Relief?
Herbs have a long history of use in traditional medicine, and many have been proven to have pain-relieving properties. From ginger and turmeric to willow bark and devil’s claw, these herbs have been used for centuries to treat a wide range of pain conditions. Some of these herbs, such as capsaicin and arnica, are commonly used topically to relieve pain, while others, like valerian root and passion flower, are taken orally for their pain-relieving and sedative effects.
In addition to providing pain relief, many of these herbs have additional benefits. For example, ginger is also known for its digestive benefits, while kratom is used for its mood-enhancing effects. Skullcap and valerian root are used as natural remedies for insomnia and sleep disorders, and licorice root is used to treat adrenal fatigue and digestive issues.
How To Know Your Herbs Are Safe
Unfortunately, there are no federal regulations for herbal supplements or essential oils. That means you will need to work overtime to ensure that your herbs and oils are safe and pure.
To do this, you’ll want to ensure you are only using herbs and oils from reliable, reputable and well-known sources.
My own favorite and the only brands I personally trust and use are:
The reason for only using reputable brands is purity. Since there are no regulations, sellers and brands can literally add anything up to and including sawdust to supplements and you would never know. By using a reputable brand, you are much less likely to have that happen and for those looking to relieve a toothache or arthritis pain, purity is very important.
A Quick Word:
It’s important to note that while herbs can provide a natural alternative to pain medications, they should not be used as a replacement for medical treatment. If you are experiencing pain, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the cause and the best course of treatment. Whether used in conjunction with other treatments or as a standalone remedy, herbs can play an important role in providing pain relief and improving overall well-being.
It is also very important to discuss any herbs you want to start taking if you are taking any prescription medication. Some have nasty side effects that interact with prescription medicines; especially high blood pressure medicines.
What Plant Acts Like Ibuprofen?
If you’re looking for herbal medicine that relieves muscle soreness, headaches and minor pains from sprains and strains, look at tart cherry extract. Tart cherry is often seen as a natural ibuprofen due to its ability to reduce inflammation. It also acts as a natural melatonin supplement though so avoid taking it when you need to be awake for safety.
There is, unfortunately, no natural painkiller that mimics Acetaminophen (Tylenol).
What Herbs Give Instant Pain Relief?
If there is a downside to using a home remedy to relieve your pain, this would be it. Because herbal pain relievers are natural, they do not have the same effect on opioid receptors in your brain as an over the counter or prescription medicine would. Most of them take time to build up in your system.
This is why it can be a good idea to remain on any current medications you are taking while you wait for the herbal option to begin working.
As mentioned, tart cherry is a natural ibuprofen and in my experience, it does work very quickly. However, even it is not instantaneous.
What Plant is Good for Joint Pain?
Most of the herbs for pain below will help with joint pain in one way or the other. I personally have Ankylosing Spondylitis and use a lot of these to help treat my own pain. If you’re unfamiliar, AS is a sister disease to Rheumatoid Arthritis and just as painful.
Turmeric: This herb has anti-inflammatory properties and is often used to treat joint pain and arthritis. Turmeric is great for cooking or making turmeric milk. I, however, am not a big fan of the flavor so I take turmeric supplements instead.
Ginger: Ginger has been used for centuries to reduce muscle pain and soreness. It also has anti-inflammatory effects. Like turmeric, it can be used in cooking or bought as ginger supplements.
Willow Bark: Willow bark contains salicin, which is a natural pain reliever. It has been used for centuries to treat headaches and muscle pain. White willow bark is considered a natural aspirin so those who are allergic to aspirin should exercise caution when taking it. You can buy it as white willow bark tincture, as supplements or as pain relief creams. If you prefer to make your own products, you can also buy raw white willow bark for tea and DIY.
Capsaicin: Capsaicin is found in chili peppers and is often used topically to relieve pain from conditions like arthritis and neuropathy. You can buy capsaicin creams or you can make homemade capsaicin cream to help relieve muscle pain.
Devil’s Claw: Devil’s claw is a South African herb that has been used for its pain-relieving properties. It is particularly effective for treating lower back pain and osteoarthritis and is taken in supplement form like THESE.
Valerian Root: Valerian root is a natural sedative that is often used to help people fall asleep. Valyrian supplements or valerian root tea has also been used to treat headaches, muscle pain, and menstrual cramps.
Kratom: Kratom is a tropical tree native to Southeast Asia that has been used for its pain-relieving and mood-enhancing effects. Kratom is legal in the United States, however, I urge anyone interested in it to do their due diligence and research it thoroughly.
Bacopa: Bacopa is an herbal remedy that has been used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine to treat pain and inflammation. If you would like to learn more about traditional Ayurvedic medicine, I highly recommend THIS book.
Tart Cherry – Tart cherry is known to have both sedative and pain relieving properties. Take it before bed for help sleeping. It will also act as a natural ibuprofen and help to reduce pain and inflammation. I personally take tart cherry supplements as well as drink tart cherry juice daily.
Arnica: Arnica is a popular herb used topically to relieve pain and swelling from conditions like arthritis, muscle pain, and bruises. Arnica Gel is just one brand that you can purchase.
St. John’s Wort: St. John’s Wort has been used for its pain-relieving and antidepressant effects. It is particularly effective for treating nerve pain and sciatica. It can be taken in supplement form, as an infused topical oil or drank as an herbal tea.
Passionflower: Passion flower is an herb that has been used to treat pain and anxiety. It is also used as a natural remedy for insomnia and other sleep disorders.
Calendula: Calendula is an herb that has anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. It is often used to treat skin conditions and muscle pain. You can make it into a tea using dried calendula flowers, a salve, infused oil and more.
Dandelion: Dandelion has been used for its pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties. It is also a natural diuretic and can help to relieve bloating and water retention. Yes, this is the same dandelion in your yard. You’ll find there are many benefits of dandelion that most people overlook. The entire plant is edible and medicinal including dandelion root.
Skullcap: Skullcap is an herb that has been used for its pain-relieving and sedative effects. It is particularly effective for treating headaches and insomnia.Buy it in supplement form for ease.
Yarrow: Yarrow is an herb that has been used for its pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties. It is also used to treat wounds and skin conditions. You can buy dried yarrow flowers to drink it as tea or infuse balms and oils.
Fennel: Fennel is an herb that has been used for its pain-relieving and digestive properties. It is also used as a natural remedy for menstrual cramps and bloating. Fennel seeds are the simplest way to use this herb.
Black Cohosh: Black cohosh is an herb that has been used to treat pain and inflammation, particularly in women’s health. It is used to treat menstrual cramps and menopause symptoms. I use this one in supplement form using THESE supplements.
Cinnamon: Cinnamon is a spice that has been used for its pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties. It is also used to treat digestive issues and lower blood sugar levels. Get the benefits of cinnamon by using it in food or order it in supplement capsules.
Eucalyptus: Eucalyptus is an herb that has been used for its pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties. Eucalyptus essential oil is often used as an ingredient in chest rubs, homemade muscle pain cream like THIS recipe and other topical products.
Guggul: Guggul is an herb used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine to treat pain and inflammation. It is also used to lower cholesterol levels and improve weight management.
Juniper Berry: Juniper berry is an herb that has been used for its pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties. It is also used as a natural diuretic and to treat urinary tract infections.
Licorice Root: Licorice root is an herb that has been used for its pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties. It is also used to treat digestive issues and as a natural remedy for adrenal fatigue.
Rosemary: Rosemary is an herb that has been used for its pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties. It is also used as a natural remedy for headaches and muscle pain. It’s best when infused in oil or used to cook with.
Thyme: Thyme is an herb that has been used for its pain-relieving and antiseptic properties. It is also used to treat respiratory infections and digestive issues. Thyme is great for cooking and also simple to grow from seed.
Boswellia: Boswellia is an herb that has been used for its pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties. It is particularly effective for treating joint pain and arthritis.
Treating pain naturally can be hit or miss when you’re using home remedies and supplements. Always check with your doctor before trying any new herbal remedies, especially if you are taking any medications or have any pre-existing health conditions.
There are some herbs that interact with medications so never start an herbal protocol without discussing it with a medical professional.
It is better to be safe in this case, than sorry.