Pain Relieving Herbs



  • Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera juice has been used for centuries as a remedy for arthritis and remains one of the most commonly used herbs in the US today.  In fact, the ancient Egyptians called it the ‘plant of immortality’.

It soothes the gastrointestinal tract and is helpful in treating ulcerative colitis and mouth ulcers.

And the cooling, soothing gel from the plant can be used topically on burns, cuts, scrapes, cold sores and even sunburn.

  • Arnica

Arnica is an excellent herbal rub to use after intense sports, an acute injury, or even post surgery; arnica is a well-known natural pain killer among athletes and yogis. It is derived from a European flower, and has anti-inflammatory properties, although the true nature of its healing action is still unknown.

  • Basil

Some varieties of basil (namely Ocimum americanum and Ocimum tenuiflorum) are actually as strong as anti-inflammatory drugs.

Basil extract has been shown to reduce swelling in arthritic patients by up to 73%, in just 24 hours. Other varieties of basil also kill pain, but just on a lower level.

Basil is also anti-bacterial, which explains why it is often used in dental and oral hygiene products.

  • Black Pepper

Black pepper contains piperine, a chemical which helps to counteract pain in the body.

In fact, piperine extracted from black pepper can be mixed with other ingredients to make an analgesic cream for pain relief.

This inexpensive seasoning is thought to reduce the perception of pain, inflammation and even arthritis.

  • Birch Leaf (Betula Lenta)

The leaves from the Birch tree act much like cortisone, a prescription drug used to treat endocrine disorders, arthritis, lupus, skin disease, autoimmune disorders, and more. A main chemical compound found in Birch leaves is methyl salicylate, similar to salicylic acid used in aspirin. It is anti-spasmodic, analgesic, astringent, antifungal, diuretic, detoxifying, reduces oxidative damage to skin (stopping wrinkles), and enhances circulation. It also promotes enzymatic secretions in the body. It is truly one of the first powerful pain-relievers ever used.

  • Boswellia

Boswellia – This herb is sourced from the frankincense tree. Its resin is used to thwart chemical reactions that cause inflammation, and thus pain. Ayurvedic scientists have used Boswellia for centuries to treat arthritic conditions, as well as inflammatory bowel disease.

  • Chile Peppers

Derived from hot Chile peppers, topical capsaicin may be useful for some people in relieving pain.

  • Cardamom

In Ayurveda, cardamom has been used as a remedy for urinary tract diseases and infections like cystitis. Studies also have shown that it has gastro-protective properties and may be helpful in relieving the pain associated with stomach cramps and other stomach problems.

  • Cayenne

Super-hot cayenne pepper contains capsaicin, a natural pain reliever and weight loss aid.

  • Celery Seed

A celery seed extract was given to 15 arthritis, osteoporosis and gout sufferers. The extract appeared to be particularly helpful for the gout sufferers.

  • Chamomile

Not just a great sleep aid, chamomile contains terpenoids and flavonoids which contribute to its medicinal properties.

Throughout history, chamomile has been used for hay fever, inflammation, muscle spasms, menstrual disorders, diaper rash, skin infections, ulcers, wounds, gastrointestinal disorders, rheumatic pain, and hemorrhoids.

  • Cherries

They block inflammation and they inhibit pain enzymes, just like aspirin, naproxen, and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories.  Cherries are said to have the highest anti-inflammatory content of any food, making them great for remedying issues such as arthritis.

  • Cranberry Juice

Having a bout of ulceritis? Ulcers usually result from a pathogen called H. pylori which attacks the lining of the stomach and small intestines, but cranberry juice can kill it – reducing pain. Instead of turning to antibiotics, destroy the bacteria causing your ulcers and urinary tract infections with cranberries.

  • Cinnamon

Cinnamon has been used in Ancient Egypt since 2000 BC as a cure for a variety of illnesses. Medieval doctors prescribed it for coughs, sore throats and arthritis.

Modern studies have shown cinnamon does indeed have antibacterial properties and can kill both E-coli and Salmonella bacteria.

And the chemical cinnamaldehyde found in cinnamon has powerful antifungal properties, making it a great cure for Candida, athlete’s foot, toenail fungus or ringworm.

It’s also used to relieve the symptoms of gastrointestinal problems and urinary infections.

  • Cloves

Cloves are a traditional remedy for toothache or any mouth pain thanks to their analgesic and antibacterial properties– which comes from the presence of a compound called eugenol.

In a study comparing the numbing effect of a clove gel and benzocaine, both were found to numb the gums of participants equally well.

The humble clove is capable of far more than numbing your gums though! Cloves were ranked as the most potent of 24 common herbs and spices found in your spice rack in terms of anti-inflammatory powers.

They are also applied to the skin as a counter-irritant for pain and to reduce mouth and throat inflammation.

  • Coriander / Cilantro

Coriander and cilantro are the same plant – just with two different names. In many parts of the world coriander refers to both the leaves (herb) and the seeds (spice). In North America, the leaves are referred to as cilantro.

While both parts of the plant are edible, it’s the seeds that hold the medicinal properties. It can be used as a remedy for digestive problems including upset stomach, nausea, diarrhea, bowel spasms, and intestinal gas.

Coriander also treats hemorrhoids, toothaches and joint pain.

  • Devil’s Claw.

There is some scientific evidence that this South African herb may be effective in managing arthritis and lower back pain, but more research is needed. Side effects are very rare if taken at a therapeutic dose for the short term, but it’s not advised for pregnant women and those with gallstones or stomach or intestinal ulcers.

  • Fennel

Fennel has been found in studies to be an effective herbal remedy for menstrual pain because it is an antispasmodic and causes muscular relaxation.

Eating a pinch of fennel seeds can also relive painful bloating and gas – a natural remedy which has been used, especially in India, for thousands of years.

Feverfew has been used for centuries to treat headaches, stomachaches, and toothaches. Nowadays it’s also used for migraines and rheumatoid arthritis. More studies are required to confirm whether feverfew is actually effective, but the herb may be worth trying since it hasn’t been associated with serious side effects. Mild side effects include canker sores and irritation of the tongue and lips. Pregnant women should avoid this remedy.

  • Garlic

Known as ‘the stinking rose’, garlic has been used since ancient times as both a food and a natural medicinethanks to its ability to enhance the immune system with its antibacterial, antiviral, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties.

In fact, garlic cloves contain chemicals that shut down inflammatory pathways in ways similar to ibuprofen.

Make sure to always use fresh garlic, either chopped or crushed, for best results.

  • Ginger

Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, ginger is an amazing and tasty pain reliever.

If you suffer from frequent headaches or migraines and osteoarthritis try out some ginger and see if it quells the pain.

  • Jamaican Allspice

Allspice has antioxidant, antiseptic and anesthetic properties, and can help fight yeast and fungus.

Traditionally, it has been used both internally and externally to relieve pains, stomach aches and menstrual cramps.

Just like cloves, allspice ranked in the top three most anti-inflammatory spices.

  • Licorice

Used in both Eastern and Western medicine for thousands of years, licorice root is used for a variety of illnesses.

One particular type, known as DGL (deglycyrrhizinated licorice), is used to treat peptic ulcers, canker sores and acid reflux.

Licorice gel applied to the skin is known to relieve the itching associated with eczema, while gargling with DGL in warm water can stop the pain of canker sores and other mouth problems.

  • Marjoram

This delicately flavored herb is known for both its anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, with tests showing it’s one of the top 10 most inflammation fighting herbs.

Just like cloves, marjoram contains eugenol, which has analgesic qualities, making it a great home remedy for those with arthritis and inflammatory bowel conditions.

You can also brew up a little marjoram tea for those times when you feel nauseous or bloated.

  • Mustard

Mustard hold many medicinal and pain killing properties – including relief from muscular pains, ringworm and respiratory disorders. Research has proved mustard’s effectiveness in curing the inflammation and lesions associated with Psoriasisand inhibiting dermatitis.

Apply a mustard seed poultice to muscle aches and other pains – thanks to its natural analgesic effects, you should feel relief within minutes. It works for chest congestion too!

  • Neem

Neem is a potent analgesic and provides near instantaneous relief from itching and pain when applied topically.

Research has shown that Neem extract can kill the herpes virus and quickly heal cold sores.

Traditionally, Neem has been used for eye disorders, intestinal worms, stomach upset, gum disease and more.

  • Nutmeg

Nutmeg is a staple in Traditional Chinese Medicine was used to treat inflammation and aching joints, muscle and abdominal pain.

  • Oregano

Oregano is an amazing herb that has 42 times the antioxidant power that apples have, 30 times the antioxidant levels of potatoes, 12 times the power of oranges and 4 times that of blueberries!

A little of this potent herb is all you need to get the benefits – in a research study, half a teaspoon of oregano daily was enough to quash inflammatory activity.

  • Parsley

Parsley root helps relax stiff joints and alleviate the pain they cause. It’s also useful for renal congestion, inflammation of the kidneys and bladder and urine retention.

Brew some fresh parsley tea to reap the anti-inflammatory and diuretic benefits of this under-rated herb.

  • Peppermint (Mentha piperita)

Peppermint is most often used as a natural remedy for toothaches, discomfort from bloating and gas, joint conditions, skin irritations, headaches and muscle pain.

  • Rosemary

Rosemary is used to relieve the pain of heartburn, intestinal gas, gout and headaches. Topically it can lessen the severity of toothaches, eczema and joint or muscle pain.

It also works as an effective insect repellent.

  • Sage

As an herbal remedy, sage is used in teas and gargles to kill the pain of sore throats, mouth ulcers, gum disease, laryngitis and coughs thanks to its astringent, antiseptic, and antibacterial qualities.

For a toothache, try a tablespoon of sea salt with two tablespoons of dried sage in a little whiskey or water. Rinse your mouth out with it for a few minutes and spit out.

  • Slippery Elm

The mucilaginous inner bark of this North American elm has long been used medicinally. Native Americans used slippery elm topically on wounds, boils, ulcers, burns and skin inflammation.

In addition to applying it directly to the skin, it can also be taken orally to relieve toothaches, coughs, sore throats, diarrhea, and stomach problems.

  • Thyme

Researchers found that thyme is not only an excellent pain-relieving herb, but it also works better than ibruprofen, especially when it comes to relieving menstrual pain.

Brew it as a tea to act as an expectorant, clearing the lungs of congestion. It will also settle the stomach, soothe a sore throat and relieve aches and pains.

  • Turmeric

This spice has been used to relieve arthritis pain and heartburn, and to reduce inflammation. It’s unclear how turmeric works against pain or inflammation, but its activity may be due to a chemical called curcumin, which has anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric is usually safe to use, but high doses or long-term use may cause indigestion. Also, people with gallbladder disease should avoid.

  • White Willow Bark (Salix alba)

The active ingredient in white willow is salicin, which the body converts into salicylic acid. This tree’s covering lowers the body’s levels of prostaglandins, hormone-like compounds that can cause aches, pain, and inflammation. What’s more, white willow bark doesn’t upset the stomach or cause internal bleeding like many over-the-counter aspirins. Turn to this herb for relief from menstrual cramps, muscle pains, arthritis, or after knee or hip surgery as it promotes blood flow and reduces swelling.


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