Herbs for Pain Relief

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Who wants to be in pain? No one! There are so many ways to experience pain. Injuries, accidents, wear and tear, arthritis, dental woes, over doing it, illness or disease, and the list can go on and on. Just as there are so many ways to experience pain, there are so many effective herbs for pain relief!

When you are in pain, the first thing you want to do is eliminate the pain. Not only do we not want to be in pain, but our body goes on hyper-alert and that is not a healthy state for our body tissues either. So we can all agree that the first thing to do when in pain is eliminate the pain.

The second thing you need to do is find the root cause of the pain and fix the problem. You can’t do the first effectively without addressing the second! This is where we tend to drop the ball. Once we are out of pain, we stop thinking about the pain until it comes back. Then we want to be out of pain again. This can lead to addiction to pain medicine which no one wants. So to break this cycle we need to do both: alleviate the pain and find the root of the pain and fix the problem.



Plants Can Help

Plants can offer a healthy and effective method to address both. We can make remedies for pain to apply or ingest for the immediate pain relief while the herbs themselves can give our body an added boost to heal the cause of the pain. The type of pain or problem will dictate the best plant to use.

Herbalists often remark that the plant itself will offer a resemblance to either the body part which it is good for, or the type of pain it could be best for alleviating. For example, plants that have thorns or prickly parts can be used for pain that is sharp in nature. Thistle and Wild Lettuce are two prickly plants and both can be good eliminating sharp pains. Mullein leaves resemble the lungs and are a great herb to use for lung problems.



Herbal Plants for Pain Relief

The following herbs are all great for different types of pain relief:

  • Yarrow – relieves pain and is good to use where an antiseptic trait is needed.
  • Willow – twigs, bark and leaves can all be used for pain and swelling.
  • Comfrey – has pain relieving properties and can be used in a cream, ointment or poultice.
  • Borage – can be used as a poultice for pain relieving properties.
  • Boneset – Good for aches and pains of the flu.
  • Mullein – Good for lung congestion and coughing.
  • Wild Lettuce – Has strong pain relieving qualities.
  • Hawthorn – A great tonic for the heart.
  • Thistle – A great tonic for all organs and the whole body.
  • Horseradish Root – A great pain relieving poultice choice.
  • Birch – The bark and leaf have pain relieving qualities.
  • Lavender – Even the smell has pain relieving qualities but the flowers and leaves can be used in many ways for pain.
  • Wintergreen – One of the best essential oils for massaging into area for pain relief.
  • Arnica – great for helping with bruising, pain and swelling.
  • Butterbur – has pain relieving qualities and is anti-spasmodic which is good for migraines, menstrual cramps and muscle spasms.
  • Cloves – pain relief and numbing qualities which is great for tooth aches.
  • Valerian Root – has pain relieving qualities and is a sedative.
  • Peppermint – has pain and swelling relieving qualities and tastes good.
  • Aloe Vera – is good for pain and swelling such as bee stings or bug bites.
  • Kraton Leaves – a good choice for severe pain relief.
  • Holy Basil – is a tonic that is good for the whole body and has pain relieving qualities.
  • Mustard Leaves – pain relieving qualities and can be used as a poultice.
  • Celery Seed – an infusion made from the seeds for rheumatism or arthritis pain.
  • Spilanthes – numbs toothache pain and mouth pain, stimulates production of saliva.
  • Heal All – for pain and tonic



Pain Relief Tincture

This is an effective pain reliever tincture:

Soak 1/2 teaspoon of dried willow bark in 2 cups of cold water overnight. Bring to a boil and simmer 20 minutes. Strain, cool and pour into a bottle. Add 5 drops of Germain Chamomile essential oil and 5 drops of Yarrow essential oil and stir. (You can change the essential oil if you want to use a different one.)  Dossage is 1/4 cup sipped slowly for pain. This can also be added to juice or teas. A great tea to add this tincture to would be Holy Basil.



Pain Relief Poultice

This is a poultice recipe that is good for a swollen achy joint:

Grate a fresh horseradish root. Moisten this with water and place in a muslin or cotton bag or square cloth. Tie closed and place over the hurting joint. You could also add an essential oil to this poultice for added relief from pain and inflamation. Several choices include lavender, turmeric, peppermint, wintergreen or birch.



Another Effective Pain Relief Poultice

This is a good poultice for a pimple, bug bite or sting, or bed sore:

1 cup epsom salts, 5 drops Lavender essential oil, 5 drops Birch essential oil, 2 quarts hot water (under boiling point). Soak a muslin or cotton cloth in this mixture. Apply the cloth to the area.



Bee Sting Remedy

Bee Sting – Cut off a piece of Aloe Vera from the plant. Slice the leaf open so you can spoon out the gel inside the leaf. Rub this on the area of the sting, making sure that the stinger is not still stuck. Add 2-3 drops of Lavender essential oil right on top of the aloe vera gel. I also rub the severe pain bottle mixture on top of this for added relief with the pain and the swelling. You can find that recipe here.



Aromatherapy for Pain Relief

We can use herbs and essential oils in aromatherapy for pain. Some good choices to use in this way are: rosemary, thyme, lavender, sage, bergamot, chamomile, marjoram, and rose.

Choose the oil you want to use. You can also combine several to make your own unique combination. Boil a quart of water. Pour into a bowl. Add several drops of the oil of your choice. Make a tent with a towel over your head and over the bowl. Inhale slowly and deeply until the water cools. You could also add the oil of your choice to a diffusser and have it diffusing into your room.



Easy Essential Oil Roller Bottle for Pain

I found wintergreen and birch to be two of the best essential oils for pain. You can just add 20 drops of each to an oil like olive oil or almond oil and put in a roller bottle to rub on the area of pain. For extreme pain, I use a recipe that can be found here.




The plant kingdom offers us an abundundance of herbs for pain relief and addressing the root problems that are causing the pain. Experiment with several of the options shared above. Find what works for your particular needs. You can even grow the plants that work best for you and have a fresh supply always available for when you need it. A medicine wheel is a great idea to have in every backyard. This will help you to be prepared for whatever comes your way! Learn more about medicine wheels here.


May the rest of your life be the best of your life!

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