The Best Herbs for Natural Pain Relief


If you are living with pain, adding herbs to your regimen can help reduce discomfort, especially when combined with regular exercise, diet, and relaxation techniques.

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Many painful conditions, such as arthritis, back pain, and tendonitis , are based on inflammation, the natural immune response to infection or injury. Inflammation, if it becomes chronic, not only causes pain, but is also a risk factor for chronic diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.

Here are six herbs that are commonly used for natural pain relief:

white willow bark

White willow bark , which contains an aspirin-like compound known as salicin, has long been used as a natural remedy for inflammation and pain. In a 2008 study, it was found to be as effective as conventional medicine in reducing pain in people with mild or fairly severe knee and hip problems.

White willow bark can also relieve acute back pain, joint pain, and osteoarthritis. However, like aspirin, the bark can cause an upset stomach, affect kidney function, prolong bleeding time, and increase the risk of bleeding. Also, it cannot be used by children.


Derived from the resin in the bark of frankincense, Boswellia inhibits chemical reactions that cause inflammation. Ayurvedic practitioners have long used Boswellia to treat arthritis.

Devil's claw

Traditionally used for rheumatoid arthritis, South African herbal devil's claw may also relieve pain associated with osteoarthritis, tendonitis, and back and neck conditions, advocates say.

In a 2007 study of 259 people with rheumatic diseases, researchers found that 60 percent of study participants reduced or stopped taking pain relievers after eight weeks of taking Devil's Claw. The herb also improved the quality of life for the participants .


A type of enzyme extracted from pineapple stems, bromelain reduces levels of prostaglandins, hormones that cause inflammation. Bromelain may benefit people with arthritis and conditions associated with musculoskeletal strain (such as TMJ syndrome ) and people with trauma-related inflammation. In addition, the enzyme can promote the healing of muscles and connective tissue .


An Ayurvedic spice known to relieve arthritis pain, curried turmeric contains an antioxidant compound called curcumin. In an animal study published in 2007, scientists found that curcumin can suppress pro-inflammatory proteins called cytokines. The compound can also help reduce pain associated with autoimmune diseases and tendonitis.


While ginger tea can help relieve nasal congestion associated with colds, adding ginger can ease the pain. Research shows that ginger can ease arthritis pain, possibly by reducing prostaglandin levels.

A 2015 study even suggests that ginger may reduce pain and inflammation just as effectively as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (such as aspirin), although more research is still needed.


While there is limited scientific support for the claim that any herb can treat pain is limited, adding certain herbs can help some people living with chronic pain, especially when combined with other lifestyle changes such as meditation, deep breathing and anti-inflammatories . diet and exercise.

If you plan to use herbs, it is important to speak with your doctor to avoid adverse reactions. For example, white willow bark, turmeric, and ginger contain natural blood thinning compounds, so people taking many common medications and supplements and those about to undergo surgery should be especially careful .

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