People have used essential oils, herbs, and alternative therapies as natural pain relievers for hundreds of years.
Researchers have not fully explored these options, but some evidence suggests that certain remedies can help, and that many people find them useful.
In this article, we discuss eight natural pain relievers and the science behind them. Read on to learn how to manage pain naturally without relying on over-the-counter pain medication.
Lavender Essential Oil: A small-scale 2012 study found that inhaling lavender oil may relieve pain associated with migraine headaches compared with a placebo.Some research also suggests that lavender oil has pain-relieving, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant effects in animals.
Rosemary Essential Oil: Some researchers state that the rosemary plant, Rosmarinus officinalis L., may help treat headache, muscle and bone pain, and seizures. Rosemary may also reduce inflammation, relax smooth muscles, and boost memory.
Peppermint Essential Oil: Research has discovered the peppermint plant has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and pain-relieving effects. The active compounds in peppermint oil include carvacrol, menthol, and limonene.
Ginger, also known as Zingiber officinale, is a root that shows promise as a natural pain reliever.A 2015 systematic review found that ingesting 2 grams of ginger per day modestly reduced muscle pain from resistance exercise and running when people took it for at least 5 days.
Turmeric: Curcuma, the active ingredient in the spice turmeric, has pain-relieving qualities.A small-scale 2014 study found that curcuma extract is as effective as ibuprofen for pain management in the treatment of knee osteoarthritis when a person takes it for 4 weeks.
Yoga is a physical meditation practice that may offer a way to manage pain naturally.Managing back pain often includes stretching and physical therapy. Yoga provides this.It incorporates breathing exercises, self-care, and relaxation methods, so practicing yoga may also relieve pain related to stress or anxiety.A 2013 study found that yoga may improve low back pain.
Mindfulness Meditation: People experiencing chronic pain are increasingly turning to mindfulness meditation as a natural treatment. More research is needed, but initial studies are promising.A 2017 systematic review and meta-analysis looked at 38 studies and eventually concluded that mindfulness meditation can improve pain symptoms, depression, and quality of life. However, the authors say that larger studies are needed to see exactly how effective it is.
CBD Oil: Topical CBD is a great choice whether you’re dealing with chronic pain or just the aches and stiffness of everyday life.CBD is an extract made from hemp that can offer relief from pain and inflammation. With few side effects or drawbacks, CBD is seeing tremendous popularity today. While most commonly found in a tincture or capsule, an increasing number of brands offer CBD in a salve or cream designed to be applied directly to the skin.
While many people use pain relief medication such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen with no problems, people who experience side effects can try using natural pain relievers. These include herbal remedies and traditional practices such as yoga and acupuncture.
Some traditional remedies, such as yoga, mindfulness, and acupuncture, can also benefit a person’s mental health.
Herbal remedies could provide other health benefits alongside pain-relieving effects, such as having antioxidant effects to help keep the body healthy.