12 Beneficial Herbs to Help Relieve Pain Naturally



Natural Pain Relief

My son slipped and fell a few days ago and came down on his elbow. At first I thought we might get lucky and get out of the accident with just a sprain. After a nap, though, it was clear that wasn’t going to be the case. The swelling was just above his elbow in a place where there weren’t any joints or ligaments. A trip to the hospital, a few x-rays, and a couple hours later confirmed the broken bone.

There are a few issues with a broken bone like this. While we wait for an appointment with an orthopedic specialist my plan is to assist the bone in healing, support my son’s immune system, and manage pain.

A Good Reason to Have a Natural Medicine Chest

At the hospital, the doctor suggested a prescription for pain relief – but I was hesitant. We opted to bring my son home and use our farm’s pain tincture. My son is 7, so he isn’t particularly stoic. I have been giving him small, frequent doses of the tincture and asked him to let us know if he is dealing with any pain. While I wish to keep him off the medication, we have told him that if at any point he thinks mommy’s medicine isn’t helping him enough to let us know he needs something stronger.

In a strange coincidence, an adult friend of ours called the day after my son’s injury. She had fallen and broken her elbow in much the same way as my son. At the time, she didn’t have anything else at home to help with pain so she took their suggested medication. Using the tincture, my son’s biggest complaint is the itching. My friend’s pain is still unmanaged and she now feels sick from the medication.

For now, I think we’ll keep going with our natural pain reliever. It’s such a comfort to know that I have help at my fingertips. Treating problems naturally does not mean you have to tough it out or suffer. Without a plan for pain though, we would have had to use the medication just like my friend; I’m glad we avoided that.

Herbs for Pain Relief

If you are putting together a home medicine chest filled with natural remedies it would be good to know about the herbs that are well known for pain relief. These herbs can be made into teas, tinctures, or encapsulated for easy use*:

  • Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
  • St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum)
  • Hops (Humulus lupulus)
  • White Willow (Salix alba)
  • Wild Lettuce (Lactuca virosa)
  • Devil’s Claw (Harpagophytum procumbens)
  • Red Pepper (Capsicum spp.)
  • Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)
  • Ginger (Zingiber officinale)
  • Oregano (Origanum vulgare)
  • Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)
  • Peppermint (Mentha piperita)

*(You can find these dried herbs here, or find many of them in tincture form here, or in capsules here.)

Tips for Using Herbs for Pain Relief

The plants with pain relieving abilities are called anodynes. They can be a gentle solution to the problem at hand, avoiding the side effects of stronger medications. In our case, we start at the simple solutions and progress from there.

It’s important to keep pain monitored and keep ahead of it. Small doses frequently, even when there is not a large amount of pain, can save you. If you let the pain build while trying to be stoic, you may wind up needing to fill that prescription because the problem can get too big for simple methods to solve.

Do you treat pain with natural remedies? If so, what do you use?


Dawn Combs

About Dawn Combs

Dawn is a wife, mother, farmer, author, ethnobotanist, professional speaker and educator. She has over 20 years of ethnobotanical experience, is a certified herbalist and has a B.A. in Botany and Humanities/Classics. Dawn is co-owner of Mockingbird Meadows, the home farm for her educational web channel Heal Local. She is the author of Conceiving Healthy Babies, An Herbal Guide to Support Preconception, Pregnancy and Lactation (New Society Publishers, 2014) and Heal Local, 20 Essential Herbs for Do-it-Yourself Home Healthcare (New Society Publishers, 2015).

12 Beneficial Herbs to Help Relieve Pain Naturally was written by Dawn Combs.