Nerve pain is often associated with conditions such as diabetes, where it is referred to as neuropathy or neuralgia. Injuries and nerve degeneration also can contribute to nerve pain. Certain drugs, infection, trauma and tumours also can lead to chronic neuralgia or nerve pain. While nerve pain can be effectively treated with conventional medicine, herbal remedies offer an alternative. Consult your physician before adding herbal remedies to your lifestyle.
Jamaica dogwood is a traditional herb used to treat neuralgia, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Western scientists discovered as early as 1844 that Jamaica dogwood had potent medicinal properties and helped to ease nerve pain as well as migraines, insomnia, anxiety, fear and stress. Bark extracts of this plant are believed to have strong anti-inflammatory qualities along with sedative and antispasmodic effects. Jamaican dogwood can be toxic when used in high doses; however, it is generally considered safe when used in the proper amounts.
Jamaican dogwood is available in root bark form as well as tincture and liquid extract formulations. Make a tea with 1/2 to 1 tsp. Jamaican dogwood in water, boil for 10 minutes, strain and drink three times daily as needed. Take 5 to 30 drops of the tincture daily as needed. Follow dosing instructions on the bottle for the liquid extract. Take Jamaican dogwood under the supervision of your health-care provider.
Vervain is considered somewhat of a nerve tonic with aspirinlike effects that help treat chronic inflammation. When used for several weeks, it has an antidepressive effect and an overall relaxing impact on the nervous system. Look for vervain extract in most health food stores and take according to package directions.
St. Johns Wort, Valerian and Cayenne
St. Johns Wort and Valerian have long been used to help promote a sense of relaxation and calm. In turn, they can lessen pain associated with nerves because they calm the nervous system. These are widely available in supplement or tincture form.
Cayenne pepper is commonly used as a pain reliever and is widely available over the counter in pain creams containing capsaicin. When topically applied to problem areas, capsaicin can alleviate pain associated with diabetic neuropathy, facial neuralgia, psoriasis and postoperative pain. Use according to package directions.