Peripheral neuropathy is an umbrella term used to describe damage to the nerves of the peripheral nervous system caused by nerve diseases or by side effects of systemic illnesses. Neuropathy can cause pain and numbness in the hands and feet, and there is not yet a full cure, only treatments for the symptoms. Natural treatments can help alleviate the symptoms of neuropathy.
The B vitamins play an important role in controlling pain and numbness from peripheral neuropathy. Vitamins B1 and B6 have been used to retard the development of neuropathy associated with diabetes. Treatment of peripheral and central neurological disorders has centred on a lack of vitamin B12. Biotin can improve neuropathy symptoms brought on by a long period of diabetes or hemodialysis for kidney failure. Pantothenic acid can assist the production of adrenal hormones and the creation of antibodies to combat neuropathy. Alpha lipolic acid and Aceytl-L-Carnitine also have been found to be helpful treatments. (See Reference 2.)
Minerals, Oils, etc.
Evening primrose oil may ease some symptoms of neuropathy connected with diabetes. Magnesium has been associated with calming the nervous system. Skullcap and St. John's Wort may help to soothe the nervous system and relieve nerve pain, respectively. As a salve, cayenne pepper has been used with some success in treating neuropathic pain. Many homeopathic remedies have been used to treat symptoms of peripheral neuropathy as well. Aconite is used for shooting pains, tingling, numbness and swelling. Hypericum soothes neuralgia and pains in the fingers, toes and limbs. Cantharsis is recommended for tingling and burning soles of the feet. For all herbal, homeopathic and vitamin remedies, it is recommended that you add them to your diet only under the direct care of a medical professional. (See Reference 1, Resource 1.)
It is important to take care of your feet, especially if the neuropathy is related to a diabetic condition. Any cuts, blisters or calluses can easily turn into a larger problem if not taken care of early on. Cigarette smoke can affect circulation, which can further add to foot problems. A healthy diet can help control neuropathy. It should include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat meat and dairy products. Massage of the hands and feet can improve circulation and relieve pain. Consult a physician about a proper exercise plan that can both reduce pain and control blood sugar. (See Reference 3.)