Trigeminal neuralgia, also known as tic douloureux, is a painful neurological disorder of one or more branches of the fifth cranial trigeminal nerve. The disorder produces convulsive attacks of facial pain, which is triggered by the slightest stimulation of a trigger zone. The pain can subside spontaneously but the general pain episode can last from a few days to many weeks. The pain is produced though an interaction or short circuiting of the pain and touch fibres in the brain. The rate of occurrence is four to five cases per 100,000 people.
Popular Home Remedies for TN
The most common pharmacological treatments for trigeminal neuralgia is the oral administration of carbamazepine (brand name: Tegretol), gabapentin (Neurontin) or phenytoin. Opioids such as morphine or codeine are of little use in relieving the pain. There are, however, a number of home remedies for preventing and treating trigeminal neuralgia pain.
To prevent pain, avoid such triggers as nicotine (it contracts blood vessels), wind (it irritates facial nerves) and mental and physical stress, which is said to be one of the most common triggers of TN pain.
When pain strikes, a combination of high doses of vitamin B12 and omega 3 fatty acids and exercises to strengthen the facial and neck tissues greatly help to reduce the pain.
Another tip for relieving acute pain is to soak a towel in a heavy solution of Epsom salts and hot water. Wring out the water and place the towel as hot as can be tolerated to the base of the neck, where the trigeminal nerve originates.
One herbal remedy is to grind 10g of long pepper, 10g of cochinchina momordica seed, 6g of agastache and 2g of borneol into a fine powder and inhale every time the pain strikes.
Another potent herbal remedy is 600g of finely ground ban lan gen (an herb) or woad root. Add this to 60g fine ground jiang can or body of sick silkworm. Make pills of these two powders using 10g water. Take three times daily with warm water and the symptoms should be resolved within a month. The herb bai zhi in powder form can be substituted for woad root.