Herbs for Back Pain
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Donna
Posted on: September 22, 2000

I had major back surgery the 12th of June. The only thing I am taking for pain is Tylenol extra strength. Most of the time it doesn’t work. I don’t like taking prescribed medicines. I was wondering if you knew of any herbal medicines that would work for pain and that would heal my nerves and joints without being doped up all the time with the prescribed medication from my doctor.

St. John’s Wort is relaxing, anti-inflammatory and helps to heal the nerve tissue. Valerian is a relaxant that can temporarily relieve pain. These herbs can be purchased in tincture form in a health food store.

White Willow bark is anti-inflammatory and a mild pain reliever. It contains salicylic acid, from which aspirin was derived. It can be purchased in tablets or tinctures at health food stores.

Externally, an oil or cream made from cayenne can help relieve the pain. Hot peppers contain capsaicin, a powerful pain reliever used in commercial creams. You should be able to purchase an oil or cream containing cayenne from a health food store. You can make a cream by mixing a cayenne pepper with a skin cream. You can make a cayenne oil by filling a jar with one quarter cup of good, fresh, hot cayenne pepper powder, and one half cup olive oil, and allowing the mixture to stand for 2 weeks before straining. When using cayenne cream or oil, make sure you wash your hands thoroughly afterwards, and keep your hands away from your eyes.

I usually mix cayenne oil with Comfrey root oil for external application in back injuries. Comfrey helps to heal the back tissues.

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