Before trying to manage any pain condition please make sure that you are working with a trained professional.  Pain can have such a variety of etiologies and its key to understand what needs to be addressed and how to do it well.  So often we look for just symptomatic relief and while that can be key at times, its more important long term to address how to heal the underlying pain at a core level.  And please read this section before working with recipes as well.


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Tinctures are alcohol based extractions and often carry more potent herbs that are challenging to drink in tea form bveacuse they are bitter and strong tasting.  Tinctures tend to work better for more symptomatic relief while infusions, decoctions and broths carry more nutritional value that can be more restorative.  That being said, a good pain tincture can be immensely valuable for those times when you need some quick relief.  A note of caution here: many of these herbs don’t interact well with pain meds and tranquilizers and these tinctures should be used cautiously.

Here is a short list of herbs that can be tinctured well for pain relief.

Anti-inflammatory:  bacopa, bergamot, cats claw, devil’s claw, feverfew, geranium, guduchi, helichrysum, honeysuckle, jasmine, lemongrass, licorice, meadowsweet, turmeric, willow, st. john’s wort

Antispasmodic:  anemone, bee balm, betony, black cohosh, blue cohosh, bupleurum, calamus, camphor, cannabis, caraway, cardamom, catnip, clary sage, cramp bark, cumin, graviola, jamaican dogwood, kava, lavender, lemon balm, lemon verbena, mint, mugwort, myrrh, oregano, peony, pedicularis, rose, rosemary, sage, self-heal, skunk cabbage, solomon’s seal, thyme, vervain, 

Circulatory stimulants:  angelica, cardamom, cayenne, cedar wood, cinnamon, dong quai, ginger, gingko, gotu kola, jyotishmati, turmeric 

Directly targeting pain receptors:   akuamma, bleeding-heart, california poppy, cannabis, corydalis, poppy


Many of these herbs can be paired with anxiolytic herbs that help relieve tension and stress associated with pain.   So these herbal formulas can be prepared in a variety of ways.  If you are really wanting to get into it, learn how to tincture each of these herbs separately and then add them together to make your own custom formulas.  You can also buy them separately to make these formulas.  Some herb stores and natural markets now have “tincture bars” where you can formulate your own tinctures by selecting them individually and then adding them together.  And of course there are a number of pain formula tinctures on the market that you can purchase directly as well.


Pain Relief (Strong):

1 part Jamaican Dogwood

1 part Devil’s Claw

1 part Cramp Bark

1 part California Poppy


Muscle Tension Reliever:

1 part Kava

1 part Cramp Bark

1 part lavender

1 part angelica