Pain Relieving Recipes



An herb that is analgesic is one that reduces pain.  There are a number of ways that herbs reduce pain.  They can act directly on pain receptors such as kratom or poppy (opioid receptors), they can act as anti-inflammatories such as turmeric, can help move the blood via circulation such as ginger, cinnamon and clove or act as relaxant and antispasmodic herbs such as kava and cramp bark.  Finally there are a number off anxiolytic herbs and sedative plants that can be used in conjunction with analgesic herbs to help reduce pain.

Because herbs act in a variety of ways they can be helpful widely different types of pain.  This is especially important in light of the strong problems associated with many types of pharmaceutical pain relievers such as NSAIDs and opiates.  While NSAIDs can lead to severe hepatic problems, gastric distress and bleeding ulcers, synthetic opiates such as oxycodone and vicodin are implicated in severe addiction issues and overdoses leading to death.

Because of these issues, there is increasing reason to study and integrate herbal pain relievers as part of pain relieving protocols.  At the same time, herbs act in different ways and some can be quite potent and addictive in their own right and each herb should be judged on its own merits.  Finally, it is key to not address pain just symptomatically but look for underlying causes that could be causing the pain.  Some of these issues include injury, disease, obesity, stress and trauma and dietary choices.   Here is a list of analgesic herbs  with some of the variations mentioned above.  There are a great deal of variation in effect and potency in many of these plants so please do not think of them as interchangeable in any way.

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

Antispasmodic:  anemone, bee balm, betony, black cohosh, blue cohosh, bupleurum, calamus, camphor, cannabis, caraway, cardamom, catnip, chuchuhuasi, clary sage, cramp bark, cumin, graviola, jamaican dogwood, kava, lavender, lemon balm, lemon verbena, lobelia, marjoram, 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, kratom, poppy

Tissue and Bone Healing herbs:  Comfrey, horsetail, Solomon’s seal, nutritional herbs such as red clover, burdock, nettles, oatstraw in large doses are helpful for getting needed vitamins and minerals for repair work.  

Also- see anxiolytic herbs for assistance with anxiety related to pain.


Click here for recipes for

Pain relieving teas

Pain relieving tinctures

Pain relieving salves


Further Reading:

Herbs for Injuries and Broken Bones by Brigitte Mars

Fibromyalgia   Susun Weed

Headaches/Migraine   Susun Weed

Restless Leg Syndrome  Susun Weed

Choice Injury Herbs  Kiva Rose

A few herbs for headaches   Kiva Rose

Herbal Headache treatments with differentials   Kiva Rose

Natural Therapies for Headaches  Darcey Blue

Endometriosis and Essential Oils   Jessica Ring

Chinese Herbal Therapy for Endometriosis     Subhuti Dharmananda

An analysis of Chinese Herb Prescriptions for rheumatoid arthritis   Subhuti Dharmananda

Lyme Disease:  Treatment with Chinese Herbs   Subhuti Dharmananda

Simple Traditional Formulas for Pain    Subhuti Dharmananda

Herbs for PMS    Christopher Hobbs

Headaches (7song)

Treating Chronic Inflammatory Diseases with Chinese Herbs:  “Gu Syndrome” in Modern Clinical Practice.  Heiner Fruehauf

Working with Pain  Coreypine Shane

Herbs for Nerve Pain   Coreypine Shane

Herbs for Muscle Pain Coreypine Shane

Botanicals and chronic pain  Paul Bergner)

Remedy differentials in Migraine  Paul Bergner

Arthritis Paul Bergner

Herbs for Back Pain Jim McDonald

The Wicked Problem of Lyme and Chronic Infections   Renee Davis