While searching for “natural remedies,” you’re likely to come across all kinds of “miracle cure” type natural solutions that purport to do it all – reduce inflammation, take the pain away, or often some more irresponsible claim, like being a cure-all. Many natural remedies are worth exploring, in conjunction with a medical expert’s advice and close monitoring. None of these should be taken as recommendations for your own specific neuropathic pain, but rather as things you can discuss with your doctor as a potential supplemental treatment option. Here are five things from nature that have been studied in connection with neuropathic pain.
One of the natural remedies that has been studied in connection with neuropathic pain is the leaf of the ginkgo biloba tree. This is a common supplement, sometimes recommended for use in treatment of things like dementia. The seeds of the ginkgo biloba should not be eaten, as they can be poisonous. As with any natural option, ginkgo biloba can have side effects, like headache, upset stomach, heart palpitations, dizziness and more.
Often found in your typical kitchen, tarragon has been studied for some time for use in medical applications. Tarragon extracts and essential oils have been looked at for potential to be antifungal, antibacterial and antiprotozoal. It is also an antioxidant, so inclusion in any dish will have that benefit, at least. Some studies seem to suggest that tarragon may have antidepressant and anti-inflammatory properties, as well.
Butea monosperma, also known as The Sacred Tree, has traditionally been harvested for dyes and medicines, and has recently been examined for its connection to a potential treatment of neuropathic pain. It has antioxidative properties, and seems to show a reduction in pain in those who were treated with it. This, like any of these other plants, should be treated strictly as experimental, and discussed with a doctor if you are genuinely interested in it.
Abu Jahl's Melon
You may not have heard of this plant or its fruit, but citrullus colocynthis, also known as Abu Jahl’s Melon and bitter apple, has been a traditional medicine in parts of the world for hundreds of years. It is not edible raw and should be prepared carefully by a professional if it is to be ingested. Studies on painful diabetic neuropathy have shown that, when applied topically, this plant can reduce pain. Further study is needed, as well.
Also known as curcuma longa, turmeric has been studied for a long time due to its potential effects of reducing inflammation. Inflammation, of course, can be a great source of pain for anyone, but especially those suffering from neuropathic pain. In many cases, the chemical curcumin is what is used in the experiments on pain, including neuropathic pain, on suffering patients. Turmeric powder is typically used as a natural remedy, with purported antioxidant properties, anti-inflammatory effects, antimicrobial properties and other – some difficult to prove – effects. More study should be done, though turmeric is healthy to include in home recipes.