Using the Natural Path to Pain Relief

by Valerie Demetros

When you get a toothache or backache, your first instinct may be to reach for pain medication. But in most cases, a bit of natural healing might just do the trick.

While some circumstances require prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) pain medication, many situations can be relieved with a variety of natural remedies. Alternative medicine has been available for many years and has numerous benefits.

For starters, it can ease pain and inflammation naturally.

If you’re dealing with pain or chronic issues, always talk with your doctor before using any natural remedies.


Aside from cooking, cloves are widely used as a natural pain reliever due to eugenol, a natural pain reliever also used in some pain ointments.

Cloves have been used for toothaches, arthritis and some infections. Cloves come in capsule or powder form, and clove oil can be applied topically to reduce pain.


Studies show CBD has a beneficial impact on moderate to severe pain, and many people claim to find relief with topical CBD lotions massaged into painful areas.


Exercise is associated with increased endorphins, a decrease in stress hormones and increased pain threshold. One study found that those with chronic pain were able to decrease the severity of the pain and enhance physical function with regular exercise.


This ancient Chinese medical practice relieves pain by balancing the body’s natural energy pathways known as qi (pronounced “chee”). Acupuncturists insert tiny, thin needles into your skin at a location related to the source of the pain.

Studies show that acupuncture may relieve pain by causing the body to release serotonin, reduce stress levels and promote healing.

Heat and ice

It sounds simple, but many people forgo these simple remedies because they are not sure when to use which. Basically, use an ice pack to reduce swelling and inflammation.

If your pain is from arthritis, moist heat on the affected joint helps more than ice.


Lavender essential oil helps relieve pain naturally, aids sleep and eases anxiety. A 2012 study found that inhaling lavender oil can relieve pain associated with migraine headaches.

More research suggests that lavender oil has pain-relieving, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects in animals.


Capsaicin, found in chili peppers, offers natural pain relief. Many pain-relief lotions incorporate it; it can cause a mild burning or tingling sensation. Researchers believe it reduces the skin’s sensitivity to pain by working on the nociceptor fibers that carry pain signals.


Don’t overlook the power of the mind.

Many people experiencing chronic pain find that mindfulness meditation helps. One analysis of 38 studies concluded that mindfulness meditation improves pain symptoms, depression and quality of life for the majority of those studied.