Herbal Therapies for Back Pain Relief

Back pain may be caused my several factors, including poor nutrition, structural imbalances in the spine, and the inability of the body to regenerate new tissue to replace tissue that has become injured by trauma the wear and tear of time. But there are many types of herbal therapies for back pain relief that may provide your body with the nutrients that it needs to begin rebuilding the body again, as well as the joints or other musculoskeletal structures. Also, herbs in their many consumable forms may have the ability to act as natural analgesics (pain relievers) and anti-inflammatories. Let's take a look at some of these herbs, their ingredients that provide their health benefits, and how they may be prepared to consume.

Capsaicin: Capsaicin has the effect of disrupting the transmission of pain signals from the site of injury to the brain. Capsaicin is a substance found in chili peppers, which are native to India, New Zealand, and Australia. This substance inhibits pain signals by depleting substance P. Substance P helps the body to convey signals from the peripheral nervous to the central nervous system. This substance may be taken when we eat and cook with chili peppers, or it may be used on topical analgesics that are rubbed on the skin over areas of pain. As a medicinal use, Capsaicin may be used to manage arthritis pain, back pain, headaches, post mastectomy pain, diabetic neuropathy, and herpes zoster-related pain.

Ginger: Ginger contains phytochemicals which act as natural anti-inflammatories. The ginger root of the plant Zingiber officinale is used as a spine or a food source in many Asian cuisines. Ginger has been used to treat chronic pain conditions as well as other medical conditions, including colic, constipation, gastroparesis, and dyspepsia.

Feverfew: Feverfew is one of a few herbal therapies that are associated with mild side effects, including canker sores and irritation of the lips and tongue. But this herb also has a long history in medicinal use to manage pain conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, toothaches, stomachaches, and headaches. This herb also known as Tanacetum parthenium has been studied and used as a natural anti-inflammatory since the first century AD. The active ingredients of this plant though to offer its medicinal benefits are tanetin and parthenolide. Women who are pregnant should not take feverfew. Risks of side effects increase when the leaves of this plant are consumed by mouth.

Tumeric: Curcumin is thought to the be the active ingredient of Tumeric that which acts as a natural anti-inflammatory. Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is native to South Asia and is in the ginger family. This plant has been shown to decrease the symptoms of heartburn and arthritis pain. Side effects are rare from this herbal option, though people with gallbladder disease should avoid using it. This herb may cause indigestion when used regularly over time or in high doses during short term. The phytochemicals in turmeric have been found to reduce symptoms associated with arthritis, as well as providing clinical benefits for medical conditions such as diabetes and cancer.

Devil's Claw: Devil's Claw (Harpagophytum procumbens) is also known as wood spider and grapple plant. This plant is native to South Africa, and has several ingredients that are thought to act as natural anti-inflammatories. These ingredients include plant sterols, procumbide, trans-coumaroyl harpagide, and iridoid glycosides. These ingredients may have clinical sedative and analgesic (pain relieving) effects. Research studies that compared the clinical benefits of this herb to pharmaceutical medications such as VIOXX demonstrated comparable pain relieving benefits. People who already have medical conditions such as gallstones or stomach indigestion should avoiding using this herbal therapy. People on medications such as warfarin or ticlopidine should avoid using products containing Devil's Claw. Pregnant women should not use foods or supplements containing this plant.

Willow Bark: Willow bark is also known as Willow and Salix Alba. The tree this bark is stripped from grows naturally in several continents, including Africa, northern Asia, and North America. This medication was used to treat pain and inflammation long before the first anti-inflammatories were synthesized in a lab. The active ingredient of aspirin - acetylsalicylic acid - is a modified form of salicin - which is believed to be the active ingredient of willow bark though to provide pain relief for inflamed joints. Willow bark is typically brewed in teas and taken in supplement form.

Boswellia: Bosweilla is another ancient healing herb plant that has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. This herbal therapy has been used to treat various inflammatory conditions and as a treatment for asthma. This holistic medicine may cause irritation of the throat.

Kava Kava (Piper methysticum): Has been used as a treatment for neuropathic pain and tension headaches. The root of this plant is often extracted and ground up for use in drinks. These drinks have analgesic, sedative, and anesthetic properties.