Topical pain relievers are often safer and more effective than analgesics taken by mouth. Lower doses of the product enter the bloodstream, and these rub-on pain relievers often act more quickly than pills and capsules. Several natural pain relievers are effective when appllied directly to a painful or inflamed area. Consider using any of these natural topical pain relievers, which are derived from medicinal herbs, to treat pain associated with illness or injury.
Capsaicin, a potent medicinal compound found in cayenne pepper, is very effective as a topical pain reliever. Ointments and sprays made from capsicain can be applied directly to an area affected by pain, and it will immediately relieve the discomfort. Cayenne works as a pain reliever because it reduces levels of “substance P,” a compound that carries pain signals to the brain. Capsicain also acts as a counter-irritant, reducing deep inflammatory pain by pulling discomfort to the shallow surface of the skin.
Naturopaths widely recommend clove as an alternative to topical anesthetics. Clove is a very effective, natural topical pain reliever which owes its medicinal properties to the compound eugenol. Eugenol rivals the efficacy of conventional treatments such as benzocaine (Orajel) for eliminating dental pain. Arthritis sufferers may also use clove as a topical pain reliever; its essential oil can be massaged into the skin after it is diluted with a carrier oil.
The essential oil of the peppermint plant contains menthol, which exerts several powerful medicinal effects. When applied to a painful area, peppermint oil can create a calming, cooling sensation. Because of this, it relieves pain and inflammation. Diluted peppermint oil can be applied to the temples, neck and forehead to relieve a tension headache. Alternative, rub diluted peppermint oil onto an area affected by arthritis, muscle pain or nerve pain.