Natural Pain Relief - 15 Alternatives to Pain Medication

More and more people want to replace over-the-counter pain medication with natural alternatives. While effective in getting rid of pain, long-term use of over-the-counter medication can cause many problems including intestinal and liver damage. Prescription medication doesn’t come with no side effects either. In fact, it has more adverse effects than over-the-counter medicine and it’s addictive. 

While it’s important to follow your doctor’s advice when dealing with serious conditions that cause pain, minor problems, such as headaches and muscle pain can be treated successfully with natural pain relievers.

People have used natural pain relief as an alternative to pain medication for hundreds of years. Unless you suffer from chronic pain, you can rely on natural methods to relieve aching and discomfort. And, even when you suffer from chronic pain, you can use natural pain relievers as a complementary treatment to modern medicine.

Natural pain relievers offer an alternative to people who want to avoid taking pain relief medication long-term and for those who experienced unwanted side effects of modern medicine. However, not all types of natural pain relief methods work for everybody. That’s why it’s important to explore different options to manage pain naturally. In this article, we talk about alternatives to pain medication and we teach you everything there is to know about each method, including tips for using natural pain relief successfully.

Herbs and Natural Supplements for Pain Relief

There are many herbs and natural supplements people can use to relieve pain. You probably already know about some of them since they have been successfully used as home remedies for ages. Nevertheless, all the herb and natural supplements pain relievers we included here are effective so you don’t have to hesitate using them.

Herbs for Pain Relief


Cloves is a common home remedy for toothache. However, cloves also have antioxidant, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties that can help relieve other types of pain. 


Another herb with impressive anti-inflammatory properties is ginger. Some people believe ginger is more effective for reducing inflammation than Tylenol and ibuprofen. While this is hard to prove, one thing is for sure, ginger can reduce pain caused by inflammation.


Turmeric contains an active ingredient called curcumin. This active ingredient can reduce swelling by lowering the levels of the enzymes that cause body inflammation. Turmeric also improves blood circulation and promotes heart health.


Capsaicin is an active component in chili peppers. You can use capsaicin as a topical remedy for joint, nerve, and muscle pain but also for osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia. Capsaicin usually comes in cream or gel form you can apply topically to affected areas.


Feverfew is a popular medicinal plant used in traditional medicine to treat various types of pain including headaches, migraines, toothaches, and stomachaches. Feverfew is also commonly utilized for treating pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis or for treating fever and other cold symptoms.

Valerian Root

Valerian root is a natural sedative that reduces irritability, anxiety, and stress. If you take valerian root before going to bed, it will also help you get a better night’s sleep. Since it reduces nerve sensitivity, valerian root lessens feelings of pain.

Supplements as Natural Pain Relief


Everybody knows magnesium is a great supplement. This powerhouse mineral can assist in the proper functioning of our nervous system and internal organs.  Magnesium deficiency can cause many bad symptoms including headaches, migraines, fibromyalgia, irritability, and anxiety. Taking magnesium supplements will get rid of all the symptoms associated with magnesium deficiency. Moreover, it will improve overall health.

White Willow Bark

White willow bark, also known as the original Aspirin, is an effective pain reliever. This herb contains salicin, a chemical similar to acetylsalicylic acid found in Aspirin, which is why it works so great for pain relief. Just as Aspirin, white willow bark is also a great remedy for inflammation and fever.

Aromatherapy for Relieving Pain

From Lavender essential oil to Eucalyptus essential oil, many essential oils can actually reduce pain.

Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender essential oil is used in various ways for very different problems. As an alternative to pain medication, Lavender essential oil can relieve headaches and muscle tension, promoting relaxation and better sleep.

Rosemary Essential Oil

Rosemary is another essential oil that can treat headaches. As well as reducing inflammation and relaxing muscles.  Rosemary essential oil is also a great aid in relieving bone and muscle pain.

Peppermint Essential Oil

Peppermint has anti-inflammatory properties that can help alleviate headaches and aching pain. It is best to use Peppermint essential oil topically by rubbing diluted oil into painful areas.

Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Eucalyptus is an herbal remedy that reduces pain, inflammation, and swelling. Eucalyptus essential oil has an invigoratingly minty aroma with powerful anti-inflammatory properties. A whole-body massage and topical application are the best ways to experience the therapeutic benefits of Eucalyptus essential oil.

Acupuncture – Alternative Therapy for Pain Relief

Acupuncture is effective for many types of pain, including:

  • back pain;
  • neck pain;
  • knee pain;
  • pain associated with osteoarthritis.

If you want to try acupuncture for pain relief, you need to see a certified acupuncturist.

Yoga and Meditation for Managing Pain

Practicing yoga and mindful meditation can help manage and reduce pain.


Yoga is particularly good for people who struggle with back and neck pain. Modern life is sedentary. We spend a lot of time sitting at our desks, which can cause bad posture and back problems.

Physical therapy for these problems oftentimes includes stretching. Yoga provides stretching and you can do yoga exercises in the comfort of your own home if you don’t have time to attend a yoga class.

Mindful Meditation

Mindfulness can ameliorate pain symptoms and improve quality of life. It can also help deal with mental health problems, such as including depression and anxiety that are frequently associated with chronic pain.

When to See a Doctor

Anyone with pain that persists after trying natural pain relievers or anyone with severe pain should see a doctor who can help them identify the root of the problem. While natural alternatives cannot treat severe problems, they can still enhance the pain management provided by modern medicine.

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