Sciatic pain is excruciating. Those who suffer from sciatic pain liken it to the mind-numbing pain of a toothache only worse. Although sciatica can present in all ages, in children it is usually attributed to growing pains or another cause. Traditional therapies include drugs, both over the counter and prescription, and in more severe cases, surgery.
Sciatic pain can be caused by, among many other things, a pinched sciatic nerve, a herniated spinal disc, or a bone spur. Other factors can cause sciatic pain as well, such as a tumor or damage to the nerve. Regardless of the cause, the pain can be debilitating.
Many people are now opting for less invasive and more natural treatments rather than the traditional, big pharma approach. Not only does sciatic treatment require alleviation of the pain, but it requires alleviation of the underlying cause of the pain. The following four non-sedative herbal remedies can help alleviate sciatic pain; some people respond better to one herb more than the others and treatment should continue until the pain subsides.
Making headlines lately for its many anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric has a long history of alleviating pain, fighting cancer, and warding off germs due to its antibacterial properties. Since a pinched nerve becomes inflamed, turmeric can help your body reduce the inflammation and thereby ease the sciatic pain.
Since turmeric is used as a cooking spice, using it to treat your sciatic pain can be one of the more pleasant ways to take your medicine. Turmeric can interact with some medications, such as anti-coagulants, so be sure to check on possible interactions before starting a regimen of turmeric. Pregnant women should use caution when taking turmeric as it might cause uterine contractions.
2. St. John’s Wort Oil
This yellow-flowered plant has been used for decades to treat the pain of sciatica. With anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, St. John’s wort encourages the body to build new nerve tissue and alleviate sciatic pain. This herbal remedy is available as an oil and a supplement. However, St. John’s Wort may interact with medications, so be sure to check out possible interactions before using.
3. Devil’s Claw
Roots and tubers of this flowering African plant are used to make various types of medications, including anti-inflammatories. It has been used successfully to alleviate pain due to sciatica, arthritis, gout, gallbladder, and many more.
Although approved in Germany as an over the counter medication, the FDA has not approved devil’s claw as a medicine. Allergic reactions are rare and side effects are infrequent. Devil’s claw may interact with medications for diabetes or blood pressure so be sure to check out possible interactions before using devil’s claw.
4. Jamaican Dogwood
Not to be confused with American dogwood, Jamaican dogwood is another herbal sciatic remedy that has been used for decades if not centuries. Although large doses can be toxic, appropriate doses can be effective in relieving nerve pain, insomnia, migraines and more. Made from the bark of the Jamaican dogwood, this anti-inflammatory herbal pain reliever is available as a tea, as a liquid, and as a tincture.
Children should not be given Jamaican dogwood. Since it can be toxic, adults should use this effective remedy only with their doctor’s supervision. Few drug interactions are known with Jamaican dogwood but since it can be a sedative, you shouldn’t take it if you are you are taking sedatives.
The unbearable pain of sciatica can be alleviated by many methods, including those listed above. For immediate relief, massaging the center of the buttocks on the affected side and then straight down the back of the leg to just above the knee, avoiding the back of the knee, can provide relief until the herbal preparation takes effect.