3 Herbal Solutions for Sciatic Nerve Pain

Posted on: 15 April 2016

Sciatica is the name for the pain that you get in the sciatic nerve—a nerve that runs from the lower back down through each leg. It is commonly caused when a spinal nerve root in the lower back gets compressed after a disc degenerates. Sciatica often involves lower back pain that radiates down through the leg to the foot. Before embarking on natural treatments, you should seek medical advice to determine the severity and decide whether any surgical treatment is necessary. If you have done so and been sent home with medication, then you may prefer to try some natural alternatives before dosing up on painkillers. 

Before trying any these herbs, check with your medical specialist to ensure that you are a suitable candidate for treatment. Some herbal medicines are not recommended for pregnant or lactating women or those with certain conditions. It's also important to get your dosage correct.

Turmeric (Curcuma Longa)

This bright yellow spice has a long history of use in Chinese and Indian medicine. Its anti-inflammatory properties have made it a treatment for a variety of ailments. It is used to treat sciatica because it reduces the enzymes that fuel inflammation.

It can be applied as a paste or taken as a tea. It is also available in 250-500 mg supplement capsules containing bromelain, an enzyme found in pineapples. These two work together to reduce inflammation.

Turmeric Tea Recipe:

Combine 4 cups of water with 1 teaspoon of turmeric and bring to the boil. Once at boiling point, reduce the heat and simmer for ten minutes. Remove the tea from the heat and strain it through a fine sieve. To sweeten or improve the taste, you can add lemon, honey or a combination of both. Drink a cup of tea once or twice a day until you see an improvement.

Turmeric Paste Recipe:

Create the paste by mixing 2 tablespoons of turmeric with 1 tablespoon of honey and 2 tablespoons of milk. Apply the paste to the lower back area, leaving it to sit for 5 to 8 minutes.  Daily application of the paste over a 1 to 2 week period can produce better results.

St. John's Wort (Hypericum Perforatum) Oil

St John's Wort is a yellow-flowered plant that has been used for medical purposes since ancient Greek times. The herb has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, astringent, and antioxidant properties. It's been known to aid nerve tissue regeneration and relieve sciatic pain.  Apply the oil to the painful area 2 or 3 times a day until pain improves.

Jamaican Dogwood (Piscidia Erythrina)

Jamaican Dogwood is a tree with bark that is used for medicinal purposes. This herbal medicine is used to treat a variety of ailments and is a top choice for nerve pain.

It can be taken in capsule form as a supplement or used as a tincture. Some choose to make a tea out of the bark's powder.

Jamaican Dogwood Tea Recipe:

Add 1 teaspoon of dried Jamaican dogwood to a small pan of boiling water.  Allow the mixture to steep for 5 to 7 minutes, then strain the tea through a fine sieve. If you wish to sweeten the tea, add honey to the mixture to enrich the taste. Drink no more than 2 cups per day. It's best to drink this tea in the evening or at night due to the potential sedative effect. 

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