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Sciatica Pain? 5 Herbs To Relieve The Pain Naturally!

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Shantilal (name changed), a middle-aged man, woke up with pain in his leg. Initially, he thought it could be due to a muscle cramp and carried out his day-to-day activities. However, the pain started to increase in severity after two days. He also started to experience pain in the lower back and it started to hurt him while sitting and standing. Unlike earlier, he couldn’t sit on the floor due to the severe pain. He even tried massaging his back and leg but even that didn’t help him to get rid of the pain. And finally, he visited a doctor only to know that he was suffering from sciatica pain.

Sciatica is a condition in which there is severe pain in the sciatic nerve, which is the largest nerve in the body. The pain spreads from the lower back through the hips and goes down the leg. It is often mistaken for lower back pain or leg pain. In most cases, sciatica pain affects only one side of the body. It can also cause inflammation, pain, and numbness in the leg which might get worse if not treated. The pain is often worsened with twisting, bending or flexion of the lumbar spine (lower back area).  

As sciatica pain causes severe and debilitating pain in the lower back and leg and also increases the risk of inflammation, it is important to get it diagnosed and treated at the earliest. Your doctor might recommend pain relievers to mitigate the pain and improve your condition. However, it might take around a month for the pain to subside, so talk to your doctor if it fails to show any improvement or if you are taking any OTC medications. In the meanwhile, you can try a few simple remedies at home which can aid in alleviating the pain and inflammation and provide you some respite.

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Herbs To Relieve Sciatica Pain Naturally

Several ancient Indian herbs have been found to be beneficial in reducing sciatica pain. Some of the common ones are:

1. Garlic

Garlic is well-known for its beneficial effects on the heart as it plays a key role in regulating your blood pressure and cholesterol. However, what is not known about this popular spice is its ability to relieve pain. Garlic possesses anti-inflammatory properties and has been effective in relieving sciatica pain. To reap its benefits, eat one to two garlic cloves with warm water or milk in the morning every day as it can go a long way in fighting the pain. Beware, as garlic has a strong odor and pungent taste which can be a big turn-off.

Also Read: Health Benefits of Garlic

2. Bitter Chamomile

Bitter chamomile  (Babunah) is an aromatic herb that contains an essential oil comprising of complex compounds such as chamazulene, farnesene, bisabolol, and flavonoids, plant acids and other biochemical derivatives. These compounds are known for their potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties. Chamomile flowers are compressed to extract oil which is widely used as an essential oil to relieve pain and inflammation. Mix a few drops of chamomile oil with a carrier oil such as olive oil or coconut oil and gently massage on the affected area. Do this two to three times a day for a few days to relieve sciatica pain.

3. Indian Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is packed with numerous health benefits that range from hair care and skin care to weight loss and digestion. Indian aloe vera is a rich source of glycosides such as aloin which have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. These properties are responsible for providing relief from pain and reducing the risk of inflammation.

Aloe vera is commercially available in the form of powder and gel which contain medicinal properties. Take aloe vera pulp/powder/gel and mix with 1-2 pinch turmeric. Apply directly on the affected area once or twice a day.  This is known to relieve the symptoms of sciatica effectively.

Also Read: Health Benefits of Aloe Vera

4. Nutmeg

Known for its amazing flavor and taste, nutmeg is a very popular Indian spice which helps in relaxing the muscles and inducing sleep. The spice, known as Jaiphal in Hindi, is also a rich source of saponins and essential oil which is known as myristicin that helps to relieve rheumatic pain, neuralgia, and sciatica pain. It inhibits the release of inflammatory mediators and blocks pain-causing chemicals that aid in providing effective results for people with pain and inflammatory conditions such as sciatica.

For pain relief, take coarsely powdered nutmeg powder fried in sesame oil until it turns brown completely. This oil can be applied externally to relieve severe pain. Alternatively, you can take 2-5 drops of Nutmeg oil, mix with sesame or coconut oil and massage gently on the affected area once or twice a day to manage joint pain.

Also Read: Health Benefits of Nutmeg

5. Valerian Root

Valerian root is enriched with relaxant properties that help relax the muscles and provide relief. The herb is a rich source of volatile oils which aids in relieving chronic muscle and nerve pain. The analgesic properties of this root are responsible for easing pain and also providing quick relief. You can choose to take valerian in the form of a supplement three times a day for a week or opt for valerian tea. To make the tea, steep ¼ to ½  teaspoon of valerian root in water, strain, cool and drink. You may choose to add honey to make it palatable.

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You can try these herbs which act as home remedies to relieve sciatica pain. However, if your condition fails to improve or if you have any other symptoms along with pain such as swelling of the leg, then it is wise to consult a doctor without fail. Also, do follow your doctor’s advice for quick and effective results.

(The article is reviewed by Dr. Lalit Kanodia, General Physician and Dr. Deepak Kumar Soni, Ayurvedacharya)

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References:

1. Dehghani S, Alipoor E, Salimzadeh A, et al. The effect of a garlic supplement on the pro-inflammatory adipocytokines, resistin and tumor necrosis factor-alpha, and on pain severity, in overweight or obese women with knee osteoarthritis. Phytomedicine. 2018 Sep 15;48:70-75.

2. Saghafi N, Rhkhshandeh H, Pourmoghadam N, et al. Effectiveness of Matricaria chamomilla (chamomile) extract on pain control of cyclic mastalgia: a double-blind randomised controlled trial. J Obstet Gynaecol. 2018 Jan;38(1):81-84.

3. Foster M, Hunter D, Samman S. Evaluation of the Nutritional and Metabolic Effects of Aloe vera. In: Benzie IFF, Wachtel-Galor S, editors. Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press/Taylor & Francis; 2011. Chapter 3.

4. Zhang WK, Tao SS, Li TT, et al. Nutmeg oil alleviates chronic inflammatory pain through inhibition of COX-2 expression and substance P release in vivo. Food & Nutrition Research.2016.60:30849.

5. Zare A, Khaksar Z, Sobhani Z, Amini M. Analgesic Effect of Valerian Root and Turnip Extracts. World J Plast Surg. 2018 Sep;7(3):345-350.

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