Trigeminal neuralgia occurs due to the compression of the trigeminal nerve by a vein or an artery and results in sharp, shocking pain on usually one side of the face. Even though there is no known cure for this condition, conventional medical treatments, and certain home remedies are found to be effective and offer relief from intense pain. Natural home remedies for trigeminal neuralgia can be tried in conjunction with prescribed medicines if any, and such measures taken can go a long way in improving the quality of life of the patient.
Natural home remedies can be applied directly on the affected area for respite from pain as they increase the blood circulation in the affected region, providing some relief. As pain due to trigeminal neuralgia is episodic, some home remedies which provide relief can be implemented even while traveling and require a minimum investment, as most of the ingredients are easily available at home.
Specialists in natural health recommend the topical use of cayenne pepper on the affected area for relief from pain. A chemical called ‘capsaicin’ is present in it which offers therapeutic benefits. Vitamins A, C, some volatile oils are also present in cayenne pepper which provide some health benefits and improve overall health. This red hot pepper can also be mixed with olive oil and applied to the painful area. The chemicals present in cayenne pepper have pain relieving properties as they reduce the levels of prostaglandins which are pain-causing chemicals. Clinical trials carried out were found to be consistent with other studies thus proving the effectiveness of cayenne pepper in patients diagnosed with trigeminal neuralgia with complete or partial relief from pain.
Applying pressure on the affected area
Applying pressure to affected areas of the body is effective for reducing pain and exhaustion. Such treatment options are effective, as blood flow to the area improves, thus speeding up the damaged nerve repair process. Slightly applying pressure using hot or cold packs helps to relax muscles. This happens when you place the packs over the cheeks and jaws to gain instant relief. Some people get respite from pain by applying considerable pressure to a large area of their face with their palms. Others find that pressing the affected side firmly into their pillow prevents the pain triggering.
Use Epsom salt to reduce the pain as it assists nerves and muscles to function properly. These salts are available at any drug store, are inexpensive and versatile. Apply the salt directly to the affected area for relief. A thick solution of Epsom salt can be made and a towel can be dipped in this solution, squeezing out the excess and directly placed at the basal part of the neck. Alternately, the towel can be immersed in hot water and process repeated for about 10 minutes for respite from the intense pain in the facial area.
Drink herbal tea for relief
Prepare a decaf herbal tea mixture by mixing herbs. Take examples of St.John Wort or chamomile, devils law, burdock and few drops of essential oil like lavender. The prepared decoction is rich in antioxidants. Take it twice a day for relief as the therapeutic chemicals boost circulation in the affected areas. Consume a diet rich in omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin B12 to improve overall health. This diet also helps to strengthen the nervous system. Some herbs like St. John’s Wort contain a chemical called ‘hypericin’. This is responsible for the therapeutic effects like strengthening the nervous system.
It is also important to have organic, whole foods diet and drink plenty of water. Apart from that, it is crucial to eliminate all caffeinated beverages. This includes refined sugars, cigarettes, and commercial carbonated beverages.
Cold and hot compress – one of the best home remedies for trigeminal neuralgia
Try alternate hot and cold therapy to ease the sharp, intense pain. Place a bag filled with ice cubes on the affected area. Apply slight pressure with the palm of the hand, up high on the jaw. In the next step, use the moist hot cloth for maximum effect by wringing out excess water. Place the towel as hot as you can tolerate at the base of the neck, where the trigeminal nerve originates. Continue the same process for about 10 minutes. Many people suffering from trigeminal neuralgia get relief by applying pressure with a cold compress alone, for more than 10-15 minutes, as the affected area becomes numb reducing the intensity of pain. Carry out each compress for about three minutes till the pain subsides.
Use of Chinese herbs for respite from pain
Chinese herbology accounts for the treatment of various medical conditions including trigeminal neuralgia. Prepare a mixture of two or more herbs to target an illness. Several Chinese herbal remedies are available for relief from the sharp, shooting pain in the face. Herb combination of peony and licorice is useful for calming spasmodic, sudden intense pains. Herbs like Xue Fu Zhu Yu Tang increase blood circulation into the affected area by unblocking the channels. Along with the application of these herbs on the affected area, perform mild exercises to strengthen the facial and neck tissues. All these measures, if taken can greatly help to reduce the pain. Use herbs like safflower petals, peach kernel, and Chinese angelica root for reducing the nerve pain due to Trigeminal Neuralgia.
Use of aroma, essential oils, and herbs on the affected area
Use oils like eucalyptus, peppermint, evening primrose, verbena, chamomile, comfrey cedar-wood, lavender to gently massage the affected area for that soothing effect and relief from pain. Rub essential oils on the painful area to get rid of the pain to an extent. Use herbs like Siberian ginseng. Take one teaspoon three times a day. Ground herbs like long pepper, Cochin China Momordica seed, Agastache and borneol into a fine powder and inhaled every time the pain strikes. Finely ground ban lan gen or woad root is also a potent herbal remedy. Take these powders three times daily with warm water for about a month for resolving the symptoms.