In reality, nature provides dozens if not hundreds of perfectly natural remedies for common pains. You can depend on the herbs at your disposal to alleviate the pain caused by anything from open wounds to burns to migraines to inflammation and so on.
Despite the advancements made in medical technology and medications, herbs are not at all outdated as pain relievers. In fact, for certain ailments, when properly used, they can be equally as effective.
In this article, we will cover fifteen of the most effective herbal remedies for common pains, the specific pains that they can be used to treat, and how to properly apply each one. Even if you don’t plan on growing these herbs in your garden or anything, the simple knowledge of how to use them could make a difference for your survival should you ever by chance come across any of them.
Presented in alphabetical order, here are fifteen of the most effective natural herbal plants for common pains.
Found in Europe and western North America, Arnica is one of the best herbs to use for pain caused by inflammation or after some intense physical movement. If you’ve done a lot of hiking in a single day before, for instance, you know how sore you can feel the following day. Arnica will efficiently relieve much of this pain and thus increase your chances of walking out of a wilderness survival situation alive.
There are several ways that you can take arnica to heal your pain. Over the counter, Arnica is most often sold as pills or tablets for you to take with water. In a survival situation, however, you obviously won’t have this option. Instead, the best way to take it will be topically, or by applying the leaves directly to your skin. Harvest them while the flowers are in their prime, and then apply topically to the wound or injury.
Basil is one of the most well-known herbs because of the unique taste it brings to many popular dishes, such as spaghetti and many Mediterranean meals. But what many people don’t know is that it also has strong healing properties. Basil has historically been used as an anti-inflammatory agent when orally ingested. The plant itself can be directly applied to open wounds such as scrapes or lacerations to reduce the pain and lower the risk of infection.
There are many other ways to use basil to treat yourself. For instance, to treat a fever or a headache, harvest the leaves and boil them in two quarts of water. Then, mix the water with sugar if you have it, and allow the water to cool. Ingest one sip every two or three hours. To treat a sore throat, perform the same method except gargle the water in your throat and spit it back out instead of drinking it.
Boswellia comes from the frankincense tree. It has been used for centuries to reduce inflammation and pain. Today, boswellia is effective to reduce the pain of arthritis, particularly after long treks or moments of intense physical activity. To take boswellia, remove the leaves from the stems and stalk, and allow them to dry out in the sun. Then, grind the leaves into a powder and pour the powder into a cup of water. Stir vigorously and then drink the water continuously in small sips. In twenty to thirty minutes, you should begin to feel pain relief from any inflammation or muscle aches you have.
While a dandelion may not technically count as a ‘herb,’ it’s medicinal properties are too great to go unnoticed. Also, the fact that dandelions are virtually everywhere is why it deserves a place in this list. Dandelions will work magnificently to alleviate digestive problems and abdominal pains in the body. Take one tablespoon of the dried root of the dandelion and submerge it in a cup of hot water. Allow the water to cool before drinking. Repeat this three times a day (morning, midday, and evening) to reduce any digestive pains or problems you have.
While the name Devil’s Claw may cause hesitation, the truth is that Devil’s Claw is easily one of the best herbs you can take to reduce heartburn, back pain, and headaches. The best way is to consume the roots orally; there should be no adverse side effects by doing so.
You can technically just eat the leaves themselves, or if you prefer a more appealing way, dry the leaves and grind them into a powder to mix with water. You can then drink small sips of the water throughout the day.
Perhaps the most versatile herbal remedy in this list is lavender. Lavender is great for reducing both psychological stress and physical pain. As a fragrance, breathing in lavender will calm your senses and reduce any stress or anxiety that you feel. When you drink it as a tea, lavender will reduce the effects of an upset stomach and help banish bad breath.
Alternatively, you can use lavender topically on your skin to heal anything from burns to bites and stings to open lacerations. Harvest a sprig of the lavender and then rub it directly into the wound. You should feel some pain relief in a matter of seconds, and in ten to fifteen minutes, the pain from stings, bites, and burns should completely dissipate.
One of the more appealing attributes of lemon balm is how you can make your own ‘survival lemonade’ by mixing it with warm water. But when it comes to medicinal properties, the two best uses for lemon balm will be to prevent insomnia and to treat cold sores. Simply crush the leaves of the lemon balm after allowing them to dry in the sun and then hold them over the sore to begin treating it. When ingested lemon balm helps you to get a good night’s sleep and save up your energy for the following day.
Mint contains strong cooling properties, which makes it a perfect choice for reducing inflammation or sun/heat stroke. Since mint is only effective when it is in its prime, you should only harvest it right before the flowers bloom. Dry the leaves of the plant and store them in a cool and dry location until ready to use. To use blend the leaves in with other herbs and then place in hot water to make a tea to drink.
Best used when brewed in the form a tea; parsley provides a huge boost to your energy because it improves blood circulation. Parsley also helps to reduce insomnia and fatigue much like lemon balm can. If you ever find yourself exhausted at a critical time in a survival situation, drinking some parsley tea is one of the best strategies you can implement to give yourself that extra boost of energy you need.
What’s important to note is that it will begin to rot only a few days after you harvest it. Plan on using parsley immediately after harvesting to get the best effects. After harvesting cut the leaves from the stems. You can then discard the stems and use the leaves and water to make tea.
Peppermint has been used as a medicine for thousands of years, specifically in regards to fighting abdominal/bowel pain, vomiting, and nausea. It’s great for relieving headaches and for muscle pain when applied topically. Both the stems and leaves of the peppermint can be used as medicine. Simply consume it directly or brew it as a tea to receive its strong medicinal effects. In the wild, you can find peppermint in the summertime in wet and shaded areas.
Most people categorize plantain as a weed. Found in almost every lawn in the United States, plantain is not at all a herb you want to overlook when it comes to herbal remedies. If you’re ever bitten or stung by a snake, spider, bee, or scorpion, the leaves of plantain could be what saves your life or at least reduces the pain that you feel. Crush the leaves and mix them with a little water to form a paste-like substance. Apply it directly to where you were bitten or stung. You should feel relief within seconds.
As an alternative, you can also turn it into oil. Take some dried leaves and place them in a jar. Add any vegetable oil you have, and allow the combination to sit in the sun for at least two weeks. The oil should slowly turn into a dark green color. Strain the leaves from the oil, and apply the oil topically to the site of a bite or a wound for healing and pain relief.
Rosemary is an excellent herb for relieving headaches and soothing muscle pain. Its role as a headache reliever, in particular, has been common knowledge since the ancient times. As with many other herbs, rosemary is best when brewed as a tea. Simply take some harvested leaves and put them in water until the water becomes infused with the taste of the rosemary. You will not only see your headache gone but you’ll also feel relaxed. Soon enough, you’ll also begin to feel relief from pain in your back or shoulders.
Sage has two major healing benefits. It can help to stem the bleeding from open wounds and it can also help to relieve a sore throat or intense coughing. To treat open wounds, simply press the leaves of the sage against the wounds and tie it down with cordage or tape. Alternatively, you can mix it with water to create an oil and then use that oil mixture to wash a wound, a practice used by the Ancient Greek. For treating coughing or a sore throat, mix sage in with water and then drink.
In use since the Medieval Ages, thyme is a perennial herb that is one of Mother Nature’s strongest antiseptics. It can be pressed and held directly against open wounds to not only reduce pain and bleeding but to lower the risk of an infection as well. Thyme is found in most cooler areas in the northwestern regions of the United States.
A tough anti-inflammatory herb, turmeric is wealthy in curcumin, well-known for its pain relief properties. Turmeric is great to reduce the pain you feel from heartburn and arthritis, for example. Avoid taking large quantities of it at a time, as it can cause abdominal pain in those circumstances. You can take turmeric by consuming the roots directly, or by grinding it down into a powder and sprinkling it over a meal.
You can also pour powdered turmeric into your drinks. Include one teaspoon of powdered turmeric for every glass or cup of whatever beverage you have. Oral consumption is probably one of the best ways to directly access the anti-inflammatory and pain relief properties of the herb.
As with thyme, yarrow is a great herb for reducing the bleeding and preventing the risk of infection caused by open wounds. In use since the time of the Ancient Greeks, the dried leaves of yarrow should be crushed and then placed directly against the wounds to have the most positive effect. Throughout history, mixing yarrow with dried and crushed plantain leaves has been used to help relieve pain and stop infection.
The best time to harvest yarrow will be in the summer through the early fall in temperate climates. Pull the stalk from the ground and then allow it to dry. Afterward, strip the flowers from the stems and leaves. Use the dried leaves in hot water to make a tea, or press the leaves directly against an open wound for immediate pain relief. You can also help alleviate a headache by pressing the leaves directly against your temples.
These are ultimately only a small fraction of all the medicinal herbs found in the wilderness, but they are also the most versatile and easy-to-find ones. The specific herbs that you find or otherwise grow in your garden largely depend on climate and your location. Research each of these herbs and the environment required for each one before trying to grow them in your garden. If possible, try to grow at least two or three so that you have options on hand when needed.
While medicinal plants and herbs should not completely replace professional medical help, they can serve as viable alternatives in a situation where medical assistance is not available. In a grid down situation, especially where you’ll have to rely on what you have stockpiled or cultivated, these herbs could ultimately be what saves the life either of you or a family member.
The information in this article is provided “as is” and should not be mistaken for or be a substitute for medical advice. Always consult your physician before trying any of the advice presented on this page. Always seek the help of a professional when delivering a baby. Neither the author nor www.SurvivalSullivan.com or the company behind the website shall be held liable for any negative effects of you putting into practice the information in this article.