It starts out as numbness or tingling in your hands or feet.
Gradually, it turns into a prickly sensation.
Eventually, you feel sharp, burning pain that impairs your ability to walk, grasp objects, and perform other basic physical tasks.
Neuropathy pain typically comes on slowly, but it can destroy your quality of life.
Other types of chronic pain such as arthritis, back, and migraine pain may get more attention. But neuropathy is often even more debilitating. It afflicts 50 million Americans. And the number is increasing quickly.[i]
That’s because one of the main causes is diabetes. And as diabetes rates have grown in recent years, so have the number of people suffering from neuropathy. Lack of blood flow caused by diabetes kills nerves in the feet and hands, which triggers pain.[ii]
Mainstream medicine has no good answers for neuropathy pain. Conventional doctors typically prescribe painkillers, antidepressants, or anti-seizure medications. But these drugs are often ineffective, can be addictive, and have serious side effects.[iii]
Researchers have found there may be a natural solution that works better than drugs. Studies show that several essential oils relieve neuropathy pain.
Essential Oils That Ease Neuropathy Pain
- Chamomile. It contains the compound borneol. A study published in the European Journal of Pharmacology found that borneol consumed orally relieves neuropathic pain. The researchers concluded that the compound “could serve as a therapeutic for chronic pain.”[iv]
You can ingest borneol in chamomile tea. It’s fine to drink several cups a day.
- St. John’s wort. This herb is famous as a natural treatment for mild depression. But a case report found the essential oil of St. John’s wort relieves a type of facial neuropathy called trigeminal neuralgia.[v]
St, John’s wort is widely available as a supplement at health food stores and online.
- Ginger. Ginger oil contains zingibain. It’s an anti-inflammatory compound that may help reduce neuropathic pain. A study published in Complementary Therapies in Medicine found massage therapy using ginger oil relieves chronic back pain. It was more effective than massage without ginger oil.[vi]
- Peppermint. A case study from London’s National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery found that peppermint stopped an elderly woman’s neuropathy pain. She had gotten no relief from standard therapies. Topical peppermint oil got rid of the pain immediately. And the relief lasted for hours.[vii]
- A mixture of oils. Researchers from Louisiana State University recruited 120 subjects. All suffered from foot pain due to peripheral neuropathy. Scientists gave half of them a blend of lavender, geranium, bergamot, tea tree, and eucalyptus oils. The blend was topically applied. They gave the other half a placebo. Fifty-six subjects in the essential oils group had pain relief within a half hour. Only 26 of the placebo group had any pain relief.[viii]
Unlike drugs, there’s little risk in trying essential oils. They have few, if any, side effects. You can buy them online and at health food stores.
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