Can't Tolerate Prescription Pain Relievers? Try These Plant-Based Treatments

16 October 2020
 Categories: , Blog

Prescription pain relievers can do wonders for some people, but for others, they can cause alarming side effects like digestive distress and depression. If you have not reacted well to prescription pain relievers, this does not mean you have to sit around in pain. There are some plant-based treatments that tend to work well for people in the same situation. 

Willow Bark

Willow bark has been used by various cultures for centuries. It contains a compound that is similar to aspirin, and it is known to help relieve both pain and inflammation. Even in China, it has long been used to treat headaches, tendinitis, and lower back pain. It can even be effective at calming arthritis pain. 

You can find willow bark capsules at some pharmacies and health food shops, but people often brew the bark into a tea, too. Take a strip of dried willow bark, put it in a mug, and pour boiling water over it. Let it steep for 10 minutes, and stir in a little raw honey for sweetness. Sip this throughout the day for lasting pain relief.


Cloves are another pain-relieving plant product. They are effective when used topically to alleviate pain from a toothache or other superficial problems. You can just mix some ground cloves with a little olive oil, and smear the mixture on the painful area. 

Taking clove oil orally can also help ease more systemic pain, such as pain caused by arthritis or a tendon injury. It's best to take the lowest dose possible that is still effective for you, as clove oil can sometimes cause nausea at higher doses. Mix two or three drops with an equal amount of olive oil, and swallow it. If you don't experience relief within a half-hour, take 2 - 3 more drops.


Turmeric is another plant-based pain reliever than many people actually have in their spice cabinets already. It is a bright yellow powder that is especially good at relieving joint pain and muscle soreness. Many people with fibromyalgia also find that it helps ease their body aches and stiffness. You can simply swallow a teaspoon of turmeric with some water, although buying turmeric capsules from a health food store might be easier.

If you don't tolerate prescription pain relievers well, talk to your doctor about switching to one of these plant-based alternatives. They work well for many patients with an array of pain-causing conditions. For more information about pain management treatments, contact a local physician.