Eons before big pharma weaselled its way into our lives through indoctrination and power, the majority of medicines that we take for granted today were simply grown by the likes of you and me. Yes, you heard that right, we used to be able to heal ourselves safely and know the exact ingredients and effect. The best part about it is, is that we still can and for next to no cost. Natural anesthetic anyone?
In this post, we’ll cover some basic plants, herbs and spices that you can use as a natural anesthetic or pain relief. Of course, you need to know what to use and how to use them to unlock their full potential. However, just because they are provided to us by mother nature, doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t use them with caution. It is definitely recommend that some of these dry ingredients should be added to your bug out bag list!
What Is a Natural Anesthetic?
An anesthetic is a drug or substance used to aid the reversible loss of sensation, consciousnesses or awareness in a specific region or regions of the body. Such drugs or substances are used in but not limited to medical procedures and/or healthcare.
As mentioned, drugs and substances aren’t the only way that we can create a natural anesthetic effect. Plants and herbs can work the exact same way except for the strength that the natural way can produce may vary. Believe it or not, cocaine was the first natural substance to be introduced into medicine as a local anesthetic. The local anesthetic effect of the compound occurs naturally from the leaves of the south American coca plant. You learn something new everyday!
As a general warning, it’s recommended that you Use all herbal supplements with extreme caution in children <2 years of age and in pregnancy or lactation. It is also advised that you observe warnings. It is equally important to know that these herbal medications have potential interactions other drugs the patient might receive as part of treatments.
What Are different Types of Natural Anesthetic?
When it comes to anesthetics in general, there are 3 main categories in the medicine world. Local, Regional and General. These types are invasive and need strict professionals watching over to make sure they are administered correctly.
- Local – Is able to numb one small area of the body. You stay awake and alert.
- Regional – Can block pain in a specific area of the body, such as an arm or leg. A common type is epidural anesthesia, which is often used during childbirth. Of course, this blocks pain in the back region of the mother giving birth.
- General – Is used to make someone unconscious.
On the other hand, a natural anesthetic is better placed in 2 main types due to the nature of use. Those being, topical and internal.
- Topical anesthetics are generally applied directly on your skin. You would usually treat problems such as rashes, burns, cuts and toothaches with topical anesthetics. You may even want to apply in anticipation of pain.
- Internal anesthetics are ingested and work from the inside out They are used to treat conditions such as general pain, headaches and muscle aches.
Reasons for Using a Natural Anesthetic
Pain Relief by Numbing Of the Skin
The main causes of pain that you might want to numb your skin temporarily include:
- Sunburn – This is a common issue with those who are overexposed to the sun’s UV rays.
- Dermatitis – Another common skin issue that causes your skin to become irritated and inflamed. It’s generally caused by coming in contact with certain substances that can produce allergic reactions and irritation.
- Skin injury – A 3rd example is where your skin becomes injured or damaged mainly on the outside. More when no penetration occurs or no blood appears.
Numbing Of the Skin in Anticipation of Pain
Reasons you may need to temporarily numb your skin in anticipation of pain are:
- Some of the more uncomfortable cosmetic procedures like hair removal/waxing, ear piercing and tattooing to name a few.
- Specific medical procedures like having stitches applied very close to a wound, and you may choose to pre-numb body parts before undergoing skin surface type procedures such as dermabrasion.
Top 5 Natural Anesthetic Plants, Herbs and Spices
Cloves/Cloves Oil – Cloves or more so the oil/gel produced from cloves are a potent natural anesthetic for various dental procedures including general toothaches. The gel substance can be dabbed onto the affected area. Keep in mind that it’s not a cure, it’s a natural anesthetic so it will ONLY numb the pain. Adding to that, too much undiluted clove oil can cause pain to your gums so make sure you discuss this method with your dentist before self-medicating this way.
Another great use for cloves is to help heal canker sores (ulcers). Not only that but it can be used as a counter ointment to help relieve burning and/or itching from dry skin conditions, poison oak and poison ivy. This wonder spice works similar to benzocaine and can also be found in capsule or powder form.
Cayenne Pepper – Cayenne pepper is actually quite a decent topical natural anesthetic. Topical you say? Nothing like removing pain with something seemingly hot on the skin. Well funnily enough, it is in fact true. Peppers contain a chemical called capsaicin which makes them have that hot effect. But, they release a substance called Substance P when used topically. This chemical is what carries messages regarding pain from your nervous system to your brain.
Furthermore, cayenne also has salicylates, which is exact same compounds that can be found in aspirin. One of the easiest ways to use cayenne pepper as a natural anesthetic is to make a gel or cream by using coconut oil or another natural base and mixing the two. You can then apply it to your skin. It will feel hot to begin but after a few minutes, you’re relief will begin.
Valerian – The Valerian root is a plant known to have a natural anesthetic effect which helps ease pain from menstrual cramps and sore joints/muscles. It also acts as a potent pain reliever for tension headaches and stomach upset.
Turmeric – The turmeric plant has an extremely long medicinal use history, 4000 years to be precise! It must be ticking a few boxes to still be in use today. It’s commonly used in cooking in the South Asia region, predominantly India but it’s medicinal use is outstanding to say the least. It’s anti-oxidant abilities are another great reason to add it to your kitchen as a staple plant.
Studies have shown that it can be as effective as ibuprofen to help dampen joint pain. It is also used as a natural anesthetic when ingested to alleviate pain from digestive disorders, jaundice, menstrual difficulties, and colic.
Lavender – Lavender isn’t just a one trick pony. It looks good, it smells good and best of all, it’s healing capabilities are highly rated to boot. This plant can be used as a topical natural anesthetic as well as a sedative. Another plus is that it is safe to also use on your pets.
There are multiple ways you can use lavender for pain relief. Most commonly, you can make up a batch of salve that can be used to rub into an affected area to ease the pain. The salve can also help to treat cuts and scrapes as well as it helps prevent bleeding and scarring.
Another popular method is to use lavender as an essential oil, this is more used as a relaxant or to help treat insomnia.
Most of these herbs and plants can be simply cut away with a small knife and used as necessary.
Some Other Honorable Mentions That Are Non-Herbal Include:
- Ice – You can always use a trusty ice pack or cold compress. This method can numb the pain of most minor injuries, sunburn, and a few other conditions. Ice can also numb your skin prior to a procedure such as an ear piercing.
- Patting – Patting may seem a bit silly but it is actually quite effective. The method includes patting your skin sharply a few times sporadically which can enable you to have a very short-lived numbing effect.
Again, these 2 options are honorable mentions and are more suited to those without access to a plentiful garden or local herbalist.
At the end of the day, we were given plants, herbs and spices for a reason. The more we learn about the power of the natural anesthetic, the more we don’t need to rely on big pharma to keep making their big dollars that thrive on the weak. Of course some medicine is needed but living from the land is proof that they are not our only source. If you have tried any other form of natural anesthetic with great success, please let us know in the comments so we can test it and add it to the list!