Some people say trigeminal neuralgia creates such a tortuous pain, it makes them suicidal. The trigeminal nerve is the main nerve controlling sensation in the face. Trigeminal neuralgia occurs on one side of the face manifesting as excruciating, intermittent pain in the cheek, gums, chin or lips. Onset is usually sudden, unexpected and the pain impacts the individual’s daily life and activities profoundly. Conventional medical treatments are available, but none is guaranteed. Most involve taking analgesic-type drugs and often create unacceptable side effects. Certain natural home remedies offer hope for pain relief and management; but there is no known cure. Speak to your natural healthcare practitioner before initiating any unfamiliar herbal treatments for trigeminal neuralgia.
The homeopathic remedy Spegelia has been used for years by homeopaths to treat the effects of trigeminal neuralgia and prospalgia of the face. The remedy relieves pain in the cheeks, upper gums, chin, nose and eyes. It is helpful for pain on either side of the face but is particularly suited to pains on the left side. The patient may feel chilly and be extremely sensitive to touch during an attack. Spegelia is available at some health food stores and from online homeopathic pharmacies. This remedy should be used under the guidance of a qualified homeopathic practitioner.
Capsicum or cayenne pepper, provides another option for relief of pain from trigeminal neuralgia. Capsaicin cream, a commercial product, is available for purchase in pharmacies. Alternatively, you can make your own capsicum ointment by combining a tiny pinch of cayenne pepper mixed with olive oil and coconut oil; or, add a tiny pinch to any high quality, unscented facial cream and apply to the painful area. Be careful not to get it too near your eyes. Capsicum in all forms may produce hypersensitivity of the skin and the affected nerve. Discontinue use if this occurs. People who bleed easily should avoid using cayenne pepper.
Several Chinese herbs provide pain relief for those suffering from trigeminal neuralgia, according to the TCM Assistant website. Shao Yao Gan Cao Tang, a peony and licorice combination is useful for calming spasmodic, sudden pains. Qing Shang Juan Tong Tang helps relieve head pain in general, including facial pains. Xue Fu Zhu Yu Tang helps to unblock trapped energy channels, increasing blood flow to the painful area. Chinese herbs are available from Chinese medicine practitioners and acupuncturists, who include herbal medicine in their practices. They are also sold at herbal shops selling traditional Chinese medicines. Side effects may occur from the use of these herbs and guidance from a qualified practitioner or Doctor of Oriental Medicine is recommended.
Dimethyl sulfoxide, or DMSO, is a wildly controversial by-product of the wood industry which was first used in the early 1950’s as a solvent. There have been over 40,000 scientific articles written about its properties and powerful medicinal effects, according to Stanley Jacob, M.D., of the Oregon Health Sciences University. Additionally more than 125 countries around the world have been investigating its use as a pain killer and anti-inflammatory for ailments ranging from arthritis to gout, scleroderma, interstitial cystitis and fibromyalgia.
DMSO is a colorless liquid and a potent pain killer that may bring relief from the pain of trigeminal neuralgia. It’s best used in either a 50 percent or 70 percent dilution with either distilled water or mixed with expeller pressed organic coconut oil. Apply topically to the face for pain treatment. It may cause slight itching at the site of application, which disappears after a few minutes. DMSO has an odor reminiscent of garlic, which is sometimes tasted on the tongue immediately after a topical application. This is normal and goes away after a minute or two.
“Materia Medica and Repertory”; William Boericke, 1987
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