Analgesic substances reduce pain in a variety of ways: as a local anesthetic or anti-nociceptive, and also via the nervous system. The menthol constituent in peppermint has shown topical anti-nociceptive activity, lavender aromatherapy has shown to calm nerves after surgery to help reduce pain, and comfrey has been used for centuries as an anti-inflammatory and pain reductive folk remedy. Depending on what type of bodily tissue is experiencing pain, differing pain reducing substances and routes may be more effective.
Essential oil constituents with an analgesic activity are reviewed. Included are p-cymene, carvacrol, linalool, eugenol, menthol, alpha-bisabolol, cinnamaldehyde, citronellal, citronellol, citronellyl acetate, alpha-phelandrene, alpha-terpeneol, vanillin, borneol, myrtenol, pulegone, citral, thymol, limonene, nerol, anethole, nerolidol, carvone, farnesol, and beta-caryphyllene. From: Lima, T., da Nóbrega, F., de Brito, A., & de Sousa, D. (2017). Analgesic-like activity of essential oil constituents: an update. International journal of molecular sciences, 18(12), 2392.
ELDER / ELDERBERRY
LEMONGRASS / MYRCENE
PEPPERMINT / SPEARMINT / MENTHOL
In 22 patients with chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy, application of 1% menthol twice a day for 6 weeks. Side effects were minimal and most of the patients experienced improved function and reduced pain. From: Storey, D. J., Colvin, L. A., Scott, A. C., Boyle, D., Green, L., Jones, A. P., & Fallon, M. T. (2010). Treatment of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) with topical menthol: A phase I study. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 28(15_suppl), 9129-9129.
THYMOL / THYME
Compiled by: Kathy Sadowski
Last updated: 10/31/19