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Plant based topical pain medicines. Do they really work for severe pain conditions?

Natural pain balm for severe pain

Natural pain balm for severe pain

Pain is typically associated with inflammation of cells and swelling. Pathways for pain reduction is to first rapidly reduce pain by blocking pain signals to the brain and sustaining it with a healing process to reduce inflammation and swelling.

Naturally occurring plant material has several Phyto (plant) chemicals such as Polyphenols. As their name suggests, these compounds are distinct in having several phenol groups. Polyphenols thus include simple phenols, coumarins, flavonoids, anthocyanins, lignans, etc. Several studies have shown that these compounds when extracted and processed in the correct way, have huge benefits in pain management (reduction of inflammation and swelling).

The flavonoids are plant-based antioxidants, and tannins may help to reduce inflammation. In recent years, the derivatives synthesized from natural products have been found to possess huge biological activities. Currently, world-reputed organizations have taken interest in drug discovery, particularly of natural origin.

One such natural ingredient is Eugenol. Eugenol is interesting naturally occurring phenolic monoterpene belonging to the phenylpropanoids group, having versatile actions against a vast range of pharmacological activities has been well-researched which include antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic. In fact, some studies comparing clove essential oils with benzocaine as topical anesthetics have observed no significant difference regarding pain scores.

Another very important and well-studied naturally occurring compound is Camphor. It is commonly applied as a topical medication as a skin cream or ointment to relieve itching from insect bites, minor skin irritation, or joint pain. It is absorbed in the skin epidermis, where it stimulates nerve endings sensitive to heat and cold, producing a warm sensation when vigorously applied, or a cool sensation when applied gently. The action on nerve endings also induces slight local analgesia.

Camphor (Cinnamomum camphora) is a terpene (organic compound) that can be used topically to relieve pain. Camphor has also been shown trusted source to have anti-inflammatory effects in animal models that are useful in treating arthritis. Camphor was used in ancient Sumatra to treat sprains, swellings, and inflammation. Camphor also was used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine for various purposes.

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