Negating Neuralgia

Neuralgia is a medical term that defines any pain originating from a nerve. Most often manifesting as a stabbing, sharp or burning pain. A lot of pain is ‘referred’ and this is more than true with neuralgia – meaning while you experience it in your foot its source may be back at a trapped nerve in your vertebrae – as with sciatica.

Trigeminal neuralgia affects one side of the face often triggered by a blood vessel pressing down on the trigeminal nerve. Glossopharyngeal neuralgia can strike not only the throat and tongue but be ‘referred’ to the ear or neck – occasioned by pressure or injury to the glossopharyngeal nerve.

Analgesics help but the emphasis should be on nerve health. When it comes to nervine herbs there are two paths – and both get you there – firstly nervine tonics aka trophorestoratives which build up nerve health and function and secondly Nervine relaxants that soothe nerve endings and calm signalling.

Garden treatments. Gamma linoleic acid (GLA) is an anti-inflammatory agent that also helps with pain sensitivity and pain perception – it is in borage oil, and evening primrose oil. Mint in culinary terms suppresses neuralgia but also in topical rubs can lessen pain signals by disrupting perception with their cool sensations. Analgesic herbs such as Lavender, rosemary, eucalyptus and chamomile in essential oil or sun infused oil form can also be beneficial in topical applications. Meadowsweet tea is pain relieving.

Potent nervine tonic herbs include borage and St john’s wort while relaxants (some also are adaptogens so there is extra benefit by their lowering of stress levels) include lavender, lemon balm, chamomile, hops, skullcap and passionflower. Lemon balm is particular effective for neuralgia.

Kitchen support. Eating chilies depletes substance p- the signal system of pain. Celery has phytochemicals that soothe neuralgic pain signals – so as you like – soup, juiced, braised or Waldorf salad. Oats are nervine. Dairy and other foods with calcium and magnesium can relax effected muscle and take the pressure off nerve endings. B-vitamins especially b1, b2 and biotin support nerve function and are nervine in nature – oats.

Mushrooms, avocados, sunflower seeds, Swiss chard all with good supply. Almonds , berries and bananas not only have biotin but analgesic/sedative properties. Vitamin e from avocados, seeds, nuts, whole grains and vegetable oils (particularly wheat-germ and sunflower oil) is essential for nerve health and recovery. Omega 3 oils are involved in the manufacture/process of GLA – great for nerve health and also to alleviate your pain.

GLA-D tidings sweet chili sauce (with GLA and vit d)
For pain relief and mood elevation

100g of chillies (mild to medium is good for this, but if you like it hot go for it)
420g sugar
10fl oz red wine vinegar
2 red bell peppers
1 large tomato
4 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoons of grated ginger
2 leaves of lemon balm
2 tablespoons of borage oil (or 3 of evening primrose oil).
2 table spoons of honey
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1tablespon of coconut oil

Method. Half and deseed bell peppers – grease with olive oil and cook on a high heat until skin charcoals and can be removed. Meantime grate ginger, deseed tomato and roughly chop, slice and deseed chilies, deskin garlic and roughly chop and shred lemon balm – bring all of these to a boil in the vinegar and salt and simmer for 10minutes. Add a dash of water if required. Add the sugar, stil until it dissolves. Add a dash of water if required. Remove skins from bell pepper – roughly chop and add to blender, pour the cooked chilli mix into blender and puree. Finally add borage oil and the coconut oil and pulse again. Decant to storage contains and enjoy. Keeps best in fridge – a week plus – but won’t last that long once you have it on chips or some suitably healthy alternative

my books related to topic
• some of the information here comes courtesy of
• for mindful techniques to swich off pain and stress try

About The Holistic Gardener

author of wellness books, columnist, keynote speaker.
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