The Best Herbal Remedy for Pain

Considered to be the best herbal remedy for pain has been used for centuries. Cayenne ointment has been clinically proven to help relieve the pain from many ailments.

Here we find one of the many paradoxes regarding cayenne.  It seems to cause pain when you eat it or rub it on the skin.  Yet, it actually reduces pain by depleting the nerve endings of Substance P (for pain).[37]  Researchers also find that capsaicin has some mysterious effect on calcium levels in the nerve endings.[38]  Up to 20% of the adult population (50 million Americans) suffer from chronic pain, while half of them are inadequately treated.[39]

Cayenne ointment has been clinically proven to help relieve the pain of:

  • shingles (herpes zoster, or postherpetic neuralgia)
  • skin diseases
  • psoriasis (red scaly lesions on the skin)
  • pruritus (itching)
  • peripheral neuropathy
  • fibromyalgia, which is an arthritis-like condition from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.[40]
  • post-mastectomy pain
  • stump pain from amputation
  • trigeminal neuralgia
  • skin cancer

Axsain, Arthri-Gel (GeroVita International 800-406-1314) and Zostrix are capsaicin ointments that are available over-the-counter.  Pain relief usually begins after several days of using these ointments.

Researchers have discovered a “mother lode” of healing possibilities in nitric oxide, a substance found throughout the body regulating everything from nerve conduction to the immune system.  Capsaicin apparently affects nitric oxide levels.

Patients who undergo a mastectomy for breast cancer often suffer with pain in the surgical region.  Capsaicin creme applied 3 times daily for 2 months produced improvements in post-mastectomy pain syndrome in 68% of the patients.[41]

pain relief and cayenne pepper getting healthier

There is a condition called trigeminal neuralgia, which involves a stabbing pain in the facial region.  Topical capsaicin used three times daily provided complete relief of the pain in half (6 of 12) of the subjects and partial relief in a third (4 of 12) of the subjects for an 83% response rate with no addictions, side effects or long term toxicities.[42]

When Substance P is allowed to run amuck, for those willing to tolerate the pain, it can eventually contribute to erosion of the joint endings and result in osteoarthritis.  Chronic pain is not something to be endured, since it can lead to even more disabling joint conditions.  Capsaicin ointment has become the “drug of choice” to treat many forms of pain, including peripheral neuropathy (tingling numbness in the extremities), local stump pain (from amputation), hyperalgesia (extreme sensitivity to pain response), pain from skin cancer and more.


Cluster headaches are common and can last up to 3 days for some unfortunate people.  Medication for this condition usually centers around heavy narcotics which can make the patient drowsy.  Cayenne may be the drug of choice for these people.  Cluster headaches were treated by applying a topical capsaicin ointment to the inside of the sinuses.  This should only been done under medical supervision.  After 30 days of this treatment, 70% of the patients reported improvement in their cluster headaches.[20]  In a separate study, patients who suffered from chronic cluster headaches were instructed to apply the capsaicin ointment (Zostrix, etc.) to the temples.  This method provided freedom from pain on the days that the capsaicin ointment was used.  Capsaicin apparently raised the temperature at the temple region of the head, which normally experiences a heat loss during these types of headaches.  Care should be taken to keep this ointment away from the eyes to prevent stinging.


This is a pain of a severe throbbing or stabbing nature and can be found anywhere in the body.


The earliest report in the medical literature for therapeutic uses of hot peppers comes from an 1850 report in an Irish medical journal which used 1-2 drops of hot pepper extract applied to a cotton swab and then to the toothache gum region.[52]  Since capsaicin is easily dissolved in alcohol, one way to make this toothache tincture is to blend 2 capsules of 40,000 heat unit cayenne powder in 4 ounces of gin.  Let sit for a day.  Strain.  Apply a few drops of this tincture to the toothache region.

Dr. Patrick Quillin

Dr. Patrick Quillin, PhD,RD,CNS is an internationally recognized expert in the area of nutrition and health. He has 30 years experience as a clinical nutritionist, of which 10 years were spent as the Vice President for a leading cancer hospital system where he worked with thousands of cancer patients in a hospital setting. He is a Best Selling Author with 18 books which have sold over 2,000,000 copies and also a Keynote Speaker.

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