More and more people have found that using herbal painkillers has fewer side effects and long-term risks than traditional medicines. Research has shown that some herbal medicines not only help relieve chronic pain, but also can attack some of the underlying causes of the pain. One of the most common herbal medicines is white willow bark. It has been used for centuries to relieve chronic pain. It can help reduce acute or chronic pain in the back, joints, teeth, and head. Other herbs used to fight pain include feverfew, ginger, cat’s claw, cayenne, eucalyptus, aloe vera, lobelia, neem, yellow dock, passion flower, hops, and wood betony. Herbs technically are drugs and should be treated as such. Some can produce side effects and carry risks when not taken responsibly. It is always important to consult with your doctor and pharmacist before taking any herbal preparations since they can have reactions with your other medications. Also, many herbal preparations are made with an alcohol base. These should not be taken by someone in recovery. Always make sure you read labels for warnings and ingredients and seek professional advice before taking herbal products. This blog post is an excerpt from Pain Recovery – How to Find Balance and Reduce Suffering from Chronic Pain by Mel Pohl, MD, FASAM, Frank Szabo, LADC, Daniel Shiode, PhD, Robert Hunter, PhD; Published by Central Recovery Press (CRP).