Okay, I’m about to start this article with a very microcosmic example of a much larger medical solution.
A couple of weeks ago, I was following Ray Charles’ lead and taking the midnight train (i.e. my car) to Georgia for a family trip. Unfortunately, Georgia wasn’t exactly on my mind.
Instead, I spent about eight hours of my drive thinking almost exclusively about how god-awful itchy my six huge mosquito bites were.
Best of all, I had somehow failed to pack any anti-itch cream. So, in the dead of darkness, I was hitting up any all-night gas station and truck stop I could in search of something to help. After probably my third attempt, an angel came to assist my poor, itchy, frazzled self.
It was a cashier.
She said, “Follow me, my daughter. I shall show you the way.” And trumpets blared and the heavens sang as she led me to what I was searching for so frantically—the rubbing alcohol.
…Yeah, not what I was expecting either…
The cashier sensed my lack of faith and assured me that rubbing alcohol works wonders on getting rid of an itch.
You know what? The devil can take me if she wasn’t right.
Here’s what we should all take away from this:
- Mosquito bites suck (literally and figuratively)
- Truck stop attendents know their biz
- Never turn down advice on a good home remedy
Which brings us to the real topic of the day: home remedies for trigeminal neuralgia (TN).
TN is a pain condition—a serious one. I’m sure that, if I had a mosquito bite on every speck of skin on my face, the itchiness wouldn’t come close to comparing to the burning, shocking, random pains that TN causes those diagnosed with it.
The pain tends to congregate in the lips, eyes, jaw, and forehead—following the trajectory of the trigeminal nerve—and can last for seconds or minutes, or it can even be constant.
Treatment exists, but sometimes that is just not enough.
If you or someone you know is in that situation, there are fortunately some home remedies you can try (rubbing alcohol is not one of them):
A good source of relief, you can easily find this at online pharmacies or health food stores, but be sure to work with a licensed professional to get the best effects.
- Cayenne Pepper
One of my favorite spices for cooking can also be a favorite for TN pain. Buy it as a cream (called capsaicin) or apply it yourself when stirred up with olive oli.
- Chinese Herbs
The herbs in question are Shao Yao Gan Cao Yang, Qing Shang Juan Tong Tang, and Xue Fu Zhu Yu Tang. Like spegalia, you can pick these up on your own, but we recommend contacting someone “in the know” about how to use them.
Each of these remedies can do wonders for TN and are a great complement to traditional treatment.
You can read more about where to get these remedies and what kinds of TN pain they address by checking out this article.