Medicinal herbs in the treatment of neuropathic pain: a review

Iran J Basic Med Sci. 2018 Apr;21(4):347-358. doi: 10.22038/IJBMS.2018.24026.6021.


Chronic neuropathic pain is a common significant and debilitating problem that presents a major challenge to health-care. Despite the large number of available drugs, there are no curative conventional treatments for neuropathic pain. Nowadays, more attention has been focused on the herbal formulation in the field of drug discovery. Therefore, we performed an extensive review about herbal drugs and plants that exhibited protective effects on neuropathic pain. In this review, the beneficial effects of each plant in different neuropathic pain model, either in animals or in patients are reported. Moreover, the possible involved mechanisms for the protective effects are discussed. The more common plants which are used for the treatment of neuropathic pain are included as: Acorus calamus, Artemisia dracunculus, Butea monosperma, Citrullus colocynthis, Curcuma longa, Crocus sativus, Elaeagnus angustifolia, Ginkgo biloba, Mitragyna speciosa, Momordica charantia, Nigella sativa, Ocimum sanctum, Phyllanthus amarus, Pterodon pubescens Benth, Rubia cordifolia and Salvia officinalis. Furthermore, the most pathways which are known to be involved in pain relief by means of herbal remedies are anti-oxidant activity, anti-inflammatory, anti-apoptotic, neuroprotective and calcium inhibitory actions. In conclusion, this review suggests that some herbal plants can be suitable candidates for the treatment of neuropathic pain.

Keywords: Analgesic; Antinociceptive; Chronic pain; Herbal medicine Neuropathic pain.

Publication types

  • Review