Plant products that can ease pain

The opium plant gave rise to codeine and morphine, and acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin) was originally isolated from the white willow bark used for thousands of years by the Egyptians and Greeks as an antipyretic and for analgesia and rheumatism. 1,2

A Cochrane review (2006) identified 10 randomised control trials and found the herbs Salix alba (white willow bark), Harpagophytum procumbens (Devil’s claw) and topical Capsicum frutescens (cayenne) were effective in reducing pain and the need for rescue medication