5 Powerful Herbal Remedies for Sciatica

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 08/31/2023

Sciatica can cause intense pain in the lower back, down the back of the leg, and even down to the foot. 

Surprisingly, there are several natural remedies with analgesic properties that can be beneficial if you’re suffering from sciatica.

Natural herbs are an incredibly effective tool in relieving sciatica pain. Let’s take a look at five powerful herbal remedies for sciatica. 

severe pain in lower back

Best herbs for sciatica 

Herbal remedies can be used as alternatives to NSAIDs and steroid medications. 

Whether you’re dealing with mild pain or severe pain, these five herbal remedies can alleviate pain naturally and effectively. 

1. Devil’s claw

Devil’s claw, also known as cat’s claw or harpagophytum, has very powerful pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties. Dr. Berg says, “It’s just as effective as Vioxx!”

In this study published by Phytotherapy Research, people suffering from arthritis and other rheumatic conditions saw reduced pain and improved quality of life after taking devil’s claw for eight weeks.

Many participants were even able to stop taking their pain medication. 

According to the study, “Harpagophytum is an effective and well-tolerated serious treatment option for mild to moderate degenerative rheumatic disorders providing improved quality of life measure.”

2. White willow

White willow bark extract contains salicin which blocks the enzymes that cause pain. It is one of the best natural Cox-2 inhibitors. In fact, aspirin is formulated from the extract of white willow. 

One study published in Phytotherapy Research found that white willow bark extract had a potent effect on inflammatory mediators, which helps to reduce pain and inflammation. White willow bark has pain-relieving properties similar to aspirin and other NSAIDs without any of the negative side effects. 

Turmeric powder

3. Turmeric

Turmeric has potent pain-relieving properties and numerous health benefits. Turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory and can increase antioxidant networks in the body. It supports healthy blood pressure levels and the health of the brain and nervous system.

Turmeric can help relieve sciatica pain by reducing inflammation and is not associated with any negative side effects.

4. Ginger

Ginger is rich in a compound known as gingerol, which works similarly to medical pain relievers. Ginger can help with any stomach-related issues. Ginger is good for stomach pain, bloating, gas, acid reflux, or nausea. 

Ginger shots are a great way to incorporate ginger into your diet for quick relief from the symptoms of sciatica. 

5. Garlic

Garlic contains a compound called allicin. Allicin has powerful anti-inflammatory properties and can be incredibly beneficial in improving rheumatic pain. Garlic is also an antimicrobial, so it supports the immune system in fighting off viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites.  

Watch the video below to learn more about the natural remedies that can help improve the painful conditions associated with sciatica.

What is sciatica?

The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body. It originates in the lumbar spine and travels down the back of the leg down to the foot. You have two sciatic nerves—the left sciatic nerve and the right sciatic nerve. 

Sciatica is pain that travels along the sciatic nerve, from your lower back and down the back of the affected leg. Sciatic pain can cause leg pain, hip pain, chronic back pain, and foot pain. Other symptoms of sciatica include numbness, tingling, and weakness. 

Sciatica can be especially problematic if you have to sit for long periods of time at a sedentary job or on a long drive. Sciatic pain can last for several days or several weeks.

There is a simple test called the “straight leg raiser test” that can determine if the pain you’re experiencing is due to sciatica. While lying on your back, have someone raise your leg around 30 to 70 degrees while keeping your leg straight. If you feel pain during this test, it’s likely that you have sciatica.

sciatic nerves

What causes sciatica?

Sciatica occurs when the sciatic nerve is irritated. The majority of the time, sciatica is caused by a disc problem. Part of the disc or the soft tissue around the disc protrudes into the nerve root, causing pain and inflammation. Sciatica can also be caused by issues with the curvature of the lower back. 

Sometimes, overconsumption of omega-6 fatty acids can lead to nerve pain and inflammation, especially with the sciatic nerve. Vegetable oils and industrial seed oils are very high in omega-6 fatty acids and low in omega-3 acids. 

Typically, our diet should be high in omega-3s and low in omega-6s, not the other way around. 

Compounds known as oxidized metabolites of linoleic acid (OXLAMs) are the result of oxidized omega-6 fatty acids. They can cause inflammatory conditions in the nervous system and other parts of the body. 

Can sciatica be reversed?

Anti-inflammatory herbs and remedies, stretches, massage therapy, and dietary changes can all effectively improve sciatica. Not only is it possible to relieve pain naturally, but you can also effectively reverse sciatica for good. 

Lying on a lumbar foam support can help restore the curve in your lower back, stopping sciatica pain quickly. Even when you’re no longer experiencing sciatica pain in the affected area, continuing to use the foam support can prevent sciatica from coming back. 

Severe or persistent sciatica pain may be a sign of an underlying health condition. If you have sciatic pain, consult with a healthcare professional to diagnose the root cause and create an appropriate treatment plan. 

Other sciatica remedies

A deficiency in vitamin B2, also known as riboflavin, is another common cause of sciatica pain. Food sources of vitamin B2 include liver, beef, clams, mushrooms, nuts, cheese, eggs, and green vegetables. 

Vitamin B12, B6, and B1 also play an important role in the production of the myelin sheath and are vital to the health of your nerves and nervous system.

Benfotiamine is a fat-soluble form of vitamin B1. It has been shown to be very helpful for people with peripheral neuropathy, so it can be helpful if you’re experiencing symptoms of sciatica. 

If you have sciatica, taking a quality vitamin B complex can be very beneficial. 

Bergamot essential oil has been shown to be an effective remedy for sciatic pain too!

You can also try these simple stretches for quick relief. 

treating sciatica

Key takeaways

Sciatica can be painful, but there are many things you can do to improve your condition. Herbal remedies can help improve sciatica pain, while stretches and dietary changes can help reverse the condition for good. 

Physical therapy, cold compresses, and gentle massage can all help improve blood flow to the area and reduce pain. Focusing on improving the curvature of your lower back can provide you with lasting pain relief. 


1. Can herbal remedies help with sciatic nerve pain?

Absolutely! Herbal remedies like devil’s claw, white willow, turmeric, garlic, and ginger can all effectively provide relief from sciatica nerve pain. These natural remedies help to reduce pain and inflammation safely, naturally, and with minimal side effects. 

2. What is the best herb for nerve pain?

Devil’s claw is one of the most effective natural remedies for nerve pain. Many people have been able to effectively replace their pain medications with devil’s claw. 

3. Does ashwagandha help with sciatica?

Yes, ashwagandha is very beneficial for inflammation, so it can potentially improve the pain associated with sciatica. Ashwagandha is also an adaptogen, so it helps your body adapt to stress. 

4. What is the best natural remedy for sciatic nerve pain?  

Devil’s claw, white willow, turmeric, ginger, and garlic can all effectively relieve sciatic nerve pain. Using a foam support to help restore natural curvature in the lower back is also very effective.

5. What is the fastest way to fix sciatic nerve pain? 

There are several natural remedies that can provide relief from sciatic nerve pain. An herbal remedy like devil’s claw or white willow bark can provide pain relief fast. Stretches to improve sciatica and massage therapy can also provide quick relief.  

6. What is sciatica?

Sciatica is a condition in which irritation to the sciatic nerve causes lower back pain, hip pain, and pain down the back of the leg into the bottom of the foot. Numbness, tingling, and weakness can also be signs of sciatica. Sitting for extended periods of time can exacerbate sciatica pain. 

If you are experiencing neck pain, your pain may be nerve-related but not due to sciatic nerve pain. 

7. What causes sciatica?

Most of the time, sciatica is due to a disc that protrudes into the nerve root, causing irritation. A sedentary lifestyle can also cause sciatica due to the loss of curvature in the lower back. Sometimes, inflammation due to a high intake of omega-6 fatty acids can cause sciatic nerve pain. Vitamin deficiencies can also cause sciatica symptoms.

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