The same herbs used for all types of pain, including earache, are the same herbs used to treat insomnia. Passion flower is one example.

In herbal medicine, herbal remedies that treat pain of any kind including earache are also used to treat insomnia. Herbs that relax and relieve pain are the same herbs that help you relax enough to fall asleep. People with mild or chronic pain need help besides opioids -- which are addictive and hard to come by with changing laws and government regulations making doctors afraid to write prescriptions. People with insomnia also need something besides sleeping pills and alcohol. Whether suffering from pain or insomnia, there are pain reducing and sleep inducing medicinal herbs that can really help -- especially when used in the right combinations and dosages. Everyone is different and finding the right ingredients can take some trial and error. Keep reading for some easy to follow directions and tips for treating pain and insomnia with herbal remedies.

Woman with insomnia needs herbal tea and a massage.
© Phil Date | Dreamstime Stock Photos

This woman needs a cup of strong wild lettuce and bee balm tea or a dose of passion flower tincture so that she can get some sleep.

Severe pain requires a trip to the emergency room!

Pain that comes on suddenly or that keeps on and on or pain that is severe requires a trip to the emergency room! Pain is a signal that something is wrong -- and literally can't be ignored. This article is not for people with serious wounds, chest pain, sharp pain in the abdomen, or any other pain that could be life threatening if left untreated. It is for people with occasional mild to moderate headaches, earaches, muscle aches, toothaches, joint pain, sprains, and other everyday conditions. Insomnia is also included in this article since the same herbs that help pain, help to bring on restful sleep. Headache and migraines have a page to themselves. Read more about herbal remedies for headache pain.

People with insomnia have trouble falling asleep.

They may also wake up after only a few hours then can't go back to sleep.

The causes of insomnia can be medical, psychological, dietary, drug related, or environmental (including things like loud noise, excessive heat, and high humidity). Insomnia can also be caused by pain, worry, or fear.

Insomnia is a sleeping disorder that can be treated with herbal medicine.

Insomnia is a sleeping disorder associated with arthritis, depression, anxiety, tension, stress, pain, hypoglycemia, B vitamin deficiency, asthma, indigestion, high copper levels, mineral imbalance, hormonal imbalance, poor diet, and age. Insomnia can strike at any age but usually affects older adults. Medicinal herbs can help when nothing else does!

Home remedies are safer than sleeping pills.

It is estimated that half the population experiences reoccurring and persistent insomnia at some time in their life. Over ten million Americans take prescription drugs to help them sleep and millions more take over-the-counter sleep aids. Drug induced sleep is not the best answer. Harmful side effects of sleeping pills include dependency, addiction, and even death.

Insomniacs and anyone suffering from chronic pain should cut back on sugar and salt.

They should also avoid MSG ( monosodium glutamate) and never drink coffee or any beverage containing caffeine after 5:00 p.m. They should eat small evening meals and never eat heavy snacks at night. Good foods include brown rice, almonds, celery, wheat germ, brewer's yeast, lemon, and honey. A small glass of wine may be taken in the evening as a sleep aid.

Can't sleep and don't know why? Exercise and get morning sunshine.

Daily exercise is one of the best ways to treat insomnia. Insomniacs should get into the habit of a regular exercise routine. When combined with morning sunshine, the benefits are even more noticeable. Bright sunshine has been shown to induce sleep approximately twelve hours later.

Medicinal herbs like bee balm can relieve pain and help people sleep.

Many herbs can help insomniacs -- and people suffering with pain relax enough to fall asleep. Bee Balm, lemon balm, valerian, passionflower, St. John's wort, lavender, chamomile, hops, rosemary, catnip, spearmint, and wild lettuce are the most well known. Headache and muscle pain also calls for white willow bark or white oak bark. These two medicinal barks act like aspirin without the side effects.

Cannabis for pain and insomnia

Cannabis and cannabis oil can be a great help when treating pain but it is not legal in all parts of the United States -- or the world. Check local laws before purchasing cannabis for medical or recreational purposes.

Essential oils can help treat insomnia and pain.

Try marjoram essential oil in conjunction with aromatherapy. The aroma of marjoram is very relaxing when combined with deep breathing. Frankincense essential oil can also be used to bring about enough relief to get a restful night's sleep. Deep breathing exercises have been shown to help many insomniacs. Take ten deep breaths, wait five minutes while breathing normally, and then take ten more deep breaths. Good breathing habits can also help with pain management.

Herbal pillows can bring about restful sleep.

Sleeping with an herb-filled pillow is another natural remedy that may bring good results. Lavender, hops, and chamomile flowers can be stuffed into a small pillowcase and the fragrance will help aid relaxation throughout the night. Also try putting a drop or two of lavender essential oil on a regular pillow. It really helps.

Other tips for insomnia and pain relief

Some people find that gazing at a lighted candle for three minutes before bedtime can help relieve insomnia and pain. Prayer and meditation can also help bring restful sleep.

Gentle bedtime massage can relieve insomnia and reduce pain. Use a light carrier oil mixed with lavender essential oil or chamomile essential oil. Dab a little on the bottom of the feet and on the temples for added benefits. Remember that loving hands can heal. A loving massage may be all a person needs to get a good night's sleep.

A warm Epsom salts bath before bedtime can also help insomniacs sleep through the night and reduce pain considerably. Combine with aromatherapy for best results. Some insomniacs complain of restless leg syndrome. In these cases, vitamin E and folic acid supplements may help. Sometimes a drop in blood sugar during sleep can cause sudden awakening. Try eating a banana with a small glass of milk before bed time. Do not use electronic devices like laptops and cell phones right before bed as the blue light can cause restlessness.

Mild and moderate earache pain can be treated with medicinal herbs.

Earache is a common type of pain that can't be ignored and makes sleep impossible. Severe ear pain requires professional healthcare or a trip to the emergency room.

Mild earache can be successfully treated with home remedies.

Mullein infused oil can be used as ear drops for relieving pain associated with middle ear problems. (See recipe and directions below.) Use a couple of drops at room temperature two times a day and at bedtime. Castor oil and calendula infused oil also make good drops -- but do not put anything into the ear if a ruptured eardrum is suspected.

Ear piercings should be cleaned with alcohol regularly.
© Shannon Neal | Dreamstime Stock Photos

Piercings and jewelry wires should be cleaned with alcohol on a regular basis to kill bacteria.

Medicinal herbs are very useful when treating ear problems.

Ginkgo biloba, turmeric, yellow dock root, garlic, Echinacea root, and bayberry bark help the body to focus healing efforts on the ear. Drinking herbal teas or taking herbal tinctures can protect, soothe, and help heal the ears. Chamomile, yarrow, and angelica root teas help heal ear problems. Do not put herbal tea or tincture in your ears!

Reasons for earache include bacterial infection. Herbs can help!

There are many reasons for earache including inflammation, infection, excessive wax, ruptured eardrum, dental problems, presence of foreign matter, and a condition known as swimmer's ear. Symptoms of ear problems range from mild pain to loss of hearing. There may be acute stabbing pain, localized swelling, fever, nausea, vomiting, discharge from ear, extreme tenderness when ear lobe is pulled, ringing sounds, or an aggravating blocked sensation. Our ability to hear is a precious gift so always seek professional advice if you have anything more that a mild ear problem.

Mullein oil is an old home-remedy for earache.

Make your own mullein oil for the ears. Collect a cup of mullein flower petals. Put them in a pint jar and cover with good quality, cold-pressed olive oil or almond oil. Screw on lid. Keep in dark, cool cabinet or pantry. Gently turn jar daily to distribute plant material. After 2 weeks, strain and store with tight fitting lid for up to one year. In hot climates, store in the refrigerator. Before using as ear drops, warm to body temperature. Put one or two drops in infected ear twice a day and at bedtime until symptoms disappear -- or for one week. Do not use ear drops if ear drum is ruptured.

Medicinal herbs for earache pain, fever, and other symptoms

White willow or white oak bark tea can taken internally by mouth for mild earache pain, fever, aches, and insomnia due to any type pain. Drink ginger tea for mild nausea and vomiting. Use natural plant antibiotics like yellowroot for infection and build immunity with astragalus. Make herbal teas and drink them several times a day.

Do not put herbal teas into the ear!

Sometimes phlegm or mucus buildup causes earache. In this case, antibiotics will not help and should be avoided. Drinking plantain tea and elder flower tea is recommended to help clear up excess mucus. Yellowroot and eyebright are also well known for having phlegm reducing properties. In cases of severe pain, fever, discharge, and bacterial infections, consult with your healthcare professional. If you have been swimming in any lake, pond, or body of water and develop an ear infection, it is best to seek professional care. Be sure to tell your healthcare professional to check for algae!

Colds, sinus problems, and trauma can cause ear problems.

Colds, bronchial infection, viral infection, food allergies, pressure, and high altitudes can cause ear problems. Ruptured eardrums can result from a hard slap to the ear, diving, loud explosions, or repeated serious infections.

When babies and young children have earaches

Young children are especially prone to ear infection and should receive immediate attention from a healthcare professional. Symptoms in babies and young children include general fussiness and pulling at their ears. Do not treat babies with herbs unless there are no other choices. Babies and the elderly could have unexpected and dangerous reactions to some medicinal herbs especially if dosage is not correct. If professional help is not available, go ahead and put a few drops of warm mullein infused oil in the child's ear. THen apply a warm cloth folded to retain heat. This should help your little one or aging patient to get some relief.

Chronic ear infection calls for a change in diet.

Chronic ear infection may be treated with a change in diet. Eliminate dairy foods, additives, and preservatives. Avoid sugar, fatty foods, and protein concentrated foods like peanut butter. Drink lots of clean water and pineapple juice. Avoid sugary fruit drinks. Add green drinks to the diet as the chlorophyll can be very beneficial. Eat lots of fresh vegetables and a few servings of fruit daily.

Other old-time home remedies for earaches

Sometimes an ice pack or hot water bottle can relieve earache pain. Another old timey recipe is to soak a cotton ball in onion juice and put in ear overnight. Many herbalists recommend apple cider vinegar drops followed by a drop or two of sweet olive oil. Another remedy calls for warm vegetable glycerin and witch hazel drops three times a day or as needed.

Ear massage can help speed healing.

Often an ear massage is called for. Gently rub the outer ear parts, the neck, and the temples. Gently pull on the ear lobe 10 or 15 times. Fold ear repeatedly until blood flow is increased and ear becomes pink (or red). Reflexology can also bring relief for ear problems.

A look at Passion Flower

Herbal Jedi recommends passion flower tincture in the following video:

Passion flower is used to treat insomnia.
Passion flower -- photo courtesy of

Passion flower is used to treat insomnia, nervous disorders, and pain. All parts of the plant are used in herbal medicine.

Tips for using passion flower to treat pain and insomnia

Passion flower is also known as May-Pop, Holy Trinity Flower, Crown of Thorns, and Passion Vine. It grows wild in the Southern United States. In the North Georgia area, Passion Flower is often found growing in meadows, along fence lines, and beside wooded areas. The distinctive white, purple, lavender, or pink “frilly” blossoms make passion flower easy to identify.

Use passion flower to treat insomnia.

Passion flower is a medicinal herb that calms the nerves and induces sleep. It is especially recommended for insomnia, panic attacks, and anxiety. Passion flower is an excellent remedy for menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, abdominal pain, and headache. This herb can also help lower high blood pressure when the condition is stress related.

Use passion flower to relieve pain.

Passion flower is used for relieving back pain, shortness of breath, diarrhea, and hemorrhoids. The herb is useful in the treatment of asthma, shingles, attention deficit disorder, restless leg syndrome, and some kinds of seizures. Combine with valerian or lemon balm for best results.

Use passion flower to treat withdrawal symptoms.

Passion flower is sometimes used to treat enlargement of the male breasts caused by excessive estrogen. Passion flower is also used in the treatment of Vicodin, cocaine, heroin, opium, and alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

Passion flower contains non-addictive sedatives.

Studies show that Passion flower may help fight Parkinson's disease, cancer, HIV, leukemia, epilepsy, and more. The herb contains alkaloids and flavonoids that are considered effective non-addictive sedatives.

Use passion flower to increase concentration.

Widely used among the Cherokee people, Passion Flower is valuable as a medicine and in religious ceremonies. It is believed that use of the herb not only relieves pain and reduces anxiety, but also increases concentration and expands the mind.

Passion flower is a spiritual herb.

Many cultures consider Passion flower to be a spiritual herb. It is believed to be symbolic of the crucifixion of Christ and is said to bring peace and blessings to the home when grown near the front gate.

Use blossoms, fruits, leaves, stems, and roots in herbal medicine and in the kitchen.

Passion flower’s delicate, colorful blossoms develop from plain, smooth buds. Blossoms, leaves, stems, and roots are used in herbal remedies. Passion flower grows in partially shaded, dry areas, and has a long vine which grows more than 30 feet in length. The plant has alternate leaves with finely toothed lobes. The flowers bloom from May to July and the resulting fruit is a yellow “berry” containing numerous seeds. Passion flower fruits are sweet and juicy. They may be added to salads, jellies, and other condiments.

Passion flower vines are easy to start from seed.

Passion Flower is easily cultivated and may be started from seed, root division, or transplanted from the wild. The plants prefer slightly acid soil and the use of a trellis is recommended. Harvest fruit when it reaches the size of a hen’s egg and turns soft. Harvest leaves at the same time and dry for winter use.

* Avoid Passion flower during pregnancy. Do not use Passion Flower if taking MAO inhibiting anti-depressants drugs. Do not use Passion flower when driving, when operating heavy machinery, or when using any dangerous equipment. Never put anything into the ear if a perforated or ruptured ear drum is suspected. St. John's wort may cause sensitivity to sunlight. Always consult with a healthcare professional before taking any herbal remedies especially if pregnant, nursing, or taking other medicines.

Thanks so much for reading my blog. Jan.

Herb Articles by Janice Boling

"The best way to really learn about herbal medicine is to smell different herbs, taste them, use them daily, and grow them if at all possible. Herbal medicine is a way of life. It is not a quick fix so give your herbs time to work." Janice Boling -- herbalist, web designer, artist, and writer

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* Note - the information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.

** Most of my posts in this blog were first published by the North Georgia News in my weekly column titled Every Green Herb.

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