Natural Anesthetics For Humans

Way before the invention of Advil and Percocet, there were many different natural anesthetics used to dull or block pain.

Before we even start discussing them, you need to understand that just because something is natural, that doesn’t mean that it’s safe or that you can take as much as you want. Remember, arsenic is natural, too! So, before you use any kind of natural anesthetic, make sure that you know what you’re doing!

That being said, let’s talk about natural pain killers that you should have on hand in case of a SHTF scenario.

There are two primary types of natural anesthetics: topical and internal. Topical anesthetics are used directly on your skin, and internal anesthetics are ingested and work from the inside out.

You’d want to use a topical anesthetic to treat issues such as toothaches, cuts, rashes, and burns. Internal anesthetics are used to treat conditions such as general pain, headaches and muscle aches.

Since anything taken internally can quickly kill you, we’re going to stick to topical anesthetics for this article.

Clove Oil

Clove oil

Clove oil has been used for centuries to relieve toothaches and now studies show that it’s basically as effective as benzocaine for topically numbing pain.

You can make a gel with it or simply dab some of the oil straight onto your gum and let it sit. Keep in mind though that this is only going to numb your tooth, not cure the problem. You’re eventually going to need to take care of the bad tooth that’s causing the pain because the infection can spread to your heart and kill you.

Clove oil can also be used to relieve itching and burning related to dry skin, poison ivy and poison oak. It’s also used to treat upset stomach but you need to know how much to take because high doses are toxic.

Cayenne Peppercayenne pepper

In addition to many other health benefits, the capsaicin in cayenne pepper is also great to use to treat arthritis, bursitis, psoriasis, eczema, muscle pain, and nerve pain.

Capsaicin is the chemical in peppers that makes them hot but when used topically, it causes your body to release a chemical called Substance P. This is the chemical that carries pain messages from your nerves to your brain.

In addition to capsaicin, cayenne also contains salicylates, the same compounds found in aspirin.

The best way to apply the cayenne to your skin is to make a gel or cream out of it using coconut oil or other natural bases. When you first apply it, you’ll feel hot. That’s because the capsaicin is causing the Substance P to flood through. Once your supply is depleted within a couple of minutes, you’ll get relief.


This pretty purple flower has been used for centuries as an antiseptic, topical anesthetic and sedative and is safe for use on your pets, too. You’ll often find it as an ingredient in essential oils created from relaxation or to treat insomnia. For the purposes of this article, we’ll talk about its use as a topical anesthetic.

It’s great to use to treat cuts and scrapes too because in addition to relieving the pain, it also helps prevent scarring and stop bleeding.

If you make a lavender salve, you can rub it on your muscles and joints to relieve sprains and other muscle pain as well as cramps and sore feet.


Wintergreen is just a mild anesthetic that’s good to treat toothaches or stomach aches, but since it’s so easy to grow, we thought we’d throw it in.

Other anesthetics that have been used throughout history include onions, garlic, ginger, tea tree oil, and Epsom salts.

Peppermint and apple cider vinegar are typical natural remedies for upset stomach and other digestive issues. Calendula, Jasmine, Yarrow and Chamomile are great for relieving itching caused by just about anything and can also help with inflammation.

There are many different herbs and spices that have various uses as anesthetic,s but you need to be careful when using them. If you plan to incorporate natural pain killers as part of your survival plan, you need to educate yourself well using trusted sources because, though a little may help, too much of an herb or spice may kill. It may be a good idea, to include in your bag an herbalism guide book for both people and pets.

We hope that, though in no means inclusive, this list of natural anesthetics is helpful to you!


This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia.

Photo sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

Written by

Theresa Crouse is a full-time writer currently living in central Florida. She was born and raised in the hills of West Virginia, where she learned to farm, hunt, fish, and live off the land from an early age. She prefers to live off the grid as much as possible and does her best to follow the “leave nothing behind but footprints” philosophy. For fun, she enjoys shooting, kayaking, tinkering on her car and motorcycle, and just about anything else that involves water, going fast, or the outdoors.

Latest comments
  • Don’t forget about the Opium Poppy.
    Currently, it is illegal to harvest the juice of Papaver somniferum, but in SHTF, it could be a lifesaver. Just avoid recreational use or you might forget you are trying to survive. Spacing out is antithetical to survival.

  • Tobacco and drinking alcohol are also natural anesthetics. Civil War soldiers underwent amputations with nothing but whiskey!

    • Actually, most amputations in the American Civil War were conducted under morphine. Morphine was used (overused) so much that morphine addiction became known as “the soldier’s disease.” Opium could grow wonderfully down south, and I knew someone who grew the most beautiful white poppies in his front yard–until the Feds found out. They simply drove up, walked up, cut them down. That was the 70’s.

  • I would think that poppy seeds would be difficult to come by, John Hammond. All things considered, these would be very valuable flowers to have growing around your Bug Out Location. Presently, I take narcotic medication for debilitating spinal injuries from parachute landings in the military. Any prolonged SHTF situation, where modern medical treatment facilities and pharmacies are unavailable, will render me immobile. I’ve read that marijuana is an effective pain controller, but I am reluctant to break current laws.

    • I too, suffer from debilitating back pain, Myofacial Pain Syndrome, and Fibromyalgia! Also, had a spinal fusion two years ago and have had hypothyroidism since I turned 30. I’m 45 now. Due to this fun, myriad of issues, I am on long term narcotics, synthroid, and antidepressants! Not thrilled, but they are a must! Those are really the only “fears” that I honestly have. To date, after two years, I’ve managed to miss a dose here and there of the narcotic and have saved up a couple of months worth. The rest of it, I’m unprepared! The lack of synthroid alone will kill me. I’ve heard of some natural alternatives, but wondering if anyone out there has actually tried anything long term in regards to any of the above mentioned medical issues? Would appreciate immensely direction, sites, ideas, etc.!!
      Thank you and God keep us all!!

      • For your synthroid explain your concern to your Dr have him write 90 day script take to dif pharmacy and pay cash. For fybro pain/ mood I have had amazing success from Nueropathy Treatment There B12 & an Ameno acid that helps you absorb B12. Takes time to work about 8 to 12 weeks but real difference. Hope this helps. Also see what laws are for veteranary medicines in your state, as in some states that might be a source in a SHTF situation.

      • The book “The Herbal Drugstore” by Linda B. White, M.D. and Steven Foster has a good section on natural ideas for thyroid problems. Foods to avoid as well as things you can take to help.

      • I too take pain meds, but would like to know more about natural pain killers that could be found in the plant world of the U.S.A. AND, PREFERABLY LEGAL.

      • I am trying not to yell but it won’t type in small letters. i have taken Fentanyl Patches and Oxycodone for over 15 years and throughout the years I have been in need of OCCASIONAL help with Break Through pain. I learned many years ago how to EFFECTIVELY use Self Hypnosis for when I really needed it. Like when I had surgery and the stupid Prep nurse pulled my patch off just before the surgery and of course they couldn’t give me anything and I was in severe pain from a hernia surgery I had just had on my bellybutton. the only thing that got me through was the hypnosis.

      • Try porcupine bezoar.

      • Melanie, I am an LMT, (Licensed Massage Therapist), also a Medical Massage therapist. I work with many types of health issues, surgical recovery, PTSD, Anxiety, and so on. Using massage techniques that I re work for each individuals’ needs. Sometimes, we incorporate CBD products, both topical and oral. Sometimes I use medical grade essential oils and in some occasions, we move into working with herbs. See if you can find a Medical Massage Therapist that can help you! And don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you have questions!!

  • I am searching for anesthetics for the poorest people on earth. At this time I am focusing on those in Eastern Africa and Sub Saharan Africa who are afflicted not only by abject poverty and an apathetic government but a parasite called Chigoe Flea or Jigger. These must be cut from the flesh and are usually in the feet and hands. Currently The Rise Up Society is doing this work as a not for profit organization utilizing volunteers. I am a research volunteer in the US. I have been an herbalist for about 42 years and am aware of everything posted on this page, btw, great job! I also know that Coconut Oil repels the Jigger to a degree. I am working on an experiment with getting people off the ground when they sleep which is when the Jigger is most apt to bite to feed (male) and burrow (female) to feed and grow until she releases her eggs in two weeks then dies under the skin. She emits a chemical that thicken the skin and kill it. My question is this, since these areas are going to be opened with a scalpel, can you suggest any of these to utilize in this situation.

    • If your concern is possible infection, I suggest colloidal silver. (I have become allergic to just about all the current antibiotics and high quality colloidal silver has done the job. I buy mine from a naturpath in the US but I know that there are ways to make your own. …just do a web search. Good luck. Kate

    • Michelle, there is a recipe for “African Berbere Chicken. The spice blend used works well for pain. It has the capsacin and other spices which helps drop the pain level. I’ve used this with pork, lamb and fish. I have come to believe in finding relief from pain through the synergy of food. If you can get your hands on THE HERBAL DRUGSTORE, you may find food items which can help even where you are.

  • I have and do use these often. I deal with high intensity chronic pain which these help alleviate. I have resorted to a pharma med less than 5 times in the past 3 years because I have made my own pain tonics and salves. BTW: you forgot to add ginger to this.

  • Hi.I think I have fallen in love with u from what i have just read from and about u!! . Thank u so much !! I wanted to add this though to your comments about clove oil; I once had two teeth pulled whose roots were pristine i.e. without any decay . So from this experience I decided that tooth ache doesn’t necessarily mean tooth decay , so that if u can cure the pain with an oil like clove oil ,this may be all that is necessary. So i write this to u as I disagreed with the idea that relieving tooth ache without extraction is always dangerous . If it can be , I take that on board and if it wasn’t how would u know without inspecting the root? Mine were removed after an xray from the dentist that didn’t show that the roots of the teeth weren’t decayed so I could ve just healed the tooth ache and had the teeth crowned !

  • I have trouble sleeping so I want to make an anestic to make past out so if anything pops up tell me

  • Moringa oleifera is extremely rich in vital nutrients and, can grow very fast in dry and impoverished areas of the world, where food is scarce. Moringa was used as a medicinal plant, since ancient times, known to heal and ease many diseases: from various inflammations to parasitic diseases, diabetes and cancer.

  • How much of these ingredients are used