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A to Z: Natural Treatments for Staying Pain-Free

Michelle Brass | 22 October

Stabbing, throbbing, prickling, burning, tingling, aching—these words can all describe the discomfort of pain throughout the body. And when the pain is not controlled, it can be unrelenting and hard to bear.

The good news is that you can get relief from certain ailments throughout the body,  and it may not need to involve surgery or expensive drugs with potentially serious side effects. Many have tackled symptoms with the right combination of natural remedies, diet, practitioners, activities and supplements.

The key is finding the root cause, and discovering what is safe and effective for your unique needs.

Below, we walk you through our comprehensive A to Z list of natural pain-relieving remedies and holistic solutions so you can get back to doing more of what you love.



As an adaptogen, ashwagandha helps balance the body’s response to stress, which the body is likely to experience during times of increased pain and discomfort. Ashwagandha is an ancient Ayurvedic medicine and has been used in a number of different ways during its 3,000 year history. Potential benefits include reduced stress, nervous system support and improved energy and mood. Ashwagandha also has anti-inflammatory properties that may help in pain relief.1


Arnica has a traditional use that dates back to 16th Century Europe. Its chief medicinal use is its ability to reduce pain and swelling when made into balms.2 In fact, it’s a key ingredient in our very own Kunzea Muscle Balm to help with calming the severity of bruising and, coupled with the other active ingredient Kunzea, helps with reducing the severity of swelling and inflammation. Arnica has also been used in tiny doses in homeopathic medicine for shock caused by a sudden painful injury.2


Acupuncture is an ancient system of Chinese medicine based on the principle of balancing yin and yang energies in the body to bring about balance and health. The body is enlivened by the “flow of chi” or lifeforce through energy conduits or meridians in the body and the technique of acupuncture may help to ensure that any imbalances in the flow of “chi” are rectified.

It’s evident that acupuncture is effective in reducing pain - in fact, one study showed that the benefits appear to persist for some people for at least 12 months after receiving acupuncture.3

Research has shown that acupuncture stimulates the production of endorphins, or natural opiates, in the brain and that these endorphins produce a strong analgesic effect. 



Boswellia Carteri (Frankincense)

This powerful anti-inflammatory herb can be found in a variety of forms - from resin and essential oils to liquid herbal extracts and capsules. While it’s commonly used to reduce the pain associated with inflammation, it also aids the immune system and speeds up the healing process.4  There is mounting evidence that proves Boswellia is an effective herbal medicine for anti-inflammatory pain relief, however, it also has a well-documented history of use from ancient civilizations through to biblical times.4 

The history of Frankincense dates back to ancient times, where it was used as part of Ayurvedic medicine for its extensive health benefits – and still is today!


Biofeedback is a technique that harnesses the connection between mind and body in order to alter, enhance or reduce certain physical and mental responses. Put simply, biofeedback is used to gain a greater level of control, awareness and understanding of the body responses and re-condition them.

There are various biofeedback techniques available and different types may accomplish different goals. For example, respiratory biofeedback can help with anxiety, neurofeedback can address addiction and reduce pain. As a non-invasive form of therapy, it can safely be used alongside various other therapies for a more holistic approach to treatment.5



As an oil made from hemp plants, many people mistake CBD for a psychoactive drug - but without the THC compound, its medicinal benefits can be felt without the ‘high’. Small daily doses of CBD oil have been found to be helpful in treating symptoms and conditions such as muscle spasm, joint pain and osteoarthritis, anxiety, while also improving sleep.6

Because of its well-researched anti-inflammatory benefits, CBD has also become a popular ingredient in skincare products that help to target painful, inflammatory skin conditions, as well as to soothe sore muscles and joints topically. While more research is needed, it may be useful in alleviating skin conditions like psoriasis, acne and eczema.

cbd oil


Calendula has soothing, healing and anti-inflammatory benefits, making it a popular herb for inflamed and painful skin conditions. As a beautiful, golden flower, calendula also makes an aesthetically pleasing and beneficial addition to a herbal tea blend. It has a long history of use in relieving pain, healing wounds and ulcers, and soothing the nervous system.7

Capsicum Oil

Capsaicin, the active compound in capsicum, may help to relieve pain resulting from injury, thanks to its anti-inflammatory benefits. It also acts as an antioxidant, helping to prevent further damage to body tissue.8

Because of these and many more benefits of Capsicum Oil, we have plans in the near future to launch a Heat Rub that combines the benefits of Capsicum and Kunzea… so stay tuned! 



Pain and its many side effects can churn through a lot of vital nutrients. These nutrients are the same ones that nourish the nervous system and protect us from further injury, illness and pain. It’s essential for our health to make sure we get plenty of nutrients from a varied diet - but it can be especially beneficial for anyone who experiences chronic pain. 

Some of the most nutrient-dense foods include fruit, vegetables, herbs, spices, nuts, seeds, meat, eggs, fish and whole grains.

As inflammation can play a significant role in chronic pain, reducing chronic inflammation through an anti-inflammatory diet can also be beneficial. You can learn more about an anti-inflammatory diet here.

healthy food

Deep Tissue Massage

It goes without saying that a good massage is fantastic for aching bodies. Some people believe their bodies are riddled with arthritis when in reality they have extremely tight muscles pulling on the tendons and ligaments attaching to their bones - causing them to ache.

Deep tissue massage is recommended when chronic tightness and stress-related issues lead to knots and restricted movement. Our preferred method of treatment is to start by applying the Kunzea Concentrated Massage Oil to the source of the pain, and then follow up with either the Kunzea Pain Relief Cream or Kunzea Muscle Balm to reach larger areas of the body.



If your muscles are tight, knotted and inflexible, you run the risk of injury - this can also lead to bone and joint conditions that, left untreated, may get worse. As unpleasant as it may sound when you’re feeling sore and tight, it is really vital that you get up and exercise. As mentioned above, exercise is also important for managing weight, as excess kilos put more strain on your joints.

Exercise also plays a role in preventing unnecessary stress from being placed on our joints and bones by strengthening and stretching our muscles. Don’t forget to use your Zea Active products pre- and post-workout to aid in muscle recovery.


Essential Oils

While we have already mentioned some specific essential oils throughout this article, there are many other ways you can use essential oils for managing pain, aiding sleep and reducing stress.

Researchers have found evidence to suggest that certain oils may treat the symptoms of certain ailments, such as inflammation, headaches, respiratory problems and more.9

It’s no secret that we are huge advocates for Australian Kunzea Oil and its therapeutic and pain-relieving properties.

Browse our full range of Zea Essentials here and learn more about the therapeutic benefits and properties.


Fatty Fish

When it comes to pain and inflammation, omega-3 fatty acids are one of the most important nutrient groups. And when it comes to omega-3s, oily fish is your go-to food. Studies show that consuming oily fish and/or boosting your intake with a high-quality fish oil supplement can slow and even prevent the inflammatory process in the body.10

If you prefer a plant-based approach or aren’t a fan of fish, there are other sources of omega-3; consume foods like flaxseeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, teff flour and walnuts daily to meet your omega-3 needs, or try an algae omega supplement. 


At the top of the list of foods that fight inflammation are a variety of antioxidant-rich fruits; try including more fruits such as cherries, apples, avocados, watermelon and pineapple (rich in pain-relieving bromelain), as well as berries like strawberries, blueberries and raspberries.



When it comes to spices that double as medicine, ginger is one of the top choices for reducing pain and inflammation. It has also been shown to have analgesic effects in conditions such as osteoarthritis.11

We include ginger in our Zea Relief Kunzea Concentrated Massage Oil and Kunzea Muscle Balm.



Anyone who has suffered from joint pain or conditions like osteoarthritis will know the benefits of glucosamine. Typically taken as a supplement, glucosamine supports the health of joint cartilage to keep joints free of stiffness and pain12. Including traditional bone broth in the diet is also a good source of glucosamine. 


Heat Therapy

Heat interrupts pain signals to your brain, relaxes soft tissue and increases blood flow to the affected area. You could try a wheat pack, electric heating pad, a hot water bottle, or a warm bath. Bring your heat therapy up to maximum effect by adding aromatherapy – a few drops of relaxing Kunzea Oil can be added to your bath water or certain heat packs to help the muscles relax even more.

Herbal Tea

Replace your coffee drinking habits with herbal teas. Coffee aggravates inflammation, so try to keep it to a minimum or remove it altogether. If you still need that caffeine hit, green tea is a fantastic, healthier alternative. Green tea and other caffeinated herbal teas also have a much gentler stimulating effect due to the high level of antioxidants which slows the absorption of caffeine. You may not reach peak alertness as fast as you do when you drink coffee, but the caffeine from green tea will keep you focussed for longer. 

Other herbal teas, such as turmeric and ginger, have powerful anti-inflammatory properties. They are great for helping to reduce the swelling that can lead to painful joints and bones.

Add fresh grated ginger and a teaspoon of fresh turmeric root to boiling water and allow it to infuse for 10-15 minutes. Adding a squeeze of lemon for more zing or a small amount of honey for a little sweetness makes for an enjoyable drink.



Ice/Cold Therapy

The ice bath craze has its grounding in solid scientific research - but you don’t have to go that far to enjoy the benefits of cold therapy. Benefits of cold therapy include reduced inflammation, muscle stiffness and pain, improved immunity and it’s even reported to help in the treatment of depression.13

The combination of peppermint and spearmint in our Zea Active products also gives them a cooling effect on the body.


Join a Support Group

We must never underestimate the power of a support network. Going it alone is not necessary and in the digital age, there’s plenty of ways to find support either in an online group or other resources. Sharing your experience and information, learning new skills, techniques, treatment options - these are just some of the benefits of joining a support group. 



If you have been following us for a while, you know we are huge advocates for Australian Kunzea Oil and its therapeutic and anti-inflammatory properties.

While many of us are familiar with common essential oils such as Lavender, Wintergreen, and Frankincense for relieving pain, Kunzea is one native Tasmanian essential oil that is often overlooked.

Kunzea Oil is the key active ingredient in our range of Zea Relief products. They have been naturally formulated to relieve, heal, protect and soothe.

Our best-selling Kunzea Pain Relief Cream is a multi-active formulation for muscle, joint, arthritis and nerve pain. When used during massage, the knots and tangled fibres give way to soft smooth muscles and therefore bring great relief to not only aching muscles but also aching joints. 

When using these products in the comfort of your own home, we suggest applying 2-3 times daily to the affected area, or as required.

Kunzea Pain Relief Cream


Leafy Vegetables/Greens

Brimming with anti-inflammatory properties, antioxidants and nutrients like magnesium, B vitamins and vitamin E - leafy green vegetables are a crucial part of any healthy diet. Leafy greens also offer up fibre, which is important in maintaining good gut health and reducing the burden on organs of elimination, such as the bowel, kidneys and liver.

In fact, research shows that a high fibre diet that includes leafy green vegetables helps to reduce the pain and inflammation of osteoarthritis and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).14


Lavender is famous for its calming, tension-relieving abilities - but lavender can also be an effective essential oil for pain relief and soothing inflammation. This combination of therapeutic benefits makes lavender a perfect addition for pain that is also exacerbated by or results in stress and tension.

In fact, Tasmanian Lavender is one of the key active ingredients in our Kunzea Pain Relief Cream.




Have a soak in a Magnesium Salt Bath! Magnesium salt absorbs quickly through the skin to help relax the muscles and relieve aching bones and joints. A naturally occurring mineral, magnesium salts are a popular way to get relief from aches and pains. 

At Zea, we use two varieties of magnesium. In our Zea Relief Kunzea Bath Salts we use magnesium sulphate (Epsom salt) and in our Zea Active range we use magnesium chloride (magnesium flakes). Both are effective in helping to release tension of both the emotional and physical variety.

Bath Salts


Methylsulfonylmethane - better known as MSM - is a popular supplement for relieving inflammation and pain, especially of the joints and muscles. With its antioxidant effects, it may also prevent further damage to the body tissues from oxidative stress.15

We have included MSM in our Zea Active Sports Recovery Salts.


There are nearly 300 species of plants in the Melaleuca genus, most of which are indigenous to Australia. Many species of Melaleuca essential oils are well known for their anti-inflammatory properties, such as Coastal Tea Tree, Cajeput, Kunzea and Nerolina.16

Kunzea and Nerolina are our two go-to’s for active ingredients in our Zea Relief range as they are effective anti-inflammatories, non-irritating and have a milder sensation when applied topically to the skin than many other active ingredients.


Nettle (or Stinging Nettle)

Nettle leaf acts as a natural antihistamine, which means it blocks histamine production to relieve allergies as well as pain.17 Histamine is released as a response to tissue damage and contributes to pain sensitivity - so blocking the production of histamine is another approach to pain management (and seasonal allergies!).


Including nuts (and seeds!) in your diet as a healthy snack, in baking, or sprinkled over a salad gives you an extra boost of protein, minerals and healthy fats. Certain nuts and seeds are particularly high in alpha-linoleic acid (ALA) , a type of omega-3 fatty acid that, as mentioned above, helps to dampen down inflammation and reduce pain. Choose high ALA nuts and seeds such as walnuts, chia seeds, hemp seeds and almonds. 18

Healthy food


Olive Oil

Spoons of extra virgin olive oil actually mimics the effects of the popular painkiller ibuprofen.19  While it may not be strong enough to get rid of pain altogether, it can have a cumulative effect when used alongside some of the other natural pain relief treatments discussed in this article. 


Physical Therapy

Physical therapy can be used for pain management regardless of the cause of pain. Some common conditions that are often treated in physical therapy include osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, headache and nerve pain. 

Physical therapy techniques can also vary a great deal, but often involve massage, manual therapy, cold laser therapy, exercises and muscle and joint manipulation. It’s important to find the right therapist for your needs and combine physical therapy with other treatments for the best results.20


Peppermint Oil

The cooling effect of the menthol in Peppermint helps to bring blood (and therefore oxygen) into the tissue - this helps to Peppermint Oil its mild analgesic capacity which is especially helpful in musculoskeletal pain. Peppermint Oil has even been shown in studies to block nerve pain signals to the brain.21

Peppermint is a key ingredient in our Zea Active range and forms part of our Headache Ease Trio.

PEA – Palmitoylethanolamide

PEA is a naturally occurring fat that is found in certain foods such as egg yolks, peanuts and soybeans. For the benefit of pain relief, however, it has to be taken in therapeutic doses found in supplements. 

Its popularity in pain relief has only just begun in recent years - but the evidence is pointing to its effectiveness in reducing nerve pain conditions, inflammation, and even the chronic pain of conditions like endometriosis. Similar to CBD oil, PEA actually has an influence on the CBD pain receptors in the brain.22


Quality Sleep

We all know that adequate sleep is vitally important for our health and wellbeing - managing your pain is no exception!

Aim for 7-9 hours of good quality sleep per night and remember that two hours before midnight is thought to be the equivalent to 4 hours after midnight. 

Ensure you have a comfortable mattress and pillows as it’s important that we are protecting our bones and joints throughout the night.

We spend a lot of time asleep, so we need to be comfortable and relaxed.




Rosemary possesses anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties and has long been used to relieve pain from headaches, muscle soreness and injuries.23

Rosemary is a great option to improve circulation and is shown to be good for relieving fatigue and killing pain. It may also have a positive effect on memory. It’s great for any migraine or cluster headache, or any headache that involves moderate to intense pain.23

This is why we use a rosemary antioxidant as a key ingredient in our Kunzea Pain Relief Cream and Kunzea Roll On Liniment. You might also want to try adding 2-4 drops of rosemary to an aromatherapy diffuser at home to enrich your health and wellbeing.

Rest & Relaxation

Getting the rest and relaxation you need may be the most effective pain relief you can get. When we factor proper rest (and rest days if you exercise a lot), the body takes this time to actively repair damage to cells, muscles and other tissues, and organs. Time to effectively repair damage by resting and relaxing is often what is needed in certain types of pain conditions or injuries.

Relaxation techniques are an important part of a well-rounded pain management regimen - whether this is through breathing exercises, self-hypnosis, meditation, a mindfulness practice or something else entirely - it’s important to find something that helps you to unwind.24, 25



Found in red wine, grapes and berries, resveratrol is one of the most popular antioxidant supplements on the market - for good reason. Resveratrol prevents damage to cells, reduces inflammation and relieves nerve and joint pain.26


St John's Wort (Hypericum)

St John’s Wort is used traditionally for anxiety, depression and stress - but it can also be helpful in reducing nerve and muscle pain and improving sleep quality. It can be used topically as well as taken internally.27


A key ingredient in our Concentrated Massage Oil, Sandalwood is renowned for its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. It works particularly well at enhancing and extending the natural benefits of Kunzea Essential Oil, and transdermal absorption of Sandalwood may also work at reducing muscle and joint pain as well as body discomfort.



A powerful anti-inflammatory with a long history of use, turmeric and its active compound curcumin are commonly found in natural pain-relieving formulas. 

Turmeric can also be consumed through diet by adding to cooking, smoothies or taken as a tea. Turmeric adds a warming, earthy dimension to recipes such as curries, soups, lattes or stir-fries.



A transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) machine is typically used to relieve the pain associated with childbirth. It works by sending a small electrical current across the skin to stimulate nerves, resulting in reduced pain.

A TENS machine can also be used for other types of pain - including period pain, arthritis, pain from injuries, and even pelvic pain caused by endometriosis.28 


Understanding Pain

To treat pain, it is important that you have a clear understanding of what causes it. This may involve going to pain clinics, physical therapists or a medical practitioner to get a diagnosis in order to get the most effective treatment for your condition. 

wellness advice


Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 is involved in making a number of neurotransmitters (brain chemicals) that control or influence things like mood and even pain perception. Interestingly, a common sign of B6 deficiency is nerve pain and may be a consideration in the treatment of nerve pain.29

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is both an anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant - so it can relieve oxidative stress and inflammation associated with pain conditions such as osteoarthritis.30 Vitamin E may also be a helpful analgesic in reducing nerve pain.31  We use Vitamin E (Mixed Tocopherols - a mixture of alpha, beta, delta and gamma tocopherols) in our Kunzea Pain Relief Cream for muscle, joint and mild nerve pain.

Vitamin D

As an essential nutrient for the immune system and calcium absorption, it’s important to get adequate amounts of SAFE sun to stimulate your body’s own production of vitamin D. If too much sun exposure is not suitable for your skin, a vitamin D tablet can be taken in supplement form. 

Low vitamin D has been linked to a lower pain threshold and greater need for painkillers like opioids.32 It may be helpful to ask your doctor for a blood test to determine if you need to increase your vitamin D levels.




Wintergreen is an essential oil that is often used in massage creams and other topical pain management. At Zea, however, we have chosen to avoid this as an ingredient as it can be irritating on more sensitive skin and is very overpowering - it smells like a boys locker room!

While it’s an effective essential oil for pain, be mindful of its potential as an irritant and its strong aroma. 


Dehydration is a common cause of poor elimination and constipation - issues that if not addressed can lead to pain, inflammation, stiff joints and muscles and uncomfortable conditions like gout and kidney stones. Dehydration can even contribute to nerve pain.32 So, ensure you’re drinking plenty of water - this can be in the form of filtered water, herbal tea and fresh green juices -  aim for 2 litres per day.  



“X” is for YOU

Everyone is unique and going to have their own ways of managing pain. “X” is for what techniques and treatments that you find work for you and your specific condition.


Yoga and Tai Chi

The benefits of both yoga and tai chi for the mind and body cannot be understated. Not only can these practices help to relieve the stress associated with pain conditions but they also both aid with flexibility, strength, range of motion, balance, and reduce risk of injury. They are low-intensity exercises that are safe and beneficial to practice (with the guidance of a trained instructor) at any age. 



Zea Relief

It wouldn’t be a list of natural pain management treatments without mentioning our Zea Relief Products to relieve, heal and soothe the body! In particular, our best-selling Kunzea Pain Relief Cream is a “must-have” in every household for relieving pain and inflammation.


At Zea, we recommend a holistic and integrative approach to health and wellness, and pain management is no exception.

When a person takes traditional pain relief medication as prescribed, with guidance from a doctor, it can be a safe and effective way to manage pain.

Natural pain treatments, however, offer an alternative for people who want to avoid the long-term side effects that may be associated with  pain relief medication. 

Not every natural pain reliever will work for everyone. Some people may find that a natural option that works well for them in the long-term. Others may not be able to manage pain naturally and may prefer traditional medication.

Medical Disclaimer

All content by Australian Kunzea Pty Ltd, including, text, images, audio, or other formats, were created for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. To read our full medical disclaimer, click here.



With over 25 years of experience in the natural health industry, Michelle has dedicated her life to helping others embrace the therapeutic benefits of nature. Throughout her time as a health practitioner, she has used and recommended countless traditional and conventional treatments to her clients - as she believes an integrative approach to health and wellness is very important. Michelle is passionate about using and promoting essential oils and, in particular, Kunzea Oil, as she has seen them help thousands of people over the years. She knows that using essential oils in your daily life can help bring balance to the mind, body and soul. She is constantly trialling and testing new products with her loyal clients.

Medical Disclaimer

All content by Australian Kunzea Pty Ltd, including, text, images, audio, or other formats, were created for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. To read our full medical disclaimer, click here.


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