Search Here

Search Posts

Browse by Category


Browse by Tag

Facing the Pain: Living with Bilateral Trigeminal Neuralgia

Facing the Pain: Living with Bilateral Trigeminal Neuralgia

Mar 19, 2024 | Disease, Disorders, and Illnesses, Herbal Remedies

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links that I may earn a small commission from, at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products I use or have used myself. All opinions expressed here are my own.

What is Bilateral Trigeminal Neuralgia?

A painful condition often associated with multiple sclerosis, bilateral trigeminal neuralgia (BTN) causes intense, stabbing pain on both sides of the face. It can last a few seconds or several minutes and comes and goes for days or weeks, then disappears. BTN involves the trigeminal nerve and is considered relatively rare with 12 cases per 100,000 people and largely impacts women over the age of 50.

Even the most mild stimulation can trigger an attack: brushing teeth, applying make-up, shaving, eating or drinking, smiling, talking, wind hitting the face. Many times the cause of BTN is unknown, but a swollen blood vessel or tumor putting pressure on the nerve can give rise to the condition, as can multiple sclerosis due to the damage of the protective coating around the nerve — otherwise known as the myelin sheath.

If you have been diagnosed with BTN or are struggling with another form of nerve pain, keep reading for lifestyle tips and herbal remedies that may help to alleviate the condition or prevent symptoms from arising altogether.

Close up women hand on writing on notebook

Lifestyle Recommendations

As with any type of condition involving pain, chronic stress can aggravate BTN and trigger a flare. In light of this, it is crucial to integrate self-care practices into your daily routine. Light exercise, stretching, warm Epsom salt baths, calming aromatherapy, laughter, and keeping a gratitude journal are all fantastic methods for reducing stress. My Anxiety & Stress Blend is also an excellent ally to keep you calm, cool, and collected!

Since pain conditions are often linked with inflammation, a nutrient-rich anti-inflammatory diet is a must. Focus on fresh fruits and vegetables, fatty fish, antioxidant-rich foods, and plenty of fiber. Getting enough vitamin D, either through exposure to sunlight or as a supplement is important, along with vitamin C, B-12, and magnesium to support healthy nerve response. Don’t forget to drink enough water as dehydration can worsen nerve pain.8

Additionally, getting enough quality sleep is crucial. As I wrote in my Holistic Guide to Wellness:

“Improvements in sleep quality and duration reduce pain in people with chronic pain, while sleep deprivation dramatically increases pain sensitivity. … Improving sleep in people living with chronic pain has the potential to dramatically increase their quality of life. Often people with chronic pain have an increased need for sleep, so ensure you have at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night.”

Since pain can disrupt sleep, it is important to have a sleep hygiene practice in place, like the suggestions found in this post or in the comprehensive sleep protocol in my holistic guide. If you need an additional level of support, I’ve partnered with Metolius Hemp Company to create a powerful Sleep Blend with CBD that is outstanding for not only promoting healthy sleep patterns, but also for minimizing pain. Use the code “Nicole” for 30% off your purchase (except the already discounted CannaClubs).

field of lavender

Plant-Based Remedies

Several botanicals are helpful in reducing the severity of pain, whether as an essential oil or taken internally as an herb. These include:

Cannabidiol (CBD) — Helps to modulate the endocannabinoid, inflammatory, and pain-sensing systems.3 Suggested dose: Take 20-40 mg daily.

Reishi Mushroom — Anti-inflammatory and modulates the immune system.6 Suggested dose: 2 dropperfuls dual-extracted reishi tincture twice daily.

St. John’s Wort — Effective both internally and externally for nerve pain.4 Suggested dose: 900 mg daily or 3 dropperfuls of the tincture three times a day. The tincture can be applied topically as well. Safety: Do not use it while taking birth control, HIV, or antidepressant drugs. If you are currently taking prescription medication, consult with your physician before using St. John’s Wort.

Lion’s Mane Mushroom — Known to assist with regenerating damaged nerves, lion’s mane may be helpful for trigeminal neuralgia caused by multiple sclerosis.1,2 Suggested dose: 2 dropperfuls dual-extracted lion’s mane tincture twice daily.

Lavender — Inhaling lavender essential oil helps to calm the nervous system and has been shown to relieve pain.6 Always dilute with a carrier oil: 2-3 drops of lavender essential oil per one teaspoon carrier oil (jojoba, almond, or olive oil).

Peppermint Oil — When applied topically, peppermint oil eases nerve, headache, and arthritic pain.7 Always dilute with a carrier oil: 2-3 drops of peppermint essential oil per one teaspoon carrier oil (jojoba, almond, or olive oil).

Multicolored blocks listing common ailments

My Holistic Guide: Your Personal Coach for a Healthier You

Interested in learning more about how to manage chronic pain naturally? My Holistic Guide to Wellness: Herbal Protocols for Common Ailments is an outstanding resource.

Together with the help of MDs, NDs, and scientists, I’ve compiled 45 easy-to-follow, science-backed holistic protocols to help you improve the quality of your life.

For each ailment, you’ll find specific foods, physical and mental exercises, stress-relief techniques, vitamins, minerals, herbs, massages, stretches, detoxes, natural remedies, and a whole range of other holistic practices — all based in peer-reviewed science.

If you want to follow an integrated, holistic, natural approach, this is the book you want on your bookshelf.

Take charge of your health at home naturally with this comprehensive guide. Don’t wait. Tap here today and discover the power of natural medicine for yourself!

Nicole Apelian

Nicole’s Apothecary Products in this Post

Nicoles Apothecary - Anxiety and Stress Tincture

Anxiety & Stress Tincture

Nicoles Apothecary Lions Mane Tincture

Dual-Extracted Lion’s Mane Mushroom Tincture

Nicole's Apothecary Reishi Mushroom Tincture

Dual-Extracted Reishi Mushroom Tincture

  1. Samberkar, S., Gandhi, S., Naidu, M., Wong, K. H., Raman, J., & Sabaratnam, V. (2015). Lion’s Mane, Hericium erinaceus and Tiger Milk, Lignosus rhinocerotis (Higher Basidiomycetes) Medicinal Mushrooms Stimulate Neurite Outgrowth in Dissociated Cells of Brain, Spinal Cord, and Retina: An In Vitro Study. International journal of medicinal mushrooms, 17(11), 1047–1054. https://doi.org/10.1615/intjmedmushrooms.v17.i11.40
  2. Wong, K. H., Kanagasabapathy, G., Naidu, M., David, P., & Sabaratnam, V. (2016). Hericium erinaceus (Bull.: Fr.) Pers., a medicinal mushroom, activates peripheral nerve regeneration. Chinese journal of integrative medicine, 22(10), 759–767. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11655-014-1624-2
  3. McDonagh, M. S., Morasco, B. J., Wagner, J., Ahmed, A. Y., Fu, R., Kansagara, D., & Chou, R. (2022). Cannabis-Based Products for Chronic Pain : A Systematic Review. Annals of internal medicine, 175(8), 1143–1153. https://doi.org/10.7326/M21-4520
  4. Galeotti N. (2017). Hypericum perforatum (St John’s wort) beyond depression: A therapeutic perspective for pain conditions. Journal of ethnopharmacology, 200, 136–146. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2017.02.016
  5. Cai, Q., Li, Y., & Pei, G. (2017). Polysaccharides from Ganoderma lucidum attenuate microglia-mediated neuroinflammation and modulate microglial phagocytosis and behavioural response. Journal of neuroinflammation, 14(1), 63. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12974-017-0839-0
  6. Arslan, I., Aydinoglu, S., & Karan, N. B. (2020). Can lavender oil inhalation help to overcome dental anxiety and pain in children? A randomized clinical trial. European journal of pediatrics, 179(6), 985–992. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00431-020-03595-7
  7. Meşe, M., & Sarıtaş, S. (2023). Effects of inhalation of peppermint oil after lumbar discectomy surgery on pain and anxiety levels of patients: A randomized controlled study. Explore (New York, N.Y.), S1550-8307(23)00273-2. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.explore.2023.12.002
  8. Bear, T., Philipp, M., Hill, S., & Mündel, T. (2016). A preliminary study on how hypohydration affects pain perception. Psychophysiology, 53(5), 605–610. https://doi.org/10.1111/psyp.12610

Related Posts