Managing Pain Naturally - P.E.A

We have all heard about the benefits of Cannabis oil (CBD) oil for people with chronic pain and disease, but we may not fully understand why it is such a miracle supplement. What is all the hype about? Well, let me tell you.


It works because it is able to stimulate the body's 'endocannabinoid' system (see below), and in doing so, has far-reaching benefits for pain management, mood, inflammation, and chronic disease. But CBD oil isn't the only way to stimulate this system; we now have access to a natural cannabinoid that works through this pathway in a similar way, but in contrast to CBD oil, it is legal, safe, more accessible, substantially cheaper and doesn't carry the side-effects that CBD oil does. 


New to the practitioner's toolkit is PEA - Palmitolylethanolamide - a substance made from sustainable, organic palm oil; a substance that is also naturally produced in the body. Having access to this natural supplement enables us to increase the body's access to PEA, and to up-regulate the natural Endocannabinoid system in a way similar to CBD oil, without the undesirable effects. For people with chronic pain, this is wonderful!


PEA is a natural, protective, fatty molecule that has an anti-inflammatory effect which leads to positive results in clinical trials for a broad range of conditions from osteoarthritis, shingles, peripheral neuropathy, low back pain, fibromyalgia, depression, and autism through to cold and flu management and allergy control.


Discovered by Nobel Prize winner Levi-Montalcini, who identified PEA as a naturally occurring molecule, describing its value in treating chronic infections and pain. Since her discovery, hundreds of scientific studies have demonstrated its effective and safe use across a myriad of conditions and illnesses. PEA is described in scientific writings as a "natural painkiller".



  • Manages body HOMEOSTASIS - controls balance and regulation in the body - in the communication between all the systems - neurologically, hormonally, circulation, immune and digestive systems. Normalises and balances things behind the scenes.

  • It regulates and controls our stress response and our recovery response.

  • Exists throughout the body

  • Primes and readies the other systems for quick action.

  • Helps with repair, recovery, and protection.


Biological functions of the ECS

  • Learning and memory

  • The health of nerve cells

  • Pain management

  • Inflammation regulation

  • Allergy management

  • Appetite control

  • Digestion

  • Energy and metabolism

  • Circadian Cycles

  • Bone Health

  • Reproductive health

  • Cell survival or death

  • Stem cell proliferation

  • Liver Health

  • And many other functions.

  • Every biological system in the body has an interaction with the body's endocannabinoid system.


The therapeutic potential is therefore huge.

PEA –  encourages the body to stimulate the molecules that work in the Endo-Cannabinoid system itself, without the side effects of cannabis. The structure of PEA is very similar in structure to the body's own cannabinoids that it produces itself. Therefore it works easily through these existing pathways.


Natural actions of PEA

  • Anti-inflammatory

  • Neuro-protective

  • Pain-relieving


PEA is produced in the body when there is

  • Stress

  • Infection

  • Acute and chronic inflammation

  • Pain

  • Allergens / allergies

  • Other attacks - UV damage, carcinogens, solvents, pesticides

  • Other triggers - gluten, toxins etc.


PEA works in four key areas

  1. Reduces inflammatory processes

  2. Enhances the Endo-cannabinoid system

  3. Reduces mast cell activation (allergies, neuro-inflammation)

  4. Activates unique cellular receptors


PEA directly reduces inflammation (calming gene expression: PPAR, FAAH, TRP1, GPR55, GPR119), and stimulates the 'holistic entourage effect' supporting the system feedback loop to further reduce inflammation and regulate homeostasis throughout the body.


Discovered in 1939. Research since then has found it to:

  • Improve rheumatic fever

  • Reducing the symptoms of the common cold and influenza

  • Prevents influenza and the common cold

  • Modulates and regulates the immune system

  • Pain modulator (40 clinical trials in chronic pain)

  • Neuropathic pain by mast cell regulation

  • Useful for painful tissues (trapezius pain, chronic neck pain, fibromyalgia)

  • Painful disorders (ulcerative colitis, celiac inflammation, pancreatic cancer)

Endocannabinoid Deficiency

Deficiency of the effectiveness of this system can be brought on by states of constant Stress (elevating cortisol), which down-regulates the EC system, having a negative effect on homeostasis, inflammation and pain regulation.  Migraine, Irritable bowel disorder, and Psychological disorders are also conditions related to a deficiency of this natural, regulatory, EC pathway.  Once deficient, inflammation and pain increases.


Clinical Applications of P.E.A

PEA is a versatile and diverse molecule that is a natural part of the endocannabinoid system.

It has been researched for 80 years with over 340 PubMed citations.

It has been studied in over 50 human clinical trials.


PEA is made by the body but becomes depleted when there is a strain on the system, such as when a person is under stress or suffering from a chronic inflammatory condition. Supplementation fills the gap and supports the body's self-healing, homeostatic processes. It has an excellent safety profile and has no drug interactions.


PEA can be used for:

  1. Immune Regulation - preventing and treating colds, reducing fever, coughs, colds, malaise, and reducing lost days off work or school in studies, with nil side effects. Studied in children and adults.

  2. Inflammation Management - across multiple systems

  3. Pain Alleviation- across all types of pain, including sciatica, abdominal pain, diabetic neuropathy, oncology pain, chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy, carpal tunnel syndrome, osteoarthritis, low-back pain, failed back surgery syndrome, dental pain, post-surgical pain, nerve pain in stroke and multiple sclerosis, chronic regional pain syndrome, chronic pelvic pain, postherpetic neuralgia (after shingles), and vaginal pains. Nerve impingement /inflammation, nociceptive pain (rheumatoid arthritis, gout, neck and back pain with structural abnormalities, tendonitis, bursitis etc), hypersensitivity (fibromyalgia, tension, regional pain syndrome, restless legs, myofascial pain, TMJ pain ...

  4. Mood Regulation- depression, stress, anxiety, PTSD - 600mg PEA twice daily (alongside antidepressants or herbals is also fine - eg: omega 3 plus hypericum plus PEA)

  5. Management of neurological pain and inflammation – as in MS, Parkinson's, dementia, MND, fibromyalgia, Lyme disease etc.

  6. Post Stroke Pain and Nerve Function - improves neurological values from cognition, pain, degree of spasticity and QoL Together with the flavonoid Luteolin (antioxidant).

  7. Autism & ASD - shown to improve irritability, hyperactivity, and inappropriate speech. 600mg twice daily alongside an existing plan. 10-week study showed significant improvements in all parameters, and additionally reduced enuresis. (Calms the glutamate-driven pathway of hyperactivity as well.)

  8. Eye Conditions - Glaucoma, retinopathy - wherever the nerves are compressed or damaged.

  9. Microbiome & Gut Repair - regulates gut permeability.

  10. Cancer Management - alleviates pain with no medication restrictions.

  11. Epigenetic support - the anti-inflammatory effects appear to work at the genetic level, which allows for improved gene expression going forward.


Chronic Illness, Inflammation & Pain

For chronic pain, PEA helps turn down the pain and support the nerves, and while this is important, it is equally important to get to the causative factors driving the pain. A holistic approach is important, we don't just want to remove the pain expression, we want to identify and treat at the causative level concurrently.


Identifying and removing the causative drivers

A holistic approach supports and stimulates the whole body's self-healing capacity. Identifying and removing obstacles, while identifying the areas that energy is impaired and not being produced optimally, supports the body to move toward recovery.


When the body expresses symptoms, it indicates that a pathway or process is obstructed or inhibited, and symptoms are the body's attempts to heal it, they are not the 'disease' itself. When we understand that the body is always on our side, endeavoring to heal and repair itself, we can be better equipped mentally to take corrective and supportive action.


Genetics is a factor that many people consider a cause of disease. It is not. Genes are switched on or off by the environment. Change the environment, change the gene expression. The same goes for cancer.


Removing symptoms alone isn’t healing, it is symptomatic management. Relieving pain and discomfort while working on the causative drivers of health issues is the key. The body is designed to heal itself. When we remove the obstacles to this process, while supporting function, the body is quite capable of healing itself. Mostly we need to get out of the way.

Medical form with stethoscope

How do I obtain a PEA prescription?


PEA is a practitioner-only product, that can be sourced through your practitioner.

If you are an existing client of the clinic, simply arrange a phone or face-to-face consultation to discuss this supplement with your Naturopath.

If you are new to the clinic, you can book an online or in-person Naturopathic session to discuss your health needs and to assess whether this supplement is the best option for you. .