In a country like the USA and many other countries, when one is confronted with pain, we dont take the time to consider essential oils for pain relief, we just tend to head out to the nearest drugstore to stock up on medications and creams to soothe away the pain and all the troubles associated with it. We are quick to reach out for the famed Aspirin, trusting that it will heal the pain. And when it comes to aching and tight muscles, we don’t hesitate to call on something like ibuprofen.
We trust in our doctor usually and we trust in his writing out a prescription for medicine that will quickly take pain and fever away, so we can quickly get back to living life on the edge again. But did it ever occur to you that there are ways from Nature itself to deal with pain without you needing to reach for the conventional type medications, most of which also include other chemical content as well?
Video - Natural pain relief using essential oils
What about essential oils? Have you ever considered that plants from nature have the capacity to heal not only light pain but chronic and serious pain too? Essential oils are miracle workers, getting down to business and penetrating your cells quickly, providing you with oxygen and even improving the circulation to your joints that are writhing in pain from inflammation.
Medicine men have used essential oils since ancient times to treat all kinds of health problems, but nothing has made these potent cures as popular as their pain-relieving properties. They can be as effective as, or even better than, the modern-day analgesics, but with few of their side effects.
Essential oils are particularly useful in the management of chronic pain as in the case of arthritis and sciatica. What makes them even more special is that, besides easing the pain, they help remedy at least some of the conditions that caused the pain. For instance, when peppermint essential oil is used on aching muscles, it not only relieves pain but improves blood circulation to the area, reducing the inflammation that causes the pain.
Likewise, the lavender essential oil commonly used to relieve headaches and neck pain also helps reduce the stress and anxiety that could be the underlying cause of these painful conditions. But more on that later…
First - The History Of Essential Oils For Pain
The use of essential oils goes back thousands of years to the Chinese, the Jews, Egyptians, Indians, Romans, and Greeks, who used it for not only magnificent cosmetic purposes but also for medical purposes to handle the effects of pain. Much later in time, the French chemist, Gattefossé, applied lavender oil to heal his hand of burns, and because of the success, he yearned to help injured and suffering soldiers in the First World War.
When it comes to chronic pain which can be frustrating and debilitating, and which can extend further to affect us emotionally and mentally as well, this impacts on our ability to start healing. And if pain just continues to persist for longer periods, like over 6 weeks or so, then it’s important to get help from your general medical practitioner.
But getting back to the magic of essential oils, let’s take a look-see at the names of some fantastic essential oils that will help to relieve your pain as well as your discomfort, let alone the stress and anxiety that often accompanies pain.
God’s Chemist Provides Essential Oils For Pain
While Basil and Peppermint essential oils are popular pain relievers for general use, there are a number of other essential oils that can be used for specific conditions. The analgesic (pain relieving) properties of different essential oils are accompanied by one or more beneficial actions such as:
Mental stress and lack of sleep are behind many of the aches and pains. It shouldn’t be surprising since body and mind are not two different entities; they are the extension of one another. Just as a niggling lower back pain or severe headache can affect our mood, making us irritable and depressed, stress, anxiety and mental fatigue can manifest as physical pain.
Some Of The Best Essential Oils For Pain Relief
1. Lavender Essential Oil
Video - Top 5 Benefits of Lavender Essential Oil
The sweet-smelling lavender essential oil needs no introduction; it is the number one remedy for a migraine and tension headaches. It is soothing and relaxing and has a mild sedative effect which helps relieve stress and anxiety that could be causing the headache. Mere inhalation of the vapors is sufficient to bring about relief in most cases. Being a mild oil, one or two drops can be applied undiluted on the neck and forehead for quicker results.
The anti-inflammatory and analgesic action of lavender essential oil can relieve body aches resulting from sore muscles. Mix a few drops in a tablespoon of castor oil or coconut oil and massage into the affected area. Use this excellent sleep aid in a diffuser in the bedroom or add it to bath water before going to bed to sleep off your pains.
2. Chamomile Essential Oil
Video - Chamomile Benefits for Anxiety and Digestion
The Roman chamomile oil extracted from Anthemis nobilis and the German chamomile oil from Matricaria chamomilla have analgesic properties, and can be used to treat headaches and neuralgia as well as muscle and joint pains. Both of them have a carminative effect, and can relieve abdominal pain due to gas.
Roman chamomile oil is milder and soothing and is often used to treat abdominal discomfort and irritability in small children. However, the deep blue German chamomile oil is more effective in treating pain resulting from inflammatory conditions. It has excellent anti-inflammatory action owing to the compound chamazulene which gives it the characteristic color. It is very effective in treating bowel diseases, lower back pain in adults and PMS in women.
3. Peppermint Essential Oil
Video - Peppermint Oil Benefits and Uses
One of the earliest essential oils to be used medicinally, peppermint essential oil is obtained from a natural hybrid of spearmint and watermint. The highly refreshing smell of the oil comes from the active ingredient menthol which is the major component of the oil.
The antispasmodic effect of this oil has been put to good use in several medicinal preparations to relieve nausea, indigestion, and stomachache. It soothes the lining of the stomach and intestines and suppresses painful spasms. The analgesic action of peppermint oil is not limited to the antispasmodic effect on the digestive tract. When used topically, it relaxes muscles in the lower back, reduces tension headaches and pain due to fibromyalgia. It is a decongestant and helps relieve headaches due to sinus congestion.
4. Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Video - Eucalyptus Essential Oil ~ All You Ever Need To Know
This pungent warming oil is extracted from the bark and leaves of the eucalyptus tree. As well as being a powerful decongestant it has anti-inflammatory properties that contribute to pain relief in case of sinus congestion and muscle injuries. Being a very strong oil, it should be diluted with coconut oil when applying on the skin, except when used to treat insect stings and bites.
5. Rosemary Essential Oil
Video - Benefits of Rosemary Essential Oil
Extracted from the shrub Rosmarinus officinalis, same as the culinary herb, the essential oil of rosemary is known as a memory-enhancer and appetite stimulant. But it is anti-inflammatory and analgesic too. Inhale the vapors to relieve a headache or apply the oil topically to reduce joint pains and muscle soreness. It is particularly useful in treating rheumatism.
6. Juniper Essential Oil
Video - Essential Oils Juniper Berry Benefits
Extracted from the berries of the blue-green evergreen Juniperus communis, the essential oil is used to treat a number of painful conditions such as hemorrhoids, colitis, and dysmenorrhea. Sitting for 15 to 20 minutes in a hot bath to which a few drops of the oil are added helps relieve hemorrhoids. Its carminative effect relieves pain due to gas accumulation. Juniper berry oil is used topically to treat rheumatic pain too.
7. Wintergreen Essential Oil
Video - 3 Reasons to Use Wintergreen Essential Oil
Wintergreen oil is obtained from a North American evergreen shrub Gaultheria procumbens growing close the ground. Its pain-relieving property was well known to Native Americans who had used it extensively in tribal medicine. Although the leaf extract had been earlier used internally to treat digestive and bladder problems, the essential oil is now limited to external use due to its toxicity and risk of causing intestinal hemorrhage.
Wintergreen oil is excellent for treating skeletal pains and neuralgia. It is commonly used to treat arthritis and muscle pain resulting from sports injuries. Always use it diluted with carrier oils when applying to the affected area. It can relieve a headache and sore throat too.
8. Cayenne Essential Oil
Video - Cayenne Oil Scalp Treatment
The hot and spicy essential oil extracted from the seeds of cayenne pepper is surprisingly effective in relieving the most severe types of pain such as that of shingles. Because of its potency, it has to be used in a much-diluted form. A little cayenne oil goes a long way. A single drop of this thick, viscous oil mixed with a light carrier oil like coconut oil makes it easier to apply. Use it topically to relieve arthritic and rheumatic pain and neuralgia.
9. Ginger Essential Oil
Video - Benefits of Ginger Essential Oil
Fresh ginger and its extract are popular as digestive aids, but the essential oil is just as effective in treating a number of painful autoimmune conditions including rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, lupus etc. The essential oil can be used topically or inhaled. Unlike the analgesic drugs used to manage the above conditions, ginger oil therapy has been found to have no adverse side effects even when used for extended periods of time.
10. Sandalwood Essential Oil
Video - How to Use Sandalwood Essential Oil
This is one of the most expensive essential oils since the oil is obtained from the heartwood of the Sandalwood tree Santalum album. The tree should be at least 50 years or older to provide high-quality oil. However, its antispasmodic property and the anti-inflammatory action of sandalwood make it worth having in your medicine chest. It is a powerful pain reliever whether it is muscle pain, skeletal pain or neuralgia. Use a few drops in a diffuser to experience the benefits.
11. Clary Sage Essential Oil
Video - Clary Sage Oil Health Benefits
Clary sage oil derived from the herb Salvia sclarea is best known for its benefits to the eye, but it is an excellent pain killer too, especially in case of pain associated with menstruation and menopause. It relieves stress-induced headache when used in a diffuser and reduces cramps and painful stomach spasms when applied to the abdominal area, but it should not be taken internally. This oil should be used sparingly and cautiously.
12. Clove Essential Oil
Video - Clove Oil Uses and Benefits for Healing
Cloves are the unopened buds of the Syzygium aromaticum tree from the tropics. The oil extracted from cloves is highly spicy and pungent and gives a burning sensation when applied on the skin in the undiluted form. This is immediately followed by an anesthetic action which helps provide almost instantaneous relief from acute pain as in the case of a toothache. A few drops of clove oil can be mixed with a cup of warm water and used as a throat gargle to get relief from throat pain. Besides that, the antimicrobial action of the oil can help clear the infection too.
To get relief from muscle and joint pain and soreness resulting from overexertion, Clove oil mixed with jojoba oil or olive oil can be massaged into the affected area. Use just a drop of undiluted oil on insect bites for instant relief. To treat headaches, mix a few drops of clove oil in water or salt solution and apply to the forehead and neck.
13. Marjoram Essential Oil
Video - Marjoram Essential Oil + How to use Essential Oils
Made from sweet marjoram, an herb closely related to oregano, this spicy, edible oil is analgesic and antispasmodic. Use it in an infuser to treat headaches during cold and fever. Diluted with olive oil and massaged into the affected area, it relieves muscular spasms resulting from overexertion of muscles in hands and legs. Marjoram oil is a good toothache remedy for spot application as well.
The mild sedative effect of sweet marjoram oil provides relief from chronic pain and is effective in treating conditions like osteoarthritis and rheumatism.
14. Yarrow Essential Oil
Video - Yarrow Essential Oil
It is extracted from the yarrow plant Achillea millefolium commonly known as nosebleed plant because of its ability to stop bleeding from the nose as well as minor wounds. The essential oil is antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory, and contains salicylic acid which is behind the analgesic effect of aspirin.
15. Helichrysum Essential Oil
Video - Benefits of Helichrysum Oil
Distilled from the flowering plant Helichrysum italicum, this oil is a powerful anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic analgesic. When applied on bruised areas, it quickly takes away not only the pain but the visible discoloration of the skin. The bruises are known to disappear overnight. For instant relief from the pain and soreness resulting from sunburn, apply Helichrysum oil diluted with coconut oil.
Helichrysum oil is a staple in anti-rheumatic medications. It can relieve deep nerve pain and provide quick relief from painful conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome and sciatica.
All of the above essential oils have a multipronged action as they contain a number of active compounds, some acting as soothing muscle and nerve relaxants while others have an invigorating action on the mind and body. The essential oils of yarrow, helichrysum and dandelion are effective pain relievers, but if you have ragweed allergy, you may have allergic reactions to them, as well as to chamomile oil, since these plants belong to the ragweed family.
Test with a small amount of diluted essential oil first. The medicinal properties of many essential oils overlap, so if you are allergic to some essential oils, it shouldn’t keep you from trying others.
Some of the pain-relieving essential oils can be mixed together to get the benefit of their combined action. Unless an expert practitioner in herbal remedies and essential oils can formulate a mixture that suits your needs, making your own by trial and error is the best bet.
Essential Oils For Bone and Joint Pain
A person can suffer from crippling joint and bone pain for many reasons. Simply put, natural aging is one reason but injury and trauma to these parts of the body can also bring on pain. Bone and joint pain are to be found more amongst middle aged people and not so much in the young unless it is an injury.
But it’s because as a person gets older, their bodies go through life changes, including a decrease in the density of the bones. Joint and bone pain usually do require medical attention from your general practitioner, but still, there are essential oils that go a very long way in helping one to cope and to manage this type of pain. Good essential oils for back and joint pain are lavender, clary sage, eucalyptus, rosemary, juniper, yarrow, and clove, to mention a few.
Essential Oils For Muscle Pain
Many of us, when we exert ourselves can feel the muscles aching and pain for a couple of days and then the pain gradually subsides. But the pain that lingers, that won’t go away after a couple of days needs more concern – and this is particularly when the pain is in the back or the neck. Over 80% of Americans experience this type of ongoing lingering pain at certain stages in their lives; in fact, making it one of the most common reasons why they end up in their doctor’s office or don’t pitch up for work.
When you have muscle pain, you can’t miss the feeling – aching and stabbing, shooting pains, unable to flex yourself fully. Sometimes it is almost impossible to drive your car properly because as you are reversing or trying to look to the left or right, you are sharply brought back to reality with agonizing muscle pain. In these instances, it is recommended that you see your doctor. But it is also worth trying out essential oils that can alleviate some of that nausea, pain, discomfort, and stress. These are some excellent essential oils for muscle pain that are known to soothe and comfort:
- 1Roman Chamomile - will help you over the stress and anxiety associated with muscle pain as it is a relaxant, it is anti-inflammatory and detoxifying.
- 2Marjoram - will sooth pains and aches associated with muscular cramps.
- 3Rosemary - is wonderful for the memory but is known to soothe muscle soreness as well.
- 4Thyme - helps you overcome fatigue and is excellent for rheumatism.
Video - Essential Oils For Joint, Muscle & Nerve Pain
Working With Essential Oils For Pain
Essential oils are highly effective because they get absorbed directly into your bloodstream, getting down to work straight away – they go past your digestive system. It’s no wonder that essential oils have been used for centuries already to help in the effective use of aches and pains.
Many of the plants used for essential oils already contain pain-relieving ingredients in them that so many pharmaceutical companies use in their synthetic pain relievers. But the fantastic news about essential oils is that they have far, far fewer side effects than the synthetic pharmaceutical products contain, being so easily accepted by the body.
Essential oils are compatible with the human proteins in our bodies, and they are chemically structured in similar ways as that of human cells – even having a similar type of hormone compounds. Essential oils also have tiny amounts of chemical structures in them so that as you apply it to your body, they start reaching the cells of your body straight away, within a few minutes, helping the body to start its recovery and healing.
Essential Oils Maintain The Right Balances In Your Body
Essential oils that assist you with pain are homeostatic. What does this mean? It means that they are complex, not able to disturb your body’s normal, natural balance. Pharmaceutical drugs are synthetic; therefore, they have a huge capacity to disrupt your body’s homeostasis. This means that when you start drinking a lot of synthetic drugs for instance for headaches, the kidneys need to start working overtime to deal with the intake of the synthetic drugs. Because they are suffering, they react – and that straight away starts disturbing your body’s homeostasis.
Medications for pain like antibiotics can be very harmful to you because the work of the kidneys is to flush out waste. Some of these synthetic medications prevent the kidneys from doing their job properly. Diuretics and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory type drugs have been known to cause up to 5% of kidney failure in people every year.
Try Out Wintergreen and Helichrysum
Wintergreen, however, as mentioned above, is a very well-known pain reliever. It comprises of around 90% Methyl Salicylate and when you rub it onto your affected painful areas, the Methyl Salicylate kind of causes a soothing aesthetic effect on your nerves. Wintergreen also increases blood circulation, bringing delicious warmth to the painful area. It is said to even have cortisone-type of effects which go towards relieving pain in rapid quick time. Whilst soothing your pain, wintergreen relaxes and uplifts your mood too and the strong aromas can height your senses. Aren’t these sufficient enough reasons to let nature intervene and do the curing?
What about Helichrysum? This is another powerful pain reliever containing big amounts of Neryl Acetate in it. The main components of this amazing plant relieve pain and soothe trauma, being an antispasmodic as well. Spasms occurring in the muscles are unbalanced and unwanted, and they manifest by painful cramping. Even severe stomach cramps can get quick relief from Helichrysum.
Make Your Own Pain Relieving Essential Oil Balm
It could be that you have spent too long in the gym, maybe too long horse-riding, rowing or bending and straining muscles doing housework – whatever the case. But sore and tired muscles are generally inflamed. In order to reduce the inflammation and to increase the circulation, you need to rub healing and natural balms on to your muscles. Cinnamon, a very popular herb abounding in therapeutic properties is one such soothing spice – keeping the pain away with its prostaglandin-inhibiting properties.
What about adding some Camphor? It is so readily absorbed into your skin, acting as an anesthetic to relieve pain. And powerful Rosemary? She is very well known to reduce muscle pain and soreness, even those associated with arthritis. Ginger added in just simply increases the circulation and takes away the pain.
- 1Melt the beeswax and the almond oil together over the stove.
- 2Add your essential oils, stirring gently and allowing to cool.
- 3Rub this onto your sore muscles in circular movements until absorbed. Apply up to around 3 times a day as required.
In the USA, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t regulate essential oils, meaning that essential oil products can vary according to different manufacturers. These will vary according to their strength, purity and quality. That is why is it important that you only use top quality essential oils from manufacturers you know and trust.
How Do You Use Essential Oils?
Essential oils can either be applied to the skin or they can be inhaled. When applying to the skin, they need to be mixed and diluted with carrier oils. You should never just apply essential oils directly to your skin. Carrier oils are often overlooked because they don’t have the therapeutic constituents that essential oils have, and yet they are the companion of essential oils.
They are derived naturally from vegetable oils and are not volatile like essential oils. Things like vegetable shortening, margarine and butters are not carrier oils and are not designed for topical use. Neither should you use petroleum jelly or mineral oil as your carrier oil. Real carrier oils are ideal for diluting with essential oils to dilute the strong essential oils. Carrier oils help to carry essential oils to your skin. Here are a few true carrier oils to mix with essential oils:
Inhaling means adding a few drops of your favorite essential oil to a diffuser which you could purchase. Then you inhale the steam as you sit in a closed room. In this instance, you don’t need the added carrier oils.
If you have a headache, for instance, there have been a couple of studies completed by research teams where applying peppermint oil topically on the forehead showed the ability to cure headaches. The first study involved 32 patients and it was discovered that 10% of the peppermint oil showed pain relief when it was sponged on to the patient’s temples and foreheads. Tension headaches occur when there are feelings of pressure and peppermint oil alleviates stress and tension. Just add 5-10 drop of peppermint oil to your diffuser or warm bath for soothing effects.
Video - How to use Essential Oils
How To Dilute Essential Oils
Pure essential oils are highly potent and concentrated, so they should be diluted with carrier oils such as olive oil, coconut oil, jojoba oil or castor oil before direct application on the skin. Use the purest grade of carrier oils since they have therapeutic properties of their own and enhance the action of the essential oils.
For instance, the substance oleocanthal in extra-virgin olive oil has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties that match NSAIDs like Ibuprofen. Castor oil has antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. Jojoba oil has excellent skin protective emollient action, while the lauric acid in coconut oil is antibacterial.
The potency of essential oils should not be underestimated. They should be used with great caution and avoided during pregnancy and in young children unless certified to be safe.
Are Essential Oils Safe To Use For Babies In Pain?
Apart from the ones listed below, there are quite a few essential oils that are wonderful to use around young kids and babies, although it is advised to avoid the use of them on babies that are under 6 months old. To ease congestion in a baby and to help with coughs, cold and pain, there are baby-safe oil blends which you can diffuse around Baby which are safe and natural alternatives to the usual over the counter medications.
Video - Cough & Cold : Home Remedies for Baby
Essential Oils For Babies Coughs And Colds
Look at this delightful blend to help your baby get back to his or her old self in no time after colds and congestion upset their life:
Place all essential oils into the diffuser, diffusing in an open and large room.
Always remember that essential oils are very powerful and have fantastic benefits when they are used correctly. Similarly, because they have such healing powers, they also have the potential to cause harm if they are used incorrectly.
Essential Oils For Teething Pain
There are superb essential oils that go towards easing the pain that comes with teething. Some of them will go towards promoting calm and relaxation and some can be added to the above-mentioned carrier oils and gently massaged along Baby’s jawline. It is not really recommended that essential oils get massaged directly onto Baby’s gums – just gently on his jawline.
Mix all together and massage gently along the baby’s jawline to bring teething relief.
Video - Essential Oils For Teething
Essential Oils For Babies Ear Infections
You will know just how painful earache can be if you have ever experienced it, and when it comes to babies, it’s a huge concern, causing the baby to scream and be uncomfortable. Some excellent essential oils contain antimicrobial and even antibacterial properties. Basil essential oil and tea tree oil have medicinal properties known for being useful in treating infections of the ear. Tea tree oil contains terpinen-4-ol, an ingredient noted to kill off bacteria.
Dilute 1-2 drops of essential oil into the carrier oil (in this case it can be warm olive oil). The mixture should not be too hot. Using a clean dropper release the oil directly into your ear, with head tilted for to be absorbed into the ear. Wipe excess oil away.
Remember, don’t use any of the above methods if the eardrum is perforated, and contact your doctor.
Video - Essential Oils for Babies and Children - Safety Guidelines
Essential Oils Are Being Used In Top Pain Areas – Hospitals
Because aromatherapy has so many health benefits and is able to be used in so many settings, and because of its non-evasive way of healing, many medical facilities are starting to treat their patients with essential oils. Take a typical traditional hospital like the well-known Vanderbilt University Hospital – they are using essential oils in their treatment of anxiety, infections and depressed.
There are certain essential oils that midwives use to reduce anxiety for childbirth. A study done in 2007 showed in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine that women who used essential oils during their labor time reported less pain and took less pain medication.
A recent 2016 study shows that essential oils can treat pain successful when combined with other conventional medicine and treatments. This makes sense, of course, seeing as essential oils contain antifungal and antibacterial benefits. Many of these amazing gifts of the earth have the ability to treat burns, scrapes, cuts, and open wounds, and today essential oils are not going ignored when it comes to fighting cancer.
But while the medical facilities are getting on with the important business of incorporating essential oils in hospitals, you can start simply, too. If you are suffering from aches and pains, lavender essential oil is the number one remedy for pain and tension. Others are chamomile, peppermint, eucalyptus, rosemary, juniper, wintergreen, cayenne – and the list just goes on and on and on.
Thing is, they are so excellent at treating the common aches and pains, that in using them, you might be unaware that you are digging deeper down to an even more serious disease - and that is because Nature is so powerful. You cannot afford not to yield to its healing touch and power and consider using essential oils for pain relief!