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Whenever I suggest using essential oils for pain, the first question I get asked is ‘Do essential oils really work to relieve pain?’
I’m not really surprised at anyone being skeptical about using essential oils to relieve pain but the fact is this is not just my personal opinion. Several studies have proven that certain essential oils have anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties that are very effective in reducing pain.
The findings of this study on ‘The Effectiveness of Aromatherapy in Reducing Pain’ indicate that essential oils can successfully treat pain when combined with conventional treatments.
How Do Essential Oils Work To Relieve Pain?
Essential oils are natural oils that are extracted through a special distillation process from various botanicals such as herbs, leaves, flowers, roots, seeds, and even the bark of some trees.
Each oil contains the characteristic components, properties, and fragrances of the plant from which it is extracted. Different oils have different healing properties.
Some oil extracts have powerful anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-spasmodic, and anti-rheumatic properties. These are the best essential oils for pain relief. The best way to essential oils for pain relief is by direct topical application to the painful area.
As always, concentrated essential oils should never be applied directly to the skin. Pure essential oils are very strong and can cause severe skin irritation. Essential oils should always be diluted with a carrier oil before topical application. Scroll below for a more detailed explanation of how to apply essential oils to the skin.
Other essential oils work to relieve pain by soothing the mind and body. This helps to alleviate stress and tension that cause pain.
How to Use Essential Oils for Pain
Before diving into the best essential oils for pain, I’d like to talk a bit about how to use essential oils for effective pain relief without any side effects.
There are two main ways to use essential oils for pain.
The first is by diffusing the oil and inhaling its aroma. Read: How to use an essential oil diffuser
The second is by topical application. In this case, you must mix 1-2 drops of the selected essential oil with a teaspoon of carrier oil in a glass container. Mix well, and apply gently over the painful area. Never apply essential oils to the skin directly. These potent oils could have an adverse reaction on your skin.
Best Essential Oils For Headaches & Joint Pain – Lavender
Lavender essential oil offers a fresh floral aroma with a hint of herbs. While best known for its ability to induce relaxation, this study shows that lavender also has powerful anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antioxidant properties. These properties make lavender the best essential oil for pain relief.
Lavender essential oil is particularly effective for soothing muscle pain and headaches. Topical application of lavender essential oil mixed with a carrier oil works very well to relieve muscle tension, joint pain, headaches, and spasms.
A placebo-controlled clinical trial found that inhaling lavender essential oil significantly reduced the severity of headaches. It is particularly effective for alleviating the symptoms of migraine headaches.
By relieving stress and promoting calm, lavender essential oil supports pain relief indirectly.
Best Essential Oils for Headaches, Joint Pain & Sore Muscles – Peppermint
Peppermint essential oil is rich in menthol, which gives the oil its powerful analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anesthetic, and antispasmodic properties. Peppermint is considered the best essential oil for joint and muscle pain.
Peppermint oil has an icy-hot sensation that makes it simultaneously soothing and stimulating. When applied directly to painful and sore joints and muscles, the oil acts as an invigorating but soothing pain reliever. Athletes use it to get immediate relief from sore and painful joints and muscles during training or after a rigorous game.
Peppermint can also be used to soothe the pain of hangover headaches, migraines, and menstrual cramps.
Best Essential Oil For Flu-Related Aches & Pains – Eucalyptus
Eucalyptus is rich in 1.8 cineole, an active compound that gives eucalyptus essential oil powerful anti-inflammatory, and analgesic properties.
In addition to being the best essential oil for colds and clearing up sinus and lung congestion, eucalyptus essential oil is also great for alleviating pain and inflammation. It is particularly effective for soothing flu-related aches and pains.
Best Essential Oil For Severe Aches & Pains – Wintergreen
Extracted from the leaves of the wintergreen plant, wintergreen essential oil contains methyl salicylate, which is the pain-relieving ingredient in some over-the-counter pain medications. The ingredients in this oil make it very effective for soothing headaches, arthritis pain, and menstrual cramps.
As it is a very powerful essential oil, is best to save this oil for days when the pain is really bad. A topical application of 2.4% wintergreen oil with a carrier oil can help relieve the pain in that area.
Best Essential Oil For Menstrual Cramps & Spasms – Clary Sage
Clary sage essential oil is calming and soothing with anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and anti-spasmodic properties. this oil is rich in linalool and linalyl acetate, both of which are proven analgesics.
Clary Sage is the best essential oil for menstrual cramps and spasms. Studies have shown that massaging the lower abdomen daily with a blend of clary sage, lavender, and carrier oil helped reduce the intensity and frequency of menstrual cramps.
Best Essential Oil For Soothing Rheumatoid Arthritis Pain – Rosemary Oil
Rosemary essential oil contains 1,8-cineole, which gives the oil its analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and antispasmodic properties. Several studies have shown that rosemary essential oil may be a good adjunct to other analgesic drugs.
An aromatherapy massage using rosemary oil and carrier oil is very effective for soothing rheumatoid arthritis pain. Rosemary is also effective for soothing headaches, as well as back, muscle, and joint pain.
Best Essential Oil for Stress-Related Aches & Pains – Roman Chamomile
Well known for its relaxation and sleep-inducing properties, Roman chamomile essential oil also has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. It is particularly effective for soothing general aches and pains that are brought on by persistent stress.
Roman chamomile also helps relieve pain from menstrual cramps because of its anti-inflammatory properties.
Topical application of Roman chamomile essential oil with a carrier oil is also effective for relieving lower back pain, joint pain, migraines, and spasms.
Another benefit of Roman chamomile for pain is that its aroma induces calm and restful sleep, which can otherwise be difficult when you’re in pain.
Best Essential Oil For Tooth Pain – Clove
Extracted from the clove flower buds, clove essential oil possesses anti-inflammatory and anesthetic properties. It is the best essential oil for tooth pain and is used in a wide range of pharmaceutical and dental products.
Clove oil also relaxes the smooth muscle lining of the digestive tract, which helps boost digestion, reduce digestion issues, and prevent intestinal spasms, bloating, and gas.
Use it in massage oil form diluted with a carrier oil as a topical application to relieve pain in any part of the body.
Read my detailed report on Clove Essential Oil Benefits, Uses & Precautions with special mention of how to use clove to relieve toothache.
Best Essential Oil For Muscle Spasms – Sandalwood
Sandalwood essential oil works as a sedative on the nervous system. It helps to relieve nerve pain and muscle spasms.
Best Synergy Blends For Pain Relief
A synergy blend is a pre-mixed blend that’s formulated with a combination of essential oils that are known to reduce pain. Using an essential oil synergy blend for pain can offer quick, effective relief.
Plant Therapy’s Rapid Relief Essential Oil Blend – This 100% pure, undiluted USDA Certified Organic essential oil synergy blend contains Peppermint, Juniper Berry, Clove Bud, Cinnamon Cassia, Ginger Root C02, German Chamomile, Laurel Leaf, Black Pepper, and Thyme Thymol essential oils. The combination of oils warms the painful area and increases circulation, easing the pain. Rapid Relief is also available as a pre-diluted roll-on that you can apply directly to the affected area.
Edens Garden Muscle Relief Essential Oil Synergy Blend – Muscle Relief synergy blend is formulated with Peppermint, Clove Bud, Wintergreen, and Helichrysum essential oils. Mix 5 drops of muscle relief blend with a carrier oil and apply gently over the affected area to reduce inflammation, and soothe sore muscles
Rocky Mountain Oil’s Pain Ease Synergy Blend – Pain Ease Essential Oil Blend combines Peppermint, Wintergreen, and Lemongrass essential oils, all of which are very effective for pain relief. The blend features a warm citrus top note aroma and a cooling minty middle note. Add 2-3 drops of the blend to a carrier oil and use to massage into tight muscles after a workout.
Plant Therapy’s Muscle Aid Essential Oil Blend – The combination of Wintergreen, Scots Pine, and Camphor is very effective for soothing sore, aching muscles, especially after a strenuous workout. It has a minty herbaceous fresh aroma and a calming, cooling effect when used topically on the areas of concern. This blend is most effective when mixed with a carrier oil and massaged into muscles before or after you work out. For topical use, dilute to a maximum of 5%.
Deep Relief Essential Oil Roll-On by Young Living – This roll-on from Young Living is formulated for direct application to the affected area. It is pre-blended with a combination of pain-relief essential oils and carrier oils, so it’s a convenient one-stop application to reduce pain.
Pain, whether temporary or chronic, can slow us down and make life difficult. This is regardless of whether the pain is caused because of regular wear and tear, an intense workout at the gym, or part of the aging process. Everyday activities become cumbersome and can severely impact the quality of life. It doesn’t have to be that way. Choose from one of the above essential oils for pain relief so you can help relieve discomfort and minimize the impact of the pain on your life.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to serve as medical advice. Please consult your doctor before using any natural medication or if you experience any unusual symptoms. See Full Disclaimer here.