We all know pain can stem from many different causes and acute and/or chronic pain can make life difficult, everyday activities may become cumbersome, and pain can severely impact the quality of life when it is highly uncomfortable or debilitating.
I did a little research to learn which oils help the best to soothe and relieve pain plus discovered DIY recipes using these oils.
Keep reading to learn how to use them and which ones might help you.
How Essential Oils Work On Pain
There are many different essential oils that can be used for pain relief.
Some soothe the mind and body to alleviate stress and tension that indirectly helps improves the pain profile, while others have actual analgesic properties.
Yet others possess anti-spasmodic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-rheumatic properties, all of which serve to alleviate pain in various ways.
While modern science has yet to provide substantial proof as to how and why essential oils work, the fact remains that these have been in use for hundreds of years.
Use Them As Aromatherapy
One of the main ways to use these essential oils for pain relief is through aromatherapy.
Diffusing oils into the air allows us to breathe their therapeutic values that then work through our sense of smell.
Our sense of smell is powerful and specific scents elicit specific associated reactions.
For example, when we smell garbage, we are repulsed; when we smell a flower, we are pleased; we often encounter scents that can invoke memories, both bad and good, such as those from childhood.
These inherent reactions elicit a certain response within our brain.
Aromatherapy for pain relief, relaxation, rejuvenation, and mood control works in the same way, where the scent of a particular oil elicits a respective response.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, professor of surgery at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City states that various research studies support the use of aromatherapy for pain relief and, as opposed to other remedies, aromatherapy acts very fast as the brain interprets the scent quickly and feels it instantaneously.
While researchers are not yet sure exactly how aromatherapy really works, the theory is that our sense of smell works to stimulate the part of our brain that activates relaxation and promotes healing.
Use Them Directly On Skin
Massaging certain essential oils diluted with a carrier oil can bring spot on relief to muscles and joints.
Top 27 Essential Oils For Pain
Here are 27 of the most popular essential oils that promote healing and help ease pain and inflammation.
Still need to buy your essential oils? You can find quality oils at Simply Earth or in my Amazon Shop.
Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender is a wonderful sweet calming oil that has a luscious scent and is most known for its ability to induce a state of relaxation with supports pain relief indirectly and relieves stress.
It is an anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and also contains sedative properties which help with muscle tension, joint pain, headaches, and muscle spasms.
Learn more about Lavender Essential Oil here
Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Eucalyptus is another wonderful smelling oil that boasts analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties.
The mere scent of eucalyptus elicits feelings of peace, calm, and serenity.
Great for nerve and muscle pain, it also helps clear up sinus and lung congestion, and is great to use for flu-related aches and pains.
Learn more about Eucalyptus Essential Oil here
Clary Sage Essential Oil
Clary sage is calming, soothing with anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic properties is effective in easing muscle tension, PMS cramps, and spasms.
Sandalwood Essential Oil
Sandalwood works as a sedative on the nervous system, and so it helps to relieve nerve pain and muscle spasms.
Juniper Essential Oil
Juniper relieves joint and muscle aches and helps with spasms thanks to its antispasmodic properties.
Chamomile Essential Oil
Chamomile has anti-inflammatory properties and so it helps to relieve spasms, lower back pain, joint pain, migraines and PMS related pain.
Yarrow Essential Oil
Yarrow has natural analgesic and powerful anti-inflammatory properties so it’s great for muscle and joint pains.
Mustard Seed Oil
When applied as a paste warm mustard seed oil may improve blood flow to the inflamed painful joints and help relieve pain.
Mustard seed used in cooking is also helpful as it contains omega-3 fatty acids, selenium, and magnesium, which are all linked to improving arthritis symptoms.
Tea Tree Essential Oil
Tea tree oil is derived from the leaves of the tea tree and is used to relieve pain and inflammation of arthritis.
Lemon Essential Oil
Lemon oil is an anti-inflammatory that reduces joint inflammation.
Olive Essential Oil
Olive Oil contains a compound called oleocanthal that works in a similar fashion to the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs that are prescribed for arthritis pain.
Research has shown that oleocanthal decreases the production of COX-1 and COX-2 enzymes that cause inflammation.
Helichrysum Essential Oil
Helichrysum has antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, and analgesic properties all of which may be used in support of various types of pain relief.
Ginger Essential Oil
Ginger oil is widely used for back pain, muscle pain, and arthritis.
Cedarwood Essential Oil
Cedarwood oil is widely used in Ayurvedic medicine and the oil is extracted from Cedarwood trees.
Works great as a massage oil in diluted form and is used to ease arthritis and joint stiffness and pain.
Related: Manly Essential Oils and DIY Recipes
Frankincense Essential Oil
Frankincense oil is extracted from the Boswellia plant that grows in northern Africa.
Its anti-inflammatory properties are why it is used to relieve stress and pain, and it is widely used in herbal medicine.
Various research studies are promising in its ability to ease arthritis knee pain.
Frankincense can be used in aromatherapy and also comes in supplement form.
Spruce Essential Oil
The oil derived from the spruce tree has a wonderful aroma and has been used since ancient times to promote relaxation and boost immunity. Many rely on it to help ease pain that is caused by arthritis and rheumatism, as well as bone and back pain and sciatica.
Sweet Marjoram Essential Oil
Sweet marjoram with its sedative properties supports the relief of muscle pain, spasms, stiffness, and rheumatism.
Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint is a great oil to alleviate joint and muscle pain. Athletes use it when they are training and many fitness buffs love it as a massage oil.
Learn more about Peppermint Essential Oil here
Rosemary Essential Oil
Rosemary works for back, muscle, joint, and headache pain because it has analgesic and antispasmodic properties.
Thyme Essential Oil
Thyme is a natural antispasmodic, which makes it good for muscle and joint pain.
Wintergreen Essential Oil
Wintergreen contains methyl salicylate, which is the exact pain reliever in aspirin, making this essential oil effective for headaches, arthritis, and menstrual cramps.
Myrrh Essential Oil
Myrrh has been used for centuries to treat swelling caused by arthritis.
A powerful anti-inflammatory that is also believed to help wound healing.
It also helps calm the spirit and relax the body, which promotes healing.
Note: Myrrh should never be used during pregnancy.
Bay Essential Oil
Bay essential oil possesses anti-spasmodic, analgesic, antiseptic, and sedative properties.
The oil is extracted from the leaves of the Bay tree that is native to the Caribbean Islands.
Its anti-spasmodic properties make it useful for cramps, aches and other related symptoms caused by spasm within the body.
Bay oil blends well with Cedarwood, eucalyptus, lavender, lemon, and orange.
Note: Bay oil should not be used during pregnancy as it contains high levels of eugenol that can cause irritations in the skin and mucus membrane.
Vetiver Essential Oil
Vetiver essential oils are extracted from the roots of the Vetiveria zizanoides grass, which is part of the same botanical family that holds lemongrass.
It is used for general aches, arthritis, rheumatism, and headaches.
Clove Essential Oil
Cloves have uses beyond your holiday meal spice, as the essential oil extracted from the clove flower buds possesses anti-inflammatory and anesthetic properties.
Clove oil that is derived from the flower buds is much better quality than that derived from stems or leaves, so read the labels.
Some of its uses include tooth pain, and throat infections, which is why it is used in many pharmaceutical and dental products.
Clove oil also helps boost digestion and alleviate various digestion problems because it relaxes the smooth muscle lining of the digestive tract, which helps to prevent intestinal spasms, bloating, and gas.
Clove oil also has antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial properties that help rid the body of digesting upsetting pathogens.
Vanilla Essential Oil
Vanilla was studied by the Columbia University Medical Center where subjects smelled vanilla while performing stress tests and the vanilla resulted in them having more stable heart rates and blood pressure readings than those who took the same tests in an unscented environment.
Related: Best Essential Oils To Use For Headaches
How To Use Essential Oils For Pain Relief
There are many ways you can use essential oils but the most common for pain relief is in a diffuser or as a massage oil.
Use A Combination Of Oils
While you can use any of these oils on their own, the blending of various compatible essential oils is commonplace and can greatly improve results.
You can blend on your own or purchase premade blends specifically intended for pain.
Use As A Massage Oil
Essential oils work great in massage form, but you should never apply undiluted oils directly to the skin because they can cause burns, dilute with a carrier by using about 10 to 12 drops to 1 ounce of carrier oil.
Best Carrier Oils
- Sweet Almond Oil
- Grapeseed Oil
- Jojoba Oil
- Macadamia Nut Oil
- Olive Oil
- Peanut Oil
- Apricot Kernel Oil
- Avocado Oil
- Coconut Oil
- Evening Primrose Oil
- Pecan Oil
- Rose Hip Oil
- Walnut Oil
- Wheatgerm Oil
- Sesame Oil
- Shea Butter
- Sunflower Oil
- Kukui Oil
You Will Need:
1 oz glass bottle
6 drops of Peppermint Essential Oil
5 drops of Cypress Essential Oil
4 drops of Lavender Essential Oil
Sweet Almond Oil (almost 1 oz)
Add essential oils to bottle and swirl to incorporate. Fill the rest of the bottle with sweet almond oil. Massage into your stomach or use as a daily moisturizing oil after your shower.
Blend 4-6 drops of essential oil of your choice with 1 tablespoon of carrier oil and massage gently into the temples.
Alternatively, use a roller bottle such as the recipe below.
Use As Aromatherapy
Use essential oils in specialty diffusers or vaporizers to fill the air with a healing scent.
If you don’t have a diffuser you can place a few drops on a cloth or a few balls of cotton and place under your pillow or on your nightstand before going to bed at night.
To Help You Sleep
Lavender is a wonderful scent to promote peaceful sleep, which indirectly helps with pain. Use it in a diffuser in your bedroom to activate this healing aroma, and sleep better.
Use In Your Bath
A warm bath can do wonders to soothe tired, achy muscles, and joint pain that is caused by arthritis and rheumatism. Place a few drops of essential oil into a bath, and add Epsom salt to make it even better.
All of us have to deal with pain at some point in our lives.
For some, it comes and goes, while others have to live with it daily, like those who suffer from chronic conditions, like arthritis and fibromyalgia.
Living with chronic pain can be quite difficult and may cause added stress, discomfort, and immense suffering to those who deal with it on a daily basis.
Any therapies that may benefit and ease this burden should be investigated and tried in the hope of finding relief.
Essential oils may prove to be of great benefit since they are easy to get and easy to use.