Essential Oils for Pain Relief
Pain is our body's way of telling us that something isn't quite right, and while pain may be just doing it's job, no one wants it to linger. Luckily, nature has gifted us with literally hundreds of natural pain killers in plants and their essential oils.
What makes essential oils even more amazing 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. The aroma of peppermint also relieves stress and anxiety, further calming your body.
What does analgesic mean?
The term analgesic means pain relieving. Before western medicine began to produce over-the-counter analgesics like acetaminophen or ibuprofen, people used natural analgesics found in plants.
"Almost always, if we find pharmaceuticals doing the trick, we’ll find a plant doing the same trick—and doing it more safely,”
- Botanist James A. Duke, PhD, author of The Green Pharmacy Guide to Healing Foods.
Peppermint is hands down, one of the most favoured essential oils for pain relief.
It is an analgesic, anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic. The main chemical component of peppermint is Menthol, which is often reduced to crystals and added to a wide variety of topical and edible products.
Amongst its many uses, Peppermint essential oil is known to ease headaches, neck and shoulder tension & muscular aches and spasms. It relaxes muscles in the lower back as well as intestinal spasms and pain due to fibromyalgia and arthritis.
For headaches, you can blend 10 drops of peppermint oil with a tablespoon of carrier oil. Massage into back of neck and temples. This is a very effective remedy, but make sure you stay far away from the eyes!
TIP: Add a few drops of lavender or rosemary to your peppermint oil for added pain relief and circulatory properties.
Peppermint is such a popular essential oil for pain relief, but there are so many other essential oils that have similar properties and address pain, muscle tension, arthritis and sciatica. We've picked 5 more to shed some light on.
5 More Essential Oils for Pain Relief
Has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. Great for being massaged into areas that are painful or in bath salts. It’s recommended for treating nerve pain, sprains, strains and muscular pains and aches.
Has so many amazing properties. Among them, it is anti-inflammatory and pain relieving. Frankincense, like Lavender, is pretty much good for everything that ails you. Frankincense added to any topical oil or bath salt will do wonders for tension, aches and arthritis. It's aroma has been used to reduce stress for hundreds of years.
Is anti-rheumatic, anti-spasmodic and pain. Juniper helps with reducing muscle spasms and joint and muscle pains and aches that are associated with fibromyalgia, arthritis and other similar ailments. Juniper also strengthens the nerves and when used regularly, can be also be helpful for neuropathic pain.
Is antimicrobial, pain relieving, anti-inflammatory and destressing. When you inhale its aroma, it helps to reduce muscle tension and relieves stress and anxiety, increasing it's benefit to the whole body.
Be Cautious with Essential Oil Use:
Essential oils are highly concentrated. Dilute properly before use and perform a skin patch test before applying the oil to your skin. Keep away from eyes & mucous membranes.Talk to your doctor or certified aromatherapist before use if you:
- are pregnant or nursing (it is recommended to avoid use of essential oils in first trimester of preganacy, then reduce topical use of safe essential oils to 1% dilution)
- have an existing medical condition
- wish to use essential oils on children or older adults
- skin irritation
- skin inflammation
- sun sensitivity
- allergic reaction