9 Essential oils for pain and inflammation and how to use them.
I am a complementary therapist that wants to share my knowledge about how essential oils can be apart of western life and be used alongside conventional medicine. So these are my top 8 oils for treating fibromyalgia, chronic pain syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, and any other condition where there is pain or inflammation. Many therapists have different Ideas about what oils they like to treat for pain, so I have provided a research based article based on studies to educate that aromatherapy is an effective tool to help with pain and inflammation.
Massage oil for pain; If you want to try these oils for yourself then blend 3 out of the 9 oils that you want to use for your condition. Blend 4-6 drops of essential oil in 10 to 15mls of carrier oil such as, coconut oil that has analgesic properties and can help to reduce pain and skin inflammation. It also helps the healing properties of essential oils to penetrate the skin deeper to get to deeper pain. Use where you have pain and rub in to the effective area.
Bath soak put 4-6 drops of essential oil in a hot bath. It’s a good idea to mix the essential oil drops in a small amount of carrier oil, almond milk, coconut milk first and then add to the bath. This helps the oil to disperse within the bath and stops the oil from just floating on the top of the water.
Precautions When Using Essential Oils.
Essentials oils are very potent and concentrated chemistry so you should never apply them directly to the skin and they should always be diluted in a carrier oil. Please follow safety data provided for all 9 oils in this article. Only use this for yourself and do not blend an oil for anyone else due to the Safety data that is at the bottom of each oil, this only can be done legally by an Aromatherapist.
1. Sweet marjoram
Sweet marjoram essential oil has sedative and anti-inflammatory properties to relieve various types of pain, this essential oil also is a nervine and has good antispasmodic properties. The basis of any blend to help Fibromyalgia, sciatica, irritable bowel syndrome, neuralgia, insomnia, chronic pain syndrome and headaches.
There was a study I researched that showed that marjoram oil can be useful in getting rid of chronic neck pain. In the study, a combination of 4 essential oils was used: marjoram, black pepper, lavender, and peppermint. The essential oil remedy was rubbed into the painful area daily for 4 weeks. The patients using the remedy showed significant improvement when compared to the other group using the placebo cream.1
Emotional uses: Stress, exhaustion, panic attacks, psychological disorders.
Chakras: Very good for the first 2 chakras, the base and sacral chakra.
Safety data: Do not use in pregnancy, caution in people with low blood pressure.
2. Rosemary essential oil
The analgesic, and anti-inflammatory properties of rosemary oil make this a great essential oil for chronic pain relief. Rosemary essential oil has been approved by the German government for use in pain relief and many of my clients report back to me that Rosemary does help with reducing pain. Physical uses of Rosemary oil is good for neuralgia, sciatica, muscular pain, cramps, arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and Raynaud’s disease.
A study into the effectiveness of rosemary oil to reduce pain and inflammation was shown to boost the effect of popular pain relief medications. The study found that rosemary oil can be used topically as a painkiller on its own or it can be used together with analgesic drugs to help improve their effectiveness.2
Emotional uses: Fatigue, stress, indecision, memory loss and lethargy.
Chakras: Cleanse the 6th chakra the third eye, balancing for your sacral Chakra, can be used on the 4th chakra the heart for fears about betrayal.
Safety data: Not to be used in pregnancy or epileptics, not to be used if you have high blood pressure. Not to be used with diabetics.
If you suffer from backache, muscles pains, or inflammation in joints, then thyme essential oil can help to provide you effective relief from acute or chronic pain. A very good oil to stimulate blood flow within the body so great for people with poor circulation.
A study published in the Journal of Lipid Research found that a compound in thyme called carvacrol suppresses COX-2, an enzyme connected with inflammation. Many non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) also work to suppress COX-2 to kill off the pain. The researchers reported that the analgesic and inflammation-reducing properties of thyme oil have a use in the treatment of many diseases.3
Emotional uses: Revives the mind and body, lack of memory or confusion
Chakras: Can be used on the 3rd chakra the third eye to balance and cleanse.
Safety data: Not to be used in pregnancy or epileptics, irritates mucous membranes. Caution with high blood pressure.
The soothing, relaxing and warming effect of Vetiver essential oil calms inflammation and brings relief to general aches and pains, especially for rheumatism, arthritis, muscular pain, and insomnia. This oil is extremely grounding and is a wonderful oil for stress and depression, whilst also does a good job at strengthening the aura.
Doctors from WebMD say that Vetiver oil is used topically for relieving stress, joint pain, and muscle pain.4
Emotional uses: stress, depression, shock, insecurities and bereavement. Deep psychological issues, divorce, separation and instability.
Chakras: Can be balancing and grounding for the 1st chakra the base.
Safety data: Very safe
You can use Bergamot essential oil to relieve headaches and reduce stress-related anxiety and depression. There are a few studies out there that suggests that Bergamot lifts you out of exhaustion and depression thus indirectly helping pain. This oil is extremely balancing to the entire body and does contain some anti-inflammatory properties that can synergies with other oils to make a blend for pain.
A study into the calming effect of Bergamot found that, when inhaled, it released certain hormones which reduce the sensitivity of your nerves to pain.5
Emotional Uses: Reducing anger, sadness, exhaustion, depression, anxiety.
Chakras: The solar plexus is our creation of self or can be seen as the perception of self. Use some Bergamot to cleanse this area of any negative perceptions you have about yourself.
Safety Data: Don’t go out in the sun after using this oil for at least 6 to 8 hours.
6. Clary sage
Clary sage is a euphoric smelling oil that reduces inflammation and can help pain relief. It is very efficient at relaxing muscles, helping fatigue, Fibromyalgia, ME and period problems. The analgesic effect of Clary sage is due to molecules in the oil that have pain-relief properties.
The journal Phytotherapy Research found that salvia species extracts also have a calming effect on your mind as well as analgesic and muscle relaxant properties.6
Emotional uses. Cluttered thoughts, panic attacks, mood swings.
Chakras: Connect to your third eye with meditation and some Clary sage in a diffuser.
Safety data: Can be addictive, do not mix with alcohol, only use 1 drop in a blend.
This oil helps to boost your mood, but it can reduce the symptoms of inflammatory painful conditions like arthritis and rheumatism. You can also use the healing power of lemongrass essential oil for sore muscles and to relax and calm the nervous system if suffering from nervous exhaustion.
The journal Molecular and Cell Biology of Lipids found that lemongrass inhibits inflammatory responses in the body. It does this similar to thyme and frankincense essential oils by blocking the COX-2 an enzyme connect to inflammation.7
Emotional uses: lack of concentration, lack of focus, stress, nervous exhaustion.
Chakras: Cleanse your solar plexus and sacral chakra with this oil.
Safety data. Can irritate some people, only use 1 drop in a blend
Ginger essential oil can alleviate joint pain and ease muscle stiffness. The anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties of ginger are due to a compound called gingerol. Ginger is warming, analgesic and antispasmodic so has been used for thousands of years for muscular aches and pains in and around India.
A review of the therapeutic properties of ginger found that it’s a natural remedy for rheumatoid arthritis, menstrual cramps, joint inflammation, and osteoarthritis. The review also found that ginger has a similar pain-relieving effect as NSAIDs like ibuprofen.20
Emotional uses: nervous exhaustion, apathy, burnt out, sadness and fear.
Chakras: Good for cleansing energetic blockage in your 5th chakra the throat,
Safety data: Toxic in high concentrations, can irritate the skin in some individuals, only use one drop in any blend. A little goes a long way.
Frankincense has been used in both Indian Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine for a wide range of conditions, including arthritic conditions, which have a strong inflammatory component. There have also been multiple studies recently conducted on frankincense and all of them suggest anti inflammatory properties from a good quality. Frankincense also reduces muscular tension by helping you to relax every part of the body this reduce stress. Frankincense also is beneficial vaporised for asthma, bronchitis, lung cancer and COPD.
Frankincense oil can be blended with a carrier oil to rub into effected joints for pain relief. In the Journal of Ethnopharmacology in 2016 they published a study showing how frankincense has painkilling qualities. The oil works by blocking COX-2 (an enzyme connected with inflammation) and “exhibits significant anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects.”9
Emotional uses: panic, stress, bereavement and breaking links from the past.
Chakras: frankincense is particularly good for the heart and root chakra and there is so much anecdotal evidence of this oil helping with meditation and spirituality.
Safety data: Very safe but possible interaction with blood thiners.
Seen a few oils and want them professionally blended for a condition, then please contact me on this website. All my aromatherapy products that I make are organic and I only use therapeutic grade organic essential oils. The type of products I make personalised offering massage blended oil , body lotions, shampoos, shower gel, face creams and pulse point aromas. Shampoos and shower gel products are Paraben and SLS free.
Jonathan Sarson MAR, CCMT, OCN, VTCT registered CNHC therapist and a member of the BCMA and AET.
1 Sweet marjoram https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25192562
2 Rosemary https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25635991
3 Thyme http://www.jlr.org/content/51/1/132.abstract
4 Vetivert http://www.webmd.com/vitam…/ingredientmono-695-vetiver.aspx…
5 Bergamot https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20093169
6 Clary Sage https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16619340
8 Ginger. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92775/
9 Frankincense. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26721216