For most of us, unfortunately life is full of aches and pains to varying degrees. Athletes are almost bound to suffer from injury at some point whereas just the act of living can cause a cumulative wear and tear on our joints and muscles.
Most everybody suffers from headaches and for a great number of people those headaches can be more severe in the form of a migraine. Women can suffer badly from menstrual cramps while as you get older you might start to feel the effects of rheumatism or other forms of arthritis. Almost everyone can suffer from back pain at one point or another.
On a personal note as a keen amateur runner, my biggest concern is knee pain which can often cause fairly long periods of inactivity and my lifelong fear of dentistry which has left me with some seriously dodgy teeth. Toothache can be very nasty and is a probably my biggest source of frequent pain.
Whatever the cause of your pain, pharmacies will be happy to prescribe one of their growing arsenal of pain killing medications but these medications often come at a cost. While you may be absolutely fine, there is always a possibility of adverse side effects developing from taking pain killers. Often the medicine does not effectively relieve your pain and you are tempted to increase the dose or to move onto stronger medication; there is the very real possibility of developing a dependency.
Fortunately, there is a far safer more natural method of managing your aches and pains. Many essential oils contain properties that will help diminish or entirely relieve pain; essential oils are derived naturally and contain none of the chemical ingredients that might cause the detrimental side effects associated with over the counter medication.
The following list represents some of the most effective natural oils for relieving pain but the list is far from exhaustive; many other essential oils contain anti-spasmodic, analgesic and anti-inflammatory agents that can help to ease your aches and pains. Please note however that if you have any real concerns regarding the source of your pain, that you should always ask your doctor for advice.
10 of the Best Essential Oils for the Relief of Pain
Lavender essential oil is one of the most diverse essential oils in terms of its myriad health applications. If you can only afford one essential oil, lavender should probably be the first on your list. Among its many properties, lavender essential oil contains anti-spasmodic and anti-inflammatory agents which can help to alleviate joint pains, rheumatism, muscle aches and sprains. Lavender oil is regarded to be safe to apply directly to the affected area of your body but as with any essential oil, it is prudent to dilute it with a carrier oil at first in case of any skin reaction.
Peppermint essential oil works as an anti-inflammatory and its cooling affects can help to ease a variety of muscle pains as well as the symptoms of rheumatism and arthritis. Peppermint essential oil is also well known for its application in treating headaches and toothache pain. For headaches, try simply dabbing a few drops on a clean cloth and inhaling it.
Peppermint oil might cause skin irritation and should never be applied directly unless it is diluted first with a carrier oil.
3. German chamomile
Chamomile is well known for its ability to help with breathing issues but it also contains powerful anti-inflammatory properties that make it suitable in the battle with aches and pains.
It can be used to treat a wide range of pain and effectively soothes painful joints and sore muscles. According to Herb wisdom, it also has applications for menstrual cramp and backache.
German chamomile essential oil is considered safe to apply topically to the affected area but you should do a spot check on a small area of skin at first to ensure that you are not allergic.
While wintergreen essential oil might not be as widely used as some other essential oils, it contains all the ingredients that make it an effective treatment in the battle against aches and pains. Indeed, wintergreen has been used medicinally for centuries by Native Americans. It has a number of pain relieving properties; it is anti-rheumatic, anti-spasmodic and anti-inflammatory.
It is most commonly used to treat headaches, muscle and joint pain, menstrual cramp and arthritis.
You should take great care when using wintergreen essential oil, never consume it and always dilute it with a suitable carrier oil before applying it topically.
Helichrysum essential oil is a potent natural anti-inflammatory which is also effective in boosting the body’s circulation. It has a wide range of pain relieving applications and is commonly used to combat tendonitis, arthritis, bruising, muscle pain and general soreness. It is said to be very fast working with many people reporting near instantaneous pain relief.
Among its other benefits, rosemary essential oil is valued for its pain relieving applications. It is widely used to treat headaches, arthritis and other muscular pains owing to its powerful anti-inflammatory nature.
While it is considered safe, it is wise to dilute rosemary essential oil before applying it topically.
This essential oil has wonderful pain relieving properties owing to its potent anti-inflammatory agents. Research carried out at Cardiff University revealed that frankincense essential oil can be used to treat arthritis and rheumatism as it inhibits production of inflammatory molecules which contribute to those conditions. Frankincense also works as an effective pain killer and is generally thought to be safe to use although it is prudent to spot check your skin at first.
While it has applications for other pains, clove essential oil is particularly effective in treating toothache making it a great ally for those of us unfortunate enough to suffer from frequent dental problems. Simply add a few drops onto a cotton swab and apply it directly to the affected gum or tooth for fast relief.
Clove essential oil numbs the pain and also kills bacteria that cause infection.
Ginger essential oil is derived from the pungent smelling ginger root commonly used in the kitchen. Ginger essential oil’s pain relieving qualities are well known nowadays and can be attributed to its powerful anti-inflammatory properties. It is widely used to treat rheumatism and other forms of arthritis as well as muscular pain and sprains. Ginger oil is generally considered to be safe but a spot check is always recommended before applying it topically.
Marjoram essential oil has powerful sedative properties making it the ideal oil to ease your pain. It can be applied to soothe aching muscles after exercise as well as being used to treat arthritis, muscle pain and headaches.
While marjoram is considered safe, please make sure that you are not allergic by doing a spot check on a small area of your skin first.
If you’re suffering from chronic pain, spruce essential oil may be your ticket to pain relief and maintaining a strong immune system. This refreshing essential oil can help treat bone pain, lower back pain, sciatica, and help reduce painful rheumatism and arthritis symptoms. Spruce essential oil has also been known to stimulate the adrenal glands, which helps improve the overall feeling of wellbeing for the body.
Sandalwood has long been used in Ayurvedic medicine for pain management. This sultry, spicy essential oil helps treat sciatica, lymph node congestion, and painful muscle spasms. The anti-inflammatory properties of sandalwood essential oil also help to soothe skin irritations, such as bug bites and poison ivy. While looking for pain management, it’s important to soothe your mind and get into a relaxed state. Tension will only cause more problems down the road. Fortunately, sandalwood essential oil promotes pain relief and relaxation.
Women suffering from painful menstruation may find relief in fennel essential oil. Steam distilled from fennel seeds, this essential oil works as an anti-inflammatory, alleviating painful cramping. This soothing oil has an anti-spasmodic effect, soothing achy muscles and spasms. Perfect to add to a warm bath. Fennel essential oil is also believed to be an effective treatment of nerve pain.
Eucalyptus is a known pain reliever and anti-inflammatory. This soothing essential oil offers relief to achy muscles and joints. If you’re suffering from nerve pain, eucalyptus may also provide so much needed respite. Only use Eucalyptus essential oil in small doses.
15. Clary Sage
This floral essential oil is no shrinking violet. Clary sage essential oil contains powerful antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties. This soothing essential oil alleviates muscle spasms, muscle tension, and even helps reduce the pain of menstrual cramps.
How to Use Essential Oils for Pain
Now that you have to tools for effective pain management, it’s important to know how to use them to their full potential. Many of these essential oils can be used on their own or mixed in a healing blend. When applying essential oils to your skin, make sure to dilute them with a carrier oil. Consider using jojoba oil, avocado oil, sweet almond oil, olive oil, or coconut oil for a carrier.
- Headache or Migraine Relief
Dilute your essential oil with a suitable carrier oil and gently rub a small quantity of the mixture into your temples.Alternatively you can treat your headache by adding a few drops of the oil of your choice onto a cloth and inhaling the aroma.
- Massage Oil
For relief, relaxation, and maximum natural pain management, try making a massage oil out of your favorite healing essential oils. To make a massage oil, mix an ounce of carrier oil for every ten drops of essential oil. Massage this mixture directly on the affected area.
- Make a Bath Soak
To sooth sore muscles, achy joints, and arthritis pain, consider taking a nice warm bath enhanced with essential oils. Put about ten drops of essential oils into your bath. To boost the healing effect, try adding two or three cups of Epsom Salt.
- Sit back and relax, soaking in the tub for 20 minutes. Make sure that you don’t add the oils until the water has finished running or you the oil will be lost to evaporation.
- Warm Compress:
- For those suffering from lower back pain, consider making a warm compress with essential oils. Heat up one pint of water and add four drops of your choice of an essential oil. Dip a clean cloth into the mixture and wring out the excess moisture. Place the compress directly onto the affected area. Repeat as many times as necessary.
- Cool Compress:
- A cool compress is effective for those suffering from inflammatory conditions such as arthritis. To make a cool compress, soak a clean cloth in a basin with a mixture of cold water and four drops of essential oil. Wring out the excess moisture and apply directly to the affected area. Repeat this home remedy anytime your arthritis flares up or you suffer from painful inflammation of the muscles and joints.
If you have found that traditional pain killing medication is not doing the job for you or if you have any concerns about their side effects, why not give essential oils a chance. There are a variety of choices depending on your condition and pain type.
Good luck and let us know in the comments how you got on.