Best Essential Oils For…

Best 10 Essential Oils For Pain That Actually Work

Best Essential Oils For Body Pain

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There are an absolute ton of uses for essential oils.  It’s no surprise that people are using essential oils to help relieve their pain.  Pain can range from sore muscles, joints, nerve pain, inflammation, etc.  People have been using medicine from plants for thousands of years.

Let’s face it the pain is something that is very hard to deal with.  Your body hurts and it weighs on your mind and affects your quality of life.

Here are a couple examples on how pain has been treated throughout history.

The Ancient Chinese used Coydalis.  It was dug up and boiled in vinegar.  It was used to reduce pain from backaches and headaches.  Coydalis contains dehydrocorybulbine (DHCB). DHCB acts the same way as morphine.  DHCB is not addictive like morphine, though.

The Ancient Greeks used willow bark. Its known as an anti-inflammatory remedy for relieving pain.  It’s been used to treat headaches, backaches, and osteoarthritis.  Willow bark contains salicin, which is a chemical that is in aspirin.  Studies have shown that it was more effective than aspirin and you actually need a lesser dosage.

Ok, now that we have gotten a quick history lesson on some ancient ways in which pain has been treated throughout the years.  Let’s fast forward to the present day and take a look at how pain is being managed today.

Rubs, Sprays, Cremes & Pills

Let’s face it we have all woken up one morning and been in pain.  How quick are we to reach for a bottle and take a pill to make our pain go away?

There are a lot of “quick fixes”.  For instance, there are a lot of rubs and sprays, and creams.  One of the main ingredients is menthol which is found in peppermint essential oil.  Rubs and sprays commonly just leave our body greasy and sticky without actually relieving the pain.  Also, these rubs, sprays, and creams can have a lot of harmful chemicals in them like store-bought shampoos.

Pills, don’t get me started they are useful for masking pain, but as I will explain they can be very damaging to the body.

Painkillers Only Mask Your Pain

Painkillers

There seems to be a pill for everything these days.  People commonly take pills when they are in pain.  Pills don’t make the pain go away though they just mask it.  This could be anything from over the counter drugs to narcotics and opioids.

Doctors are quick to prescribe opioids for pain relief.  There is even an opioid epidemic that is going on right now because of how readily these drugs are prescribed and abused.

Unfortunately, prescription pills come with detrimental side effects.  Over the last few years, they have put harsher regulations on opioids and are highly regulated.  There can be all kinds of interactions with pain medication and OTC drugs.

Whenever people stop taking prescription pills they usually have to wean off of them.  If you were to quit taking opioids cold turkey you would have a lot of unpleasant side effects. You could have hallucinations, fatigue, depression, night sweats, etc.

What is even more alarming is you can develop a chemical dependence on prescription painkillers.

Obviously, medicine isn’t always the best way to go for pain. These pharmaceuticals can actually build up a tolerance in your body and your brain will actually be tricked into not feeling any pain.  Furthermore, your brain could be telling your body to stop reacting to pain which can end up harming your body without your brain knowing it.

Top Essential Oils For Pain Relief

Ok, so you’re wanting to use essential oils for pain relief.  What are the best essential oils to use for pain and how should you safely use them?  First and foremost, you want to make sure the oils are pure.  Below I will explain some of the most effective essential oils for treating pain.

Peppermint

Peppermint is one of the most useful essential oils.  I use peppermint essential oil for lots of different reasons.  It’s great at relieving pain. It’s a mix of spearmint and watermint.  A few of the pains it can relieve is muscle spasms, headache, stomachaches, and cramps.

Peppermint has a cooling sensation when applied to the pain.  This instantly allows your pain and pressure to be reduced.

Topically.  You want to make sure you add it with a carrier oil, but when you do, you’ll be able to massage it right into the areas you have pain.  Within 5-20 minutes you should feel some relief.

I buy 4 oz of peppermint oil from NOW because it’s cheap and I use it for any and everything.

Lavender

Lavender is one of those essential oils that can be used for pretty much anything.  No, I am not just talking about pain.  But as far as pain is concerned lavender can help alleviate headaches, muscle aches, and joint pain.  It has a lot of anti-inflammatory properties to it. With so many different uses, it’s no surprise that it works for pain relief as well. It’s one of the few essential oils that can be applied neat (meaning you don’t need a carrier oil).

Topically.  The best way to use it for pain relief is by rubbing it right onto your skin. You can put 15-20 drops in your bath, which will help absorb it into your skin.  Also, the steam aroma will calm your body down and help alleviate your pain.

Lavender is another essential oil I stock up frequently. Plant Guru sells it for cheap and I usually buy 4 oz at a time.

Chamomile

Chamomile has been used for a very long time to help alleviate several different kinds of pain.  Some of the pain that it helps take care of are bowel issues, PMS pain, lower back pain, joint pain, headaches and muscle pain.   Most flowers actually have some sort of medical benefits.  I’m sure you’ve heard of chamomile tea and how it can help you fall asleep faster.

One of the great things about this oil is that it’s mild enough to use on children but strong enough to knock out some pretty bad pain.

Topically.  You can either rub it with a carrier oil.  Also, you can put it in a bath (about 10-15 drops).

Inhale.  You can always diffuse chamomile with an electronic diffuser, too.  This should help alleviate your pain and calm your body down at the same time.

Marjoram

Marjoram is great for relieving various types of pain, not many people have actually heard of this essential oil, though.  Some of the pain types it helps with are muscle spasms, headaches, and muscle/joint pain. It’s closely related to mint and the ancient people of Greece actually referred to it as the “Joy of the Mountains.”  It actually has mild sedative effects on the human body.  It was used in the Anatolia region to help with edema and convulsions.

Topically.  It’s important to use a carrier oil when applying this essential oil topically. Once you do that, you can massage it right into the areas that have pain.

Diffuse.  Also, you can add 3-5 drops to your diffuser and it will help calm your body down and relieve your pain.

Sandalwood

This is really good at relieving pain, but it’s very expensive. In fact, some places sell it for over $400 an ounce! The reason this is so expensive is that it comes from actual Sandalwood trees that are older than 50 years.  Beware there are companies that sell fake sandalwood (see Green Health review).

Sandalwood is great as an anti-inflammatory.  Some of the pain it can relieve is muscle pain, skeletal pain, and joint pain.  Along with muscle pain sandalwood has been used to calm your body down.  Many people use sandalwood to help them unwind from a long day and meditate.

Inhale.  You’ll want to add 2-4 drops to your diffuser for the full effects.

Eucalyptus

This oil is taken from the eucalyptus tree and the oil warms and soothes.  It’s thought to be a stimulating essential oil.  Besides being able to treat stings and bites, some of the other things it can relieve are muscle injuries, joint/muscle pain, and muscle spasms.

Topically.  While it’s great for pain relief, one thing to know is that it has to be diluted. The reason for this is because the warming sensation can get so intense that it actually does more harm than good. Once you dilute it, you can massage it right onto your skin.  It’s also commonly used in baths.  You can add 10-15 drops of eucalyptus to your bath to help soothe your muscles and joints.

Rosemary

Rosemary is part of the mint family and rosemary oil is taken from the actual rosemary leaves.  Some of the things it helps with are headaches, joint pain, muscle soreness, and spasms. This essential oil is very high in antioxidants and is an excellent anti-inflammatory oil.

Rosemary mixes very good with peppermint and helps soothe your pain.

Topically.  You want to make sure you add a few drops to some carrier oil then massage it into your skin for about 5-10 minutes.  Also, you can add it to your bath which will help relax your body and ease your pain symptoms.

Juniper

Juniper oil has been used for several centuries and comes from the juniper berries.  Juniper is very powerful as an anti-rheumatic, antiseptic, and even has a lot of analgesic properties.   There are quite a few things you can use juniper oil for.  Some of these are hemorrhoids, colitis, joint/muscle pain and headaches.

Topically.  If you’re using it for a bath, you can put 8-15 drops right in. If you’re using it for a massage, make sure you put 2-4 drops in a carrier oil so it isn’t so harsh. With it being so harsh when it’s not diluted, it shouldn’t be used with pregnant women or kids under 3.

Turmeric

With it being used for over 4,000 years in India, turmeric is great for relieving pain when it’s in an oil form. It’s taken from the root of the plant and some of the properties help block out harmful enzymes that can really harm your body. Some of the pain it helps relieve are muscle/joint pain, arthritis and headaches.

Turmeric is a very strong anti-inflammatory, high antioxidant, antibiotic, and has a lot of antimicrobial properties.  It helps your body relax and heal at the same time.

Topically.  You want to mix 3-6 drops in with a carrier oil, then massage it right onto your skin.  You can massage it onto your body for 5-20 minutes and a couple times a day for the best results.

Clove

Clove is one of the most effective pain relievers that’s completely natural.  It’s a strong anti-inflammatory oil and has a lot of anti-bacterial agents.  Clove can actually numb the surface of the skin which helps give you relief.  Some of the pain it helps with is throat pain, toothaches, bites, stings, and headaches.

Topically.  When massaged onto the skin, it will relieve pain and give a nice warming sensation. Keep in mind, it needs to be diluted because it’s such a strong oil. Once you mix it in with a carrier oil, like coconut oil, you’ll be able to feel the relieving effects.  I would recommend using 2-4 drops of this powerful essential oil and massage it into the skin for 5-20 minutes.

Essential Oils For Muscle Pain

When your muscles are sore essential oils are great to use for helping you deal with the pain. I have a number of different ways that I deal with muscle pain. Below are the following ways to use essential oils for muscle pain:

Soreness Lotion Recipe:

  • 5 oz Shea Butter
  • 2 oz grapeseed, coconut oil, or almond carrier oil.
  • 2 oz coconut oil (solid form)
  • 32 drops peppermint
  • 16 drops clove bud

Use a double boiler to melt the shea butter and coconut oil. Use a low to low-medium setting and melt them slowly. Add in 2 oz of your carrier oil of choice. Pour the contents into a glass bowl. Add your drops of peppermint and clove bud. Stir for about 1-2 minutes. Make sure it’s mixed up really good.

Wait for the lotion to cool. Then you can apply it to your sore muscles throughout the day.

Cooling Gel Pain Relief:

  • 1/2 cup aloe vera gel
  • 20 drops eucalyptus
  • 10 drops peppermint
  • 4 oz amber glass jar

Pour 1/4 of cup of aloe vera gel into your amber glass jar. Put in 10 drops of eucalyptus and 5 drops of peppermint. Stir for about 1-2 minutes. Pour another 1/4 cup of aloe vera gel in.  Then add in 10 more drops of eucalyptus and 5 drops of peppermint.

Apply this gel to your sore muscles throughout the day.

Pain Relief Synergies

I know there are some alchemist out there reading this.  You can easily create your own synergies by cleaning out some of your old bottles and mixing different essential oils together.  There are a handful of companies that sell roll on synergies that you can apply directly to your sore muscles.  Below I am going to show you some of my favorite pain relief synergies.

Rapid Relief Synergy

This roll on was created by Plant Therapy.  They are one of my favorite companies to purchase essential oils from.  It’s a good roll on that you can apply throughout the day for some instant relief.  It is 3% diluted with fractionated coconut carrier oil and be applied directly to your sore area.  It contains peppermint, clove bud, laurel leaf, black pepper, cinnamon cassia, ginger root, German chamomile, juniper berry, and thyme.

4 Ways That Reduce Pain That Actually Work

Meditation

Meditation

People have been meditating for several years.  It’s a fact that it can drastically increase your quality of life.

Simply relaxing your body and focusing on your breathing can help your muscles relax.

While it does take some time to properly meditate it can drastically decrease your pain and is exceptionally good for your mind.

Sandalwood is one of the most popular essential oils used to help get your mind in the meditative state.

Manage Your Stress

Stress

Negative feelings can cause our anxiety and stress to skyrocket.  Not to mention anger is a common feeling that comes from stress and anxiety (click here to learn about stress and anxiety with essential oils).  All the stress can make you depressed and when your depressed your mind responds negatively to pain.

To help relieve stress you can listen to relaxing music.  There are a number of essential oils that are excellent for stress, too.  For instance, lavender, jasmine, ylang ylang, and bergamot are good for helping your body relax.

Alcohol and Smoking

Smoking can actually worsen circulation and increase your risk of heart disease and cancer.  Obviously, we know that smoking and an excessive consumption of alcohol is very bad for your health.  When your body isn’t circulating blood like it should your pain levels will increase.

Drinking an excess of alcohol can make it difficult to sleep.  A lot of people think it’s okay to drink as a sleep aid, but really it reduces your quality of sleep.  However, alcohol can make your pain worse.  Minimizing your alcohol consumption can also improve your quality of life.

Importance of Stretching

It’s so important to stretch before working out.  You can stretch for 2-5 minutes and it will do wonders for your pain levels.

For muscle pain, due to physical exercise, I can’t stress the importance of stretching.  It’s recommended that you stretch before and after physical activity. This will help alleviate your body from inflammation.  Failure to stretch before physical activity can cause ligaments to tear, muscles to strain, etc.

Conclusion

Essential oils are a very good alternative to dealing with aches and pains.  As I have shown taking a pill for your pain isn’t always the best option.  There are circumstances where you have surgery and need pain pills, but taking them long-term can reek havoc on your body.

If you are physically active and need some relief from your daily aches and pains essential oils can drastically improve your pain.  But, it’s important that you stretch before and after physical activity.  You should consider meditating, managing your stress, and quitting smoking and minimizing your alcohol consumption.

Please if you have any questions about essential oils on pain leave a comment down below.

26 thoughts on “Best 10 Essential Oils For Pain That Actually Work

  1. This article is packed with great information! I have been looking into essential oils, but have never taken the leap. I need to because I suffer from back pain quite often, but I am not a fan of taking medication!

    My sister has told me about lavender and chamomile, but what do you think about taking Turmeric for back pain?

    1. Hey Delanee,

      You’re in luck because essential oils are fantastic for taking care of your pain. It’s one of the best uses for them.

      Lavender and chamomile are some of the more well-known oils. Lavender has a lot of calming effects on the body. It has so many uses and treating pain is just another use for lavender. Chamomile is one of the most used essential oils for relaxation and works excellent as a sleep aid, too.

      Turmeric is a great essential oil to use for pain. Its’ been used for thousands of years. It works great topically for pain. I would recommend using a roll on with turmeric, lavender, and peppermint. Also, you could use clove instead of turmeric if you wanted. I would recommend using fractured coconut oil as a carrier, though.

  2. I am glad you mentioned the opioid epidemic. People pop pills thinking it will solve their pain, but they disregard any and all natural solutions out there. Essential oils like the ones you have shown can really make a difference in their lives.

    I do have a question though. I appreciate you for mentioning meditation. It is an excellent way to relieve pain. You push everything out through your breath. Do you have any tips for getting better with meditation? I’ve done it in the past, but I am not very good at it.

  3. This article is an eye-opener for me, I never knew marjoram oil was used as a herb for cooking. So, this was good to know and I also never knew turmeric could be add in an oil form. I use turmeric in cooking again and as a pain reliever in daily tablet supplements.

    1. Hey Ruthlyn,

      Yeah, a lot of herbs are actually essential oils, too. These herbs have a lot of healing properties. Although, you don’t want to consume essential oils because they are very strong. They can do really a lot of damage to your body if you use them internally, though.

  4. This is what I’ve been looking for!!!
    Here’s the thing:
    I’ve had multiple ankle/foot injuries (surgically broken bones), so my foot is pretty much new. During the initial surgery/post-surgery months, I drank a LOT of pills and painkillers, like never in my life.
    Needless to say it messed up my health.
    Nine months later I have a lot less pain but I do experience it when I try do physiotherapy (basically learning to walk anew). Taking painkillers again, even just an Advil, is out of question.
    And here I see your essential oils for pain post… Seems like it’s exactly what I might need.
    Before making a purchase, I’ve a couple of questions:
    1) I know you mentioned that it worked for muscles/joint pain and spasms, I assume it should work in my case too? (Broken ankle/foot/leg area)
    2) If yes, then what is the best option for me in this case? In my case it’s probably everything to work on: muscles, ligaments, bones (God knows what else). Because my foot was “stuck” in Ilizarov apparatuses (like braces for legs) for 9 months, my foot is like “wooden” now. So, it’s not only pain I need to work on but also relaxing my muscles and ligaments, so that my foot starts working like before.
    Thank you in advance!!

    1. Hey Zarina,

      I’m sorry that you had to go through all of that. Having surgery and then rehabilitating ourself takes a heavy toll on our body. Often times depression is a result from all the mental wear on your mind.

      For broken bones, I would use cypress, fir, and helichrysum. These can be used topically and you should certainly use a carrier oil. You can apply it three times a day. Obviously, make sure you are taking enough calcium, magnesium, and Vitamin D3.

      I would also consult your doctor and do a simple skin patch test to make sure your body doesn’t have any negative reaction to the essential oils.

      Hope you have a speedy recovery.

  5. I never cease to be amazed at all the benefits of essential oils. I use them for oil cleansing my face, they have completely eliminated my adult acne and reduced the amount of oily build up on my sin.
    My husband and I use a diffuser with lavender oil for relaxing at night to help us sleep. I never considered using them for his chronic migraines and knee pain. I will have to mix a batch up tonight and see what happens. Great tips. I am definitely bookmarking this site.

    1. Hey Maryann,

      Peppermint works wonders for migraines and headaches. You can easily make a roll-on and use it anytime you have a headache. You simply roll it onto your temples and then massage it into your temples.

      Try it out and let us know how it works.

  6. This is great, so much great information here.

    I was hoping that some of the essential oils that I already owned were listed on here. My husband recently hurt his back and has been struggling the last week or so to get back to work.

    Some of the essential oils he has are old. Do they go bad or lose their effectiveness though?

    1. Sorry to hear about your husbands back pain. Yes, essential oils do lose effectiveness over time. You can store them in the refrigerator which will help double their lifespan, though. Also, make sure you store them away from the sunlight, too.

  7. It never ceases to amaze me the power of nature; there is literally a cure for everything, and It’s just wonderful that we can condense the oils out of plants to make these essential oils.

    We make our own pain cream at work and it does actually have quite a few of the oils on your list there, specifically lavender, peppermint and chamomile are the ones we use a lot.

    I know there is a big problem in the US with prescription painkillers. It’s awful that things have gotten so bad. You know I watched a documentary not long ago about the opiate addictions in the US and they showed a small town where 1 in 10 people were addicted to heroin. This was because many where on prescription opiates, and then suddenly they were stopped (maybe due to the laws changing) and they had no choice but to start using harder drugs. A lot of them were professional people as well! The pharma industry has a lot to answer for, but it’s great that we have people such as yourself bringing awareness to this and offering other solutions.

    1. Hey Stefanie,

      You are correct essential oils are excellent for relieving pain. Personally, I really like Peppermint and have used it ton of times for muscle pain.

      Yeah, it’s sad that opiates are so easy to get in the United States. People don’t even realize that opiates are really just heroine in a pill.

  8. A long read but very informative. I suffer from Scheuermann’s Disease, which is, in my case, deformed 7th and 10th vertebrae. I fill the bath with steaming hot water so the bathroom is like a sauna. I then add Chamomile, Marjoram, and Rosemary in a bowl and pour boiling hot water to diffuse the oil and put it on the side of the bath while I soak. I also add the oil to the bathwater which increases the aroma and the benefits. Thanks for this post.

  9. Because of my job I often have pains in my neck and I really tried everything but nothing worked. I spent money on many pills but I really did not tried oils for pains. From the list above I would choose peppermint and lavender as I heard that they are good for pain. 

  10. Time to time, I got a bad headache but every time my last option is to use a pain killer. I usually rest in a quiet and dark place to get better. Sometimes, taking a hot bath is also helpful for me.

    As I am reading more articles on your blog, I am realising more and more benefits of essential oils. Lavender, Marjoram, and almost all of types of the essential oils are helpful for headaches. Which one do you think is the most effective one for headaches? Can I mix them?

    Thanks a lot for your help.

  11. I usually use chamomile or lavender when I have headaches and it usually gets better rather fast. I do prefer lavender because I like the smell more, but when I’m out of it, it’s chamomile.

    I did start meditation the last month and I have no idea how it affects the overall health, but after the first 4 awkward days, it feels really nice.

    Btw, I loved your “Doctors are quick to prescribe opioids for pain relief”! Yes, it’s so true! Are you in pain? Take this and if you’re not ok in 3 weeks, then come back. I could be dead for all I know in 3 weeks if it’s something serious! 😛 

  12. Essential oils! I was excited to stumble on this because I write about them too including diffusers and how they can give us multi-beneficial negative ions. I get questions on my site as well about which essential oils do this and that so thanks for the lesson on which ones relieve pain!

    I’m glad you brought up the fact that plants have been used for thousands of years as you highlighted that the ancient Chinese and Grecians did with Coydalis and Willow bark respectively. It implants the idea in readers minds that these are natural remedies that have worked long before pharmaceutical medicine therefore they are still effective and relevant today.

    I didn’t know pharmaceuticals could trick your body into not feeling pain! Sounds incredibly dangerous and even more incentive to consider natural ingredients like essential oils. 

    I’ve always been a fan of lavender, eucalyptus, peppermint, and chamomile but never heard of that majestic sandalwood! I love meditating and I have some kind of lower spine pain right now….sounds like something I’d like to try. Thanks for the informative post! 

  13. What a fantastic overview of essential oils for pain relief. I knew the analgesic effect of peppermint, but was surprised to find some other oils like turmeric or marjoram on the list. Although I wouldn’t compare it to strong analgesics like opioids, it makes sense to add some of those oils to your medicine cabinet. What would be your recommendation for a stomach ache?  

  14. I am one of those few who hate the use of pills as a pain killer because they have too much chemicals that may cause harm to my body. My wife have chronic headache problem and she usually uses eucalyptus oil, it works perfectly in relieving pain.

    There is one thing I want to ask regarding the use of eucalyptus, you said it must be diluted to reduce the warming sensation, how do I dilute? Do I have to add water?  

    Will really appreciate your help.

  15. wow so many oils that I had no idea that they helped you in all those ways.  Now I want to buy one of each of them lol

    When you say carrier oil, do you mean an oil to mix in to help massage into the skin?  And what type of carrier oil do you recommend?

    Also, are these oils more effective by using them topically or by ingesting them?

  16. I am also a firm believer of not taking medicine unless absolutely necessary because like you said it doesn’t “fix” anything but rather just mask the pain your having instead of dealing with it directly.

    I’ve never used essential oils before, but after reading your post I think they could help a lot with all types of pains — and best of all there would be no side effects.

    I see that there’s several you mentioned that deal with headaches. Which one would you recommend to be the best out of all the ones you listed for this?

  17. Thanks for the information.

    My sister has been teaching me about essential oils for a couple weeks now.  I have to say I am pretty fascinated with them.

    Which essential oils would you recommend for joint and inflammation pain?  There are so many to choose from on this list.  I am getting an little overwhelmed on which one to choose.

  18. What about synergies and pain, though?  Are their blends that you can purchase that are already made instead of mixing your own, though?  

    Possibly, I could then dilute them with a carrier oil and apply them to my sore muscles?

    Sorry for the newbie question.  I am kind of new to essential oils.

  19. I deal with muscle and nerve pain in my neck, shoulder, upper arm. I’m very interested in trying essential oils to try to alleviate this, but am unsure of which to try from those you listed. I am life-long asthmatic and deal with hyperosmia…strong sensitivity to odors/scents. I know I can deal with Peppermint but am unsure about the others. Any recommendations?

    1. Hey Sue,

      I can’t stress the importance of using a good quality brand of essential oils that sell pure oils. Here is a list of good brands for essential oils. There are a lot of companies like Green Health, ArtNaturals, and Radha Beauty that don’t sell pure essential oils.

      Pain can be very hard to deal with, though. Essential oils are not the cure all, but can alleviate pain considerably.

      It’s important to do a skin patch test before applying any essential oil topically. That way you will be able to make sure your body doesn’t have any reactions to the essential oil.

      But, for muscle and nerve pain I would go with a mixture of different essential oils. The following ones are the ones I would use:

      Marjoram (12 drops).
      Basil (7 drops).
      Rosemary 17 drops).

      This is enough to make your own synergy blend which you can mix 4 drops with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil. You want to use 5 ml of coconut oil with 4 drops of the synergy that I have listed above.

      I recommend rubbing your neck area that is hurting for about 5 minutes at a time. After the blend has absorbed into your neck area I would recommend putting a cold pack on it. Then follow it by putting a hot pack on it or warm towel for 10 minutes with both hot and cold. Do this 3 times a day and you should notice some relief from it.

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