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
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 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 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 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 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.
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.
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 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 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.
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 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
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
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.
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.