Post by Joanna on Jun 3, 2015 18:36:45 GMT -5
Essential Oils for Pain Relief
There are several causes of physical pain, including, but not limited to, sports injuries that can cause muscle aches, spasms and inflammation; or arthritis and rheumatism that can cause joint pain or backache/stiffness that can result in poor posture. Pain can also manifest as headache or migraine and even PMS can cause abdominal pain. Additionally, people with fibromyalgia experience pain in ways no one else can really understand. Acute or chronic pain can make our everyday lives difficult, uncomfortable or even debilitating.
There are many essential oils for pain relief and people who use them seem to heal more quickly than those who don’t. Some essential oils have analgesic properties, meaning they have been shown to relieve or reduce pain, as well as anti-spasmodic, anti-inflammatory and anti-rheumatic properties.
The following covers the most common essential oils for pain relief. This list is not conclusive because there are many more essential oils that can help relieve pain, but we’ve concentrated on those that are most familiar:
Important note: some essential oils are not suitable for use by pregnant women or people with certain medical conditions. If you are in doubt, research the side effects of the oil, or oils, you are considering, or check with your doctor.
Chamomile is well known for its effective anti-inflammatory properties and helps to relieve muscle pain and spasms, low back pain, headaches and pain resulting from PMS.
Clary Sage has calming and soothing properties, as well as anti-spasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties. It helps to ease muscle tension, spasms and PMS pain. Use in small quantities.
Eucalyptus has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties and is good for muscle pain and nerve pain. It should be used in small quantities.
Frankincense has anti-inflammatory properties and acts as a mild sedative. It is also used to alleviate stress and relieve pain.
Ginger can ease back pain and improve mobility. It can also be used to treat arthritic and rheumatic pain, muscle pain and sprains.
Helichrysum is a quite expensive essential oil valued for its pain-relieving properties. It is an anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic and analgesic and helps to relieve arthritis pain and supports the nervous system. Users usually report pain relief occurs within minutes of application.
Juniper has antispasmodic properties and relieves nerve pain, joint and muscle aches and spasms. There is also a juniper berry ointment for joint, muscle and arthritis pain relief.
Lavender is probably the best-known essential oil for pain relief and relaxation. It has anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and sedative properties and helps to relieve muscle tension and spasms, joint pain and headache. Lavender is also one of the best essential oils for allergy relief.
Peppermint is good for muscle and joint pain, headache and nerve pain.
Rosemary has analgesic and antispasmodic properties and is used for the relief of back pain, muscle/joint pain and headaches.
Sandalwood relieves muscle spasms. One of sandalwood’s most important uses is to sedate the nervous system so that it relieves nerve pain.
Sweet Marjoram has sedative properties and helps to relieve muscle pain and spasms, stiffness, rheumatism, osteoarthritis and migraine.
Thyme is an antispasmodic that is good for joint and muscle pain as well as backache.
Vetiver is not very well-known in the West, but it has been used since ancient times in Ayurvedic medicine. Vetiver essential oil is extracted from the roots of a grass known as Vetiveria zizanoides, which belongs to the same botanical family as lemongrass and citronella. It relieves general aches and pains, especially those caused by rheumatism, arthritis, muscle pain and headache.
Wintergreen is not a well-known essential oil, but it is very effective in the treatment of painful conditions, including headache, nerve pain, arthritis and menstrual cramps. This essential oil is created by steam distilling the leaves and it contains a high percentage of methyl salicylate, an oil with pain-relieving properties similar to aspirin (salicylate is the principal component of aspirin).
Yarrow is a potent restorative and analgesic pain reliever with powerful anti-inflammatory properties. It is good for muscle and joint aches and pains.
How to use the essential oils to relieve pain? While you can use any of these oils on their own, it is also beneficial to blend up to three oils. Do not apply essential oils directly to the skin, but dilute them first with a carrier oil such as olive oil, jojoba oil, sweet almond oil, etc.
For headache, blend 4-6 drops of essential oil with one tablespoon of a carrier oil and apply a small amount of the mixture to the temples and massage gently. Be sure to avoid the eye area. Headache can also be relieved by smelling the oil, i.e., by sprinkling a few drops of oil onto a cloth or tissue, or using an aromatherapy diffuser or vaporizer.
Bath soaks soothe tired, aching muscles and relieve the pain of arthritis and rheumatism. Place a few drops of essential oil in a hot bath (you can also add 2-3 cups of Epsom salt to enhance the effect). It’s a good idea to mix the essential oil drops in a small amount of carrier oil first before adding to the bath.
Massage. Use about 10 drops of essential oil per 1 ounce of carrier oil and massage aching or sore muscles.
Hot or Cold Compress. There is evidence that heat and cold helps relieve low back pain. Apply heat, such as a hot-pack, for 15-20 minutes at a time. Ice and cold packs can relieve pain, swelling, and inflammation from injuries and other conditions such as arthritis. You may also want to try switching between heat and cold. Use heat for 15-20 minutes, then ice for 10 to 15 minutes. To make a hot compress, take about a pint of hot water as warm as you can comfortably tolerate and add about 4 drops of your selected essential oil. Then soak a small towel in the water, squeeze out the excess water and place the compress on the sore or painful area. A cold compress is made exactly the same as the hot, but ice or refrigerated water is used instead of hot water and the compress is replaced when it has warmed to body temperature.
Source: Health and Natural World.