Using Essential Oils for Arthritis and Joint Pain

by Christina Lopez

You are not alone; millions are suffering with you; I am one of them! Nature has answers. You can get herbal relief with essential oils for arthritis and joint pain relief. I am not offering you a cure but a way to reduce the suffering associated with arthritis's awful pain. In the process, reduce or even remove those prescription and over-the-counter pain medications. How do I know? Because I, too, suffer from arthritis and joint pain.

Let me tell you a story; guess how old I am?

Ten years ago, I began having some pretty severe issues with my health after a severe illness. It was a relatively rapid decline. I had aches and pains before then, but my health was generally good. Either that or I ignored it. I was too busy with a six children extended family, a full-time career, and life in general! You have been there, right?

Slow diagnoses and possibly me waiting too long left me with a list of issues and somewhat a rough shape. Among these was advanced osteoarthritis in almost every major joint of my body, including spinal arthritis and degenerative disc disease.

For me, the probable cause of such rapid decline was neglect and the autoimmune disease Lupus.

Let me tell you a story; guess how old I am?
Let me tell you a story; guess how old I am?

Age Guess?

My age at the time 35! I tell you this as a demonstration that this is not an age-specific disease that makes you suffer. This can affect you at any age, at multiple levels of severity.

I do not take prescription pain medications. The foggy brain states they induce have never appealed to me. Previous OTC medications like ibuprofen severely eroded my stomach and gave me an ulcer. For me, herbal and natural solutions to pain are my only options. I find them a safe alternative that works!

Arthritis & Joint pain does not discriminate by age. It can start at the very young or hit the elderly. I use to believe it was a disease for "old" people. Not anymore!

⇒Disclaimer: The information presented here by Inside Herb Gardens and Its Authors is intended for educational purposes only. The FDA has not evaluated these statements and is not intended to diagnose; the FDA has not evaluated these statements vary. Before using any herbs, supplements, or other natural treatments, it is always advisable to consult your doctor or medical professional.

What Are Essential Oils?

Sure, I bet you have a good idea already, or you would not be here. But! Let me explain a little to be sure or for those who may not know.

Did you know they are technically not an oil at all but an extremely potent plant extract? They contain no fatty acids that would identify them as an oil type.

The extraction used to create essential "oils" is far different from those used in making your typical flavoring extracts or medicinal tinctures. The compounds of the herbs and plants are most often distilled using massive quantities of plant material.

For example, it takes approximately 15 pounds of peppermint leaves to make 1 ounce of essential oil.

Essential oils are the most concentrated and potent of all plant extractions. They can be up to 100 times more robust than the dried herbs typically purchased at the grocery store.

Essential oils are also known as volatile oils, which sound far less appealing. What the volatility represents is this high concentration of natural chemicals extracted from the herbs. This is why you can smell them the instant the cap is turned on the bottle; it is gas-like.

So Why Would You Want to use Volatile Oil or Essential Oil?

Many of the complex compounds of plants and herbs are volatile. This means they quickly disperse in the air; that is what often gives them their fabulous smell. That same great smell is part of what makes that herb great for healing, health, and even flavor.

Sadly, plant matter loses these excellent compounds quickly. The heat from cooking, evaporation in the air, cutting or bruising sun damage, and more!

Essential oils allow you to harvest all the herbs' excellent benefits at full strength without losing volatilherbs' amazing benefits. For further reading on What essential oils are, follow the link to Wikipedia here.

Now we know, let's see what the best essential oils for arthritis and joint pain relief are!

What are the Best Essential Oils for Arthritis and Joint Pain?

If you researched the internet, you would find a vast list of functional essentials for arthritis and joint pain relief. I compiled a list of oils that I have personally used and those I know have used and found relief with.

Ginger Essential Oil

This is my number 1 go-to herb and oil for arthritis and pain relief. Ginger root essential oil mimics and could potentially substitute other anti-inflammatory drugs. Studies conducted by the arthritis foundation confirmed this.

Learn More about Ginger Essential Oil Here.

Lemongrass Essential Oil

My #2. A natural diuretic, water drawing, and lemongrass help relieve excess fluids that build up around swollen, achy joints. Thank and is particularlyneficial for people like me whose arthritis is caused by an autoimmune disease, Lupus, and those with rheumatoid arthritis. Besides, lemongrass scent is a natural antidepressant aiding better feelings in general.

Learn More about Lemongrass essential oil here.

Helichrysum Essential Oil

At first, the cost of this oil held me away a bit. It was a bit pricier. However, after reading and hearing from many people, including a medical professional, I decided it was well worth trying. Wow! Yes, this made a huge difference. Helichrysum is an anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, and analgesic. This one is inching to the top of my list!

Peppermint Essential Oil

Smells great and rich in anti-inflammatory properties, which is a sure win for peppermint essential oil. This fantastic oil can help reduce swelling and stimulate a mild numbing effect on painful joints. It also helps to relieve fatigue that is all too often a side effect of arthritis pain.

Learn more about Peppermint essential oil here.

Love Mint? Want it in more ways than an essential oil? You can easily grow your own. I will teach you how. Follow the link here.

Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Most of you are likely familiar with the scent of this oil from vapor rubs during chest colds. Eucalyptus essential oil has a strong penetrating smell and strength that works deep into the tissues and muscles. It aids in reducing inflammation and provides lasting relief. Take a bit of caution and test skin sensitivity with this oil; it is a bit more volatile for sensitive skin individuals.

Rosemary Essential Oil

Rosemary is a natural antibiotic and makes a fantastic addition to almost any essential oil blend. Also, it holds beneficial anti-inflammatory advantages for easing joint and muscle pain. The scent of rosemary also stimulates the mind-improving concentration and focus. This can often be deterred when going through a painful episode.

Frankincense Essential Oil

One of my favorite deeper scents for essential oils. I think both men and women universally like this. This oil is often used in the treatment of both men and women universally like this. Continued use of frankincense essential oil may improve the overall health of cartilage tissue.

Learn more about Frankincense essential oil here.

A Bit of Heat!

Black Pepper Essential Oil

A drop or two at a time, wait and see. This oil can cause some sensitivity, so it is essential to know how you react to it. It will offer you a nice warming heat to a mix with other oils and carriers in moderation. The natural warming effect is anti-inflammatory.

Learn more about Black Pepper essential oil here.

Grab more knowledge! Learn More About the Power of Black Pepper.

List of Other Essential oils for Arthritis & Joint Pain

This list includes others I saw in research. I have not used all of these personally for my pain management in the form of essential oil. I wanted to mention them here for reference and encase you may already have any of these in your home. Turmeric at the top of the list is a supplement I use regularly.

  • Turmeric
  • Cayenne
  • Myrrh
  • Sweet Birch
  • Lavender
  • Chamomile
  • Yarrow
  • Wintergreen
  • Lemon
  • Orange
  • Vetiver

How to use Essential Oils for Arthritis Pain Relief?

There are a few ways to use essential oils for arthritis and joint pain relief that are effective. It is vital to take note that oils are not sold as consumable products. Many essential oils are herbs that may not even be safe for consumption or at safe levels. Unless otherwise under medical advice, Do Not Consume Essential Oils!

Mix and Match! A combination of essential oils for pain relief can have a more significant effect than a singular alone. I am not saying you need to go out and but the whole list of oils that work. Grab a few scents that you like and use them in combination.

I include a few recipes and ideas below for usage. Feel free to mix them up to best suit your essential oils and preference. It is always best to test a mix (with carrier oils) on a small skin patch to ensure you do not react.

Topical Application of Essential Oils using a Carrier

This is the easiest and most common way to apply essential oils. They need to be diluted before application. Essential oils are highly potent and loaded with rich volatile compounds that are beneficial. This can also cause them to irritate the skin at full strength.

Using carrier oils will dilute the strength of the essential oil, making them safe for your skin.

A good ratio to remember is 1 ounce of Carrier oil to 10 - 12 drops of essential oil.

Common Carrier Oils

Recipe: Pain Relieving Rub for Arthritis and Joint Pain

Use a bottle or container large enough to hold 3.5 to 4 ounces of oil

  • 2 Ounces Carrier oil of choice (grapeseed is my choice)
  • 1 Ounce Jojoba Oil
  • 4 Drops Lavender Essential Oil
  • 8 Drops Ginger Root Essential Oil
  • 4 Drops Lemongrass Essential Oil
  • 8 Drops Peppermint Essential Oil
  • 8 Drops Helichrysum Essential Oil

This recipe I have used for many years. I have made it for my Mother, Grandmother, and more. I used to use Eucalyptus in this mix in place of the Helichrysum. Either is effective as a pain rub, but Helichrysum is superior. You can add a couple of drops of Black pepper or Cayenne essential oil for a little extra heat.

As the primary carrier oil, I use grapeseed oil. I prefer the quick absorption it offers in this mix. I often apply it at night when getting into bed. Faster dry time is essential.

A Nice Soak! Adding Essential Oils to a Bath

Another effective way to aid the relief of arthritis and joint pain with essential oils is an excellent healing bath. Soaking on its own can often assist in some relief of pain. The oils' addition increases the bath's effectiveness and leaves residual herbal remnants on your skin to continue working.

To mix with your bath, they can be added as drops alone to your favorite bath salts or bubble bath. I keep it to 30 drops max at any one time. Feel free to mix and match your favorite essential oils for arthritis and joint pain.

My Essential Oil Bath Mix

  1. In a Large Bowl or Pitcher
  2. Add 3 cups of Epsom Salts
  3. Add Enough Warm water to cover and dissolve salts
  4. Mix in: 10 Drops Lavender Essential Oil, 10 Drops Lemongrass Essential Oil, and 5 Drops Rosemary Essential Oil
  5. Mix into your hot bathwater!

Aw, so refreshing! For my men friends who want something more masculine. Change up the Lavender for Frankincense oil for a deeper scent profile.

I keep spicy oils from the bath to avoid sensitive parts! No cayenne or black pepper in the tub!

Essential Oil Heating Pads for Pain Relief

Have you seen these great little heating pads you can make yourself? They are often rice or flax seed-filled in a nicely decorated fabric pouch. Well, I tried my hand at making them several years ago without much thought about them being anything but a nice easy heating pad.

This changed about a year ago, by chance! I came across somebody at a craft market that was adding essential oils to these. I had not thought of it, but thankfully she had. What a fantastic idea and an excellent way to use essential oils for arthritis and joint pain relief.

These little heating pads are so easy to make and very useful. You can find A great tutorial on how to create them at Halecrafts.com here. This is a family-operated craft site you may enjoy.

Aromatherapy Benefits of Essential Oil for Pain Relief

A sniff of fragrance, perfumes, or an air freshener is not the same thing as aromatherapy. Aromatherapy uses essential oils extracted from herbs in concentrated forms to create potent aromatic compounds.

Although you will smell and the herbs' fragrance, it is not the scent alone that aids you. Those rich herbal constherbs' fragrances, used in the air. Just as if you would absorb them through the skin or internally. Your body can absorb them through the nose and taste buds.

In addition to the uses that many herbs carry for internal uses, many also take additional benefits in scent. As an example, Vanilla's scent is said to relax nerves and give a sense of calm. Lavender instills peace and rest. This just an example of a couple.

Ways to use Aromatherapy for Pain Relief

You have already learned about a few of these methods above. Using essential oils for arthritis and joint pain with massage, heating pad, or added to a bath. You are already benefiting from aromatherapy.

Step up these Essential oils for arthritis and joint pain relief with other uses that explore their scent power.

  • Mist your bedsheets lightly.
  • Put a few drops on a cloth for smelling throughout the day, or carry them in your pocket.
  • Use an Aromatherapy necklace, locket, or charm.
  • Make an Essential Oil (herbal) Air freshener.
  • Use an Oil Diffuser

Find Quality Essential Oil Accessories and Oils from Plant Therapy.

Can you Use Essential Oils Internally?

Three crucial points you must understand before you even consider this as an option!

#1 Most critical point to address first! Not all essential oils are safe for human consumption. That is because they are just plain TOXIC ! This is because not all plants are safe to EAT !

Tea tree oil is a great example. I use this oil a lot and have for years. This is a toxic plant. You can not eat it. There are many, many more.

It is essential to be educated.

#2 Now! This is a considerable debate. MOST essential oil manufacturers must abide by the law label crucial oils as "not for human consumption." These are not FDA regulated, controlled, or monitored. If you are to follow guidelines set forth by these standards, then the answer should be no. The FDA-approved GRAS essential oils would be the only exception. However, these are minimally issued and still cautioned.

#3 You should never start any drug, medical, or even alternative treatments like herbs, oils, and even diet changes without medical advice. Consult with your doctor or healthcare provider. You may be surprised to find that some may be very open-minded to your health choices. Besides, an aromatherapist qualification is recommended.

Now - I am not advising you to, but continue reading and watching if you choose.

Will I use them internally?

Not that it should influence you, but yes, some I sure will. Not every time and not as a preventive. There are plenty of alternatives to essential oil for internal use. Herbs can be used in teas, supplements, or my favorites tinctures, and extracts would help if you were educated. Know and trust your source. Understand clearly the dosage as these are HIGHLY concentrated.

Ease your Pain & Stop Suffering!

Living with pain is not joyful! Pain medications are out there to help, but they may not answer if you're like me. The tired, groggy brain fog is not for me. I want pain relief that stops my suffering without taking away my ability to enjoy life!

Natural essential oils for arthritis and joint pain relief offer an alternative. A simple rub on an achy knee or painful back can get you through the day or the night. Mix up a batch to keep ready for when you need it.

Have you tried essential oils for pain relief or another herbal method? I would love to hear from you. Let me know your thoughts and how things are working for you! Drop your comments below!

About Christina Lopez

Christina Lopez grew up in the beautiful city of Mountain View, California, where she spent eighteen ascetic years as a vegetarian before stumbling upon the exquisite delicacy of a strange chicken thigh. She’s been a city finalist competitive pingpong player, an ocean diver, an ex-pat in England and Japan, and a computer science doctoral student. Christina writes really late at night as spending most of her daytime enchanting her magical herb garden.

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