Essential oils are becoming widely used to combat pain due to most having little to no side effects.
Depending upon the severity of your arthritis you may be able to treat your pain without prescription medications through the use of essential oils.
Best Essential Oils for Arthritis
Whether it is osteoarthritis, rheumatoid, or any other form of arthritis there may be an essential oil that you can use for those aches and pains.
Here are 13 essential oils that are commonly found to help arthritis.
Wintergreen is a crowd-pleasing flavor that you can find in many popular gums or candies.
More importantly, it is also a powerful essential oil that can provide relief to people suffering from daily chronic pain.
This pleasant smelling oil has been touted as being as strong of a pain reliever as aspirin.
It is most often used to treat headaches, nerve pains, arthritis, and menstrual cramps.
This essential oil is created through a process called steam distillation.
Wintergreen contains high levels of methyl salicylate; a pain-relieving compound that makes this essential oil a powerful analgesic.
Aspirin also contains salicylate, which is why these two have similar effects on the body.
In the naturopathic community, chamomile is a staple essential oil due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
It is commonly used to relieve muscle pain, reduce spasms, and alleviate headaches.
It also helps with the tough lower back pains that are caused by either arthritis or PMS.
It is also known to calm anxiety, reduce stress, and help induce peaceful sleep.
Its fruity fragrance is pleasant, and it has been used in diffusers, teas, and other products to induce a calmer state.
Lavender oil is one of the most popular oils for a multitude of ailments due to its versatility.
It has been used by holistic practitioners for both pain relief and relaxation for centuries.
Its anti-inflammatory properties make it an excellent essential oil for arthritis.
It can easily relieve muscle tension, joint pain, headaches, and even allergies.
Lavender oil’s sedative properties can cause drowsiness, so we recommend waiting until 1 hour before bedtime to apply it.
Peppermint is a hybrid of water-mint and spearmint that originates from the Middle East and Europe.
Peppermint oil not only has a very potent smell that is quite pleasing to the senses, but it is excellent for muscle and joint pains.
Many people use it for headaches and pain associated with nerve damage.
Though this oil is not well-known in the west, it is very popular in some Eastern Countries.
Ayurvedic medicine has a long history with Vetiver oil.
This oil is extracted from the Vetiveria zizanoides grass.
If you notice a familiar scent, it is a cousin to citronella and lemongrass, both of which are widely used in western herbal medicine.
The smell is pleasant and the oil has incredible pain relieving properties which makes it a top essential oil for arthritis pain.
Some shy away from this oil because it is very costly.
While it may be expensive, you might want to consider picking up Helichrysum if you have severe arthritic pain that is not responding to other oils.
It is well regarded as one of the top holistic oils for arthritis due to its anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, and analgesic properties.
It is also commonly used for issues dealing with the nervous system.
Yarrow is commonly sold under the names of milfoil or nosebleed.
This oil has a sweet and spicy smell that is unmistakable.
It was once used as a charm in Scotland to ward off evil spirits.
Extracted by steam distillation, this oil is often used to improve circulatory disorders and to help with stress, sleeplessness, and digestive problems.
It can help relieve muscle aches due to arthritis and stress-related issues.
Many use this oil in a vaporizer as well as applying it topically.
Periodically switch up the application method (Topical and Aromatic). Yarrow is a potent essential oil, and it can cause breakouts after prolonged use.
It comes from the Boswellia carteri tree, and it is also known as Gum thus.
Frankincense has long been known as one of the favorites in aromatherapy.
It has calming and healing properties that have been well documented.
Many use it for its intense effects on rheumatism and muscular pain.
Grown in the Middle East, the oil is made from the bark strips of the tree.
The oil is extracted through steam distillation.
The Egyptians and Hebrews placed a high dollar value on Frankincense oil, and it is still considered a valued commodity in many parts of the world.
Today, it is used widely for many ailments because it’s non-toxic and non-irritant properties.
Ginger has a peppery smell that can be a bit overpowering.
However, don’t let the strong smell deter you from using it.
Ginger oil has long been known as one of the best holistic pain relievers around.
It’s a powerful essential oil for arthritis and has been proven through multiple studies to have a significant impact on arthritic pain.
In one study, 68 patients with severely arthritic knees were told to massage the knees using ginger oil only twice per week.
At the end of the first and fifth weeks, the patients noticed a large reduction in pain levels.
Juniper oil is extracted from the Juniperus communis plant, a member of the Cupressaceae family.
Some refer to this as the superior essential oil, because of its wide variety of uses.
It is most commonly used to help calm the nerves, ease anxiety, and release nervous tension, as well as help with mental exhaustion, kidney stone, and cystitis.
When treating an enlarged prostate gland, many men turn to this oil to reduce inflammation.
Hospitals in France use Juniper in diffusers to purify the air.
Known as Tasmanian blue gum in some parts of the world; this oil is derived from the Eucalyptus globulus plant.
It has a clear, sharp, fresh, and very distinctive smell.
There are more than 500 species of Eucalyptus trees in the world.
However, the most commonly used one for oils is the Australian Blue Gum.
It was discovered in 1788 and marketed under the name ‘Sydney peppermint.’
The dried leaves and young twigs hold the powerful oil.
It is known to have anti-rheumatic, antiviral, hypoglycemic, and expectorant properties.
It is very useful as a warming agent, which is why it is a perfect oil for arthritis, muscular pains, sprains, and poor circulation in the body.
Sandalwood has a very distinct woodsy yet exotic smell. It has been used for over 4,000 years for its holistic properties.
There are not many sandalwood trees around anymore, so many fear the ability to find this oil will become increasingly difficult.
This oil is non-toxic and non-irritant which makes it a great oil for people with sensitive skin.
Because of its calming effects and pleasing aroma, it is often used for people that suffer from anxiety and depression.
13. Sweet Marjoram
Often referred to as Knotted Marjoram and Pot Marjoram, this essential oil has a very fine medicinal aroma.
It is known for being able to rejuvenate tired and overused muscles, as well as increase circulation in joint tissue.
Those suffering from osteoarthritis report promising results from this oil.
It is extracted by using steam distillation.
The flowering plant, Origanum majorana, is first dried and then used to pull the precious oil from it.
Essential Oil Recipe for Arthritis
- 1 Teaspoon of Evening Primrose Carrier Oil
- 6 Drops of Douglas Fir Essential Oil
- 6 Drops of Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Apply to the affected area and massage evenly into the skin.
Pubmed. (2017, November 1). Effects of Self-Knee Massage With Ginger Oil in Patients With Osteoarthritis: An Experimental Study. Retrieved from pubmed.gov: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29137696
Sonoma Press. (2014). Essential Oils and Aromatherapy an Introductory Guide. Berkeley, California.