Essential oils have been used by many cultures around the world for centuries, and now we know that there are essential oils for fibromyalgia that can bring millions of people relief.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic musculoskeletal condition that impacts the way the body processes pain signals. It is characterized by pain in various parts of the body, fatigue, mental fog, and sleep disturbances. While there is no known cure for fibromyalgia, research does indicate that essential oils for fibromyalgia pain really can work. There are countless reports of both physical and mental symptom improvement with essential oils for fibromyalgia. Research is ongoing to confirm how these oils might be helping with musculoskeletal disorders like fibromyalgia or other rheumatic conditions; however, some health experts believe they have been able to identify some of the best essential oils for fibromyalgia.
Also read: Musculoskeletal pain: Causes, diagnosis, and treatment
Benefits of essential oils for fibromyalgia
The American College of Rheumatology reports that fibromyalgia affects between two to four percent of people. Close to 90 percent of sufferers are women. So why use essential oils for fibromyalgia pain treatment?
The hippocampus and amygdala are parts of the brain responsible for storing emotions and memories. When essential oils are applied, the smell receptors in the nose pick up the aroma and send it to that part of the brain. The oils are naturally fragrant. The extracts from leaves, roots, tree bark, and stems of plants are rather concentrated.
Usually, a therapist will suggest diluting the oil with what is referred to as a “carrier oil,” such as coconut or jojoba to prevent skin reactions. In the majority of cases, an aromatherapist will recommend the external use of essential oils. There are rare situations where a professional aromatherapist may administer the oil orally.
The skin can absorb the essential oils into the parts of the body that require relief. At the same time, massaging the skin can also help with pain.
27 best essential oils for fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is linked to tender points, which are also called trigger points. These trigger points are really spots on the body that cause pain when slight pressure is applied. If a person has eleven out of 18 trigger points, they could be diagnosed with fibromyalgia. It can be difficult to get relief from fibromyalgia, but essential oils are one natural treatment option. Let’s take a look at what essential oils are good for fibromyalgia.
Distilled from a plant that is native to tropical Asia. It is considered revitalizing and cleansing and makes for a good essential oil when battling musculoskeletal pain.
This oil, described as spicy, balsamic, and peppery, is highly calming and meditative.
This comes from the fresh flowers of the tree, Cananga. It contains pain relieving and analgesic properties, making it a good option for fibromyalgia sufferers.
Often associated with cooking, the oil extracted from rosemary is refreshing and has pain relieving abilities.
Known as an anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, and as a sedative, this oil also strengthens overall immune health, which can be good for those who have fibromyalgia.
This oil is an analgesic, antiseptic, and anesthetic. It is commonly used in the treatment of pain.
Not to be mistaken with lemongrass, this highly refreshing oil is extracted from the peel of citrus lemons. It is considered stimulating and pain relieving.
This is usually used to help combat depression, but it can also be used to fight inflammation and pain associated with fibromyalgia. Patchouli comes from a bushy plant that is native to Southeast Asia.
This is a strong antidepressant, anticonvulsant, antispasmodic, antiseptic, and astringent, which makes it a good essential oil for fibromyalgia.
This is normally used to calm inflammation and treat depression. It is also known to help improve the health of the immune system.
This oil has been used for a long time to help treat stress, tension, and nerve pain, so it is a good natural option for fibromyalgia.
Since this oil is hot and spicy, it can help relieve pain in the muscles and joints. Many people report that black pepper oil helps fight their fatigue.
Described as woody and exotic, this essential oil has a lingering odor and is soothing, so it can assist in relieving tension, confusion, and depression. Many people who experience chronic pain end up with depression.
This oil is usually used as an antiseptic, antiviral, and digestive aid, but is known to help people who are struggling with fibromyalgia.
A strong-smelling oil that is able to revitalize the mind and body. Tea Tree oil acts as a stimulant.
This oil has a calming effect on nerves. It is known to relieve pain linked to arthritis, as well as musculoskeletal conditions like fibromyalgia.
Distilled from the flowers of a plant, helichrysum is an anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant. Studies suggest that this oil decreases pain by reducing swelling and inflammation, while at the same time improving circulation.
This oil helps stimulate the mind and ease muscle spasms as well as joint/muscle pain. When applied topically, it has a very relaxing quality.
While eucalyptus oil is characterized by its ability to help with blood circulation and with flushing toxins out of the body, it’s also a good oil for treating muscle aches and pain.
Considered a good all-purpose essential oil, it is great for relaxation and stress relief. It can help calm the body and mind during a fibromyalgia attack. It can be effective because it is a nerve sedative and antispasmodic essential oil. People who suffer from fibromyalgia often have difficulty sleeping and rosemary chamomile can help improve sleep.
This oil is another option for those who are suffering from fibromyalgia and are sleep deprived. It has a sedative nature to help people get a more peaceful rest. Jasmine oil also has some anti-depressant qualities.
Extracted via steam distillation from the leaves of the marjoram plant, this essential oil may reduce headaches, reduce stress, and provide a more peaceful sleep. Sometimes, it is mixed with other essential oils to help combat insomnia and pain.
A mix of citrus and floral aroma make this a unique essential oil. It has been suggested that neroli oil can reduce inflammation, stress, muscle spasms, and blood pressure. In terms of fibromyalgia, it is thought to be most helpful with the stress associated with living in constant pain.
This oil can be considered as an option to reduce fatigue. It is also known as an anti-spasmodic. Some women might be familiar with cypress oil due to its ability to reduce menstrual cramps and hot flashes.
Oil that has stimulating effects on the mind and body, grapefruit oil is said to be able to keep the body’s metabolism in proper order, as well as stimulate the nervous system to make people more active and alert.
Used for thousands of years as a medicine in Asia and West Africa, this oil is said to improve energy levels, cool the body, and soothe anxiety.
Most of us know basil as a herb for cooking, but basil oil can treat fatigue, tension, and depression. It can also reduce pain associated with headaches as well as provide people with mental clarity.
It is always best to try the oils outlined here under the supervision of a healthcare professional. There are cases where essential oils can interfere with other treatments, including medications that are being taken.
How to use essential oils for fibromyalgia treatment
If you have never used essential oils, the list above might seem a little overwhelming, but once you find oil that you like, application methods are really quite simple. Essential oils can be used in different ways as outlined below:
Pain relief: Essential oils can be applied directly to the skin for pain relief. You can apply the oil on your own or have a physical therapist apply it during a message. As the oil absorbs into the skin, it addresses the pain.
Aromatherapy: This method involves aerating essential oils. It means you inhale the scent using an oil diffuser. Many people who suffer from migraines and stress use aromatherapy, but so can people who are struggling with pain and insomnia.
Soothing: The essential oil can be added to a hot bath. The warmth of the water can help improve blood circulation, which is known to relieve pain. During an essential oil hot bath, the oil will permeate the skin and block pain. Additionally, the steam from the bath acts as aromatherapy.
Some people find that they like one method over another or they like a combination of methods. It is really a case of trying to find what works best for you. Essential oils should be effective in treating your condition, but can also be an enjoyable way to address a health issue due to their amazing aromas.
Risks while using essential oils
Essential oils are a natural remedy, but they do carry some risks:
- Don’t ingest: It is important not to take essential oil by mouth. Many of these oils are toxic.
- Allergies: Some people can be allergic to certain oils so it is best to test an oil by mixing it with a carrier oil and applying it to a small patch of skin (about the size of a dime) to the forearm. If there is no reaction, it should be safe to use.
- Unwanted side effects: If any unusual side effects are experienced, stop using the oils and consult a doctor. Risk varies depending on each person’s health status.
- Drug interactions: Sometimes essential oils can interact with prescription drugs. People on medication should discuss using oils with their doctor beforehand, especially if they plan to use them on their skin.
- Always use carrier oil: Consider that essential oils should be diluted with a carrier oil. The ratio is normally three to five drops of the essential oil in one ounce of carrier oil. The most popular carrier oils are olive, coconut, grapeseed, almond, and avocado. Some people opt for mixing their essential oil with unscented lotions when they are applying directly to the skin.
- Reputable brands: There can be a wide variation between essential oils when it comes to strength and quality so it is much safer to use reputable brands.
Recipes for essential oils for fibromyalgia
If you are interested in trying oils and are looking for an essential oil recipe for fibromyalgia, we have a few suggestions.
Fibro Massage Blend
- 2 drops lavender
- 1 drop juniper
- 1 drop peppermint
- 1 tsp. grapeseed or sweet almond oil
Combine the oils in a non-reactive bowl. Mix well and massage over your body.
Fibro Bath Blend
- 2 drops juniper
- 2 drops cypress
- 1 drop black pepper
- 1 tsp. grapeseed or sweet almond oil
Fill the tub with warm water and add bath oil blend together in a non-reactive bowl. Massage blend into the skin and then soak in tub for about 30 minutes. Don’t add essential oils to tub while the water is running. You could lose the power of the oils due to evaporation.
- 1 tsp. rosemary
- 50 drops lavender
- 50 drops marjoram
Combine oils in a glass dropper, shake to blend oils, and then in a non-reactive bowl, combine one cup of hot water and 10 drops of your blend. Soak a cloth in the blend and wring out the water so that you can lay the cloth on the affected area without dripping. To secure the cloth, you can wrap plastic wrap around the area.
If you suffer from fibromyalgia or other pain conditions, it is worth noting that research shows the use of essential oils on a regular basis is best. In the vast majority of cases, the beneficial effects of the different oils just don’t last beyond a few days, so regular application may be required to keep your pain level down.
Just one other point to keep in mind if you decide to purchase some essential oils – the oils smell really nice, so pets and kids can be drawn to them. These oils are powerful so you should be treating them like any other medicine and keep them up high and out of sight.
- 20 essential oils for muscle pain and how to use them
- Fibromyalgia treatment: How music therapy can reduce fibromyalgia pain, depression, anxiety, and improve sleep