essential oils for rheumatoid arthritis pain

Benefits of using essential oils for rheumatoid arthritis pain relief

Essential oils for rheumatoid arthritis can be an effective option for those looking to reduce inflammation, stiffness, and pain. They should not be confused with fragrance oils or perfumes. Essential oils are derived from leaves, flowers, roots, bark, and other parts of plants.

While essential oils can be useful for alleviating some symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, they will not stop or slow the progression of the disease. Essential oils are a natural and holistic option that can be used together with doctor prescribed rheumatoid arthritis medication.

How essential oils are helpful for rheumatoid arthritis patients

Ironically, essential oils are typically not oily to the touch. If they do feel oily, they are poor quality and contain other additives. Most essential oils are clear in appearance, but some do have a slight color to them.

Essential oils represent the true essence of a plant and have been used for thousands of years for healing. They can be used as part of aromatherapy or mixed with carrier oils, like jojoba or olive, and applied to the skin.

These are derived from plants and embody the unique chemical makeup and properties that certain types of vegetation have. Some essential oils have antimicrobial or antibacterial properties and are great for fighting viral and bacterial infections. Others possess anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, making them a great choice for relieving joint and muscle pain. Most have a pleasant aroma and are an ideal choice for inducing relaxing states and stress relief.

Essential oils for rheumatoid arthritis pain relief

Orange

This common fruit can also be found in oil form. It’s citrusy energetic scent is great for stimulating the senses. Additionally, orange oil can be used to make you feel more productive and focused. The oil also contains powerful anti-inflammatory properties, helping to reduce pain caused by inflammation.

Ginger

This root spice is known for harboring many beneficial health effects when consumed, but its oil can also be used externally on your skin as well. Thanks to Ginger’s antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, it is great for easing aching muscles and muscle spasms. Inflammatory conditions such as arthritis will benefit from ginger oil too.

Frankincense

A great healing essential oil, Frankincense promotes pain relief throughout the body. It is thought to work by blocking leukotrienes—substances that initiate inflammatory responses in the body. This essential oil can also act as a mild sedative, making it great for stress relief.

Myrrh

A natural anti-inflammatory, this essential oil helps to reduce cholesterol and lower blood pressure. Myrrh is a gum derived from tree resin and is known for its healing capacity.

Turmeric

A commonly used Asian spice, turmeric has also been shown to have many healing properties. Much of this is attributed to the active ingredient curcumin. Studies have found it to protect joints from inflammation.

Birch

Reduces muscle, joint, and bone discomfort thanks to its anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, antiseptic, disinfectant, diuretic, and astringent properties.

Lemongrass

Helping to promote blood circulation, this essential oil is great for lowering cholesterol levels as well as having potent analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. Lemongrass oil is also known for keeping blood vessels dilated, providing smooth transportation of blood flow.

Eucalyptus

As this oil is absorbed by the body, the powerful compound Eucalyptol works as a vasodilator, increasing the size of blood vessels. This allows for more blood to flow and circulate around the body. This action helps to relieve aches and pains combined with eucalyptus’s strong analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties.

Lavender

Known for having many therapeutic properties. Its anti-inflammatory and analgesic actions can be used to relieve aching muscles and joints. Lavender oil can help calm and soothe the mind and body. This can help dilate blood vessels by eliminating stress, anxiety, fear, and tension—all of which contribute to muscle tension.

Rosemary

Derived from the widely used herb, this essential oil contains high levels of analgesic properties, helping to relieve aches, pains, and arthritis. It can even be used to increase energy levels and relieve nervous exhaustion and mental fatigue. It is best used through aromatherapy but should be avoided during pregnancy.

Chamomile

This plant is known for promoting relaxation, but it can also be used to relieve pain as well thanks to its sedative properties. Chamomile oil works by reducing inflammation. Simply massage a Chamomile oil solution onto your area of pain to get relief.

Cayenne pepper

Relieves muscle pain and throbbing sensations by nullifying the effect of compound P (a neurotransmitter).

Related: 15 best essential oils for arthritis: Control arthritis and inflammation

How to use essential oils for rheumatoid arthritis

Despite knowing that essential oils can help treat pain and stiffness, you should never put pure essential oil directly onto your skin. These oils are extremely concentrated and potent, potentially causing irritation or skin damage if they are used undiluted.

Instead, dilute your essential oils first before using by mixing them into a carrier oil. Carrier oils are vegetable oils full of fatty acids and help disperse the tiny molecules of essential oils.

Carrier oils include argon, coconut, sesame, sweet almond, jojoba, grapeseed, and macadamia oil.

Massage is the best way to apply essential oil to help relieve pain symptoms. This can be especially useful when combining several different types of essential oils known for their pain relieving and anti-inflammatory properties. One effective mixture is frankincense and myrrh essential oils.

Using essential oils two or three times a day is ideal for treating pain symptoms. It is important to keep in mind that results will vary depending on the cause of your pain and other factors.

Other methods for using essential oils include aromatherapy, during a bath, or using them on a warm or cold compress.

Essential oil blends for rheumatoid arthritis

The following are some essential oil recipes to help you relieve your rheumatoid arthritis pain.

Soaking bath blend

You will need:

  • Bath salts – 1 to 2 cups
  • Lavender oil – 3 drops
  • Rosemary oil – 4 drops
  • Cypress oil – 5 drops
  • Peppermint oil – 6 drops

Begin by preparing your bath water and adding your Epsom salts. Once fully dissolved, add about 2–4 drops of your essential oil mixture. Completely immerse your affected joint or joints into the water.

Warming massage blend

You will need:

  • Eucalyptus – 5 drops
  • Sage – 4 drops
  • Rosemary – 6 drops
  • Coriander – 3 drops
  • Marjoram – 4 drops
  • Roman chamomile – 5 drops
  • Carrier oil of your choice – 2 ounces or 60ml
Blend your ingredients together in a glass bottle and then massage onto the affected joint in the morning and at night into the painful areas. Use about 3–5 drops of your essential oil mixture for each application.

Wintergreen and Peppermint blend

You will need

  • Wintergreen oil – 8 drops
  • Peppermint oil – 12 drops
  • Carrier oil – 30 ml

Using both of these oils can provide a mix of pain relief and anti-inflammatory qualities making this an ideal choice for inflammatory pain relief. Store your oil blend in a glass bottle and apply up to three times a day.

Essential oils can be a great natural way to help combat rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. However, it is advised to speak to your health care provider before incorporating any new treatment regimens into your already prescribed treatment plan. When essential oils are used correctly, they can provide a great level of pain relief, especially for chronic pain suffers.

Related: Rheumatoid arthritis remedies: Diet and exercise


Author Bio

Devon Andre has been involved in the health and dietary supplement industry for a number of years. Devon has written extensively for Bel Marra Health. He has a Bachelor of Forensic Science from the University of Windsor, and went on to complete a Juris Doctor from the University of Pittsburgh. Devon is keenly aware of trends and new developments in the area of health and wellness. He embraces an active lifestyle combining diet, exercise and healthy choices. By working to inform readers of the options available to them, he hopes to improve their health and quality of life.

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