Essential oils for gout is an effective remedy available for sufferers of this type of arthritic pain. Gout is a complex form of arthritis that can affect anyone. Men are typically affected more often, but postmenopausal women become increasingly susceptible in their later years. It is thought that female hormones play some role in the prevention of gout, which might explain why gout is more commonly seen in women after menopause.
A gout attack can occur suddenly, usually in the big toe but it can develop in your feet, ankles, knees, hands, or wrists as well. It may present as a sudden pain in the joint, accompanied by the feeling warmth and swelling. The affected joint may be so tender that even the weight of your bed sheet can be intolerable.
Essential oils represent the true essence of a plant and have been used for thousands of years for healing purposes. They can be used as part of aromatherapy or mixed with carrier oils, such as jojoba or olive, and applied to the skin for physical benefits. Essential oils have many beneficial properties that gout sufferers can benefit from, helping to relieve symptoms.
Benefits of using essential oils
Essential oils have long been used for its powerful pain relieving properties helping to provide relief for all kinds of muscle aches and joint pains. There are hundreds of different kinds of essential oils, all with varying effects. The following is a list of the best essential oils for gout to help to get you more family with this form of holistic therapy.
16 essential oils for gout
Frankincense essential oil:
Also known as Boswellia carterii or Boswellia sacra, this oil is a great healing essential oil. Frankincense helps promote pain relief throughout the body. It is thought to work by blocking leukotrienes, substances that initiate inflammatory responses in the body, making it ideal for treating gout attacks. This essential oil can also act as a mild sedative, making it great for stress relief. However, frankincense should be avoided by lactating women.
Rosemary essential oil:
Derived from a widely used herb, this essential oil contains high levels of analgesic properties that help to relieve aches and pains. It can even be used to increase energy levels and relieve nervous exhaustion and mental fatigue. Rosemary also has potent diuretic properties that can remove uric acid from the body, a substance responsible for causing gout. Pregnant women are advised not to use rosemary oil, as it may lead to unwanted uterine contractions.
Ginger essential oil:
A commonly used detoxifying essential oil that may help eliminate the substances in the body that cause gout attacks. Ginger is known for having powerful anti-inflammatory agents, called gingerols and shogaols. If used regularly, they can reduce pain and swelling.
Birch essential oil:
Containing methyl salicylate, a compound that acts similar to aspirin, birch oil helps relieve minor aches and pains. Birch oil is known for its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, which can be helpful for gout sufferers. However, it should only be used in moderation, as it can have many unwanted side effects like dehydration.
Thyme essential oil:
This oil contains ursolic and oleanolic acids, which have the ability to treat joint and muscle pain through their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Gout sufferers will find this particular oil great to reduce their discomfort. Thyme is also considered a diuretic, helping to eliminate urine from the body. This may lead to a decrease in uric acid accumulation, the substance responsible for gout development.
Chamomile essential oil:
This plant is known for helping us relax to get much-needed sleep, but it can also be used to help relieve pain as well, thanks to its sedative properties. Chamomile oil contains luteolin, quercetin, apigenin, which are known to provide powerful anti-inflammatory effects. Studies say chamomile is as effective as NSAIDs at reducing inflammation.
Basil essential oil:
This essential oil can be used for its health effects as well as in cooking. Specifically, French basil is best used through aromatherapy. It also works as a decongestant, antiseptic, muscle relaxant, and has anti-inflammatory properties making it great for reducing pain caused by inflammation. Basil oil helps stimulate the adrenal glands and plays a vital role in relieving mental fatigue.
Lemon essential oil:
The oil from this citrus fruit has a lot of beneficial properties. Its citrus scent helps to boost concentration, making you feel fresh and energized. It also has potent anti-inflammatory properties. Lemon oil blends well other essential oils such as ginger, basil, and rosemary. Food grade lemon oil mixed into a glass of drinking water every day can help prevent gout flare up, however, it is advised to speak to your doctor before starting any new treatment methods.
Fennel essential oil:
Well known for promoting digestive health, fennel can also be used topically over the skin for effective pain relief. However, it is advised not to use fennel oil in large quantities and to avoid it if you’re pregnant or epileptic. Fennel essential oil is also known for containing diuretic properties, which can help with the elimination of painful uric acid crystals.
Peppermint essential oil:
This pleasantly scented oil can help with most forms of pain and is often considered nature’s version of “icy-hot.” This effect makes peppermint oil great for relieving aching joints and muscular pain. Peppermint essential oil is refreshing and uplifting. Add it to your bath or simply massage it onto the skin to reap its benefits.
Cypress essential oil:
Having strong antioxidant compounds, this essential oil may help get rid of toxins in the body. It is able to stimulate blood circulation while also helping calm the nervous system, relieving cramps, stress, and muscle tension.
Lavender essential oil:
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 with its pleasant scent. It can also dilate blood vessels by eliminating stress, anxiety, fear, and tension, all of which can contribute to muscle tension.
Wintergreen essential oil:
Beneficial for aches and pains but is also known for alleviating certain kidney problems, nerve pain, throbbing joints, and menstrual pain. However, wintergreen can induce several side effects if ingested such as ringing in the ears, belly pain, and vomiting. It is recommended to use this essential oil topically or in a diffuser.
Pine essential oil:
Having an invigorating effect on the body and mind, pine essential oil can aid in clearing out both mental and physical fatigue. Pine oil is also recommended for helping depression.
Clove essential oil:
Known for its anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects, clove oil can be a great choice for helping regulate immune processes in the body. The active ingredient found in cloves, called eugenol, has the added effect of preventing blood clots.
Eucalyptus essential oil:
As this oil is absorbed by the body, the powerful compound eucalyptol works as a potent vasodilator, increasing the size of blood vessels. This allows for more blood to flow and circulate around the body. This action helps to relieve pain as well as stimulate the brain, improving alertness and energy levels.
How to use essential oils for gout
Hot towel compress
- Begin by soaking the inflamed joint or skin in cold water, then patting the area dry
- Take 2–8 drops of your desired essential oil, mixing it into your choice of carrier oil, and massage it into the area that is experiencing pain
- Next, take a towel that has been recently soaked in hot water, and place it on the area for a minimum of two minutes, being careful the towel is not excessively hot.
- Repeat this 2–3 times a day, or as needed
Soothing massage blends
Mix the following in a 1.6oz (5ml) glass bottle dropper and shake well
- 15 drops chamomile essential oil
- 15 drops frankincense essential oil
- 5 drops peppermint essential oil
Next, add this mixture to your choice of carrier oil, which includes:
- Grapeseed oil
- Sweet almond oil
- Fractionated coconut oil
- 10 drops lavender
- 8 drops rosemary
- 8 drops marjoram
- 2oz carrier oil (argon, coconut, sesame, sweet almond, jojoba, grapeseed, or macadamia)
- Combine 10ml (2tsp) of milk and 12 drops of one of the previously mentioned essential oil blends
- Next, fill two basins with water, one containing warm water and the other cool water
- Add half of your mixture to each basin, mixing it with the water
- Now, soak both feet in the warm water for 10 minutes, then transfer your feet to the cool water for another 10mins
- Repeat if desired
Epsom salt bath
Mix the following ingredients into your bathwater, mixing it as you pour. It is recommended to repeat daily for two weeks or as desired.
- 3 drops fennel essential oil
- 3 drops carrot seed or celery seed essential oil
- 3 drops juniper essential oil
- 2–3 handfuls Epsom salt
Precautions and tips while using essential oils
Despite knowing that essential oils can help treat the pain and stiffness of gout, you should never put pure essential oil directly into 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 them by mixing them into a carrier oil. Carrier oils are vegetable oils full of fatty acids that help disperse the tiny molecules of essential oils. Carrier oils include argon, coconut, sesame, sweet almond, jojoba, grapeseed, and macadamia.
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 such effective mixture is frankincense and myrrh essential oils.
Using essential oils two to 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. It is important to speak to your doctor before starting any new kind of medical treatment, as it may interfere with existing conditions and treatment or cause unwanted side effects.
Also Read: Gout diet: What to eat and what to avoid