Don’t let arthritic pain stop you from enjoying life! Here’s a list of the best essential oils for arthritis pain to help manage that disturbing joint pain.
In this article:
- Evening Primrose
15 Essential Oils for Arthritis to Relieve Joint Pain
Pain Relief Oils for Arthritis
Arthritis affects millions of people every year, and the pain and discomfort associated with it impact everything from everyday activities to what types of tasks they can take on at work. Having every possible treatment available can help make it easier to cope with arthritis.
With that in mind, here’s a list of the best essential oils for arthritis to help get rid of that disturbing joint pain.
Basil provides a wide range of therapeutic compounds, such as 1.8-cineole and linalool, that have anti-inflammatory benefits.
One study showed that researchers administered 150-300-mg/kg of basil oil daily on rats with arthritis, and it helped reduce their joint inflammation. These experimental rats also showed reduced symptoms of edema, a condition that’s linked to swelling.
Turmeric is known for its many health benefits, including anti-inflammatory properties.
Clinical studies revealed that turmeric essential oil is effective in relieving symptoms of arthritis. It contains a strong compound called curcumin that blocks the molecule responsible for triggering inflammation.
Ginger oil is considered one of the best oils for arthritis pain because it can effectively alleviate joint pain and inflammation. It has chemicals that transform into a group of anti-inflammatory agents to fight off symptoms of arthritis.
Research found that rats with joint inflammation reduced rates of swelling when administered this arthritis essential oil.
4. Evening Primrose
This essential oil for arthritis is packed with a type of omega-6 fatty acid called gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), an anti-inflammatory agent. GLA can aid in eliminating symptoms of arthritis, such as stiffness, tenderness, and joint pain.
The Arthritis Foundation even suggests that people with rheumatoid arthritis should take primrose oil between 540 mg and 2.8 g (in divided doses) daily for 6 months.
Lavender oil can be applied topically, added to a warm bath, and inhaled (aromatherapy). On top of its benefits in reducing symptoms of depression, pain, and anxiety, the oil can also help alleviate pain from arthritis.
A study showed that a mixture of 5% lavender oil and some amount of almond oil aids in the participants’ pain relief caused by arthritis.
Frankincense oil is already popular in traditional medicine for relieving swelling and chronic pain. The plant’s extracts have acetyl-11-keto-beta-boswellic acid that provides anti-inflammatory effects.
Some researchers found that osteoarthritis patients reported improvements in physical functioning and reduction in pain when using frankincense essential oil.
Eucalyptus oil is rich in compounds with pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effects. When topically applied on the skin, it alleviates muscle pain, swelling, and soreness.
A study revealed inhalation of the oil can have analgesic properties.
Myrrh oil has anti-rheumatic properties that are great for lessening symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. It is often used with another essential oil, like frankincense, for best results.
One study found that individual results of myrrh and frankincense oils showed significant improvements in the symptoms of arthritis.
Orange oil also contains natural anti-inflammatory properties. According to research, orange oil is the most effective essential oil among those studied for reducing inflammation.
This essential oil is excellent when diluted with almond or avocado oil before applying to the affected area.
Birch essential oil can help in reducing joint and muscle pain, toothaches, and headaches. This oil also has natural antispasmodic properties helpful in relieving muscle spasms and cramps.
It can also stimulate and improve blood circulation, making it a great treatment for conditions associated with circulation problems like edema or swelling, arthritis, and rheumatism.
Chronic inflammation contributes to joint pain. Citral, an anti-inflammatory compound, is the active ingredient of lemongrass essential oil.
In a 2014 animal study, oral lemongrass essential oil showed impressive anti-inflammatory effects on mice with paw edema. Topical application of the oil on mice with ear edema also showed anti-inflammatory benefits.
With its anti-inflammatory properties, it can also act as a pain reliever. In a 2017 study on rheumatoid arthritis patients, topical lemongrass oil reduced the subjects’ arthritic pain.
The capsaicin in cayenne pepper oil has potent pain-relieving effects when used as a skin cream. Capsaicin can decrease substance P levels, a natural neuropeptide that signals pain to the brain.
Capsaicin is widely available as a skin cream recommended for several conditions like:
- Joint pain
- Muscle pain
- Post-operation pain
- Painful nerve conditions like shingles
Note that this oil should not be applied to an open wound or skin irritation.
Additionally, it’s important to note that capsaicin cream should not be applied to an open wound or broken skin.
Chamomile essential oil is extracted by distilling chamomile herbs. Its active ingredients, the compounds sesquiterpenes and phellandrene have anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and analgesic properties.
In a randomized trial on knee osteoarthritis patients, researchers found chamomile oil was an impressive joint-pain-relieving topical agent. Its phellandrene contents have analgesic properties inhibiting pain signals going to the brain.
Applying chamomile oil on painful joints can help improve mobility and overall quality of life in patients with arthritis inflammation.
Marjoram essential oil is collected by steam distillation of fresh and dried leaves of the knotted marjoram plant. Arthritis patients can benefit from its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, as well as its antioxidant effect, which can decrease oxidative stress.
In a study of 40 arthritis patients, researchers found using a blend of essential oils with marjoram oil decreased the subjects’ pain levels.
Wintergreen essential oil is a minty, pale-yellow liquid extracted from wintergreen leaves via steam distillation. Methyl salicylate, its active ingredient, is a compound with analgesic benefits.
Methyl salicylate has a similar chemical make up to aspirin but is only used topically. It is widely used to manage acute and chronic aches and pains throughout the body.
In fact, a study on 208 adult joint pain patients showed that methyl salicylate can effectively reduce mild to moderate joint discomfort.
Using and Mixing Essential Oils
You can massage essential oils into the skin. You can also:
- Inhale the steam of hot water mixed with essential oil drops.
- Use a diffuser to dilute the oils and release a scented mist.
- Add a few drops to wound dressings.
- Add the oils to a warm bath or mix them with bath salts.
- Dilute the essential oils with carrier oils and massage the solution into painful joints.
Some of the most commonly used carrier oils are:
- fractionated coconut oil
- olive oil
- almond oil
- argan oil
- amla oil
- jojoba oil
- grape-seed oil
Don’t forget to download, save, or share this handy infographic for reference:
Using essential oils to target joint pain and inflammation can relieve and treat arthritis. However, it is still important to consult your doctor for medical guidance once symptoms persist and if you have allergies.
If you are interested in other ways to improve your joint health, check out this natural supplement by Dr. Seeds.
What other essential oils for arthritis can you add to the list above? Share them in the comments section!
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on October 16, 2018, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.