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12 Essential Oils For Pain Relief

What do you do when you are suffering from a migraine, or have pulled a muscle in your shoulder? How do you deal with a chronic condition like sciatica or arthritis, on a regular basis? When pain strikes, we will generally do just about anything and everything we can to get rid of that throbbing feeling, but while pain killers may seem like an obvious choice, swapping your meds for essential oils might be a wiser choice. 

Essential oil
Source: Freedigitalphotos.net, Praisaeng

How do essential oils work? 

Essential oils are natural extracts from the core of a plant. They are produced as a by-product of photosynthesis (a process that converts light energy into chemical energy). Each extracted aromatic essence has its own unique chemical constituent, and each has its own specific therapeutic properties. When used correctly, the oils work to balance, harmonize and promote health of the body, mind and spirit. They work on a physiological, psychological and spiritual level, enhancing your innate healing process. 

The oils work on the mind and body in two ways: 

Through inhalation: Essential oils are volatile substances. When inhaled, the scent works its way up the nose, where thousands of receptors identify with its fragrant smell. At this point, the scent is processed by the limbic system in the brain (where emotional and psychological responses are processed) triggering a range of responses, from relaxing to stimulating. 

Through skin absorption: Essential oils (usually blended with a base oil - more details below) can be rubbed onto the affected area. Upon application, the oils work their way through all the layers of the skin, and into the bloodstream.  

So, the next time you're in need of a little pain relief, opt for any of these 12 essential oils to help ease your aches and pains quickly. 

Essential oils
Source: Freedigitalphotos.net, Praisaeng

Disclaimer: Natural remedies should always be handled with care and essential oils are no exception to the rule. Essential oils should never be rubbed directly onto your skin, unless they have been diluted in a carrier oil (a cold pressed vegetable oil, such as coconut oil, sweet almond oil, avocado oil, olive oil, sesame oil, grapeseed oil or sunflower oil). 

 

Eucalyptus 

Pain relief
Properties:
  • Anti-inflammatory 
  • Analgesic (pain killing) properties
Benefits:
  • Eases sinuses.
  • Treats a stuffy nose (due to a cold).
  • Treats muscle aches, pains, strains and sprains.
  • Helps alleviate nerve pain.
Use:
  • Add 6 to 10 drops in a bath, diluted in 1 tablespoon milk or honey, dispersed in water.
  • Add 12 drops to 1 fl. oz (30ml) carrier coil, then massage into the skin. 
 

Juniper 

Pain relief
Properties:
  • Antispasmodic 
  • Antirheumatic effects (perfect for anyone with Rheumatoid Arthritis)
Benefits:
  • Alleviates everyday aches and pains.
  • May help with neuropathic pain.
  • Incredibly invigorating.
  • Inspires you to get things done if you're lacking motivation.
Use:
  • Add 12 drops to 1fl. oz (30ml) carrier oil, massaging into the skin.
  • Due to its invigorating properties, do not use at night.
 

Chamomile 

Pain relief
Properties:
  • Anti-inflammatory
Benefits:
  • Relieves PMS pain.
  • Alleviates muscle pains.
  • Aids headaches.
  • Eases neuralgia (pain along the course of a nerve).
  • Helps combat stress.
Use:
  • Best used in a warm bath. 
  • Add 6 to 10 drops in a bath, diluted in 1 tablespoon milk or honey, dispersed in water.
 

Sandalwood 

Pain relief
Properties:
  • Anti-inflammatory
Benefits:
  • Must-have oil for dealing with muscle spasms.
  • Soothes sciatica. 
  • Beneficial for lymph-node congestion.
  • Supports digestive and cardiovascular system.
  • Relieves minor skin irritations.
  • Will help calm and relax you.
Use: 
  • 6 to 10 drops diluted with 1 tablespoon of milk or honey in a bath.
  • Or, 12 drops to 1fl. oz (30ml) carrier oil and rub on affected area, when in pain.
  • To open up a clogged lymphatic system, massage the diluted solution directly on to the spine in a slow, counter-clockwise movement toward the heart.
 

Lavender 

Pain relief
Properties:
  • Antimicrobial 
Benefits: 
  • Melts away tension.
  • Combats any muscle pain or tension.
  • Helps deal with insomnia episodes.
Use:
  • For some much needed pain relief combine with chamomile and/or sandalwood.
  • Add 4 drops lavender, 4 drops chamomile and 4 drops sandalwood to 1fl. oz (30ml) carrier oil.
  • The cheaper variations of lavender oil are usually mixed with fragrance - and will not work as well.
 

Rosemary 

Pain relief
Properties:
  • Analgesic
  • Antispasmodic
Benefits:
  • Relieves muscle sprains and spasms.
  • Eases joint pain.
  • Headache relief.
Use:
  • Dilute 12 drops to 1fl. oz (30ml) carrier oil.
  • For headaches, apply dilution to a cotton ball and rub accordingly.
 

Thyme 

Pain relief
Properties:
  • Antispasmodic
Benefits:
  • Perfect for back spasms.
  • Relieves general aches and pains.
Use:
  • Due to its potent smell, apply 12 drops to 1fl. oz (30 ml) carrier oil, using a cotton ball.
 

Marjoram 

Pain relief
Properties:
  • Sedative effects
Benefits:
  • Relieves migraines.
  • Perfect for muscle stiffness and soreness.
  • Eases muscle spasms.
  • Alleviates pain associated with arthritis.
Use:
  • Most effective when diluted with a carrier oil [12 drops to 1 fl. oz (30ml)].
  • Use in an aromatherapy diffuser by adding 5 drops to a burner.
  • May be inhaled by adding 10 drops to 4fl. oz (100ml).
Wintergreen 
Pain relief
Source: Flickr.com, Gerry & Bonni
Properties:
  • Analgesic
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antispasmodic
Benefits:
  • Combats headaches.
  • Eases back pain.
  • Alleviates stiff joints.
Use:
  • Rub on skin where necessary [12 drops to 1fl. oz (30ml) carrier oil].
 

Spruce 

Pain relief
Properties:
  • A powerful immune system and adrenal glands stimulator.
Benefits:
  • Reduces pain caused by arthritis.
  • Eases lower back pain.
  • Aids bone pain.
  • Lessens pain associated with sciatica and Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Use:
  • Use as an aromatherapy diffuser by adding 5 drops to a burner to help calm and center your mind.
  • Rub by diluting 12 drops to 1fl. oz (30ml) carrier oil, to affected area. 
 

Frankincense

Pain relief
Source: Flickr.com, wplynn
Properties:
  • One of the most powerful anti-inflammatory oils
Benefits:
  • Perfect for dealing with day-to-day aches and pains associated with arthritis and migraines.
Use:
  • Most effective when rubbed on the skin [dilute 12 drops to 1fl. oz (30ml) carrier oil].
  • Inhale by adding the diluted blend onto a fabric cloth.
 

White Fir 

Pain relief
Properties:
  • Anti-arthritic
  • Analgesic
  • Antiseptic
Benefits:
  • Use on achy muscles (particularly after a workout).
Use:
  • Massage directly onto muscle pain by diluting 12 drops to 1fl. oz (30ml) carrier oil.
 

Top tips

  • Combinations tend to work better, though their smell can at times be a little overpowering. When combining oils together, be sure to get the right dosage. As a rule of thumb, bear in mind that you need to dilute 12 drops essential oil to 1fl. oz (30ml) carrier oil. Therefore, if combining two oils, add 6 drops of one oil and 6 of another. If using three essential oils, add four drops of each, and so forth.
  • Get as much out of the oils as you possibly can by applying a hot compress to the affected area after the dilution has been massaged into your skin. The heat and moisture from the compress will help the oils penetrate your skin and enter the body.
  • Use the oils two to four times a day, depending on the intensity of your pain. If using four times a day is not enough, seek medical advice.
  • When purchasing essential oils, look out for oils that are all-natural and pesticide free.

h/t: e-health101.com

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