Eucalyptus oil is derived from the leaves of Australian eucalyptus trees, the very same trees koalas munch on. The essential oil has a strong herbal smell that's known to cut through a clogged-up nose and ease a cough. More importantly for our purposes, though, the oil also has powerful anti-inflammatory properties and a pain-relieving effect, which is why eucalyptus oil is also used to disinfect wounds and improve joint pain. It is also believed that the oil may help improve blood circulation.
A study from 2013 that involved patients who recently had knee replacement surgery found that inhaling eucalyptus oil for half an hour for just 3 days in a row yielded a marked reduction in pain, inflammation, and blood pressure.
How to use eucalyptus oil for arthritis:There are several ways you can use eucalyptus oil, the simplest one probably being just to add in a few drops of the oil before taking a warm bath. You can also try inhaling or rubbing diluted eucalyptus oil in a carrier oil (e.g. almond oil, jojoba oil, olive oil, grapeseed oil) directly onto the skin.
Evening primrose oil has several health benefits, most of which are linked to the oil's anti-inflammatory properties. The oil is made from the common evening-primrose flower (Oenothera biennis) and has a bright yellow hue, as well as a distinctly oily smell. Researchers have found that the essential oil contains a type of fat called gamma-linoleic acid (GLA), which the human body converts into anti-inflammatory agents. In addition, evening primrose oil contains another anti-inflammatory compound called beta-amyrin.
When it comes to arthritis symptoms specifically, evening primrose oil aids in reducing the joint pain, stiffness, and tenderness associated with the condition.
How to use evening primrose oil for arthritis:
Evening primrose oil is one of the rare essential oils you can ingest, and it's commonly sold in 500mg capsules. According to the Arthritis Foundation, rheumatoid arthritis sufferers can take between 540 mg to 2.8 g of the oil daily in divided doses. They also add that it usually takes about 6 months of treatment for you to see an improvement.
The anti-inflammatory properties of ginger are widely known, and so it's little surprise that patients with chronic inflammatory conditions like arthritis are advised to take ginger. Another way you can get a concentrated dose of ginger is through ginger oil, which has shown to have pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties.
A study from 2001 looked at the effect of ginger extract on arthritis-related knee pain, and participants reported a reduction in pain and ended up using painkillers less than the placebo group over time.
Oranges are packed with beneficial nutrients that have anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and mood-bosting properties that are known to help patients with all sorts of joint issues and pain. One study from 2017, for example, looked at the effect of orange essential oil aromatherapy for patients with painful fractured limbs, with patients experiencing less pain as a result. The authors of the study concluded that aromatherapy is a good complementary treatment for joint pain.
One of the best perks of orange essential oil is its pleasant smell, too, so you can mix in a few drops of it to mask other, less pleasant-smelling essential oils. Speaking of mixing up oils, it's absolutely safe and recommended, too, so you can definitely mix in several kinds of essential oils into your own customs blends to reap all of their benefits.
Frankincense oil is made of the dried sap of the frankincense trees (Boswellia serrata Linn). The oil is a favorite among practitioners of traditional medicine, who have been using it for generations to aid all kinds of ailment, including inflammatory conditions and chronic pain. The Arthritis Foundation states that the acids naturally present in frankincense called Boswellic acids can lower inflammation and reduce pain, as well as prevent cartilage damage that occurs in rheumatoid arthritis.