Arthritis is an extremely common condition, particularly in older adults. It’s also a very painful condition, affecting joints like your hips, knees, fingers and even your back. There are a number of prescription medications available to help relieve arthritis pain. However, many arthritis sufferers opt instead to use essential oils for arthritis.
Essential Oils for Arthritis
There are quite a few essential oils for arthritis. Some are used topically while others are ingested. Let’s look at the best essential oils for arthritis pain.
Peppermint is a natural, and powerful, anti-inflammatory. When you use the essential oil topically, it’s possible to feel an almost instant relief from arthritis pain. As with any essential oil, be sure to do a skin test before you use peppermint oil for your arthritis pain. It’s rare, but the plant can cause some skin irritation when directly applied to the body.
To take advantage of the soothing effects of peppermint oil for arthritis, mid a few drops with a carrier oil. Carrier oils include jojoba oil, coconut oil and argan oil. Create a salve, and apply evenly to the affected area.
Lavender Oil for Joint Pain
Lavender oil is known for its springy, fresh scent. But it’s also great for treating arthritis pain. Lavender has proven to be especially effective in helping to alleviate the joint pain arthritis sufferers experience in the hands. Lotions containing lavender are especially popular among those who have arthritis pain.
To use lavender essential oil for arthritis, simply mix about 5 drops with an ounce or so of carrier oil. Apply directly to your skin, and rub into your skin using a circular motion. In some cases, lavender oil can be used on its own without a carrier oil. Again, be sure to conduct an allergy test first.
We actually discussed lavender’s potential for curing UTI’s elsewhere on this site.
Rosemary Oil for Arthritis
When you think of rosemary, you might think of herbs you cook with. Or, if you’re into essential oils, you may know that rosemary has antibacterial and antiseptic properties.
In addition to its culinary and antibacterial uses, rosemary is also very helpful for arthritis pain relief. Not only does rosemary help alleviate pain, it’s also been shown to stop the progression of arthritis in laboratory rats.
For best results, dilute rosemary oil in jojoba or coconut oil, as it can be drying to the skin. Carrier oils will help return moisture to the application area.
Many of the essential oils for arthritis you’ll read about work because they’re anti-inflammatories. Lemongrass oil works in a slightly different way – it’s a diuretic.
Just as lemongrass works a bit differently than other oils, you’ll use it a bit differently as well. The easiest way to use lemongrass oil for arthritis is simply to place a few drops in bath water. Soak for a while in the tub as the lemongrass works its magic.
An alternative to bathing with lemongrass oil is creating a lemongrass oil steam. Boil a pot of water, and drop in a bit of lemongrass oil. As the steam rises, you may find that your arthritis pain is alleviated. Don’t prefer either method? A shower works just fine. As you relax in the steam of your shower, place a few drops of the oil in a dish set on your soap holder.
Before you use birch oil for arthritis, note that the oil shouldn’t be applied directly to your skin. It’s been known to cause inflammation, which negates the purpose of essential oils for arthritis.
Dilute a few drops of birch oil in mineral oil or a carrier like argan. Then, gently rub into your skin. This is another oil that should be used with caution, and a skin test should always be performed. If you’re cleared for use, the analgesic properties of birch oils will relieve your arthritis pain quickly.
So, it’s not technically an essential oil. But the bark of the white willow tree is effective in reducing arthritis pain.
In some cultures, the white willow tree is known as the “aspirin tree.” And for good reason! The bark of the willow tree contains the same ingredient you’ll find in over the counter aspirin. Chewing on a bit of willow bark can go a long way toward alleviating arthritis pain.
That said, if you’ve got a heart condition or blood pressure problems, talk to your doctor before you use willow bark. It can thin the blood, interfering with your medication.
If you’re not into chewing on tree bark, you can apply willow bark topically. You’ll need to boil the bark in water, similar to making willow bark tea. Then, use a warm washcloth to apply the solution to your joints.
Cayenne Pepper Oil
Cayenne pepper oil is one of those essential oils you’d never expect to aid in arthritis relief. But, when used with caution, it can do just that.
First, note that cayenne pepper oil is extracted from fresh peppers. That means that, while the oils may still be mildly irritating to some, the scent won’t leave you smelling like a Mexican kitchen. That said, be careful with cayenne pepper oil.
The oils can be harmful to the eyes, and again, some skin irritation may occur. Do a skin test before you use it. Cayenne works by affecting neurotransmitters that send pain signals to the brain. This is extremely useful if you’ve got arthritis pain. Cayenne pepper is a great topical remedy for other sores and maladies as well.
Essential Oils for Arthritis
There are so many over the counter and prescription medications for arthritis it may be hard to find one that works for you. Why not start with essential oils for arthritis? They contain nothing but natural ingredients, and in most cases they won’t interfere with other medications you take.
Talk to your doctor to determine if essential oils are right for your arthritis. Then enjoy natural, pain relieving benefits. You may also benefit from some essential oils for energy to give you a boost when your symptoms are dragging you down.