The pains and aches we experience during diseases or injuries are usually caused by inflammation. Rheumatoid arthritis, joint pains, skin inflammation, and pains from injuries and wounds are all such pains.
Fortunately, today there are several treatments to deal with pains effectively. This article will explore the effective essential oils that help with inflammation, including arthritis and joint pain.
Anti-inflammatory medicines such as NSAIDs are efficient in dealing with inflammation. However, if consumed for a long period, these prescription medicines could produce severe side effects on health.
Natural remedies like anti-inflammatory essential oils are the best choice to get relief from inflammation. They are both effective and free of all side effects simultaneously.
What is Inflammation?
According to the medical explanation, “inflammation is a localized physical condition in which part of the body becomes reddened, swollen, hot, and often painful, especially as a reaction to injury or infection.”
The most expressive symptom of acute inflammation in the body is pain and swelling. Inflammation is the body’s natural response to injuries, microbial infections, and certain autoimmune diseases.
The body tries hard to defend itself against infectious microorganisms’ attacks, which might result in symptoms like pain, swelling, fever, and headache.
‘In inflammation, a substance called prostaglandins sensitizes your nerve endings and enhances pain.’
There are certain diseases, like arthralgia and gout that happen when our immune system triggers a defensive action even without viral or bacterial infection. In such cases, the immune system causes damage to the body’s healthy tissues.
Rheumatism is an autoimmune disease with symptoms such as arthralgia, swelling, redness, and inflexible joints.
Essential oil therapy is one of the best natural solutions for rheumatoid gout.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) statistical estimates, about 52.5 million adults in the U.S. alone have arthritis; that is about 23% of the total population in the U.S.
Urarthritis and all other common types of pain in the joints are effects of inflammation. Asthma, chronic peptic ulcer disease, tuberculosis, chronic periodontitis, ulcerative colitis, sinusitis, chronic active hepatitis, and Crohn’s disease are other major inflammatory diseases.
All diseases caused by viral, fungal, or bacterial infection also lead to inflammation in the affected areas of the body.
You will find several prescription medicines for treating inflammatory diseases. Some of the common OTC NSAIDs are aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, Nuprin), and naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn).
You could use essential anti-inflammatory oils if you opt for natural remedies to cure inflammation.
How Do Anti-Inflammatory Essential Oils Work?
Essential oils are volatile aromatic compounds found in plants and taken from seeds, roots, bark, stems, flowers, and other parts.
They have immense therapeutic benefits because they contain antifungal, antibacterial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties.
Several essential oils have anti-inflammatory substances. Thus, they help treat chronic inflammation and common inflammatory diseases like urarthritis and joint aches.
The EOs contain unique chemical compositions like esters, oxides, terpenes, alcohols, aldehydes, ketones, and phenols. These and other useful compounds in essential oils interact with bodily functions and assist the immune system in fighting infections that cause disease.
Many essential oils have specific chemical compounds that can enhance the individual immune capacity of the body.
The anti-inflammatory compounds in EOs provide the immune system with chemical compounds that help reduce inflammation and resist infections.
In short, anti-inflammatory oils enable the body’s immune system to be competent in fighting infections without causing inflammation.
The minute molecules in essential oils contain potential therapeutic compounds quickly absorbed by the skin when they are topically applied.
Some essential oils are fit for oral consumption, and a few are beneficial to health through aromatherapy.
You’ll also find prescription pills, ointments, and natural remedies containing chemical extracts from plant oils.
10 Best Essential Oils For Inflammation
Several types of essential oils are sold over the counter and online. Each essential oil contains several natural chemical compounds with various therapeutic benefits.
Let us now look at the 10 best anti-inflammatory essential oils:
1. Peppermint Oil
Peppermint essential oil is known for its effectiveness in treating pain and swelling. This drug contains anesthetic, analgesic, and anti-inflammatory elements that can relieve pain (especially headaches), inflammation associated with urarthritis, joint pain, and stiffness.
The major components of peppermint oil are menthol (30.35 %), menthone (21.12 %), and trans-care (10.99%). Also, we can find some other components of peppermint oil, including camphor, isopulegol, and menthol.
You can dilute a few drops of peppermint oil in good carrier oils and use that oil mixture to massage the inflamed joints.
For headaches, use this oil to massage the foreheads, temples, and back of the neck.
2. Ginger Oil
Ginger essential oil and raw roots are widely used today for relieving pain. The topical application of ginger oil on inflamed areas of the body, like arthritis-affected joints, can quickly reduce pain and stiffness and promote blood circulation.
Ginger (both roots and oil) contains natural chemicals with anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects.
The chemical substances that combat inflammation in ginger oil can instantly act on the vanilloid receptors located at the sensory nerve endings, and this helps to suppress the pain in the area where it is topically applied.
According to one of the study reports from the University of Miami presented by the Arthritis Foundation, ginger extract could be a substitute for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
After diluting it in any good carrier oil, you can topically apply a few drops of ginger oil to the inflamed body area. It is a popular inflammatory pain relief treatment.
3. Rosemary Oil
Rosemary essential oil has various traditional uses in ethnomedicine, which include analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-rheumatic, spasmolytic, carminative, and choleretic applications.
One rat study published in Research in Pharmaceutical Science found that oral treatment with rosemary oil extracts improves anti-colitic activity. The study results supported the effectiveness of rosemary plant extracts in curing inflammatory bowel diseases in traditional medicine.
You can relieve muscle pain, cramps, and rheumatism by getting a rosemary oil massage.
It is also beneficial for increasing blood circulation to the inflamed areas of the body, which usually become stiff and swollen.
Add a few drops of rosemary oil to 2 mugs of warm water and use this water for a hot compress on painful or swollen areas of the body to get instant relief from pain
4. Turmeric Oil
Turmeric oil and raw turmeric roots contain a powerful anti-inflammatory substance called curcumin. It is very beneficial for helping people manage rheumatoid arthritis.
The curcuminoid compound in turmeric is a powerful antioxidant besides producing excellent anti-inflammatory effects.
According to one of the research articles published by the Journal of Natural Products, using an oil-depleted turmeric fraction containing 41% of the three major curcuminoids was efficacious in preventing joint inflammation.
Massage the inflamed body area with turmeric essential oil to relieve pain and stiffness, particularly gout and arthralgia.
5. Lavender Oil
Several studies have researched the antinociceptive, immunomodulatory, and anti-inflammatory bioactive properties of compounds found in lavender essential oil.
One of the studies has reported the analgesic and anti-inflammatory activities of LEO to be effective for pain relief treatment, including degenerative joint disease, muscle spasms, and pain in the joints.
Add 5 drops of lavender oil to 2 tablespoons of carrier oil and use this oil mixture to massage the body’s inflamed areas. A lavender oil bath or compress can also reduce body pain and relieve stress and anxiety.
6. Frankincense Oil
Frankincense oil has natural anti-inflammatory properties. This oil is traditionally used to treat rheumatoid arthritis patients, reducing inflammation, pain, and stiffness.
This oil contains natural properties that can suppress the production of key inflammatory molecules responsible for autoimmune diseases. Studies on frankincense essential oil have shown the effectiveness of this oil in lessening the severity of inflammation. No wonder this oil has been used for hundreds of years as a natural treatment option for pain-related health issues.
Massaging Frankincense oil on inflamed areas helps in reducing symptoms of joint and muscle pains.
7. Eucalyptus Oil
According to a 2003 study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, the essential oil extracts of Eucalyptus possess central and peripheral analgesic effects as well as neutrophil-dependent and independent anti-inflammatory activities.
It is a versatile oil that has several therapeutic properties. It is a traditional remedy for treating inflammatory conditions like respiratory congestion or stuffy nose. Eucalyptus essential oil is most commonly used for curing asthma.
This anti-inflammatory oil works well for treating muscle and joint pains, including rheumatism.
You can relieve inflammatory pains and swelling by rubbing the eucalyptus essential oil on the affected areas.
8. Myrrh Oil
Myrrh oil contains many natural compounds that benefit health in many ways. The terpenoids in this oil are a class of chemicals with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
One of the study results published in the Scientific Reports indicated that the oil of Myrrh and Frankincense are effective remedies for treating inflammatory diseases. In this study, the subjects who used Frankincense, Myrrh, or a blend of both oils together showed a significant reduction in the symptoms of degenerative joint disease.
Use the Myrrh oil to massage the affected areas to relieve inflammatory health issues.
9. Patchouli Oil
The anti-inflammatory qualities of patchouli oil are effective in healing a wound, fighting allergies, and getting rid of swelling and itching. Also, this oil has several therapeutic qualities, including antiseptic, cicatrisant, astringent, antidepressant, and sedative properties.
Applying this oil to inflamed areas provides soothing effects and drastically reduces pain and swelling. Before using it, you should dilute this oil in other carrier oils, like coconut oil or jojoba oil. A hot compress with light patchouli oil in warm water relieves degenerative joint disease and muscle pain.
10. Orange Oil
One study report published in the European Journal of Medical Research showed powerful anti-inflammatory chemicals in myrtol, eucalyptus oil, and orange essential oils.
Orange oil was found to have the highest potential anti-inflammatory properties among the three EOs subjected to this study.
Just take a few drops of orange oil and dilute it in almond or avocado oil, and then apply this oil to the inflamed area of the body to relieve pain and swelling.
How to Use Essential Oils for Joint Pain
Essential oil with antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties may help ease inflammatory diseases. There are a couple of ways you can effectively use essential oils for fighting inflammation:
- Gently massage essential oils topically on the inflamed body area (make sure to dilute them in carrier oils before applying).
- Use them in aromatherapy to achieve relief from stress and insomnia; this is useful for faster healing of inflammation;
- Use an aromatherapy diffuser to spray the tiny oil particles in your bedroom;
- Use the oil for a cold or hot compress on the affected area;
- Add a few drops of desired oil in your warm water bath to reduce pain;
- Use OTC lotions and ointments that contain oil extracts;
- Use natural remedies with oils as ingredients for curing inflammatory diseases.
Side Effects And Warning
Most essential oils can be harsh on the skin as they come in a concentrated form with powerful natural chemical compounds.
Always lighten the EOs by diluting them in any carrier oils before applying them to the skin. Diluted essential oils are generally safe to use.
So it would be best to use essential oils sparingly; all E.O.s are not fit for internal consumption or aromatherapy.
If you have overly sensitive skin, it might cause an allergic reaction and skin irritation. You should do “skin patch testing’ of the oil before you begin the treatment.
If you are under medication for blood pressure or heart disease, it is better to consult the doctor before you use anti-inflammatory oils.
Finally, the essential oils for pain and inflammation are effective only when you use 100% pure oils.
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