The Best Essential Oils For Neuropathy And Nerve Pain

Essential oils have a wide range of uses and applications. Some of these I’ve written about previously, such as weight loss and treating eczema, as well as for allergies and issues such as arthritis and hemorrhoids. One application that you may not be aware of is using essential oils for neuropathy and nerve pain treatment.

What Is Neuropathy?

Neuropathy is the name given to a variety of nerve problems including nerve pain, tingling, weakness and numbness.

The nerves in your body are broken down into two groups by health professionals.

The first group is the central nervous system which includes your spinal cord and your brain.

The second group is the peripheral nerves which is basically everything else.

What Does Neuropathy Feel Like?

Peripheral neuropathy, i.e. problems with the peripheral nerves, is very common and can affect the motor nerves, the sensory nerves and the autonomic nerves. The neuropathy symptoms you experience depend on which nerves are affected in your particular case. For example, if your sensory nerves are affected your symptoms may include pain and tingling or numbness in your hands and feet.

What Causes Neuropathy?

Peripheral neuropathy can be caused by a range of health problems and also by some medication. The root cause of neuropathy is nerve damage although sometimes there is no obvious cause. This is called idiopathic neuropathy.

Essential Oils For Nerve PainThe majority of cases of neuropathy are caused by diabetes, which is a growing health problem, particularly in the U.S. Indeed, according to 2012 statistics from the U.S. Department Of Health And Human Services, 20 million people in America had diabetic peripheral neuropathy.

Another common cause of neuropathy is drugs such as those used for HIV and also some chemotherapy drugs. Other causes include alcohol abuse and liver and kidney disease.

Can Neuropathy Be Reversed Or Cured?

Neuropathy can’t be reversed and unfortunately there’s no known cure for neuropathy. It can be managed though, through suitable treatment. You should always discuss your treatment options with a medical professional.

Neuropathy Treatment

There are a variety of different treatments for neuropathy that can slow down its progress and treat the symptoms. Traditional pain relievers such as paracetamol don’t normally work for neuropathy and so other drugs are often prescribed.

For example, neurontin (gabapentin) is a medication that’s used to help ease nerve pain. And capsaicin is a cream that’s often used to treat neuropathy. Strong painkillers such as tramadol may also be used.

And surprisingly, anti-depressants are also used to treat neuropathy and nerve pain. This is the case even when depression isn’t considered a cause of the neuropathy.

The Best Essential Oils For Neuropathy And Nerve Pain

Natural Remedies For Neuropathy

The underlying causes of the neuropathy may also be addressed through natural remedies.

For example, with diabetic neuropathy your symptoms can be improved by making changes to your lifestyle such as:

  • Cutting back on the amount of alcohol you drink.
  • Cutting out alcohol altogether.
  • Giving up smoking.
  • Getting more exercise.
  • Changing your diet.

And if your feet are one of the areas affected by your neuropathy, then you can treat the neuropathy by starting to take better care of them. For example, you can wear more comfortable shoes and/or visit a podiatrist.

There are a variety of other different natural remedies that can be used to treat neuropathy; really anything that provides pain relief. Examples are acupuncture, hypnosis and also meditation.

Warm water is great for blood flow to your legs, so taking a warm bath can also help alleviate symptoms of neuropathy. This works even better when you add some of the best essential oils for neuropathy to your bath water, as we’ll see in a moment.

And one of the causes of neuropathy is a lack of B vitamins, so these vitamins are often used to treat it too.

Natural herbs can also be used to treat the symptoms too. In particular, St John’s Wort can be effective in halting the progress of neuropathy and in pain relief.

And, of course, you can also use certain essential oils for neuropathy and nerve pain treatment. So let’s take a look now at what essentials oils are good for neuropathy.

The Best Essential Oils For Neuropathy

As always, you should check with your doctor before using essential oils if you’re pregnant or have a medical condition. Also, never apply undiluted essential oils directly to the skin; always use a carrier oil to dilute them.

These are some of the best essential oils for neuropathy treatment:

  • Eucalyptus Essential Oil

    Eucalyptus oil is great for neuropathy because of its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.

  • Geranium Essential Oil

    Geranium oil acts as a sedative and helps with pain relief; clinical studies have shown that it can greatly reduce neuropathic pain.

  • Helichrysum Essential Oil

    Helichrysum is renowned for its fast acting pain-relief. Like most other essential oils that are good for treating neuropathy, it has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties.

  • Lavender Essential Oil

    Lavender oil is well known for its ability to help with pain relief. It has a soothing, relaxing scent and also anti-inflammatory properties. It’s great for reducing stress and depression.

  • Peppermint Essential Oil

    Peppermint oil has both analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. These make it an excellent essential oil for neuropathy. It’s also a stimulant so I don’t recommend using it before you go to bed!

  • Rosewood Essential Oil

    Rosewood oil can help with stress reduction and relaxation, in addition to being a nerve tonic with analgesic properties.

  • Ylang Ylang Essential Oil

    Ylang Ylang oil helps to strengthen and nourish your nervous system. It’s also a sedative, helping to release stress and reduce anxiety.

How To Administer Essential Oils For Neuropathy

There are a number of different ways that you can apply essential oils.

Creams And Lotions

You can administer the essential oils through creams and lotions. It’s possible to make your own, but you can also buy ready-made blank lotions and creams. You just need to add drops of your oil to these and then mix in.

Peripheral Neuropathy Essential Oils

Aromatherapy Bath

A nice relaxing aromatherapy bath is a fantastic way of administering essential oils. You can either use bath oils, or just add a few drops of your oil directly to the bath water.

To do this just mix one of your favorite neuropathy essential oils with a carrier oil such as fractionated coconut oil. For example, try adding 4 to 6 drops of the oil to a teaspoon of the coconut oil. Then add the mixture to some table salt or Sea Salt to allow the oils to blend with the bath water rather than floating on top. Use a salt to oil ratio of about 3:1 or 4:1 and mix well in a bowl to make sure the oils are absorbed by the salt. You want to make sure that every one of the salts comes into contact with your oil mixture.

Then run a nice warm bath and climb in. Pour the salt into the bath and swirl the water around to mix the salt in as it dissolves, then lie back and relax.

You can also use the bath water to massage your skin to give relief too. And if your muscles are aching, try adding the oils to Epsom salt rather than table salt, before adding to the bath.

Essential Oil Diffusers

Essential oil diffusers are another good way of getting the benefits of essential oils. And this method has the advantage that everyone in the room gets the same benefits too!

Essential Oil Massage

You can also use massage to administer the oils. Make sure you use a carrier oil if you’re making your own massage oils.

For example, try mixing 10 drops of one of the above essential oils for neuropathy per ounce of carrier oil. Fractionated coconut oil works well as a carrier oil. You can then use this mixture to massage the areas affected by pain.

Compress

Using a hot or cold compress is another good way of using essential oils to help with your neuropathy symptoms. Using a hot compress will help you to relax and boost your circulation while a cool compress will help to reduce inflammation and at the same time invigorate you.

To make a compress, just fill a bowl with either hot or cold water depending on your needs. Add a few drops (about 3 – 5 drops) of whichever neuropathy essential oil you’ve chosen, stir the mixture and then lie a face cloth in it. Once the face cloth is wet, wring it out.

Then simply apply it to whichever area you wish to treat. Repeat the process of wetting, wringing and applying the cloth 3 or 4 times. On the last occasion, leave it in place on your body for a few minutes.

Summary

Using essential oils for neuropathy treatment can be an effective way of managing the pain associated with this condition. Try experimenting with different blends of the oils described above to see which work best for you.

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56 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you for all the great info about neuropathy. I have recently been diagnosed with severe spinal stenosis. The information in your article is extremely helpful and informative. I have a prescription for gabapentin but I don’t care for side effects.
    Thank you again, Sallye Baumann?

    • Hi Sallye,

      I’m sorry to hear about your diagnosis. I’m glad you found the article useful and I wish you all the best.

    • cymbalta is drug used for neuropathy. i have used it for years and then stopped it and my body felt great. i am back on cymbalta again and i can walk with no pain. check out this drug. i had outpatient surgery for spinal stenosis and i could not believe how fabulous i felt. I did not know why it took me and my doctor to go this route. good luck to you. i will also try some of the oils as i have used different ones for other isuues.

      • One problem with cymbalta is that all the other methods of TX have to be considered failed attempts before the insurance companies will cover it. I’m glad the TX worked for you however 🙂
        I prefer the use of essential oils (d?TERRA essential oils)
        Note: I am not a medical professional and do not claim to treat, prevent, or cure medical ailments. I am an essential oil educator and would love to help all who are interested in living a more holistic lifestyle.

      • Cymbalta is a bad drug and weaning off takes a very long time! It causes more side effects then it’s worth!!

    • ms sallye ive got the same diagnosis with the spinal stenosis and its very painful. youre so right about the effects of gabepentin. im glad to see im not alone with the way im feeling about the meds and their effects.

      • What side effects are you referring to? I swear by my gabapentin, so much so I know I’d be able to get off pain killers if they would double my current dosage (I have retarded drug tolerances) I have both neuropathy and fibromyalgia plus several different spinal issues including spinal stenosis and later stenosis. I don’t have a moment without severe pain.

  2. Great article but I wanted to correct just one simple detail regarding oil and water.
    Oil (whether it’s an essential oil or carrier oil) & water separate naturally. In order for the oils to properly blend in with water you want to add it to salt, whether it’s table salt or Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate). The oils will soak right into the salt crystals (with a little mixing help) & then the salt will dissolve in the water. Be sure to use a good ratio:proportion for the salt:oils. I typically do 3:1 or 4:1.
    I prefer Epsom salt, that way I’m including magnesium into my body (helps to calm & also relieves Charlie horses).
    Note: I am not a medical professional nor do I claim any of my statements help to cure, prevent or treat any medical conditions.

    • Hi Fayth,

      Thanks for pointing that out. You’re quite right about oils and water, of course, and I should have made that clear in the article. I’ve updated it with your information now.

      Jess

    • Thank you for the tip about the epsom salts and oils. I am trying it in a pan of cool tap water, 1 cup of epsom salts, about 30 drops of Helichrysum and about 20 drops of peppermint. I really helped take the edge off the pain in my feet.

  3. Thanks for the information. I’ve been trying oils and mix them with coconut oil and other carrier oils. I also add in Devils club and it has been working on people for their pain.

  4. I have recently discovered Neurasal (sp) which is a supplement from my Chiropractor. It is the only thing I have found to relieve my neuropathy. I tried Gabapentin and it made my symptoms worse. I have drug related neuropathy from Chemotherapy. I no longer have the shooting pains.

  5. Thank you for the infirmation, clear instructions and hope. My precious mother and I will both benefit from your kind article. I feel relief just reading your descriptions!

  6. Thank you for the information. My Mother suffers from neuropathy in her legs and feet. She takes gabapentin but it doesn’t always help. I’ve just started getting into essential oils and was looking for a recipe to mix something up for her. I’m going to make a lotion for her to use, hopefully it will work.

    • Hi Nancy,

      It’s definitely worth trying. Loss of balance is often caused by your brain getting confused by not really knowing where your legs and feet are due to numbness so try Geranium or Helichrysum essential oil to promote nerve healing and reduce numbness.

  7. I suffer from neuropathy and it is getting worse. I started to try essential oils by massage : cypress oil with cinnamon bark and frankincense with olive oil carrier. Is this a good blend and how often should I massage my feet with it ? I am new at this so your feedback will be greatly appreciated.

      • Hi Alain,

        St John’s Wort is a good carrier oil. It’s good for lifting your mood and is also good for your veins too, as well as your skin.

    • Hi Alain,

      I apologise for the delay in replying – I was away on holiday for a short time. Cypress oil is great for reducing swelling, strengthening veins and improving circulation, while frankincense is an excellent anti-inflammatory. Cinnamon is also good for the circulation too. So yes, this should be a good blend for neuropathy, in particular when it comes to numbness. Olive oil is a good carrier oil, but can smell and leave your skin feeling oily. I would try applying a few drops of your blend to your feet each morning and night. Don’t be afraid to experiment to find what works best for you.

  8. If you mix 10 drops of oil to 1oz of carrier oil in a container for future use what is the best way to mix to elimate waste?
    What is the best way to mix any oil?

    • Hi Bob,

      If I understand your question correctly, the best way is to use precision droppers. You should be able to buy essential oil bottles and droppers from Amazon (among other places). The droppers let you measure the oils very precisely, so minimizing the waste.

  9. I have spinal cord damage in my neck which affected both my legs with neurothopy. There is constant burning and pain on both legs. (Contrary to what most people believe, you can have pain in the legs from the neck. It does not have to come from the lumbar area. ) My doctor prescribed a form of vitamin B. It’s only by prescription. Its called METANX. It has helped quite a bit with the burning on the side of the thighs and from the knees down. It’s helped in addition to the Cymbalta and Lyrica. I wish I had started it sooner. Hopefully, the oils will give me even greater relief.

  10. Interesting article. I am not a doctor, but two comments from my research and personal experience with small fiber neuropathy- sfn can also be caused by too much B6 (aka pyridoxine toxicity) whether in b6 form or P5P form. B6 is added to our foods (cereal, supplements and beverages to name a few). It is also naturally occurring in whole foods. Increased levels of B6 can exacerbate sfn symptoms.
    Second, magnesium is a wonderful mineral that our bodies need but is often in deficient levels. It is also a vasodilator and can irritate nerve endings. Caution should be given for its use unless well hydrated. Also, there are different forms of magnesium and each with differing side effects.

    • A better way to impact a magnesium deficiency would be to use magnesium chloride flakes instead of Epson salts. The flakes are more readily absorbed by the skin and have a much higher concentration then Epsom salts. Been using Epsom salts for the last +25yrs with limited results. Made myself some magnesium oil and sprayed it on my muscles last night. It reduced the pain in my leg muscles by 30% and I slept for 14 hrs. I’m never able to do that, pain wakes me every 2 hrs or so. Fibromyalgia, neuropathy, DDD, spinal stenosis and other spinal issues are just the top of my diagnoses. Trying to come up with a blend to work on many issues at once. I’ve also had the nerves burned (RFA) throughout my spine from cervical to coccyx. It’s brutal to recover from but is the only method of relief I’m granted. Sadly, it must be redone every 12-18 mos as the nerves go back. Hoping to find better answers thru EOs

  11. I have spinal cord damage as well as stenosis. I’ve already had one surgery. I’ve been on gabapentin and cymbalta. Cymbalta caused all kinds of horrific side effects. It took me 6 months to get off of it. I created a back rub using essintial oils and coconut oil and Shea butter. It has done wonders for my back. I believe in essintial oils. I use them all the time.

  12. Dear “HELP”
    I NEED A RECIPE FOR NEUROPATHY AND NERVE PAIN AND TINGLING IN MY FEET AND HANDS. TAKING MY MEDS BUT IN NEED OF HELP!
    THANKS. KEITH D. WESTMINSTER,SC

  13. My husband has neuropathy in his feet. Had no feeling at all in either feet. I have got into using essential oils and someone suggested Cypress essential oil. I used olive oil as the carrier. Immediately he said I can feel my feet. He got up and walked from the carpet to the travertine floor and said he has never felt the difference before and has not that much feeling in his feet in such a long time. I was totally amazed.

  14. Hi, I also have nerve damage to spine and fibromyalgia… when the pain gets too much to handle I mix rosemary with coconut oil. It relieves it in about 1-2 mins…I get my husband to massage it in to my back, legs and feet..hope this helps someone

  15. Could you name some places to get these oils. I’ve heard you should be careful because some are not of good quality and will not work.

  16. I am new to the essential oils. I have neorophathy really bad in leg, and foot. What is a good mixture of oils to put in lotion? Thanks so much for your help. Terri

  17. Thank you for your article, good information! What I have noticed about many of the comments is that many have spine related neuropathy. My neuropathy is spine and compressed nerve related as well as fibromyalgia and knee injuries, what a mess! I have found relief by using essential oils, diet, medications like cymbalta, all have been helpful in support of my pain. I also find rotation of oils and diet helps to maintain relief. I use turmeric as well, what a great enhancement to my management. What is also important is stretching, I use yoga type exercise, adding resistance bands, a foam roller and a light weight bar. It has taken me about 3 years to get to the point I am now, but the first thing I added besides traditional medicine was essential oils. Consistent use has been very good in my treatment and support as well as support from my doctors, unusual I know. I have been able to reduce my traditional medicine use to 3 types. Please keep writing your articles, they are good information.

  18. Hello, I have finished chemotherapy. One of the side-effects is neuropathy. I have it in my fingertips and feet. Jess, can you tell me what ratio to use for the EOs & carrier lotion. I make my own lotions. I am looking for relief!

    • Hi Irene,

      I’m sorry to hear about your neuropathy. To answer your question, it’s generally considered safe to use a 1 – 2.5% dilution. Now with essential oils, you’re working with drops which can vary in size depending on the oil itself, the dropper you’re using, etc. so it can be tricky to measure accurately. A general rule of thumb you can use though, is to use about 12 drops of oil per 30 ml of carrier.

  19. I have diabetes 2 neuropathy in my legs and when taking gabapentin my lips swelled. I was told to change to lyrica but it cost almost $400 a month. I am using a compound cream prepared by my pharmacist on my painful legs but it has not stopped the pain, particularly at night. I have been reading all the suggestions and oil mixes but don’t know where to start. Is there a specialist in the effective use of a product or oil mix?

  20. I also have neuropathy but they just now changed it to Fibro neuropathy which is the small (nerve) fibers off the main nerves connecting to the main nerve, this started on my left leg when I had varicose vein surgery that I had on both legs but on the left above my knee is where the pain stared was much more severe than my right leg after varicose vein surgery the pain only got worse with stockings wore them for six weeks is what the Dr recommended when I took them off it felt a little relief but with time the pain never went away it only got worse it spread to both of my feet and now it’s going up my right leg which causes lots of burning, stabbing, numbness, Needles, heaviness,and I now describe my burning pain as stinging as if someone poured chili on my leg The bottom of my feet are very sore & tender by midday when I do a lot of walking my feet start to burn if I’m in a place where the temperature is warmer than 74 degrees or if the sun hits my legs legs, Driving my car that has leather seats the burning starts immediately wherever it’s too hot when the temperatures outside reach over 75° I am pretty much a prisoner in my homebecause I can’t deal with the heat my only relief that I get is putting ice packs underneath my upper leg and on my feet I also do this at bedtime to try to calm the pain taking Emma triple and 100 mg at night to ease my pain and to help me fall asleep but that something that I will not take during the day no matter how hard my pain is I only use ice and ibuprofen’s i’m also diagnosed as prediabetic which I am taking Metforman because I have to Control my spikes whether my sugar is low or my sugar gets high so I watch my diet the best I can because it triggers my pain in my legs I also have rheumatoral arthritis I have a lot of inflammation going on in my body and I’ve been suffering this for two years Plus i’ve been doing a lot of reading about natural oil’s but don’t know what would work best and if I could continue taking amitriptyline 100mg i’m wondering if oils will be safe to use or natural herbs with this medication or maybe cutting down on the medication i’m also wondering if anybody that’s suffering neuropathy has heat Sensation and to what level and what are you doing to help the heat and burning and stinging pain some of this information sounds like some of you got relief from these oil’s can somebody please tell me if you’re suffering this burning stinging sensation and what are you doing to help it any feedback would be greatly appreciate it

  21. I’m sorry the medication was not spelt right when dictating it to the phone it’s called Amitriptylin 100mg

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