At some point in your life you will either have arthritis or you will know someone who does. It’s a common and debilitating condition that affects millions of people around the world.
Arthritis can cause severe joint pain which makes even the simplest tasks difficult. And if left untreated, the symptoms get continually worse.
But treating arthritis has been an issue in the medical community for a long time. Many types of arthritis medications have unpleasant side effects.
Taking certain types of medication could lead you to end up with kidney damage, weight gain, cataracts or seizures. One anti-rheumatic drug called Azathioprine actually increases your risk for cancer.
Because of the risks with medication many people turn to essential oils for arthritis pain relief. Essential oils are a safe, natural alternative to treating arthritis pain depending on how severe your symptoms are. And during times when your joints are feeling better, you can also use essential oils to relieve stress.
Applying essential oils
There are a number of ways to apply essential oils for arthritis.
If you have a flare up, fill a sink with cold water. Add 5 to 10 drops of oil and stir. Soak a washcloth in it, wring it out, and apply it to the area. Do this a few more times and leave the last compress on the joint for 2 minutes.
For more general pain, massage the oil right on the area with your hand. If the area is swollen, treat the areas around the swelling rather than directly on the center.
Essential oils can also be inhaled. Just put a couple of drops on a tissue and breathe in.
You can also use them in baths. Put a few drops in a foot bath and immerse your feet in there for ten minutes.
Many oils can and should be mixed with a carrier oil for maximum effect. Carrier oils are types of vegetable oils such as wintergreen or sweet almond oil.
Make sure not to use anything containing mineral oil. Mineral oil doesn’t enter the pores and will be an ineffective treatment.
Essential oils for arthritis
Let’s take a look at some of the more popular types of essential oils for arthritis.
This oil can soothe inflammation and provides pain relief. Peppermint oil contains I-menthol, which is an anti-inflammatory.
This oil is very potent when not diluted. You should mix it with a carrier oil first. Then rub the concoction on the joint areas that are giving you trouble.
Peppermint oil has many other uses as well. It can give headache relief, clear sinuses and soothe nausea.
This oil reduces bone discomfort. Birch oil is one of the most potent oils as it contains antiseptic properties. It also contains salicylic acid and methyl salicylate, which combine to do wonders for joint discomfort.
Birch oil should be mixed with a carrier oil before being applied to the joints. Mixing it with other oils creates a more effective essential oil for arthritis.
Rosemary oil is a good essential oil for arthritis as it promotes good circulation and relieves muscle pain. Because of this, it’s considered one of the most effective oils for handling arthritis.
Rosemary oil should be diluted with a carrier oil such as olive oil. Rub the mixture onto the problem area.
This minty oil provides natural healing and aids circulation. Eucalyptus oil actually dilutes blood vessels to make blood flow less taxing on the body. It’s especially effective for those suffering from osteoarthritis.
Eucalyptus is often used in cough medicine because of its soothing properties. Apply the oil directly to the painful area for relief. Some like to mix it with tea tree oil for added potency.
Lavender oil is good for reducing dull joint pain, making it an excellent essential oil for arthritis pain. It has a lot of relaxing properties and can help improve the quality of sleep. It aids in creating a healthy flow of oxygen to joints and muscles.
Mix about 5 drops of this oil with warm olive oil. Massage the combined oil onto the area. Some people like to take a bath and drop 5 drops of this oil into the water to affect the entire body.
This pain reliever reduces inflammation.
Basil oil is one of the most potent essential oils for arthritis. It has a similar effect to aspirin once applied.
Cayenne Pepper oil can alleviate throbbing pains in the joints. This type of oil neutralizes the effects of compound P, a neurotransmitter.
Apply this directly to the problem area. You might feel a burning sensation the first time you use it, so be careful. This feeling goes away after a few applications.
This type of oil is great for reducing inflammation in muscles and joints. Menthol oil is a compound and contains natural properties that sooth irritants.
Menthol oil should be mixed with other essential oils for arthritis pain such as eucalyptus oil. Massage the mixture onto the afflicted area.
Chamomile oil stimulates the body and removes toxins from blood. This oil comes from a plant with anti-rheumatic properties, which aid the circulatory system.
This oil can be directly applied to the problem area. Chamomile oil is a popular choice to add to bath water to provide relief to the entire body.
Marjoram oil is good for making stiff joints more limber and it provides pain relief. It can also be used to soothe sprains, bruises and even muscle spasms. Marjoram oil is proven to relieve anxiety.
When applying this oil, be careful. Marjoram oil can be an irritant if it’s placed on broken skin. Rub it directly onto the joints for pain relief.
Using essential oils for arthritis pain is a viable alternative to medication. Each oil has different effects, so choose carefully and experiment to find the one that works best for you.