Top 20 Essential Oils To Relieve Pain And Inflammation

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Although physical pain can result from several sources, including arthritis, rheumatism, sports injuries, bad posture, the abuse of your back by lifting things incorrectly, migraines, tension headaches, abdominal pain, cramps, or plain old indigestion, most types of pain involve some level of inflammation.

By easing inflammation, then by blocking the pain signals, people find relief from pain and they do so by using essential oils.

There are numerous essential oils that can offer relief from pain and inflammation, but have you ever noticed that people who use essential oils seem to heal more quickly than others?

Many essential oils have analgesic compounds, which means that they can relieve or reduce pain levels. Many more essential oils have anti-inflammatory, anti-rheumatic, and anti-spasmodic compounds.

We have compiled a list of 20 of the best essential oils for relieving pain and inflammation. There are many others, but these are the cream of the crop, so be sure to keep plenty of these essential oils on hand.

It’s important to note that essential oils do much, much more than just smell pretty. They are serious medicine. Do not use or consume essential oils if you are taking prescription medications, if you are seeing a doctor for any medical condition, or if you are pregnant or nursing. Always consult with your doctor before using essential oils.


1.  Clove

Clove is not just for curry sauces and toothpaste (although it does taste great). Making a paste with clove oil can help to stop inflammation and pain caused by gingivitis, toothaches, and even the digestive system. Additionally, a drop of clove oil in a glass of water after each meal can stop nausea, vomiting, indigestion, cramps, and excess gas.


2. Chamomile

Although chamomile is best known for its soothing properties that can help you get a good night’s sleep, it isn’t as well known for its ability to improve digestion, relieving the pain of cramps and other types of stomach pain. It can also help to relieve muscle spasms, muscle pain, migraine headaches, muscle stiffness, osteoarthritis and rheumatism.


3. Rose

There are several types of rose infusions that you can use for different ailments.

Rose water, or rose hydrosol, is the type of rose treatment that most people know of. This versatile water makes the perfect toner, body splash, deodorant, air freshener, or even an anti-anxiety spray. This is perhaps the most inexpensive of all natural rose products.

Rose absolute, sometimes called rose otto, is by far the most expensive of the rose products on the market. It takes about 50,000 roses to get 1 ounce of pure rose oil. Most people purchase this pure rose oil and then dilute it with another oil, thus enjoying the scent while saving some bucks.

Rose essential oil is well-known for sedative and anti-depression effects and can help those who are suffering from insomnia, nervousness, grief, and depression, but most people are completely unaware that rose essential oil is also a powerful anti-inflammatory.  Dilute this wonderful oil and use it as a massage oil for sore muscles and stiff joints.


4. Sweet Marjoram

Like chamomile, the oil extracted from this flowering herb has sedative compounds and can help relieve the pain of migraines, rheumatism, muscle pain and muscle spasms, as well as the pain from rheumatism and osteoarthritis.


5. Orange

Orange oil, especially when combined with ginger, can provide some major pain relief. One study, which used almost 60 elderly subjects that had stated they had moderate to severe knee pain, were given 6 massage sessions over a 3 week period with a mixture of 1 percent ginger oil and 0.5 sweet orange oil. A placebo group received a massage with olive oil and the control group received no massage. When compared to the other two groups, the subjects that received the orange/ginger oil had significantly decreased knee pain and stiffness.

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6. Lavender

One of the most popular essential oil on the planet, lavender is world-renowned for its ability to calm and relax both the body and mind, but did you know that this heavenly scented oil also has anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial compounds that can relieve muscle spasms, joint pain, muscle tension, and headaches? It’s true! No matter how you wish to use it, there is almost no type of pain that lavender cannot reduce.


7.  Black Pepper

This oil is almost unknown in America but if you want superior relief from the pain of back or abdominal spasms, this is the oil for you. Black pepper can also be taken internally to reduce inflammation inside of the body. Black pepper oil is also a powerful source of antioxidants that can help to lower blood pressure levels. It is that strong!


8.  Helichrysum

This is another essential oil that can be a bit on the expensive side but it is highly valued for its superior pain relief. Helichrysum has anti-spasmodic, analgesic, and anti-inflammatory compounds that support the nervous system and helps to relieve arthritis pain. In fact, this oil is legendary for stopping pain within minutes after application. So while this oil might be a bit pricey, it certainly is well-worth it when it comes to pain relief.


9. Eucalyptus

This oil is best known for its anti-microbial agents that fight upper respiratory infections, but this strong smelling oil has another side to it. Eucalyptus oil has powerful anti-inflammatory and analgesic compounds that are good for stopping nerve pain and all types of muscle pain. This oil is very strong and can irritate the skin so be sure to dilute this oil before applying to the skin.


10. Vetiver

Not as well-known in America, this herb has been used since ancient times for numerous ailments in Ayurvedic medicine.  This plant is extracted from the roots of a grass like plant which is related to citronella and lemongrass. This oil is perfect for general aches and pains, especially for the pain of arthritis, rheumatism, headaches, and muscle pain.

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11. Peppermint

Peppermint is another good choice for stopping general pain from muscles and joints, headaches and stomachaches. This herb is generally consumed as a tea for stomach pain but makes a terrific mouth rinse when mixed with water for stopping tooth or gum pain.


12.  Wintergreen

You are probably thinking that wintergreen is only a flavor for candy, but this powerful oil can do so much more than make an interesting stick of gum! Wintergreen is a very effective remedy for the treatment of menstrual cramps, nerve pain, headaches, and stomach aches. This oil has analgesic compounds that are very similar to aspirin.


13.  Rosemary

Break off a sprig of fresh rosemary and you can’t help but smile. This oil has powerful analgesic and anti-spasmodic compounds that make it perfect for sports injuries, back pain, headaches, muscle pain and joint stiffness.


SEE ALSO: 7 Essential Oils You Should Never Be Without


14.  Yarrow

Good for muscle aches and joint pain, this powerful analgesic pain reliever has powerful anti-inflammatory compounds that many people find to be soothing and almost restorative in its powers.


15.  Thyme

This is yet another good oil for backaches, sports injuries, joint pain and muscle aches. This is another strong oil which you should dilute before using on the skin.

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16. Clary Sage

Besides being able to ease muscle spasms, PMS pain, and muscle tension, this oil has powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic compounds that can also calm and soothe both the body and mind.


17.  Frankincense

Yes, this is perhaps your favorite incense, but frankincense also has sedative and anti-inflammatory compounds which make it a sweet way to stop mild aches and pains, alleviate stress, and calm the mind.


18. Sandalwood

One of sandalwoods most important features is that it sedates the central nervous system, which makes this the perfect oil for reducing nerve pain and stopping muscle spasms. Use this oil for back pain, sports injuries, and menstrual cramps.


19. Ginger

As we mentioned in orange oil, ginger can ease back pain, knee pain, and improve mobility. You can use it alone, but it appears to work best in a combination with orange oil. This is the perfect combination for anyone suffering from arthritis, rheumatism, tendonitis, and muscle sprains.


20. Juniper

This is another little known oil that has powerful anti-spasmodic compounds that can relieve all types of joint pain, muscle aches, and nerve pain.

You can use essential oils to stop pain by using some of these methods:

  • Headaches – Mix 6 drops of essential oil in one tablespoon of a carrier oil and massage gently on the back of the neck and temples. You can also put a few drops of oil on a cloth and breathe in the wonderful smell.
  • Massage – Use 10 drops of the essential oil of your choice per 1 ounce of carrier oil and use as a massage oil where needed. You can also warm the oil a bit for a cozy feeling and ease of absorption.
  • Hot or Cold Compress – Add a few drops of essential oil to a cloth and, depending on your preference, heat the cloth or put the cloth in the freezer, and apply to the affected area.
  • Bath Soak – Perhaps the best way to ease aching muscles and stopping joint pain is to soak in a bath with a half dozen drops of the essential oil of your choice, especially when you also add a few cups of Epsom salts, can go a long way towards relieving the pain, swelling, and inflammation of all types of injuries.

Regardless of which type of essential oil you decide to use, you are certain to find pain relief and get yourself well on the road to healing.