Millions of adults suffer every day from pain due to arthritis. According to the Arthritis Foundation, at least 54 million adults have been diagnosed with arthritis or report arthritis symptoms, but it is probably double that amount due to underreporting. Arthritis isn’t just one disease — it is an informal term for joint pain or joint disease.
While there are over 100 types of arthritis, osteoarthritis is the most common. It is typically caused by wear and tear on the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis is considered an autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system attacks the joints in the body.
Can essential oils help with arthritis?
Arthritis causes swelling, pain, stiffness, decreased range of motion, and chronic pain that can range from moderate to severe. Typically recommended for use along with standard treatments and therapies, essential oils can provide relief for the pain and emotions that arthritis can cause. In particular, essential oils can help with the following symptoms that typically come with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis:
Besides pain, many people who have arthritis also have an emotional/energetic component. When we are in pain and having difficulty moving around, it can also lead a person to feel depressed and hopeless. Essential oils can help those whose arthritis symptoms are causing distress and anxiety.
What essential oils are best for arthritis?
When choosing essential oils for use with arthritis, we want to look for those that will help with inflammation and pain. Some that are quite beneficial include:
- Spike Lavender: helps ease aches and muscular pain
- Balsam Copaiba: anti-inflammatory and helps with respiratory issues
- Roman Chamomile: eases pain, relieves spasm and relaxes nerves.
- Rosemary Verbenone: helps with stiffness and stimulates the mind
- Sandalwood: helps relieve pain and anxiety
- Plai: relieves pain and inflammation
- Lemongrass: helps with anxiety and depression, brings calm
- Black Pepper: warming, soothing and relieves inflammation
- Turmeric: warming, relieves pain and eases rheumatistm
- Basil: relieves spasms and helps with depression
- Vanilla: comforting and relaxing
- Lavender: calming and relieves inflammation
- Eucalyptus: relieves pain and inflammation
- Orange: energizing and helps with depression
- Peppermint: uplifting and energizing
- Frankincense: relieves pain and inflammation, and prevents bone loss
- Ginger: relieves pain and inflammation
- Wintergreen*: relieves pain and inflammation
How do you use essential oils for arthritis?
Before you apply an essential oil for arthritis onto your skin, you must dilute the essential oil with a carrier oil, typically a ratio of one ounce carrier oil to every 12 drops of essential oil. Common carrier oils include sunflower, coconut, jojoba, and avocado, and argan oil.
When looking for a carrier oil to use in making a blend for arthritis, our Anti-Trauma Oil is a great choice. It is an amazing herbal-infused oil containing Arnica flowers, St John’s wort flowers, and Calendula flowers. Another great option is the Balm of Gilead infused oil, which is great for rheumatism.
Aromatherapy is another great way to use essential oils for arthritis. According to a 2016 study, people who received regular aromatherapy massages to their arthritic knees experienced a decrease in pain and fatigue. You can drop a calming essential oil, like lavender or vanilla, onto a cotton ball and inhale the scent, or use an aromatherapy diffuser.
How do you mix essential oils for arthritis?
Since different essential oils help with different symptoms, they can be combined to provide the maximum effect. Here are two recipes for arthritis pain.
Recipe #1 for Arthritis Pain
In 1 oz Balm of Gilead infused oil, add:
- 5 drops Spike Lavender (Lavandula latifolia)
- 5 drops Black Pepper (Piper nigrum)
- 5 drops Balsam Copaiba (Balsamea copaifera)
Recipe #2 for Arthritis Pain
This recipe is included in our Pain Relief kit. To 1 ounce sunflower oil, add:
- 5 drops Plai
- 5 drops Black Pepper
- 5 drops Spike Lavender
- 2 drops Wintergreen
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*Caution: Wintergreen should not be used with anyone taking anticoagulant medications such as Warfarin or Courmarin as they contain methyl salicylate.