Whether you exercise, sit or stand for long hours, or sleep in the wrong position, you are bound to experience muscle pain in life. Too often do people resort to over-the-counter pain relief medications or prescription pain pills to relieve pain, but this can lead to a downward spiral of abuse. It’s better for the body to use natural alternatives like stretching, adjusting, foam rolling, or essential oils to provide relief from muscle pain.
Essential oils seem to be taking the health world by storm, even though plants and their oils have been utilized for their many healing properties by various civilizations for thousands of years. With more and more people seeking alternative remedies, essential oils have become widely available in holistic health stores, online, and in certain grocery stores. This popularity has brought about mild confusion because some people purchase essential oils without knowing how to use them, or whether or not they are high quality.
How Essential Oils Work
Essential oils are essentially plant extracts that can be applied topically, inhaled, or consumed (only in small amounts and diluted in other liquids). Whether you inhale, apply, or consume essential oils, they enter the bloodstream and send messages to the brain. What these messages entail will depend on the health properties that are specific to whichever essential oils are used. The chemical compounds in essential oils exist because the plants, from which essential oils are derived, require those properties to survive. For example, the oregano plant contains properties that repel pathogenic bacteria and parasites in nature, which is why oregano essential oil has been traditionally used as a natural antibiotic.
From lemon to eucalyptus and frankincense to peppermint, a number of essential oils have been known to help relieve tension, muscle pain, and reduce swelling. Continue reading to discover which essential oils are the best for providing pain relief.
Frankincense Essential Oil
Frankincense essential oil has many health benefits, one of which is providing natural pain relief. Often regarded as one of the best essential oils for inflammation reduction, frankincense provides a warming sensation and anti-inflammatory properties that have been known to relieve breast tenderness, menstrual pain, and joint pain. To make pain relief oil, mix 2-4 drops of frankincense essential oil with 1 tablespoon of virgin coconut oil. Massage the affected area once or twice a day.
Chamomile Essential Oil
The pain-relieving properties of chamomile essential oil and anti-stress properties are beneficial for reducing pain in muscles and joints. Another belief is that chamomile’s ability to reduce pain is associated with the natural anti-inflammatory benefits.
Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender is praised for its calming or relaxing properties, but most people don’t know that it has the ability to reduce pain. This essential oil is not used for topical application; rather, it is commonly used in diffusers as a potent aromatherapy oil. One study found that biopsy patients, who inhaled oxygen infused with lavender essential oil, reported reduced inflammation and pain, when compared to the biopsy patients who only inhaled oxygen. Lavender essential oil is also suitable for fibromyalgia pain, helping to relieve the anxiety, stress, and pain associated with the condition.
Wintergreen Essential Oil
Wintergreen essential oil contains methyl salicylate, which is the primary compound that possesses analgesic properties that may rival over-the-counter pain medication. When you apply wintergreen essential oil topically on a sore muscle, for example, it is fully absorbed and acts similarly to a 325mg tablet of aspirin. The analgesic properties in wintergreen essential oil are also helpful for pain relief.
Ginger Essential Oil
Ginger is a versatile ingredient with a wide range of health benefits. Ginger is commonly used to reduce nausea and soothe a sore throat, but ginger essential oil may be helpful for those with knee pain. According to a study, which was published in Complementary Therapies in Medicine, ginger essential oil may reduce stiffness and the severity of knee pain. Another study found that ginger essential oil may benefit those with chronic lower back pain. Mixing it with a carrier oil and applying it the area of pain can provide relief.