Essential Oils for Arthritis
Arthritis is a painful and debilitating condition that impacts millions of people worldwide. Symptoms of arthritis include inflammation in one or more joints, which is evident through swelling, redness, tenderness, stiffness, or an unusual warming sensation in the joints. While there are many symptoms that may occur as a result of arthritis, pain is typically the dominant one. It is important to seek early treatment if you suspect you may be suffering from this condition in order to prevent it from getting worse.1
The most common forms of arthritis include rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Essential oils for joint pain have been proven effective in helping to reduce the crippling symptoms of arthritis. While there are a variety of essential oils used for arthritis, the following have been noted to provide significant relief.
Best Essential Oils for Rheumatoid Arthritis
Approximately 2.1 million Americans are affected by rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic autoimmune disorder that can cause inflammation in joints.1 While doctors are still unsure as to what causes rheumatoid arthritis, using natural arthritis remedies are a convenient and cost effective way to help reduce symptoms.
What essential oils are good for rheumatoid arthritis? – While scientific research is still ongoing, the essential oils described below have been noted for their potent anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties. Essential oils may be used as an alternative approach to joint pain or as natural remedies for arthritis symptoms.
Lavender Essential Oil
With anti-rheumatic and analgesic (pain relieving) properties, lavender essential oil is considered one of the top essential oils for rheumatoid arthritis. In addition, the aroma of lavender essential oil is known for its calming effect, particularly during times of stress or anxiety, which may be quite valuable when coping with a stressful medical condition like arthritis.3
Sage Essential Oil
Sage is also considered one of the top essential oils good for arthritis. Indigenous to the Mediterranean, sage essential oil is valued as an important medicinal oil known for its healing properties. Sage essential oil can be diluted and applied topically to help relieve sore joints as a form of natural pain relief for arthritis.3 Due to its pain-relieving properties, sage is considered one of the best essential oils for arthritis in fingers and one of the top essential oils for arthritis in knees.
Thyme Essential Oil
Because of thyme essential oil’s pain-relieving properties, users may want to consider using it as a natural arthritis remedy. In a 2010 study, thyme essential oil helped inhibit an enzyme which is produced in the body as a response to inflammation. Applying diluted thyme essential oil to the skin may help reduce pain from arthritis and rheumatism.3
Eucalyptus Essential Oil
One of the most effective essential oils for treating arthritis pain is eucalyptus. Eucalyptus essential oil has traditionally been used in Brazilian folk medicine as an analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antipyretic (anti-fever) remedy.4
Today, the pain reliving properties of eucalyptus essential oil may be experienced through therapeutic massage or inhalation. In a 2013 clinic trial, inhalation of eucalyptus essential oil for 30 minutes, for three consecutive days helped reduce pain in osteoarthritis patients.
Eucalyptus has also been noted as one of the best essential oils for arthritis pain in hands because it provides a numbing like effect when applied to the skin.4 This anesthetic quality also makes it one of the top essential oils for psoriatic arthritis (arthritis associated with the psoriasis condition), as it gently soothes the skin.
Peppermint Essential Oil
With a sweet, pleasant aroma, peppermint is one of the most popular essential oils for arthritis relief. Peppermint essential oil contains high levels of menthol, which may act as a natural anesthesia by calming nerve endings and providing a cooling sensation when applied externally. When choosing essential oils for arthritis in hands, peppermint is an attractive choice as it may help reduces aches and pains.3
Essential Oils for Dog Arthritis
Arthritis is a condition that not only develops in humans, but dogs as well. There are many similarities between human rheumatoid arthritis, and the rheumatoid arthritis that occurs in dogs. Both conditions may appear later in life, have similar symptoms such as stiffness that happens after rest, and involve many of the same peripheral joints. Canine rheumatoid arthritis is a condition not to take lightly – the condition can be quite progressive and lead to severe destruction of the joints and even deformities.2
Essential oils for arthritis in dogs may provide improvement in arthritis symptoms for your dog. While there are many essential oils that can improve canine arthritis, more research needs to be conducted to determine potential side effects. Be sure to consult your local veterinarian before using essential oils for dogs.
Essential Oils for Arthritis Recipes
Essential oils can be used to create a number of home remedies for arthritis, including soothing massage lotions, or therapeutic baths. For a convenient and portable remedy, create a homemade, roll-on essential oil blend for arthritis.
For an easy arthritis essential oil blend, mix together 1 drop each of lavender, eucalyptus and peppermint oil with 2 Tsp. of carrier oil, such as almond, avocado, or jojoba in a small bowl. Blend oils together, and pour mixture into a small funnel attached to an empty roll-on container. For a cooling sensation, use the roll-on applicator over parts of your body where you are experiencing arthritis pain.
Users should not use this blend on open wounds, as it could cause a burning sensation. Use sparingly, as large amounts of thyme essential oil may cause the skin to become irritated.3
Scientific Research Referenced in this Article
- Clough, J.D. (2006). Arthritis: A Cleveland Clinic Guide. Cleveland, OH: Cleveland Clinic Press. Retrieved from https://books.google.ca/books/about/Arthritis.html?id=zH2gXOwfa5wC&redir_esc=y – View reference
- Bell, S.C., Carter, S.D., Bennett, D. (1991). Canine distemper viral antigens and antibodies in dogs with rheumatoid arthritis. Res Vet Sci, 50(1), 64-8. https://doi.org/10.1016/0034-5288(91)90054-R
- Beyerl, P. (1984). The Master Book of Herbalism. Blaine, WA: Phoenix Publishing.
- Silva, J. (2003). Analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects of essential oils of Eucalyptus. J Ethnopharmacol, 89(2-3), 277-83. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2003.09.007