When you have pain, you want relief. And you want that relief as fast as possible. While pain is an inevitable part of our lives, and sometimes it can invade the normal aspects of everyday tasks that have to be completed whether we're hurting or not, we try to choose natural methods of pain relief before reaching for medication. Choosing essential oils for pain relief is a safe, natural way to help reduce some of the symptoms you may be experiencing, especially when it's localized and there's no need to take a potentially toxic over-the-counter NSAID (anti-inflammatory) medications like ibuprofen.
Did you know that if NSAIDs are used frequently, or over long periods of time, they may pose dangers to the heart, kidneys, bone and even hearing? Studies have found that high doses of NSAIDs increased risk for heart attack and other heart problems by one third; ibuprofen, in particular, more than doubled the risk of a major heart event. Based on this research, the Food and Drug Administration issued stronger warnings about heart risks on the labels of these drugs.
How to Use Essential Oils (Safely) for Pain Relief
The best way to use essential oils is to add them to massage oils. Pure essential oils are extremely potent and highly concentrated, so they need to be diluted with easily absorbable carrier oils like olive oil, coconut oil, jojoba oil, grapeseed oil, or almond oil.
And if you're interested in really boosting the healing power of your essential oil mixture, try adding it to some homemade comfrey infused oil. Trust me, you won't be sorry you did!
NOTE: Be sure to do a skin patch test to see if you have any reactions by rubbing the diluted oil onto your inner forearm. If you don’t experience any irritation or discomfort within 24 hours, you should be good to go.
TIP: By opting for certified organic essential oils and carriers oils whenever they're available, you’re effectively reducing your exposure to toxic pesticides that can become concentrated during processing and distillation resulting in heightened toxic exposure.
The Best Essential Oils for Pain Relief
It blows my mind to think that we've come so far from the natural remedies our ancestors used to a place where we've become absurdly dependent on medications for minor aches and pains. Not to say that there isn't a place for them – they just shouldn't be our first line of defense.
These essential oils are amazing for soothing headaches, menstrual pain, joint pain and muscular aches with their calming, anti-inflammatory wonders.
Roman chamomile is has been used since ancient times to help relieve joint and muscular pain, and also boasts some anti-inflammatory properties. Apply it topically or add it to a warm water bath to reduce pain in the lower back, knees, wrists, fingers and other problematic areas, making it great for overworked muscles and joint pain.
Frankincense is excellent for treating inflammation, joint pain, menstrual pain, and even stomach pains. Frankincense has anti-inflammatory properties making it an excellent source of pain relief. One of the top uses for frankincense is sinus pain, as it works as a natural remedy for swelling in the nasal passages. Rocky Mountain Oils just released a brand new certified organic frankincense oil too and we're personally in love with it!
Lavender is one of the best oils for pain relief as it not only helps with reducing pain, but also creates a calming effect. Lavender essential oil is excellent for headaches and long-term pain, and has even been shown to decrease anxiety and stress-related pain. A 2015 study showed lavender's analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects so it's worth a try! This is our favorite top-notch certified organic lavender.
Rosemary is excellent for dealing with leg pain and can help reduce swelling while creating a warming sensation for the body. Whether it is overuse, headaches, or general pain, rosemary can be a great way to help relieve some of the pain. Dr Axe – one of our favorite holistic practitioners – just launched an organic rosemary essential oil. (NOTE: If you are pregnant, suffer from hypertension or epilepsy, you should avoid rosemary)
Wintergreen is a great essential oil for treating toothaches and dental pains, as well as muscular pain. It provides a cooling sensation and helps to numb the area too. This is our favorite organic winter green essential oil (smells intensely invigorating!).
Pain may be unavoidable, but there are a few things you can do to make it better! Use one or more of these top 5 essential oils for pain relief and you’ll be better off for it!
Looking for a Powerful Muscle Rub You Don't Have to Make Yourself?
We've been using the new Tohi Complete Relief Tension + Muscle Rub from Rocky Mountain Oils and it's shockingly effective! The combination of peppermint, wintergreen, ginger, and clove essential oils make it a muscle-soothing miracle without the scary side effects of ibuprofen. Our favorite use so far is for the tension headaches that begin in the neck.