Regardless of whether you’re suffering from a migraine, you’ve recently pulled a muscle in your shoulder, or you have to deal with a chronic condition like sciatica regularly, when the pain hits us, we’ll do just about anything and everything we can to try and get rid of it. We’ve already discussed a bunch of different ways that you can replace your ibuprofen, but sometimes even that’s not enough.
Don’t think that means that you’ll have to start reaching for a chemically laced alternative, though – Sometimes all you need to do to help get rid of that pesky pain is to add some essential oils to your pain management plan. Using any one of the oils on the following list should help aid your aches and pains quickly so that you can get back to being with your family, working, or whatever else it is you should be doing instead of nursing the pain.
12 Essential Oils That Can Help Get You Some Relief Fast
Eucalyptus oil is probably one of my very favorite essential oils. Mainly because of the scent, but it offers so much more!
Not only will a couple of drops in a hot bath help clear out your sinuses if you’re beginning to feel a little stuffed up with a cold and/or flu, but it can also help get rid of those body aches and pains as it’s also an anti-inflammatory with analgesic properties.
Suppose you don’t have a bath or you simply don’t have the time to take one because you need some relief now. In that case, it can be diluted in a carrier oil and massaged into wherever you’re feeling the pain coming from (aka your temples if you have a headache, or wherever you happen to have pulled a muscle). Eucalyptus oil can be used to treat muscle aches, pains, strains, and sprains and can even be used to help alleviate nerve pain. It’s pretty powerful stuff – Less is more usually and one drop of it is often enough.
If you’ve never smelled juniper oil before, you’re in for a real treat if you decide to invest in it. It’s incredibly invigorating and really inspires you to get things done if you’re lacking motivation. In addition to that, it comes with antispasmodic and antirheumatic effects which makes it perfect for anyone with RA, MS, or any other chronic condition.
Juniper oil can be added to a warm bath or added to a carrier oil and massaged into wherever you’re feeling pain for some relief. It’s perfect for use on everyday aches and pains and might also help with neuropathic pain as well. Don’t use this oil at night unless your goal is to stay up (you’ve officially been warned; I’m speaking from personal experience here).
Are you someone who drinks chamomile tea on a regular basis to help you drift off to sleep at night?
You may be surprised to learn that it not only comes in tea form but that it can also be purchased as an essential oil! It has amazing anti-inflammatory properties, which makes it perfect for use to fight PMS pain, headaches, muscle pains, and even neuralgia.
It’s also great in helping to combat stress (and it smells absolutely divine!). Personally, I find that chamomile works best when a couple of drops are added to a warm bath. Still, it can also be applied directly to your skin after being diluted in a carrier (such as coconut or grapeseed) oil.
Sandalwood essential oil is absolutely perfect, and a must-have oil for dealing with muscle spasms, sciatica, and/or lymph node congestion (due to its anti-inflammatory properties).
It also supports your digestive and cardiovascular systems (and really, who wouldn’t like a little help ensuring that their heart is always as healthy as can be?), can help relieve minor skin irritations, and has a calming scent that just makes you want to meditate. Sandalwood oil is absolutely perfect when added to a bath, but it can also be applied with carrier oil directly to the area in which you’re experiencing pain.
I cannot stress enough that if you only decide to invest in one essential oil ever, it should be lavender oil (It might be a little pricey in comparison to some of the other oils on this list, but trust me when I tell you that the slightly higher price is most certainly worth it).
Not only is it perfect for helping you relax after a particularly stressful day, but it also has antimicrobial effects that make it absolutely perfect to help combat any muscle pain or tension you might be experiencing.
It’s also exceptional in helping deal with insomnia episodes and a whole lot more. If you’re looking to get some serious pain and/or sleep relief, use it in combination with chamomile or sandalwood oil the next time you have a hot bath, and I assure you that on that night, you’ll have one of the best sleeps you can remember having.
Read your labels carefully when you’re looking at lavender essential oils – Many of them are diluted with fragrance oils so that they can be sold at a lower price (and fragrance oil definitely isn’t what you want in this instance).
While it’s absolutely true that rosemary is a rather tasty herb that can be used to give just about any meat or starch some flavor and dimension, rosemary essential oil also has a ton of beneficial uses (one of which is pain relief obviously, otherwise why would it be on the list?).
Because of its analgesic and antispasmodic properties, it’s great for everything from muscle sprains to joint pain and even muscle spasms. It’s also very helpful in aiding in the relief of headaches.
To use, simply add to a carrier oil and apply right where it hurts. Alternatively, you could put a couple of drops on a cotton ball or fabric cloth and inhale to help relieve a headache if you’re not too keen on the idea of walking around smelling like a sprig of rosemary all day.
Thyme is another essential oil that many people are unaware of (until I started doing my own homework on essential oils, I had no idea it was anything more than an herb myself).
The antispasmodic effects of this powerful little essential oil make it absolutely perfect for helping to combat the back spasms you feel after a long day at work, but it’s also useful in just helping to relieve the general aches and pains that we all begin to feel as we get older.
Thyme essential oil can be applied in exactly the same manner as rosemary. Still, I wouldn’t suggest you use them at the same time – especially topically – unless you’re totally okay with walking around smelling like Sunday dinner. Again, personal experience has taught me well.
Stress is a huge cause of migraines, and if you’re under enough of it, you might even experience some muscle pain because of it. Enter marjoram essential oil – It’s been dubbed the “happiness herb”, and for a good reason, it has powerful sedative properties, which make it great for the treatment of muscle stiffness and soreness, migraines, muscle spasms, and even the pain that’s associated with arthritis.
Marjoram oil is most effective when diluted in a carrier (such as cold-pressed olive) oil but may help you get rid of a headache if you inhale it on a cotton ball or put a couple of drops of it in your vaporizer if you happen to have one.
Do you use Icy Hot or Ben-Gay to help relieve your aching muscles after a long day? These common topical treatments might provide you with some relief, sure, but they’re also loaded with chemicals and all sorts of other additives that aren’t all that great to be absorbed through your skin.
However, the menthyl salicylate that’s found in the wintergreen plant—the component that gives those commercial topical treatments their distinct smell – has incredibly strong analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and antispasmodic properties, which makes it perfect for use to combat headaches, back pain, stiff joints, and just about anything else that you would use aspirin for (plus it smells fantastic!)
I bet you thought spruce was just a kind of tree, didn’t you? Well, it is, but the oil that can be extracted from that tree is something spectacular – It’s a powerful immune system and adrenal glands stimulator. It can also be used to effectively reduce the pain that’s commonly caused by arthritis, lower back pain, bone pain, RA, and sciatica.
The aroma of spruce essential oil is exceptionally sweet and refreshing and can calm and center your mind mere instants after inhaling it. The most effective way to use spruce essential oils is with a carrier oil directly on the affected area.
Frankincense oil is actually the most powerful anti-inflammatory essential oil that you can invest in, which makes it perfect for dealing with the day-to-day aches and pains that can generally be associated with arthritis and migraine headaches.
As with many of the other essential oils, frankincense is most effective when applied to the skin directly via a carrier oil or inhaled on a cotton ball or fabric cloth.
I just couldn’t leave this one off the list. The scent is entirely too seasonal (white fir smells exactly like a Christmas tree)! It’s perfect for using on achy muscles after an exceptionally brutal workout (or if you’ve just gotten back into being physically active).
White fir oil has analgesic, anti-arthritic, and antiseptic properties; I find it to be most effective when dropped into a carrier oil and massaged directly into the muscles that are giving me grief.
Tips & Tricks
Many of these oils have multiple benefits and support a variety of different things, but since we’re only focusing on pain management right now, here are a couple of extra tips that might get you the relief you’ve been looking to get just a little quicker:
– Combinations tend to work better, but they can also be overpowering (and kind of nauseating if you mix the wrong two together). At the same time, I assure you that the lavender blends I gave you smell great, some may not if you go experimenting on your own. You’ve been warned.
– If you want to open up a clogged lymphatic system, apply a couple of drops to a carrier oil and massage directly into the spine. Always move in slow, counter-clockwise circles toward your heart when you’re massaging (much like with dry skin brushing).
– If you’re looking to get as much out of the oils as you possibly can, apply a hot compress to the area after you’ve massaged the oil(s) into your skin. The heat and moisture from the compress will help drive them in.
– Use the oil 2-4 times a day, depending on the intensity of your pain. It’s pretty powerful stuff, so you shouldn’t need to use it more than that anyway. If using it four times a day still isn’t enough for you, even after experimenting with it a little, you should probably consider consulting your medical or homeopathic professional.
– Many of these oils can be taken internally, but I wouldn’t recommend doing so without first consulting a certified aromatherapist (which I am not). One drop of oil is equivalent to 75 cups of tea from the same plant.
– Always remember that not all oils are the same when it comes to quality. You’ll want to do your homework first and make sure that you’re always investing in all-natural, pesticide-free therapeutic-grade oils and that the company you choose to go with stands behind the internal use of their essential oils. Steer clear of brands like Young Living and doTERRA, as they’re really not all that much more than a marketing scheme. This is another one of those cases where local is better, because you can get excellent quality at affordable prices.
Any one of these oils would be an absolutely great addition to your all-natural first aid kit – Each one carries so many different benefits, individually and combined!