What is the best essential oil for pain relief?
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What is the best essential oil for pain relief?

Whether you're stressed, anxious or you’ve got aches and pains, there may be an essential oil to cure what ails you.

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Published by Tracy McBeth, Journalist

5 mins read

Key Benefits

  • Discover which oils can help relieve stress, anxiety, aches and pain
  • Learn how to use essential oils for pain relief

There’s over 90 common essential oils, each with a unique scent, potential health benefits and pain relieving properties.

Peppermint, lavender, eucalyptus or clary sage oil are popular pain relievers, but there are many other oils worth exploring.

Essential oils are becoming a popular natural remedy that compliments modern medicine.

They may help with:

  • Stress and anxiety
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Sleep and insomnia
  • Inflammation and swelling
  • Period pain and menopausal symptoms
  • Libido
  • Bacterial and fungal infections

Keen to get started? Try these remedies.

1. Bergamot oil

You might know bergamot oil for its light, citrusy scent. Not only does it smell fantastic, it’s also known for soothing and relieving pain. You’ve probably come across bergamot in personal care products, but the edible oil also adds a delicious flavour when drizzled in food and drink!

Apply a few drops of diluted bergamot oil straight to the source of pain or add it to a bath to help relieve pain and reduce inflammation. Try a few drops to your diffuser, it may help relieve stress and boost your mood.

If you’ve got a few pimples, try using bergamot oil as a spot treatment. It can even be used by people with sensitive skin! Pop it on as an overnight treatment by diluting a few drops with a carrier oil and dab it on your spot. Just make sure you remove it in the morning or risk sunburn.

2. Chamomile oil

Chamomile isn’t just a relaxing tea before bed, the oil has various uses. There’s two varieties of chamomile, Roman and German. Even though each variety has a slightly different chemical composition, both contain the same active ingredient, chamazulene, but it’s a little stronger in the German variety.

Do you suffer from atopic dermatitis? Try dabbing some diluted oil to the affected area. It may also help with joint pain that comes with conditions like osteoarthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome. Last but not least, chamomile oil might also help with anxiety and depression.

3. Clary sage oil

Back in the day clary sage oil was used to treat eye conditions, now it’s used for a range of issues.

Clary sage oil can be especially useful for the ladies for period pain and menopausal symptoms. Dab some diluted clary sage to the soles of your feet for hot flashes during menopause. Or if you suffer from painful menstrual cramps, try running the diluted oil on your tummy to target the pain.

4. Eucalyptus oil

Try some Eucalyptus essential oil for joint pain and inflammation – it may even help with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. You’ve probably seen it in pain relief rubs, because it works best when applied topically straight onto the area. But there’s also evidence to suggest that inhaling it can help with pain and swelling!

If you’ve got a niggling cough or are feeling a bit stuffy with a head cold, try adding a few drops of eucalyptus into a humidifier or diffuser.

5. Evening primrose oil

Another oil for the girls, evening primrose is often used for period pain and menopause.

Studies show taking it as a supplement can help relieve breast pain, premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and hot flashes during perimenopause.

6. Jasmine oil

Looking for something natural to take into the birthing suite with you? Add a bottle of jasmine oil to your hospital bag! Research shows it may help keep you calm, take the edge off some of the pain and even reduce the time spent labouring! Just rub a little diluted oil on your belly to amid the contractions.

When inhaled, Jasmine oil may also help to boost mood and fight depression. It’s also used to help to relieve menopause symptoms and even improve libido. Such a great all-rounder!

7. Lavender oil

You’re probably familiar with lavender's sweet, floral scent, but did you know it may also help with headaches and migraines? Add a few drops  of lavender essential oil to a diffuser or better yet, inhale it straight from the bottle.

Some studies show lavender can be a great remedy for insomnia and can improve sleep quality. It’s also used as a healing rub that’s worth trying if you’ve got any aches, pains or inflammation.

8. Lemon oil

Lemon oil is extracted straight from the lemon peel itself. If you’re suffering from tummy troubles or even morning sickness Lemon oil in aromatherapy may help to soothe nausea and vomiting.

It might also improve digestion, mood and headaches.

9. Peppermint oil

Have you ever noticed the cooling, soothing sensation of peppermint when you’re brushing your teeth? Well, it turns out that peppermint essential oil feels exactly the same when you rub it on your skin. It’s often used to help relieve muscle pain after a big workout.

Try dabbing some diluted peppermint to your temples if you have a headache - the smell might even give you a bit of an energy boost!

10. Rose oil

Roses are known for their luscious scent but inhaling their amazing fragrance may also help to curb pain. Try massaging a sprinkling of rose oil into your tummy for menstrual cramps.

And if you want something to put you in the mood, breathing in rose oil may boost your libido. No wonder roses are known as the flower of love.

11. Sandalwood oil

Feeling nervous or scattered? Try sandalwood oil. Blended with lavender or orange-peppermint oil, it may help to soothe your anxiety.

Studies show simply smelling sandalwood oil may help to heal your wounds by kickstarting skin regeneration. It may also help ease the inflammation that comes with skin conditions like psoriasis and dermatitis.

12. Tea tree oil

You’ve probably come across tea tree oil in antifungal and antibacterial lotions because it works best when applied straight to the infected area.

It may also make a great addition to your toothpaste. Researchers say tea tree oils may help ease inflammation from oral health conditions like plaque and gingivitis!

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How to use essential oils for pain relief

You can smell oils straight from the bottle, add them to a diffuser or humidifier, try aromatherapy massage or even rub diluted oils onto your skin.

Be careful though - essential oils are super potent and can cause skin irritation and sensitivities, so you’ll need to dilute them with a carrier oil before slathering them on or using them in a diffuser or humidifier.

Carrier oils are used to ‘carry’ potent essential oils onto your skin. There’s a heap of different oils that you can mix essential oils. You can try:

  • Coconut
  • Jojoba
  • Argan
  • Rosehip
  • Avocado
  • Sunflower
  • Sweet almond
  • Apricot kernel
  • Grape seed
  • Black seed oil

As a general rule use 6 teaspoons of carrier oil for every 15 drops of essential oil. Make sure you give it a good mix before rubbing it on your skin or adding it to a diffuser.

If you’ve got an existing health condition, have a chat with your doctor first. Some oils don’t mix well with medications or can even make medical conditions worse, so it’s always best to check before using essential oils as a complimentary remedy.

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