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Using Essential Oils for Arthritis Pain Relief

To use essential oils for arthritis pain relief, choose ones with the potential to calm inflammation.

Two of the top choices are peppermint and wintergreen. Add 5 to 10 drops of one of the oils to 1 teaspoon of carrier oil and rub into painful joints. However, an essential oil blend for arthritis is likely to be more effective.

Fingers with arthritis

Other suggested essential oils for joint pain relief (complied from multiple sources) include:

  • Balsam fir
  • Basil
  • Black pepper
  • Clove
  • Copaiba
  • Eucalyptus
  • Ginger
  • Helichrysum
  • Juniper
  • Marjoram
  • Nutmeg
  • Pine
  • Rosemary

You can use the same oils to relieve the pain of both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, even though the two conditions have different causes. Also, see blends for gout.

You may need to experiment to see what works best for you. Start by trying some of the blends suggested in this article.

Note: If you are new to essential oils, test each one on a small area before using it on a larger area to make sure your skin is not sensitive. If you are sensitive to an oil, substitute other essential oils.

Bath Aromatherapy for Arthritis 

Blend the essential oils into a teaspoon of carrier oil or milk. Stir the blend into a bath of comfortably warm water. You can also add Epsom salt, if you like.

Bath Blend #1

  • 3 drops rosemary essential oil
  • 3 drops marjoram essential oil
  • 2 drops ginger essential oil

You can also just soak your feet or hands in a basin of water with one drop of each of these oils.

Source: Essential Oils & Aromatherapy for Dummies

Bath Blend #2

  • 5 drops lavender essential oil
  • 3 drops geranium essential oil
  • 3 drops frankincense essential oil
  • 2 drops german chamomile essential oil

Source: Essential Oils For Healing

Bath Blend #3

  • 3 drops black pepper essential oil
  • 3 drops marjoram essential oil
  • 3 drops lemon essential oil
  • 1 drop cypress essential oil

Source: Massage & Aromatherapy: Simple Techniques to Use at Home

Hand or Foot Soak

  • 2 drops juniper essential oil
  • 1 drop lavender essential oil
  • 1 drop cypress essential oil
  • 1 drop rosemary essential oil

Fill a basin with tepid to warm water (unless you have swelling and redness, then use cool water). Stir in essential oils. Soak your hands or feet.

Source: Aromatherapy: A Holistic Guide to Natural Healing With Essential Oils

Massage Oils With Essential Oils for Arthritis

You can make an arthritis essential oil blend to gently massage into painful joints several times a day.

Blend #1

  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) trauma oil
  • 6 drops ginger essential oil
  • 8 drops myrrh essential oil
  • 6 drops elemi essential oil:
  1. Add the trauma oil to a one-ounce PET plastic or glass bottle.
  2. Add the essential oils, screw on cap tightly, and shake to blend.

Source: Essential Living

Use a carrier oil of choice in the following blends, Some sources suggest St. John's wort oil as a carrier oil for arthritis. Also, if you are not allergic to peanuts, peanut oil may help relieve arthritis.

Blend #2

  • 10 drops black pepper essential oil
  • 2 drops rosemary essential oil
  • 5 drops marjoram essential oil
  • 5 drops lavender essential oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon carrier oil 

Source: Essential Oils Desk Reference

Blend #3

  • 2 drops eucalyptus essential oil
  • 10 drops lavender essential oil
  • 6 drops wintergreen essential oil
  • 2 tablespoons carrier oil

Source: Healing With Aromatherapy

Blend #4

  • 2 drops juniper essential oil
  • 3 drops German chamomile essential oil
  • 3 drops ginger essential oil
  • 3 drops lavender essential oil
  • 4 drops wintergreen essential oil
  • 4 drops marjoram essential oil
  • 6 drops helichrysum essential oil
  • 4 tablespoons carrier oil

You can also add one tablespoon of this blend to a bath.

Source: Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art

Blend #5

  • 4 drops cypress essential oil
  • 4 drops sweet majoram essential oil
  • 4 drops ylang ylang essential oil
  • 4 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 2 drops black pepper essential oil
  • 2 drops ginger essential oil
  • 2 tablespoons carrier oil

Blend oils in a small dark bottle. Shake well. Massage a few drops into painful areas several times a day.

Adapted from The Essential Oils Complete Reference Guide.

If you want a three-stage program for using essential oils for arthritis, you can find a program in The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy (pages 282–287 in the 25th Anniversary Edition).

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