Essential Oils For Pain
When it comes to pain management, essential oils can often be just as effective as some of the over-the-counter medications – such as Tylenol, ibuprofen or aspirin. The thing about over-the-counter pain medications is that they can be dangerous in certain quantities, and they are not intended for long-term use. As an example, acetaminophen, which is the main ingredient in Tylenol, can be extremely hard on your liver if you take too much. The cutoff is currently around 4000 mg; any more than that amount taken within a 24 hour period and you risk liver damage.
Why Pain Happens
So, why does pain happen in the first place? The reason is that we have nerve receptors all throughout the body and when those nerve receptors get triggered and send signals along the nerve pathway to the brain, we experience pain. Pain is as much a psychological process as it is a physiological one. If no receptors are present, there is no pain.
Normal Treatments for Pain
The normal treatments for pain are wide and varied and depend a lot upon what kind of pain it is and how severe. Generally, pain will come in the form of a bruise, scrape, cut or headache, or some other common problem. The conventional treatment for minor pain such as these is to use an over-the-counter pain medication like acetaminophen, which is an analgesic; ibuprofen – an anti-inflammatory; or aspirin.
Of course, these over-the-counter medications are only sufficient for mild pain. When it comes to moderate or severe pain there are quite a few different conventional treatments, depending upon the type of pain it is. Often, narcotic pain relievers are prescribed for severe or moderate pain but there are also numbing medications (such as Orajel for tooth pain) that can also be used.
Essential Oil Applications for Pain
When it comes to the ways that you can use essential oils in order to combat pain there are a couple things to keep in mind. First of all, before you apply any essential oils directly to the skin where the pain is, make sure to dilute them with a carrier oil like sweet almond oil.
It is also worth noting that while one essential oil may be helpful when it comes to treating pain, you can even get more of a potent effect if you combine a couple of them together. Also, the type of pain that you are experiencing will determine how you should use the essential oil.
Here are some of the ways that you can use essential oil for various types of pain:
- When you have a headache, make up a solution of carrier oil combined with a few drops of your essential oils and then use a cloth or your fingers to massage the mixture into your templates or use aromatherapy to get rid of the headache.
- If you’re suffering from sore or overworked muscles, you can create a massage solution by using the carrier oil (and the essentials) and then having someone massage it onto you. For those who are having pain from stiffness or arthritis, Epson salt along with a few drops of one or more essential oils in a bath will help you to relax at the end of the day; a good soak will get those areas working properly.
- If the pain involves swelling and inflammation, as well as aching muscles, then you may want to try a hot compress directly on the area that hurts. In the case that ice would keep the swelling down better than heat, you can use a cold compress in much the same way. Simply run the washcloth under hot or cold water, wring it out, and then add a few drops of your essential oil.
Essential Oils to Treat Pain
When it comes to essential oils to treat pain, there are a lot of options out there. Many essential oils have the ability to treat pain because of their properties which range from creating a numbing effect like from an antiseptic to anti-inflammatory properties or analgesic properties. Here are all the essential oils out there that can treat your pain instead of unhealthy over-the-counter or prescription pain medications. Of course, you should always check with your doctor before using essential oils for pain because they are not appropriate for everyone – particularly pregnant women or children.
Chamomile Essential Oils
Chamomile is an anti-inflammatory pain reliever that is great for all kinds of pain caused by inflammation. For example, back pain in the lower or upper regions can be treated with chamomile as well as back spasms and headaches, which are often caused by inflammation. In addition, the pain and cramping that comes from PMS can be treated this way.
Sweet marjoram is a terrific pain reliever that works a little bit differently than most of the other essential oils. This is a very effective treatment for sore muscles and muscle spasms as well as stiffness of the body. Sweet marjoram can even treat migraines in some cases.
Lavender Essential Oils
Lavender is one of the crowd favorite essential oils when it comes to relieving pain and allowing someone to relax and forget about their injury. Of course, the main reason that this is particularly effective is the anti-inflammatory properties, but lavender also has sedative properties and can make you feel calm and relaxed, even if you are having pain. It is particularly good with muscle pain.
Much like acetaminophen, eucalyptus has analgesic properties, but it is also anti-inflammatory, which makes it comparable to ibuprofen. So you get both types of pain relievers in this one essential oil and it is particularly effective against nerve pain.
Peppermint Essential Oil
Many of the mint-type essential oils are good for muscle pain and stiff, sore joints. Peppermint is no exception, but it is also good for headaches and for nerve-related pain (such as sciatica) as well. Peppermint is relatively strong, so you probably want to dilute it before applying.
Rosemary Essential Oils
Rosemary essential oil is particularly good with two types of pain. One is the muscle and joint pain that is best combated with analgesic pain medication like Tylenol. But for muscle spasms, rosemary is also an excellent choice because it is antispasmodic, meaning it is a natural muscle relaxer.
Another great antispasmodic pain medication is thyme essential oil, which you can use in much the same way that you use Rosemary – for stiff joints, sore muscles and pretty much any back problem you can think of.
Clary Sage Essential Oils
Clary Sage is a very effective pain reliever, especially for women suffering from premenstrual syndrome. That’s because it is both antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory so these two properties can deal with the spasms and soreness that comes from this particular condition.
There are certain pain medications out there that are specifically intended to do one job – like a medication called Neurontin, in the case of a nerve-related condition. Neurontin deadens the nerve so that someone suffering from sciatica or another nerve condition will get pain relief. That is precisely what Sandalwood does, and this essential oil is all-natural.
Juniper Essential Oil
Juniper is another medication that is good at relieving nerve pain. But it is also antispasmodic, which means that you will be able to get relief from muscle spasms at the same time. The best way to apply Juniper essential oil is to make a compress and apply to the affected area.
Ginger essential oil is one of the all-natural pain medications that is often used by the elderly – because of the way that it works on back pain and restores the mobility that they once had; also, because it treats arthritis and rheumatism extremely well.
Frankincense Essential Oils
Frankincense has anti-inflammatory properties and also acts as a mild sedative. It’s used to alleviate stress as well as to relieve pain.
Yarrow is another anti-inflammatory which is good for muscles and joints. It is also analgesic, so again, you get two pain medications in one.
Helichrysum Essential Oils
One of the downsides to using helichrysum is that it is fairly expensive – much more so than some of the other essential oils for pain relief on this list. However, it is one of the most well-rounded pain relief essential oils that you can find. It has the properties of an antispasmodic, an analgesic and it is anti-inflammatory (like ibuprofen) as well; people that use it report that their pain disappears almost instantaneously when they apply it.