Essential oils are highly concentrated plant oils often used medicinally and in aromatherapy for their distinctive fragrances. Essential oils can be derived from any part of a plant including bark, flower or roots. These essential plant oils contain active ingredients that are used for a variety of physical or emotional applications from the common cold to tension headaches. Each plant’s essential oils are unique and can be used to target specific ailments.
Essential oils can be used in a variety of ways. An effective way to use essential oils for pain relief is to add a few drops to your favorite carrier oil such as coconut oil or jojoba oil and massage into the affected area. A good rule of thumb is four to ten drops per tablespoon of carrier oil. Almost all essential oils are safe to use topically. However, it is often recommended to test each essential oil on the wrist or inner forearm for sensitivity. If there is no reaction within 24 hours the oil should be safe for wider use. Some essential oils can be taken internally; however, many can be toxic. It is always best to check with the manufacturer or a pharmacist before using essential oils internally.
Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender essential oil is one of the most useful and well-known essential oils on the market. Lavender has been used for centuries for its clean and vibrant aroma as well as its therapeutic properties. Lavender is an ideal essential oil for muscle pain and headache relief. Two of the active ingredients in lavender, linalool and linalyl acetate, actively relax the central nervous system. This essential oil is used for tension headaches, stress, and migraines. Lavender oil can be dabbed directly on the temples or neck for quick relief. Lavender is also effective when used in a diffuser, added to a warm bath or mixed into a lotion or moisturizing oil.
Peppermint Essential Oil
To invigorate tired and sore muscles, peppermint essential oil provides fast relief. Peppermint oil has been used since ancient times as a natural pain reliever and muscle relaxant. Peppermint helps coolly inflamed and irritated joints and muscles while increasing circulation. This essential oil also eases muscle spasms in the back and neck. It is also recommended for tired feet and legs. Other stimulating essential oils can be combined with peppermint oil, such as eucalyptus, ginger, black pepper, and capsaicin. These warming oils can help increase circulation, reduce pain and reduce inflammation. An essential oil blend of peppermint and lavender can also relieve headaches.
Rosemary Essential Oil
Rosemary oil is another natural remedy for muscle pain. It contains several anti-inflammatory antioxidants including carnosol. Rosemary oil contains over 30 compounds that have strengthening and rejuvenating abilities. Many of its properties support the respiratory tract and circulation. It is used for overall wellness and specifically muscle and joint pain. A compress can be made with the rosemary leaves or a few drops of rosemary oil. The compress can be used on sprains, joints or muscles. Many studies have shown it to be a helpful essential oil for arthritis and rheumatism. Rosemary essential oil blends well with lavender, peppermint, clary sage and frankincense for increased muscle pain relief.
Essential oils play a vital role in natural medicine and self-healing. They have been used since ancient times in Roman, Greek and Chinese medicines. They often have fewer side effects than modern drugs but can be just as effective. Most essential oils have multiple beneficial properties that can strengthen the immune system, promote wellbeing and ease the pain. When looking for a natural way to reduce pain and promote healing these key essential oils that should always be on hand.