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Nobody wants to experience pain! Whether it’s chronic pain, acute pain, sore muscles, toothache or inflammation. Finding adequate pain relief can be a challenge, particularly if you don’t want to rely on over the counter or prescription medication.
Although they can be helpful, medication can also come with several side effects and a high price tag. Which is why essential oils are a great alternative for natural pain relief.
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WHAT ARE ESSENTIALS OILS?
Essential oils are natural oils extracted from certain plants, flowers, fruit and trees using distillation and they contain the chemical that produces the “essence” (scent or flavour).
HOW DO ESSENTIAL OILS HELP RELIEVE PAIN?
For several years essential oils have been used for healing a number of ailments such as pain, depression, sleep disorders and stress. Studies have shown essential oils to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, analgesic and antimicrobial properties, which are all beneficial for pain relief.
It may sound too good to be true, but there are clinical studies such as this one showing how effective essential oils can be for pain relief.
Unlike drugs such as narcotics and aspirin, essential oils are natural and unlikely to have any adverse side effects and are also less costly, making them accessible for all.
However, please do your research as some essentials can react to certain medicines you take and shouldn’t be used whilst breastfeeding or pregnant. Please be sure to consult a medical professional before using essential oils.
THE MOST EFFECTIVE ESSENTIAL OILS FOR PAIN RELIEF
Lavender is probably the Beyonce of all the essential oils, as it’s one of the most well known. It’s the one that comes to mind when we think of relaxation, better sleep, and stress relief. But research has also shown that it can be an effective analgesic and anti-inflammatory, which is helpful for headaches and muscle pain and pain caused by inflammation.
This clinical study found that when inhaled, lavender oil was effective in reducing headache symptoms and could therefore be an effective treatment for migraines.
Rosemary oil is great for stimulating hair growth, improving brain function and repelling bugs, but also it’s also amazing for chronic pain relief. A study showed that rosemary oil also has pain-relieving properties and according to researchers, when combined with pain medication is effective for pain relief.
Rosemary oil is also anti-inflammatory which can be effective for relieving headaches, muscle soreness, and arthritic pain when massaged into the affected area.
Peppermint oil comes from the peppermint plant and its main active ingredient is menthol, it’s been used for centuries in holistic medicine. A study also found that when a solution containing menthol was applied to the forehead of participants experiencing migraines, the migraine improved significantly after a few hours.
It can also ease stomach pain and relax the muscles in the intestine to relieve muscle spasms. Its relaxing effects are also great for relieving tension in the back, neck and shoulders.
Eucalyptus oil is very soothing and according to research can help ease pain and inflammation. Eucalyptus oil is a natural pain reliever and can be used in several ways. So if you are in pain there are several things you can try such as a spray, cream, bath bombs or oils to massage into the skin, its warm sensation will help take your mind off the pain.
CLARY SAGE OIL
Clary sage oil is one of the most soothing and relaxing essential oils. Its key components are linalool and linalyl acetate, analgesics that can help soothe pain and reduce swelling and skin inflammation.
A study by researchers concluded that clary sage oil has anti-inflammatory effects because of the anti-oxidants found within it.
Another study also found that clary sage oil, when blended with additional essential oils, can also be helpful in relieving painful periods (dysmenorrhea).
I have used clove oil for centuries because of its strong pain-relieving effects. It is most commonly used for the relief of tooth aches as it contains eugenol, which is a natural anaesthetic which helps to numb the pain. Eugenol also has natural anti-inflammatory properties, which helps reduce irritation and swelling.
– Dip a cotton swab or cotton ball in a few drops of clove oil
– Wipe the oil over the gum or point of pain
– Leave it there until the pain subsides
You may think of ginger as something that only belongs in the kitchen, but ginger oil is another essential oil commonly used for the relief of all different pain and inflammation.
Ginger oil has been used in folk medicine because of its anti-inflammatory properties, which can be effective for the relieving joint, back and nerve pain, soothing aches and reducing inflammation. It’s especially effective when used topically or rubbed into the muscle.
HOW TO USE ESSENTIAL OILS FOR PAIN RELIEF
There are few different ways you can use essential oils for pain relief, and a few drops go a long way. Essential oils are very concentrated, so always dilute your essential oil with a carrier oil when applying to the skin.
Here are few common carrier oils you can use:
Mix a few drops of essential oil diluted with a carrier oil and massage it into the affected area to help reduce inflammation and pain. Just be sure to do a skin patch test first to see how it reacts on your skin.
You can also inhale essential oils. Add a few drops to a diffuser and let the aroma fill the room. You can also add a few drops to a bowl or sink of hot water, place your head over the bowl, cover your head with a towel and inhale.
A warm bath can really help to ease tension and soothe aches and pains, and adding essential oils can help you better relax. Add a few drops of the oil of your choice to your bath and have a soak. The essential oils will enter your skin and will you’ll also be able to inhale the aroma from the steam.
Although essential oils aren’t a cure for chronic pain or any other pain, you may experience, they are a good natural alternative or addition to managing pain.
If you choose to give essential oils a try, be sure to do your research first, so you are fully aware of any risks and benefits associated with the oils.
There are a lot of essential oils available for purchase online and in stores, however, ingredients in each may vary depending on where you buy it from. Always purchase certified therapeutic grade and organic essential oils. If you’re uncertain, speak with a certified aromatherapist who’ll be able to give you the best advice.
ALWAYS BE SAFE
- If you’re breastfeeding, pregnant, or have any health condition, be sure to check with your doctor before trying any essential oil.
- ALWAYS do a patch test, as some people react differently and may be allergic to essential oils.
- DO NOT apply essential oils directly to the skin and ALWAYS dilute with a carrier oil.
- DO NOT apply essential oils to the eyes, sensitive areas, irritated or broken skin.
- NEVER ingest essential oil.
- If you experience any side effects or irritation, stop using immediately.
- Buy ONLY therapeutic grade, organic essential oils.
- ONLY purchase from reputable sellers.
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