Essential Oils and Joint Discomfort - Everyday Essentials

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Essential Oil Glossary: Women's Health

Essential Oils and Joint Discomfort

using essential oils to help alleviate arthritis joint pain

Ongoing, persistent joint pain can cause daily discomfort. Everyday tasks can become frustrating and painful, severely reducing your ability to live life at its fullest. Arthritis, the all-encompassing term for joint pain and joint disease, affects more than 50 million adults and 300,000 children and is the leading cause of disability among adults in America [1]. Inflamed joints, swelling, pain, stiffness, and a decrease in range of motion are often associated with arthritis.

Thankfully, essential oils are concentrated compounds with the ability to help maintain comfort when joint pain is interfering with your life. These suggestions are merely that — suggestions. How an individual reacts to an essential oil is very unique and may require some trial and error to find out what truly works best for your personal situation.

With that in mind, here are some of our favorite essential oils for arthritis:

Ginger

ginger root can be used to support arthritis discomfort

Ginger is widely known to help reduce inflammation, which consequently can lower the pain and discomfort associated with stiff and sore joints. A study from the University of Miami was reported on by the Arthritis Foundation to show that ginger extract affects certain inflammatory processes at a cellular level. The study compared the effects of a highly concentrated ginger extract to placebo in 247 patients with osteoarthritis of the knee. The ginger reduced pain and stiffness in knee joints by 40 percent over the placebo [2].

So if you’re looking for a good essential oil to help provide relief to your discomfort, our Ginger Root CO2 would be a good place to start. Just keep in mind that this is a powerful oil and only needs a 1% dilution. Add it to your favorite carrier oil and massage onto the affected area. You could try warming the carrier oil or using a warm compress to help increase relief.

Frankincense

frankincense can be used to help alleviate arthritis joint pain

Frankincense Essential Oil can inhibit certain inflammatory molecules that may be present for people suffering from arthritis, making it a great option to help reduce discomfort associated with joints and tendons [3]. Studies have shown that the decreased progress of these inflammatory molecules helps prevent the breakdown of cartilage tissue, which reduces inflammation [4]. Plus, it smells fantastic and can rejuvenate skin — making it a wonderful essential oil to apply topically!

It’s as simple as adding 2 drops of Frankincense into a teaspoon of your favorite carrier oil (that makes a 2% dilution), and massaging it onto the areas that are needing some relief!

Eucalyptus

eucalyptus can help alleviate arthritis joint pain

With its characteristic penetrating and refreshing aroma, Eucalyptus Essential Oil is pretty popular around the world. It’s widely known for supporting respiratory issues, but it has demonstrated its ability to reduce the perception of pain while calming swelling and inflammation [5].

Plant Therapy carries three different Eucalyptus oils: Globulus, Radiata, and Dives. Dilute each of these to 2-4% in a carrier oil and rub onto aching or swollen joints for some relief.

Copaiba

copaiba oleoresin can help relieve joint pain, arthritis discomfort

Copaiba is widely known for its ability to help alleviate sore muscles and joints. It’s a prime candidate for an essential oil that supports the pain-relieving needs of those suffering from arthritis. This is due in part to its large quantity of beta-caryophyllene, which interacts with cannabinoid receptors in the body and releasing beta-endorphin [6].

This is such hopeful news for the millions of people around the world who suffer from daily chronic pain! Try adding 2 drops each of Copaiba Oleoresin and Frankincense Serrata in a tablespoon of your favorite carrier oil and massage onto the areas of concern.

Lavender

lavender can be used to help alleviate joint pain arthritis discomfort

Inflamed, stiff joints are not the least bit comfortable to deal with throughout the day. And even though we can’t all live pain-free all the time, we can use Lavender Essential Oil to feel more comfortable. Lavender’s pain-relieving properties have been widely studied [7], and results from these studies tell us that topically applying Lavender is an amazing way to soothe discomfort.

When diluted to 2-5%, this sweetly scented oil can be massaged onto the aches and pains causing discomfort. The additional benefit of using Lavender is that this oil is known to have soothing effects on the mind. This is great to help calm the frustration associated with living day to day with arthritis.

Turmeric

turmeric can help alleviate joint pain arthritis discomfort

This warm, spicy scent may be familiar to cooking enthusiasts, but did you know you can use Turmeric Essential Oil to help provide comfort to inflamed joints? An active constituent in Turmeric, called curcumin, has demonstrated soothing effects on joints and may be effective at helping relieve some of the discomforts for those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis [8].

In fact, a study out of Japan has shown that curcumin significantly reduces inflammation due to its relationship with interleukin-6, an inflammatory cytokine known to be involved in the arthritis process [9].

Rapid Relief Blend

Rapid relief synergy blend to help alleviate joint pain arthritis discomfort

Relief for uncomfortable, sore joints is what this blend was made for! With the warming oils of Clove Bud, Black Pepper, Cinnamon Cassia, Ginger Root CO2, and Thyme Thymol, plus the added therapeutic benefits of Peppermint, Laurel Leaf,  Chamomile German, and Juniper Berry, using Rapid Relief guarantees you will be using an expertly blended mix of essential oils that will help warm the area of concern and increase circulation, giving you a sense of relief and ease.

Dilute to 5% in Aloe Vera Jelly or your favorite carrier oil and massage directly onto the area of concern.

 

Sources:

[1] What is Arthritis? (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.arthritis.org/about-arthritis/understanding-arthritis/what-is-arthritis.php

[2] Health benefits of Ginger for Arthritis. (2015). Retrieved from http://blog.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/health-benefits-of-ginger/

[3] Blain, E., Ali, A.,, Duance, V.. (2010). Boswellia frereana (frankincense) suppresses cytokine-induced matrix metalloproteinase expression and production of pro-inflammatory molecules in articular cartilage. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19943332

[4] Hamidpour, R., Hamidpour, S., Hamidpour, M., & Shahlari, M. (2013). Frankincense (乳香 Rǔ Xiāng; Boswellia Species): From the Selection of Traditional Applications to the Novel Phytotherapy for the Prevention and Treatment of Serious Diseases. Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine, 3(4), 221–226. http://doi.org/10.4103/2225-4110.119723

[5] Jun, Y., Kang, P., Min, S., Lee, J., Kim, H., & Seol, G. (2013). Effect of Eucalyptus Oil Inhalation on Pain and Inflammatory Responses after Total Knee Replacement: A Randomized Clinical Trial. Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine.  Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/249322327_Effect_of_Eucalyptus_Oil_Inhalation_on_Pain_and_Inflammatory_Responses_after_Total_Knee_Replacement_A_Randomized_Clinical_Trial

[6] Copaiba Oil. Retrieved from https://tisserandinstitute.org/learn-more/copaiba-oil/

[7] Silva, GL., Luft, C., Lunardelli, A., Amaral, RH., Melo, DA., Donadio, MV., Nunes FB., De Azambuja, MS., Santana, JC., Moraes, CM., Mello, RO., Cassel, E., Pereira, MA., De Oliveira, JR. (2015).  Antioxidant, analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects of lavender essential oil. Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências, 87(2, Suppl. ), 1397-1408. Epub August 04, 2015.https://dx.doi.org/10.1590/0001-3765201520150056

[8] Curcumin. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/dietary-factors/phytochemicals/curcumin

[9] Wada, T., Araki, Y., Sato, K., Aizaki, Y., Yokota, K., Kim, Y., Oda, H., Kurokawa, R., Mimura, T. (2014). Aberrant histone acetylation contributes to elevated interleukin-6 production in rheumatoid arthritis synovial fibroblasts. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24513290

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86 thoughts on “Essential Oils and Joint Discomfort”

  • My daughter was diagnosed with RA last year and has been struggling to find some treatments other than drugs. I will have her read your artilce. On thing we are trying is PEMF therapy and having good results. Thanks

    1. We recommend consulting with your doctor about using essential oils while you’re taking medication.

    1. Frankincense Carteri and Frankincense Serrata are both great choices for pain. You can also check out our post on the different types of Frankincense to help you in the future.

  • Great post. My husband and I both have joint problems. I just mixed up a roller bottle with ginger, frankincense and turmeric with hempseed oil. Can’t wait to see the results. I have all of these so I just need to find the right combination that works for us. Thank you plant therapy for all of these great oils.

  • Thank you PT for your wonderful guidance. I will try ginger, Frank Incence, eucalyptus and lavender but do not have
    copaiba or turneric. Could I make do with what I have or have to have them all. Please let me know.

  • I love using ginger root CO2 and copaiba for pain relief. They were so useful when I injured my elbow.

  • My knee just started bothering me and I have a few of these oils on hand. Currently mixing up a roller! Thank you!

  • How wonderful !!! always looking for more pain blend info to rotate into my therapy !!! Always appreciate all the info you share with us 🙂

  • I have had persistent knee pain due to overuse since college. I have been searching for anything other than medicine to ease the pain. Using these EOs gives immediate relief.

  • Great information. I just contacted the aromatherapists to ask about making a master blend with the single oils listed. Since arthritis is one of my major concerns, it’s helpful to have a list of the most useful oils for joint pain.

  • I have osteoarthritis in my tail bone and shoulder as well as rotator cuff muscle tear which I’m going to phyisotherapy for, I ordered the Rapid Relief last week in the hopes that it will relieve the majority of my pain.

  • My dad’s hippos bone in bone from a car accident 12yrs ago. I’m going to try to help his pain/arthritis. I have hemp seed oil and aloe including lavender aole. Could I mix the aloe and hemp seeds oil? Could I use the lavender aloe instead of lavendar oil?

    1. Aimee, you can absolutely make that blend! Lavender Aloe is also a great choice to use in place of lavender essential oil, since you’ll get the benefits of both the aloe and the lavender 🙂

  • Very helpful article as a loved one was just diagnosed with arthritis in the knee. We’ve combined turmeric, black pepper and copaiba with success. Now we’ll experiment with ginger and see how it helps! Thank you, PT!

  • PT is the best company EVER! I’m so glad I made the switch. Thank You to the whole PT team! Your knowledge base, your feedback, your oils, PT
    is the best company EVER!

  • My 11 year old son was recently diagnosed with arthritis. I’ve been looking for anything and everything I can find to try and help him. Thank you so much for sharing this information!

    1. Tiffany, we really hope this information benefits your son! If you have any questions or want more information, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team of aromatherapists at [email protected] 🙂

  • Would it be ok to add frankincense serrata to the rapid relief blend with hemp as a carrier? In a 10 ml roller bottle, how many drops of each?

    1. Laura, you can sure give that blend a try and see how it works for you 🙂 In a 10 mL roller bottle, try 6 drops of Rapid Relief and 3 drops of Frankincense Serrata. This will make a 3% dilution. And Hemp makes a fabulous carrier. I hope this helps!

  • Thanks for the info. My question is can you mix all of the EOs mentioned in this article together in one master blend? If so what would be the amount of drops for each EO to make that master blend? Then how many drops of the master blend would you use in a carrier oil for a 10ml roller bottle? Or would a salve or lotion make the effects last the longest?

  • I use a blend of turmeric, lavender, ginger, peppermint and copaiba in hempseed oil and it works wonders.

  • how would i use the rapid relief and the aloe jelly? the whole bottle of the jelly then the proper dilution of the oil? or the jelly in a roller bottle? then the oil???

    1. Trista, if you want to keep a blend of Aloe Jelly and Rapid Relief for a while to use as needed without having to mix every time, you can do that. Try an ounce of Aloe Jelly with a 3%-5% dilution (that would be between 27 and 45 drops of Rapid Relief). On the other hand, if you want to use this blend just occasionally and do not mind mixing it every time, you can make a much smaller amount, even just a teaspoon of Aloe Jelly with 3-7 drops of Rapid Relief. It’s really up to you how you would like to blend these together and how you would like to store them — just remember to store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place 🙂 Hope this helps!

  • Will this need a preservative or is it good to go because the Aloe Vera Jelly already contains a preservative?

  • For my arthritic joints and lower back pain, a rub consisting of Frankincense, Copaiba, Ginger n Tingly Mint does the trick. Very warming and tingly. Best part is the relief stays till you shower. So glad I found PT.

  • I guess I’ll need to get ginger and turmeric! I have the beginnings of arthritis in my hips (at age 26-grrrr!) and it can get pretty painful so I guess I should figure something out for the long haul here. Thanks so much for the information!

  • I pulled the muscle behind my knee (popliteus) a couple of weeks ago. I took some aloe vera gel and mixed in ginger, frankincense and copaiba. I put it on the muscle a couple of times a day. In a day or so, the pain was completely gone!

    1. I have been reading this post hoping to find something to give me some relief, I tore my rotator cuff in September and I’m on the wait list to see a physiotherapist, have been almost pain free the last few weeks but with the Christmas rush and doing too much I’m having a lot of pain today, so I’m glad to see Kathy Woodhall’s post on what has helped her pain. I have frankincense and copaiba on order so hopefully that comes soon and helps relieve some of my pain.

  • I bought Rapid Relief for a neighbor struggling with joint issues. I was trying to figure out a way to make a spray for her, so she could apply it easily (rather than using a roller ball) I didn’t even think of using aloe jelly! I can just add the drops to one of PT’s aloe bottles! I love this idea!

  • Thank you for such a wonderful resource! A dear friend of mine is dealing with Joint Discomfort and I just recently made a blend of Frankincense /Copaiba and added it to some rich lotion. This just confirms that I was going in the right direction! I think I will add some Lavender to my next batch 🙂

  • Thank you for grouping all of this info into one article. I already have, and use, most of these singes. I also use Rapid Relief, which lives up to its name. I plan to purchase the singles I do not have. Love Plant Therapy and your dedication to educatio and safety!

  • I’ve had on-again/off-again issues with sore joints since I was a little girl, so finding out that there’s a specific blend geared towards sore joints is a major win for me. I’ll be looking into Rapid Relief asap!

  • Thank you for the wealth of information. My husband uses frankincense, but maybe some other ones like ginger or coupabia will provide better relief.

  • With the flu season arriving, my husband has been experiencing some joint pains. It’s usually his first symptom he’s coming down with something. I have most of these oils, will definitely be using these ASAP

  • I love mixing these oils into a body butter then chilling it and using when needed. The oils and the cooling feel great on my achy joints!

  • This blog post is just what I needed to know. I now need to purchase some of these oils. Thanks so much for the great information!!!

  • I have rapid relief and will try this! Thanks! Is there something equivalent to this in the kidsafe line?

  • Perfect timing for this blog. I have arthritis in my right foot. Will definitely try this. Why does it have to be diluted?

    1. Carol, essential oils are very strong and should not be used “neat” without diluting (in a carrier oil, lotion, aloe vera gel, etc.). Using neat can cause a person to become sensitized to the essential oil and not be able to use that oil again. Robert Tisserand (world renown EO expert) also notes that using a carrier with EOs can actually help them to absorb into your body better. I’m just a customer, not an aromatherapist, but these are things I have learned from them. If you have more questions, I hope you will email one of the aromatherapists and ask- go to the very bottom of the page and click on Contact Us. Good luck! 🙂

  • This is so useful! My husband has achy joints and he finds relief with cooling gels but we’ve been talking about finding something more natural. This is perfect. I’ll be saving this link. Thanks so much!

  • I needed this post today! What great timing.. Woke up with burning joints.. 🙁
    Just a question.. Which frankincense do you recommend?
    (I’ll be blending with Copaiba and tumeric – in hemp maybe?… I usually use jojoba)

  • Thanks for the tip – I usually mix Rapid Relief into carrier for pain relief; I’ll have to try mixing it with aloe vera jelly next time! One question though, is it okay to mix the Rapid Relief blend with muscle aloe jelly as well?

    1. I would not recommend adding additional oils to the Muscle Aloe Jelly, as it already contains many oils.

    2. I’m new to Rapid Relief, hoping to ease Achilles tendinitis. How do I properly blend with a carrier, such as coconut oil? How many drops to how much coconut oil? Thank you.

      1. Hi, Karen, I copied this from the article: “It’s as simple as adding 2 drops of Frankincense into a teaspoon of your favorite carrier oil (that makes a 2% dilution), and massaging it onto the areas that are needing some relief!”

        So you can pour a teaspoon of coconut oil into a small bowl, add 2 to 4 drops of essential oils (for a 2 to 4% dilution), mix well, and apply. Hope it works well for you! 🙂

        P.S. I’m just a customer. If you need more info, please email one of PT’s aromatherapists- they’re the best! See bottom of page: “Contact Us”.

  • Nice article. I suffer with debilitating chronic pain. Thanks to essential oils and CBD, I no longer take ANY destructive RX meds. What a tremendous blessing!!

  • I’m so excited to try turmeric for my rheumatoid arthritis. I’ve heard of turmeric supplements, but never thought I’d EOs.

  • I have tried almost all of these oils for my aching knees, ginger, tumeric and copaiba seem to work well for myself and the eucalyptus is great for nerve pain that I get. Who does not love Frank and Lavender!! 😉 so many uses. I really want to try rapid relief when funds allow, hear wonderful things about it.

  • I didn’t realize ginger would help… Nice to know that. I’ll have to try that and copaiba also. Great timing PT

  • the information in this article pertaining to copaiba is exactly (!) the information I am currently researching. thank you once again for sharing information so succinctly. the best education, thank you!

  • Thanks for sharing this! I’ll have to start trying a few new combos for my pain I get after photographing weddings. I have Copaiba, so it looks like Frankinsense will be a good next purchase.

  • Perfect timing for this post. With cold weather coming, my joints are unhappy. I hope to try a few of these tips to bring relief.

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