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Why Use Essential Oils for Muscle Pain?
What a muscle in pain needs most is individualized attention.
This is something only a topical approach can offer, and something essential oils are ideally suited to provide.
Furthermore, essential oils carry with them no known risk of drowsiness, mental drug-induced “fog” states, slowed reaction times, digestive upset, increasing dependency that can lead to addiction and other even more serious side effects that are frequently cited with use of medications for pain management.
Essential Oil Recipe for Muscle Pain
This recipe applies to each of the essential oils listed here.
The essential oils can be used on their own or mixed in a carrier oil base.
A “carrier oil” is a base oil that is plant-based (seeds, roots, leaves, nuts).
Many essential oils are so potent in their pure, undiluted state that they can actually cause skin irritation.
However once they are diluted in a carrier oil, they become mild enough for safe topical or aromatherapy use.
Many carrier oils also have their own medicinal properties, including anti-inflammatory, antiviral, anti-fungal, anti-oxidant, anti-biotic, anti-microbial and anti-allergen properties.
There is no one “best” carrier oil to choose – different skin types may respond better to one or another, and the best approach is to do a small skin test before choosing a base oil to use.
After choosing a carrier oil, this recipe will work for any essential oil alone or in combination with other essential oils.
– 1/2 cup (4 ounces) carrier oil of choice
– 8 to 12 drops essential oil of choice
Combine both ingredients in a dark glass bottle (dark blue, dark green or amber-orange works best to reduce sun damage to contents) with a cap or eye dropper top.
Use as needed.
The most effective way is to massage the mixture directly into the affected area, using soft kneading motions with fingers and palms to ensure the oil’s healing properties penetrate to the painful muscles.
Best Essential Oils for Muscle Pain
These essential oils have specific properties as noted to directly address muscle pain and begin the process of healing.
1. Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint oil tops the list of essential oils known to ease muscle pain, aches, and soreness because of its analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-spasmodic properties.
Peppermint oil can be used to help treat muscle and muscle tension aches in different forms.
Peppermint essential oil can be used as a massage oil for the affected area.
It can also be used in a cold compress or added to a hot bath.
It should be noted.
However, that peppermint oil should never be placed directly onto the skin or orally when it is undiluted.
It should also be avoided if you find that you have very sensitive skin.
2. Lemongrass Essential Oil
Not only is lemongrass delicious in cooking, but it is also an ancient, well-known remedy for everything from digestive issues to aches and pains.
Lemongrass also contains a large number of essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to help the body heal.
Lemongrass essential oil makes a great massage oil when mixed with sweet almond oil.
It can also be added to a hot bath or bath products to help inflammation and pain associated with your muscles or other such areas.
Lemongrass oil can be used in a vaporizer and inhaled, ingested, or applied topically.
To effectively alleviate muscle pain and muscle tension, however, it is best used topically and massaged into the skin.
Keep in mind that you may experience some skin irritation, discomfort, or even a rash when using lemongrass oil topically, so it is best to test it on a small area of skin before proceeding.
3. Chamomile Essential Oil
Chamomile is right up there with lavender oil as a natural calming agent for both body and mind.
Chamomile is often used in tea form to promote sleep, but in essential oil form, it can promote the same calming effect in any area of the body.
Chamomile oil has very potent and powerful anti-inflammatory properties, and when added to a carrier oil, it can then be applied topically to the sore areas of your body to help reduce the inflammation and alleviate any pain you are experiencing.
If you find that your skin becomes irritated or red, you should consult with your doctor before continuing use.
4. Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender essential oil is prized for its scent as well as for its health properties.
While it is popular in many arenas, from culinary to candles, lavender oil is perhaps best known for its ability to ease muscle stiffness, soreness, and aches.
Lavender essential oil is also mild enough to be used undiluted directly on the skin.
Several drops of lavender essential oil can also be added to a hot bath to help with pain control and provide much-needed relief from sore muscles and joints.
5. Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Eucalyptus is enduringly popular for fighting congestion from colds and flu.
However, the same soothing, cooling, expanding properties that open up sinuses and ease chest pressure can feel equally good on sore muscles.
Eucalyptus essential oil has been found to help reduce pain when inhaled for up to thirty minutes per day for three days.
Simply place the essential oil into a diffuser (up to four drops will be more than sufficient) and then inhale the essential oil to begin to help ease any pain you may be experiencing.
6. Rosemary Essential Oil
Rosemary is not only a flavorful herb for cooking, but it is also a well-known herbal healer in rural and survivalist circles.
In part this is due to a unique ability to grow and thrive on the moisture from humid air alone – no watering is required.
Rosemary essential oil is also mild enough to be used directly on skin without dilution in a carrier oil.
A rosemary essential oil blend has been found to help relieve swelling and pain when it is applied topically because of its powerful anti-inflammatory properties.
7. Marjoram Essential Oil
Marjoram is another spice that is perhaps best known to chefs, but its sweet scent makes it popular in candles and essential oil diffusers as well.
Marjoram actually has an ancient history as an herbal-based healer.
One of its best-known uses in this capacity is to reduce pain from sore muscles.
8. Juniper Essential Oil
Juniper is perhaps best known as the natural flavoring agent for gin.
But juniper in essential oil format has a lot more to offer than just pleasant (and fragrant) intoxication.
The health benefits of juniper essential oil are plenty and its healing properties can help improve blood circulation, relieve muscular cramps, muscle soreness and can help with inflammation.
However, it should not be used if you are experiencing any kind of kidney problems and it should always be used in low concentrations.
9. Yarrow Essential Oil
Yarrow is one of those plants that grows well in most areas, yet most people don’t recognize it as the powerful healer it is.
Historical lore highlights that yarrow was well known in earlier centuries – even earning it the nickname “soldier’s woundwort.”
The Navajo Indians also include yarrow in its small group of “Life Medicines” for its ability to heal bruises, wounds and natural bandage-forming properties.
10. Ginger Essential Oil
Ginger is an aromatic and delicious addition to teas, main dishes, desserts, and garnishes.
Ginger also has other uses that many people aren’t aware of – namely, it is a powerful healer.
Ginger root and its active ingredients, gingerols, and sesquiterpenes, is being studied with greater frequency as a source of enhanced healing for athletes who need to rebound quickly from normal muscle soreness and inflammation during training.
Recent studies have shown up to a 13 percent reduction in muscle and joint pain, soreness, and inflammation after just one day of using ginger.
Benefits of Essential Oils for Muscle Pain
While many of these essential oils will work wonders alone, you may find increased benefits when you combine two or more and apply the essential oil blend topically to the sore area.
Essential oils carry many properties that can help naturally improve blood circulation and relieve muscle spasms and backaches and provide adequate pain relief without all the side effects you may experience with other pain medications or muscle relaxers.
Additionally, each of these essential oils is widely considered to be the “best of the best” at what they do.
Easing muscle aches and pains, relieving tight and stiff muscles and tissues, reducing swelling and inflammation, calming and sedating the whole body system and speeding up the overall healing and recovery process.
But there is no need to tackle all of the essential oils on the list at once. Pick out one favorite – perhaps something that is already on-hand – and follow the included recipe to mix up a batch of soothing, restorative essential oil balm.