Imagine whiffing lavender or ginger oil and you’ll surely time travel to your grandma’s backyard and it will surely bring back a lot of pleasant memories.
But more than the pleasing smell of essential oils, it can also soothe your body and relieve pain.
- What is Aromatherapy?
- How does Aromatherapy work?
- Essential Oils are a Natural Solution for Pain Relief
What is Aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy or also known as essential oil therapy is a traditional holistic treatment that uses natural plant extracts to promote health and well-being.
It was believed to have rooted in ancient China and was popularized by the Egyptians as they developed the first distillation machines to extract oils from certain plants that they use to embalm the dead.
The Greeks also has contribution in the history of aromatherapy as they claim in Greek mythology that the Gods were gifted with knowledge of fragrance and perfume.
However, the term “aromatherapy” was only invented in 1937 when a French chemist discovered the healing power of essential oils and the medical benefits of essential oils has been used widely during World War II.
Fast forward to today, a lot of people are now using essential oils to alleviate various ailments in the body and mostly for pain.
There are a number of different oils that are said to quickly ease muscle tension, pain and swelling and if you want to know a pain reliever that is more natural, you might want to consider using essential oils.
How does Aromatherapy work?
The only difference between topical medications to aromatherapy is that in the former, you lather the pain reliever in the affected area and in using essential oils, the oil that was absorbed by the skin ends up in the bloodstream and the same thing happen once you inhale the scent.
The herb chemicals gets absorbed through tissues in the nose and goes to the lungs.
These chemicals will eventually reach the limbic system- the part of our brain that is responsible for our instinct and emotions and that scent can alter our perception of pain and eventually improve our mood.
It was discovered after further medical studies that aromatherapy is linked with:
- Improvement of mood, mostly anxiety and depression.
- It reduces pain.
- Reduced heart rate.
- Lessen inflammation.
- Decreases the production of the hormone called cortisol that is associated with stress hormone.
Here are some of the widely used essential oils that could be useful to you too:
Peppermint oil is one of the most potent analgesics because of the high percentage of menthol content. Menthol has a cooling effect on sore and achy muscles.
Hence, it is widely used for pain of and aside from that, peppermint also has antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties.
Essential oil combinations for sore muscles are: Helichrysum oil and Marjoram oil because of their ability to ease pain and inflammation.
You can try out different combination to see which oil best works for you.
One of the most popular essential oils and prized for its ability to calm and relax, lavender is the most widely used and studied oil because it is a multipurpose oil for variety of ailments.
Several clinical studies showed that lavender can alleviate headaches and muscle pain and it also relieves inflammation.
Other essential oils for pain and inflammation that works with lavender are: Roman and German chamomile oils, rosemary oil and yarrow oil.
You can either use them separately or combine them to create your own blend but either way they work to soothe muscle tension and reduce spasms in general.
A clinical review conducted in 2015 revealed that eucalyptus oil can cure ailments such as flu, wounds and arthritis.
The anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties of eucalyptus oil can have cooling effects in muscles and joints.
If you are looking for essential oils for pain and inflammation, lemongrass oil is the first one on the list.
Known to quickly reduce inflammation and swelling, lemongrass is known for its notable anti-inflammatory properties.
Once inflammation has been reduced it may actually lead to reduced pain.
Aside from being a kitchen staple, ginger has other effects outside the kitchen and one of it is to relieve pain.
It is one of the most used essential oils for osteoarthritis pain because of its anti-inflammatory properties.
A beautiful flower coming from the sunflower family is Arnica.
An herb that grows in places with temperament climate.
The oil from this plant is good for treating bruises, sore throat, osteoarthritis and many other conditions.
It can relieve swelling and inflammation while soothing the skin at the same time.
Carrying the same analgesic properties similar to peppermint oil, Wintergreen contains methyl salicylate that works similarly as aspirin.
However, those taking blood thinners and other medication should take precaution as wintergreen can increase the risk of bleeding so it would be best to consult the doctor first before using this essential oil.
Another essential oil that is good for alleviating muscle spasms, inflammation and tension is Sandalwood oil.
It also contains anti-inflammatory properties that are similar to the medications that can be purchased over-the-counter.
Sandalwood oil is ideal for back pain as it can reduce inflammation that will eventually decrease pain.
Roman Chamomile Oil
Initially used as tea for sick people to drink, Roman Chamomile oil was soon discovered to be potent to treat human ailment such as hay fever, muscle spasms, menstrual disorders, inflammation, ulcers, insomnia, rheumatic pains and many other ailments.
Together with lavender and peppermint, this essential oils for nerve pain works wonder.
But amongst all, Roman Chamomile oil is employed for its anxiolytic properties or to reduce anxiety in layman’s term.
Mostly used in some of the best dishes, Rosemary is one of nature’s miracle plant.
The oil yielded from this miracle plant is said to contain rich amount of antioxidant and high anti-spasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties making it one of the best essential oils for muscle knots.
Other ailments that rosemary oil can cure includes regularizing the blood pressure and prevents the arteries from hardening.
It also relieves the symptoms of indigestion, colitis, constipation and other digestive system related illness.
The oil’s stimulating properties are found to be beneficial to paralysis and hysteria. The list goes on for the wonders that rosemary oil can do so putting a bottle in your purse is a great idea.
Long before pain reliever was discovered, people are already using clove oil as an anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial/anti-microbial agent.
The clove plant is believed to be the nature’s strongest form of pain relief.
The oil coming from this plant is known to have warming effects on the body and are often used to treat pain.
Ideal for relieving the pain of tooth ache as clove oil can numb the area thus temporarily relieving the pain.
People who are suffering from acute and chronic pain can use thyme essential oil.
This essential oil for neck pain or muscle pain has been used for years as it contains a compound called canvacrol which is proven to reduce the activity of COX-2, an enzyme linked with inflammation, in the body.
The high level of analgesic and anti-spasmodic properties found in thyme oil works together to reduce and alleviate pain.
Clary Sage Oil
Clary sage plant are usually cultivated for flavoring tea but now it is being studied to treat a variety of ailment and other health benefits.
It is known to alleviate muscle tension and spasms while promoting relaxation at the same time.
Clary sage also has antibacterial properties making it an effective treatment for wounds care and an effective strains against several types of bacteria.
Another study indicated that inhaling clary sage oil can also depression due to its natural antidepressant benefits.
Black Pepper Oil
Black pepper is considered to be the king of spices by the traders from hundreds of years ago.
Black pepper can be found in almost every kitchen cabinet but this plant is not only good for cooking purposes because it produces an essential oil with an incredible list of powers.
First on the list is to alleviate pain by warming up the body.
Black pepper oil are also used to reduce nicotine cravings, antioxidant, prevention of hypertension and diabetes, fighting bacteria, and stimulating reflexes.
There are countless of benefits from black pepper oil and because of that, this plant deserves a royal recognition.
Many perfume makers use helichrysum plant in their products but this plant have additional uses in traditional medicine.
Helichrysum Oil relieves inflammation, spasms and pain.
Aside from those, helichrysum oil are also used to prevent infections, fight malaria, heal wounds, prevent weigh gain and many more.
However, though this plant is recognized safe, it is still best to use caution when trying helichrysum oil to avoid complications.
Essential Oils are a Natural Solution for Pain Relief
Our world today is focused on masking the pain rather than healing the body from the inside out, many synthetic medicines and artificial way of treating illness are being promoted for the risky business of pharmaceuticals.
As an alternative, purely potent and highly potent essential oils are being offered.
Several scientific and anecdotal evidence shows increasing evidence of the potent effects of using essential oils to cure a variety of ailments including back pain.
Essential oils provide scientifically and properly documented tested results that are somewhat similar to the effects that you can get from prescriptions that you can get over-the-counter without the detrimental effects on the body.
So next time you found your body aching in pain, consider reaching out for essential oils to get instant relief and prepare yourself to get the powerful healing benefits of plants.
Not only they offer instant relief from pain but they are also perfect for healing you from the inside.
The smell of these essential oils can change the way you feel hence giving you a holistic relief rather than temporary like the ones you get from prescription pain reliever.
But again, we still recommend that you see a doctor if the pain persist or gets worst despite the use of essential oils.
Most essential oils are generally recognized as safe. However, it is still recommended to use them with caution.
Even if they are meant to be applied topically on the skin, it is best to mix one with carrier oil in order to avoid complications.
If not used properly, essential oils can irritate the skin and add to the swelling so adding carrier oil is the best way to prevent such from happening.
Carrier oils can be olive oil, argan oil, coconut oil etc. As a general rule of thumb, for every 15 drops of essential oil add 6 teaspoons of carrier oil to reduce the risk of irritation.
Essential oils are also not suggested for ingestion as they can contain chemicals that are harmful to our internal organs. Thus it should only be used topically or inhaled through diffuser.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women shouldn’t also use essential oils as it may have effects on the babies.
Remember that essential oils are plant based oils and can cause allergic reactions.
Some of the reactions can include headache, wheezing or skin rash so it is best to try rubbing a small amount of oil on the skin first to check if any allergic reaction will show up.
Wait for a day before applying more to make sure.
Also, aromatherapy or using essential oils is only an effective supplement and not as a replacement for other pain therapies.
Hence, if you are taking other medications, you must continue taking them to get full relief.