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Arthritis is a blanket term referring to a number of rheumatic conditions. It essentially means inflammation of the joints. It is characterized by painful, stiff, swollen, and even rickety joints. Over time, this condition can lead to degeneration, and can in some cases affect other organs. Conventional therapy addresses the symptoms of arthritis with drugs for pain and inflammation. Taking prescription medication can be effective to a point. It unfortunately will not cure the disease, and drugs often come with negative side effects. Essential oils for arthritis can be used to safely and naturally address problems, while at the same time encouraging healing. Aromatherapy is not a substitute for professional medical care, but it certainly can compliment modern medicine.
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How Aromatherapy Can Help
The use of essential oils can effectively reduce suffering due to arthritis, and potentially even encourage the reversal of the disease in several different ways. Some oils have properties which help to purify the body, removing toxins which may be a foundational cause, or at least could be aggravating joint inflammation. Juniper, peppermint, and hyssop essential oils are ideal for detoxifying. Others will directly relieve pain, with analgesic and antispasmodic properties, such as birch, cypress, and sweet marjoram essential oil. Many essential oils have anti-inflammatory properties, helping to reduce the painful inflammation around joints. Lavender, chamomile, and basil are good examples. Essential oils which increase blood circulation are beneficial as well, such as rosemary and pine.
These oils can be blended together to make aromatherapy tonics for arthritis. To make a therapeutic massage oil, blend three drops each of juniper, basil, and pine with two ounces of jojoba oil. Rub into skin over affected areas. For a healing bath for painful joints, use four drops each of lavender, sweet marjoram, and peppermint essential oil. Add to hot bath water, along with one cup of epsom salts and one cup of baking soda. The epsom salts help to draw out impurities, and the baking soda alkalizes the body. Relax in the medicinal waters for twenty minutes.
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Essential Oils as Part of the Whole
Essential oils for arthritis are an effective way to relieve pain and contribute to healing. They are however, only one aspect of healing. To fully treat arthritis, it is also important to eat a healthy diet, rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, essential fatty acids, and low-fat proteins. Avoid troubling foods and toxins, such as sugar, caffeine, citrus fruits, and alcohol. Get moderate exercise and fresh air for healthy circulation and well-oxygenated blood. Drink healing teas. Try regular detoxification programs. And, see a doctor. Arthritis may be a sign of a more serious problem, or of more potential health issues.
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Balch, Phyllis, CNC. "Prescription for Nutritional Healing, 4th Edition." (The Penguin Group, 2006).
Roth, Debbie. "Anti-inflammatory Foods and Essential Oils." (Bizlightenment) <http://blog.bizlightenment.com/2008/12/08/anti-inflammatory-foods/>
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photo by: Ben Seidelman (CC/flickr) <http://www.flickr.com/photos/bennyseidelman/4217401574/>
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