The Use of Essential Oils for Arthritis

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The pain from arthritis can be frustrating with most treatments offering little relief. Because arthritis has no cure, the only form of treatment is the management of symptoms, particularly the pain and inflammation.

Treatment of Arthritis

There are different approaches and treatment plans for arthritis. However, of the various choices for alleviating the pain and symptoms, the best solutions are treatments that offer pain relief without the usual side effects.

There is a list of holistic arthritis treatments that offer relief without side effects. At the top of this list is the use of essential oils as a form of treatment through aromatherapy. Although this might be a new approach for many, this is actually an old remedy practiced for centuries.


Aromatherapy, also known as essential oils therapy, is the practice of treating various diseases with the use of aroma-producing oils or essential oils from plants. Taken from the leaves, bark, roots, rinds, or flowers, the essential oils are mixed with either alcohol or a carrier oil. Applied directly to the skin or sprayed in the air and inhaled, the fragrance from the oils can provide a calming effect. More importantly, the fragrance of a few select oils can stimulate the body to produce pain-fighting substances.

Aromatherapy as a Treatment for Arthritis

Aromatherapy is associated with relaxation achieved through the pleasant fragrances of essential oils. In fact, essential oils are nature’s best kept healing secrets.

Why are essential oils effective against arthritis? Oils from plants can easily penetrate the cells to provide the necessary nutrients and lipids. This can help heal the injured joints. Some oils can even help restore mobility and rebuild damaged joints.

However, it should be noted that the quality of the essential oils is very important when they are intended for therapeutic use. One needs to avoid most of the aromatherapy oils sold in local stores as these are normally adulterated and of low quality. To make these oils less expensive, other ingredients are combined with them. The problem is these low quality oils are also less effective.

Arthritis Treatment with Essential Oils

To restore the movement and provide relief from joint pains, it is important to choose the right essential oils for arthritis treatment. These essential oils are best suited for managing the symptoms of arthritis.

Curcuma wenyujin – a Chinese study published in Journal of Immunology stated that essential oil isolated from Curcuma wenyujin exerts anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic effects.

Green apple - the smell of green apples from the essential oils can reduce the severity and duration of joint pains. Furthermore, it can reduce muscle contractions and migraine as well.

Ginger – this essential oil has been used against inflammatory joint diseases such as arthritis. The symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis may respond to treatment with ginger essential oil. In addition, ginger is also valued for its analgesic action to help fight the pain.

Basil – this essential oil is an uplifting tonic. This oil is used against gout, rheumatism, and arthritis.

Clove Bud – this plant is a known analgesic. This powerful essential oil can help joint pains when used in conjunction with massage and aromatherapy.

Rosemary – this fortifying and warm essential oil is well known for stimulating the circulatory system. When rubbed into the affected area, rosemary essential oil can help ease the joint pain from arthritis and gout.

Peppermint – this oil is cooling and pain relieving. Excellent for muscular aches and pain in general, this essential oil can help alleviate pain in general.

It is recommended that these oils be diluted with alcohol or extra virgin olive oil in a 1:1 ratio. The oils can then be applied to the affected area for immediate relief. The oils can be reapplied every 15 minutes during attacks.

Make sure to follow instructions from your alternative medicine expert. Do not use for pregnant women and people suffering from epilepsy and high blood pressure. Lastly, never take the oil internally, and avoid contact with the mucous membranes and the eyes.


The use of essential oils for arthritis is a natural and safe treatment with little to no side effects. It is important, however, to consult your doctor for proper guidance if using this alternative form of treatment.


Essential Science Publishing (compiled by), Essential Oils Desk Reference, 2nd Edition. USA, Essential Science Publishing, 2001.