The 5 Best Anti-Inflammatory Essential Oils
Arthritis, sunburn, and sore muscles — at first sight, these conditions might seem very different. At bottom though, they are all examples of your body experiencing inflammation.
Inflammation is normally a useful mechanism that your body uses to defend and repair itself. However, inflammation isn’t always helpful, particularly if it’s overactive or sticks around for too long. In these cases, it becomes a painful nuisance, and it can even lead to additional diseases or health problems.
Fortunately, there are numerous ways to reduce inflammation, from folk medicines to serious pharmaceutical drugs. And now, you can add another powerful method to your anti-inflammatory toolbox.
Essential oils — basically aromatic plant extracts — have been shown in repeated scientific studies to be a natural and effective method for dealing with inflammatory conditions. Various essential oils can ease the swelling, redness, and pain that are the typical (and unpleasant) hallmarks of inflammation.
5 proven anti-inflammatory essential oils
Many essential oils are reputed to have anti-inflammatory properties. However, here is a list of 5 essential oils that have multiple scientific studies to back up their anti-inflammatory powers:
- Tea Tree
- Bay Leaf
The first step is to get one or two of these oils. You certainly don’t need to get all of them at once, though essential oils often work synergistically — so a blend of related oils can be more effective than a single oil alone.
Once you have your anti-inflammatory essential oils, you can use them in several different ways.
Essential oils for skin inflammation
If you are experiencing a rash, a bug bite, or a sunburn, then skin inflammation is a big part of what’s bothering you. A simple way to deal with this is to add anti-inflammatory essential oils to your normal skin cream or lotion and apply this to the inflamed area. A good ratio to use is 1 drop of essential oil to 1 teaspoon of cream or lotion.
A point of caution: less is more when it comes to essential oils. Very small amounts of essential oils can be effective in reducing inflammation… while larger amounts of essential oils can themselves irritate your skin.
Essential oils for inflamed joints and muscles
A similar approach can help with aching joints and muscles. You can either mix your essential oils with your favorite lotion (again using a ratio of 1 drop to 1 teaspoon). Alternately, you can combine the essential oils with a massage oil such as almond oil and massage this blend into the pained, inflamed area.
Other ways to use essential oils for inflammation
An aromatic bath can be a great way to relax inflamed joints and muscles. Simply mix a few drops of essential oils with a teaspoon of your shampoo or body lotion and add this to your bathwater. Don’t add the essential oils to the water directly — essential oils don’t mix with water and might be too concentrated when they come into contact with your skin.
A final option is to just inhale the essential oils directly from the bottle. Compounds found in essential oils can make their way from your lungs, to your bloodstream, to different areas of your body. In this way, simply inhaling essential oils can also be a way to achieve relief from a painful inflammatory condition.
Also, read Best Essential Oils for Anxiety
ABOUT John Bejakovic
John Bejakovic is a writer who’s interested in natural ways to improve everyday health. He blogs about essential oils and the science behind them at unusualhealth.com.