What is Arthritis?
Arthritis is the medical term for inflammation of the joints. It can affect one or more joints, and there are many different types of arthritis including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is common in older (50+) people, while rheumatoid arthritis can affect any age. Common symptoms include joint pain, stiffness, and swelling.
Arthritis can have many different causes. Some of them include overuse of joints (example: athletes), age, injury, obesity, genetics, and other disorders. Osteoarthritis is common when the breakdown of cartilage that protects the joints is fast-tracked by overuse or obesity. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease where the immune system attacks the synovium that supports the cartilage and joints.
How can essential oils help arthritis?
One study concluded that lavender essential oil could be effective in reducing pain in patients with knee osteoarthritis. Another concluded that a blend of Wintergreen, Camphor, Peppermint, Ylang Ylang, Helichrysum, Blue Tansy, Blue Chamomile, and Osmanthus essential oils could be effective in reducing pain in patients with hand arthritis.
Certain essential oils are known to be anti-inflammatory and to reduce minor pains. Here is a list of calming essential oils that may be used.
How to use essential oils for arthritis?
The most common way of using essential oils for arthritis is topical application. You can use one ounce of a carrier oil like fractionated coconut oil or jojoba oil to dilute 10-20 drops of essential oil. Never apply essential oils without diluting them. Rub over the affected joints one to two times a day.
Alternatively, 20 drops of essential oils can be added to a warm bath. Adding Epsom salts can also help soothe joints. Soak for 20-30 minutes to allow the essential oils to absorb into the skin. Diffusing essential oils can also be helpful for arthritis. Since joints tend to be stiffer in the morning, diffusing oils right out of bed can help soothe and relax the body.