Inflammation is commonly associated with pain though, in reality, it is our body’s natural response to injuries, as well as from bacterial or viral infections. The pain and discomfort often associated with inflammation can come hand in hand with the body’s attempt to heal itself.
There are cases, however, when our immune system triggers a response even when there are no bacteria or virus to resist, causing damage to the body’s own tissues. This condition is referred to as an autoimmune disorder and the most common example is rheumatoid arthritis. Symptoms associated with this condition include swelling, redness, joint pain and stiffness, and restricted joint functions.
There are anti-inflammatory medications available such as NSAIDs, although they do have a number of side effects you need to be careful of. Fortunately, there are a number of natural essential oils that can provide a safe and effective treatment for inflammation.
Great for: Increasing bloodflow and reducing inflammation
Rosemary has long been used for its restorative property. As an anti-inflammatory remedy, you can use it as a massage oil, especially to treat muscular pains and rheumatism. Rosemary essential oil can help stimulate circulation. It increases blood flow to the muscles and warms the massaged area to reduce inflammation, as well as relieve pain.
Adding a few drops to a hot bath can not only help you combat headaches effectively, but treat muscular and joint pains too.
Great for: Cooling throbbing sensations and reducing stiffness
Peppermint essential oil has analgesic, anesthetic, as well as anti-inflammatory properties, which provide relief for pain (especially migraines), stiffness, and inflammation associated with arthritis. Its even a great natural oil for weight-loss.
As this oil has such a potent scent, combining it with a carrier oil can reduce its punch. Simply dilute a few drops in two tablespoons of jojoba or almond oil before massaging it onto the inflamed joints. Adding a few drops of a citrus oils such as lemon essential oil can help to amplify its cooling, soothing properties.
Great for: It’s anti-inflammatory properties and soothing scent
Lavender essential oil has a number of therapeutic benefits. As well as being a great oil for sleep, its cicatrizant property, for one, is useful for healing wounds, burns, and a host of skin disorders such as psoriasis, dermatitis, and scabies (also making it great for natural shaving).
As an anti-inflammatory solution, lavender is great for joint and muscle stiffness. To use as massage oil, add 5 drops to 10ml of a carrier oil such as wheat germ oil. A lavender bath or compress are also effective for aching muscles.
Great for: Easing and cooling joint and muscle pain
Another versatile oil, eucalyptus essential oil has decongestant and antibacterial properties that are useful for treating respiratory problems, infections and asthma.
Eucalyptus is also known as an anti-inflammatory and an analgesic, making it great for easing muscle and joint pains. You may rub this essential oil onto aching areas directly or mix it with another oil.
Great for: Reducing fever induced inflammation
The health benefits of this essential oil are mostly attributed to its antidepressant, antiseptic, astringent, cicatrisant, sedative and properties. In general, patchouli is great for treating depression and anxieties, as well as providing relief from a number of illnesses.
It is also capable of soothing inflammation, particularly those that are caused by fever. Combined with jojoba or sweet almond oils, patchouli essential oil can be massaged directly to the skin. You may also add several drops to your warm bath to ease your aching muscles and joints.
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