Updated September 16, 2021Essential oils are liquid extracted from plant parts such as leaves, herbs, buds, stems, seeds, barks, and rinds. They’re concentrated into oils to capture a plant’s essence and often used for aromatherapy or even muscle pain relief.In a study on neck pain, patients used an essential oil-based cream and found significant alleviation of pain after just four weeks of regular use.Essential oils are a simple home remedy for pain but always speak with your doctor before usage. We review some out of the best essential oils for pain relief and our favorite ways to use them.1. Peppermint OilPeppermint is frequently used to flavor foods or as a fragrance, but it can also relieve muscle and joint pain and inflammation. It contains the active compound menthol. Pain sufferers will enjoy the crisp and cooling sensation on sore muscles.2. Lavender OilLavender is a versatile essential oil with calmative and analgesic (pain-relieving) properties. Lavender oil is also anti-inflammatory and may improve blood circulation, in turn promoting healing and reducing swelling.3. Eucalyptus OilLike peppermint, eucalyptus oil has a cooling effect. It’s frequently used to relieve colds and to soothe headaches. Its anti-inflammatory compounds reduce muscle pain and promote healing.4. Chamomile OilsThere are two main variations of chamomile essential oils: Roman (Chamaemelum nobile or Anthemis nobillis) and German (Matricaria recutita or Chamomilla recutita). The variations are similar, but German chamomile has a slightly higher concentration of the chemical compound, chamazulene, so you might prefer it over Roman chamomile. Chamomile contains soothing properties to relieve muscle discomfort and is commonly used to relieve arthritis pain.5. Ginger OilGinger has long been used medicinally. It’s an immune booster known for soothing sickness and nausea, but it can also alleviate aching muscles. Ginger is warming and contains antiseptic, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory compounds to help your pain.6. Black Pepper OilBlack pepper is commonly used to enhance a food’s flavor, but it has analgesic and antispasmodic (reduces muscle spasms) properties to soothe your pain. It causes a warming sensation against your skin and reduces inflammation.7. Rosemary OilRosemary is another plant popularly used for food due to its aromatics, but it comes with great health benefits as well. Ancient Romans believed rosemary improved memory, as it may stimulate better brain function. The analgesic herb is also anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial.8. Lemongrass OilLemongrass is a citrusy and tropical plant used for homeopathic medicine. The plant may boost blood circulation and contains anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties to heal wounds and reduce pain.9. Marjoram OilMarjoram, or Sweet Marjoram, is a unique cooking spice and oil with a woody and warm aroma. Using Marjoram oil eases tension and inflammation to stiff muscles. It also is known to promote blood circulation, improve menopausal symptoms, and relieve cold symptoms.10. Clove OilClove oil contains eugenol, a natural anesthetic found to be more effective at reducing pain and inflammation when compared to other analgesics. It naturally numbs pain and has been historically used to fill infected cavities and relieve toothaches. Clove is antimicrobial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory.11. Clary Sage OilClary sage was traditionally used for eye health, but now is known for its anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties. It may even relieve depressive symptoms as it is a natural anti-stressor. The oil feels warm and soothing against the skin while relieving tension.How to Use Essential OilsWhen using essential oils, be sure to use them properly and safely for effective relief. Essential oils are highly concentrated, so you only need a few drops per use. Be sure to never ingest oils or apply near your eyes, nose, or mouth. Also, don’t use essential oils near open wounds or injuries, such as scratches, irritated skin, or acne.Try Massage TherapyMaking a massage oil out of essential oil of your choice is an easy and relaxing way to reduce tension. The oils penetrate your skin, relieving pain and improving circulation. You can self-massage or go to a massage therapist for an aromatherapy massage.When using essential oils for massage oil, always dilute them since they’re very concentrated. Add one drop of essential oil per teaspoon of carrier oil; some good examples of carrier oils are sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, or olive oil. Carrier oils decrease the potency of essential oils, reducing the risk of irritation or infection, but don’t reduce their effectiveness.Keep in mind, massages themselves work out knots in your body and reduce tension, regardless if you add essential oils. Your pain relief may not just be from the essential oils alone.Add Oils to a DiffuserAromatherapy is more than just sniffing nice perfumes or scented candles. When breathing in essential oils, the plant’s chemical properties are ingested. These properties can decrease cortisol levels, reduce pain and inflammation, lower heart rate, and improve anxiety. In fact, a 2016 study found conventional treatment options for pain to be more effective when paired with aromatherapy.Add essential oils to a diffuser and turn it on for thirty-minute intervals two or three times a day.Use RollerballsEssential oils are often packaged in rollerballs, but you can purchase empty rollerball bottles and fill them yourself. Be sure to dilute your oil with a carrier oil if you plan on making your own rollerballs. Rollerballs are popular since they’re easy to use and portable, so you can apply essential oils on the go.Some places you can apply rollerballs include:Directly onto the affected areaInsides your wristsOn your templesUnder your noseThe back of your neckOn your chest or abdomenEssential oils are for external use only. Do not apply essential oils inside your nose or mouth.Add Them To Your BathThe hot water from a bath can relieve sore muscles and joints. Add a few drops of oil while you’re filling up the tub and soak for fifteen to thirty minutes. The aromatics released not only make for a luxurious experience but aid in relieving stress.You might also add Epsom salt to your bath to further your pain relief, as Epsom salt can relax stiff muscles and joints.Make a Hot or Cold CompressUsing just a hot or cold compress reduces muscle pain and swelling in localized areas, but adding a few drops of essential oils can further your relief. Add essential oil to hot or cold water and dip a towel or cloth in the water. Wring out the excess and hold the compress against your skin for fifteen to twenty minutes.FAQsCan you use essential oils every day?Yes, but when you first introduce essential oils, start slowly. Use just one or two drops once a day, eventually working up to three or four times a day. Even if you’re an avid essential oil user, don’t use too much at once. It can cause skin irritation, even if you’re not normally allergic or sensitive to essential oils.What are the other benefits of using essential oils?Essential oils are known to improve stress and anxiety, relieve headaches and migraines, and improve sleep quality. They’re also used to freshen up the scent of your home through a diffuser or candle.What are the side effects of essential oils?Before regular use of essential oils on your body, complete a spot test. Apply diluted essential oil to a small area of your skin and wait 24 to 48 hours. If no irritation or reaction occurs, it’s okay to continue using. Stop using the oil immediately if you experience any of these symptoms:Difficulty breathingSwollen throatCoughing or wheezingChest tightnessRash or redness on the skinItching or burningEssential oils are toxic if ingested, so always keep them out of reach of children in your home. If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have a preexisting condition, speak with your doctor before using essential oils.What are the best home remedies for muscle pain?Besides using essential oils for muscle pain, you can relieve muscle pain using over-the-counter pain relievers, heat or ice therapy, and doing gentle stretches. If your pain is mild—perhaps due to soreness after a workout or a mild sprain—it’ll likely pass on its own with simple remedies, but if your pain is worsening or won’t go away, seek medical treatment.What essential oils help you sleep?Essential oils have a soothing effect to promote better and deeper sleep. High-quality sleep promotes muscle repair and recovery, so it can improve your muscle pain. Some sleep-inducing oils include lavender oil, chamomile oil, Valerian oil, and Clary sage oil.ConclusionTest out different essential oils and methods of using to decide what you like best. Although essential oils are not a cure for certain conditions or injuries, regular use can subdue your pain and make it more tolerable. If your pain is not already diagnosed and is worsening despite treatment, or if it persists longer than 12 weeks, seek medical attention.This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional. Comments Cancel replyLeave a CommentYour email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Comment Name Email I agree to the Terms and Conditions of this website.