Essential Oils For Knee Pain And Swelling
Knee pain is the most common of both chronic and other types of pain such as arthritis and gout. It affects millions of people. Knee pain is the result of injuries, infections, ligament and cartilage damage, and aging. Swelling often accompanies knee pain.
Knee pain originates from types of injury such as:
- ACL injury. This is the anterior cruciate ligament connecting the shin bone to the thigh bone. It can be injured by turning wrong when weight is on it.
- Meniscus tear. This is cartilage between the shin bone and thigh bone that acts like a shock absorber. It can be injured by turning wrong with weight on it.
- Patellar tendinitis. This is the tendon attaching the quadriceps muscles in the thigh to the shin bone. Runners and jumpers usually feel pain from this.
- Bursitis. The fluid-filled sacs cushioning the knee so the tendons and ligaments move freely over the knee swell and are painful due to knee injury.
Symptoms of knee pain differ with each cause of the pain:
- Red and hot to the touch
- Popping noises or a crunch
- Inability to bend or straighten the knee
Knee pain can be relieved using chemical medications, pain patches, topical rubs, and anti-inflammatories. However, a home remedy has been gaining in popularity in recent years. Essential oils have been shown to ease knee pain and swelling. The most effective are ginger essential oil, turmeric, frankincense myrhh, peppermint, eucalyptus, black pepper, lavender, helichrysum, clove, cayenne pepper, and wintergreen.
Essential Oils For Knee Pain And Swelling
This spice smells so good in holiday baked goods, but did you know it works well as an anti-inflammatory? Along with soothing nausea and upset stomachs, it decreases inflammation, which in itself causes pain. Ginger’s analgesic properties act on nerve endings to prevent pain signals from being sent to the brain. Studies have also shown that ginger essential oil affects inflammation on the cellular level.
For joint pain and swelling, rub one to two drops of ginger essential oil onto the knees twice per day.
2. Turmeric Essential Oil
The major ingredient in turmeric, that orange spice that gives curry its flavor, is curcumin. This ingredient protects the joints from inflammation. Turmeric oil significantly helps those with rheumatoid arthritis.
- For joint pain and swelling, rub two to three drops into the knees twice per day.
- Turmeric oil may be used in a diffuser and inhaled.
- Turmeric oil can also be added to food.
A National Institutes of Health study assessed the ability of Frankincense essential oil to prevent cartilage degeneration. The study proved the ability of the oil to prevent collagen disintegration and to prevent inflammatory messages from traveling to the brain.(1)
Frankincense has been used for thousands of years in healing and for spiritual proposes.
- Drop about 20 drops of the oil into a warm bath and soak.
- It can be inhaled by dropping five to ten drops into a diffuser.
- Frankincense can be mixed with a carrier oil such as coconut or extra virgin olive oil and applied directly onto the knees twice per day.
Despite its biblical overtones, this essential oil has been used in natural healing for thousands of years. Its components include anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and anesthetic properties. It has been used to clean wounds since it was discovered.
A National Institutes of Health study showed that not only did myrhh help decrease inflammation, but it also helped curb the intensity of the pain. When combined with Frankincense, the effects were amazing.(2)
- Myrhh essential oil can be inhaled from a diffuser or standing over a pot of hot water.
- The oil can also be used topically by mixing three or four drops with a carrier oil such as jojoba, sweet almond, or coconut oils. Apply twice per day.
Peppermint is the oldest plant used for medicine in the world. Its menthol and menthone properties provide the cooling relief people seek when they have pain. Peppermint is a natural analgesic and anti-inflammatory. The oil is great for relieving joint pain and its accompanying stiffness.
- Peppermint can be made into tea or it can be dropped in a glass of water, about four to five drops.
- Drop 10 to 20 drops into a warm bath for joint pain relief.
- Mix four to five drops of peppermint essential oil with two tablespoons of a carrier oil such as jojoba oil, sweet almond, or grape seed oil and apply directly to the knees two to three times per day.
The eucalyptus tree grows in Australia and Southeast Asia. The essential oil has anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, and analgesic properties. Eucalyptus also has cooling and soothing effects, making it a great knee pain reliever. Studies have shown that eucalyptus essential oil relieves the pain and inflammation following knee replacement surgery. (3)
- Eucalyptus can’t be rubbed directly onto the knees without adding it to a carrier oil. Drop three to four drops into a tablespoon of coconut, extra virgin olive oil, or sweet almond oil. Rub directly onto the knees twice per day.
Aside from adding a punch to foods, black pepper essential oil contains components that aid the immune system and are antioxidants. These components also aid in cell function as well as good blood circulation. Its warming properties aid in pain and swelling.
- Due to its warming ability, black pepper essential oil should be added to a carrier oil such as jojoba or sweet almond oil. Drop two to three drops to a tablespoon of carrier oil and apply directly to the knees twice per day.
- Black pepper essential oil can be taken orally. Drop one or two drops into a veggie capsule and ingest twice per day.
The lovely scent of lavender is known far and wide for its calming effects. Lavender essential oil has anti-inflammatory properties that reduce pain and swelling in the knees. A 2016 study was conducted using lavender essential oil massaged into the knees while reflexology was used on other members of the control group. Results showed that the lavender group enjoyed less pain after one week while the reflexology group showed the same results.
- Lavender essential oil may be massaged directly into the knees at a rate of one to two drops three times per day.
- The oil can be inhaled through a diffuser. Drop four to five drops into a diffuser to inhale.
- Five to ten drops of lavender oil in a warm bath also aids in pain relief and calming.
The “everlasting” plant yields an essential oil containing many healthful properties such as inhibiting enzymes responsible for inflammation, corticoids (part of corticosteroids, an anti-inflammatory,) anti-bacterial, and antifungal. It increases blood circulation which helps with pain while simultaneously decreasing inflammation.
- Mix three to four drops of Helichrysum essential oil with a tablespoon of a carrier oil such as sweet almond or grape seed oil. Apply to the knees two to three times per day.
- The oil also goes great in a warm bath. Drop ten to fifteen drops in a warm bath and soak.
While normally used for dental pain, clove essential oil has anti-inflammatory and anesthetic properties that makes it ideal for knee inflammation and pain. The oil is also known to improve blood circulation which also helps with pain and inflammation.
- Drop four to five drops of clove oil into a diffuser to inhale its helpful effects two to three times per day.
- Drop ten to fifteen drops into a warm bath to soak away the pain.
- Mix two to three drops with a carrier oil such as coconut or extra virgin olive oil and massage into the knees twice per day.
Nine out of ten people in America have joint pain, much of it chronic. While physical therapy and chemical pain relievers have their uses, Americans are turning more and more to natural remedies. They have few to no side effects, and when used properly, kill pain and swelling as well as or better than chemical drugs.
The main components in essential oils are the same components upon which chemical pain relievers are built. Why bother with more expensive medications when pain relief may be obtained from the source? It’s cheaper, too.
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