The Best Essential Oils for Nerve Pain

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Essential oils have been used for thousands of years to alleviate pain. It’s no wonder: many of them have properties that are excellent for the reduction of tension in the body. One of the most common forms of tension in the body is nerve pain.

People who experience the symptoms of nerve pain are often limited in their day-to-day activities. For this reason, it is very important to find a treatment that is effective. Essential oil treatments are to be combined with advice and treatment of a trained medical professional. Modern treatments in conjunction with essential oil remedies can pose a powerful threat to excruciating nerve pain.

nerve pain essential oils

What Is Neuropathy?

Nerve pain is also known as neuropathy. The discomfort of nerve damage can range from light to severe. In addition to pain, people who experience neuropathy might also have to live with chronic weakness, numbness, and tingling.

The medical community has found over 100 kinds of neuropathy, each affecting a different part of the body.

The Causes of Nerve Pain

In order to determine the correct method of treatment for nerve pain, it is important to know its underlying cause. This category of diseases results from damaged nerves. Several diseases can cause nerve damage, which then lead to pain.

A very common kind of neuropathy is called polyneuropathy. Many people with diabetes get polyneuropathy as it is caused by high blood glucose levels. The levels of glucose in the blood get so high that the blood vessels that supply the nerves are damaged.

Apart from diabetes, there are many reasons for the developments of nerve pain. These include: HIV, chemotherapy, tumors, injuries, vitamin deficiencies, infectious diseases, substance abuse, nerve disorders, autoimmune diseases, exposure to toxic substances, and as a side effect of some medications.

Mainstream Medical View of Neuropathy

Currently, scientists have not found a way to cure or reverse neuropathy. Physiotherapy, medications, and natural treatments are recommended for the management of nerve pain and other symptoms.

Modern treatments aim to slow down the spread of pain while treating its root cause. Medications that are being prescribed for nerve pain are painkillers and antidepressants. There are some treatments that doctors give for nerve pain. They include:

  • Acupuncture
  • Light physical exercise
  • Nerve stimulation using a TENS unit
  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Massage therapy
  • Numbing cream
  • Caspian cream

The doctor might also prescribe natural alternatives like vitamin supplements and herbal remedies.

How Essential Oils Can Help Your Nerve Pain

Essential oils can be potent helpers when it comes to nerve pain. They can be used alongside many traditional treatments with the approval of a physician.

Many of them have various properties that alleviate the symptoms of neuropathy. Some of them are also calming and sedating, making them an excellent choice for relaxing any tension. Here are a few common properties of essential oils and their benefits for nerve pain.

Property Effect on The Body Essential Oils with This Property
Adaptogenic Helps the body regulate stress Geranium
Analgesic Relieves pain without disrupting nerve impulses, does not hinder consciousness or perception Clove, fir, helichrysum, marjoram, Roman chamomile, rosemary, sage, tea tree, wintergreen
Anaphlogistic Prevents and reduces inflammation German chamomile
Antalgic Pain relief Juniper
Anti-depressant Increases feelings of well-being Holy basil, rosemary
Anti-inflammatory Pain relief by reducing inflammation Eucalyptus, German chamomile, frankincense, geranium, ginger, holy basil, juniper, lavender, marjoram, nutmeg, peppermint, Roman Chamomile, sage, tea tree, wintergreen
Anti-neuralgic Counteracts severe nerve pain Clove
Anti-rheumatic Slows the progression of rheumatism Clove
Anti-spasmodic Reduces the occurrence of muscle spasms Clove, ginger, helichrysum, holy basil, marjoram, peppermint, Roman chamomile, sage, wintergreen
Astringent Causes contraction of body tissues Geranium
Digestive Relieves digestive disorders Rosemary
Nervine Beneficial to the nervous system in one of three ways: stimulating, relaxing, and nervine tonics, which strengthen the nervous system Rosemary
Sedative Relaxes the body Frankincense, geranium, helichrysum 

Clove 

Clove essential oil is an analgesic, anti-neuralgic, anti-spasmodic, and anti-rheumatic. It is helpful with conditions like rheumatism, arthritis, muscular pain, and sprains.

Eucalyptus

This oil is excellent for reducing the pain and numbness that is associated with neuropathy. It has anti-inflammatory properties and is an antispasmodic. Eucalyptus along with a carrier oil can be massaged into the affected area. This treatment will stimulate the nerves and reduce pain as well.

Fir

This essential oil has analgesic properties. It is also warming when applied directly to the skin. It soothes aches and pains in the muscles, making it useful for conditions like rheumatism and arthritis.

Frankincense

Frankincense oil is an anti-inflammatory, but it also acts as a sedative. This oil will calm the muscles and nerves, reducing pain. This is because Frankincense oil inhibits pain-causing cytokines and leukotrines. It will also relieve any anxiety you might be experiencing.

There are cons to this oil, however. The most significant is that in high doses, it can affect your perception. Its psychotropic effects may alter brain activity and behavior. It should only be used for 4 continuous weeks.

Geranium

Geranium essential oil is a powerful sedative. It also carries adaptogenic elements, meaning that It will help your body adjust to physical and mental stressors. It also has astringent, and stimulating compounds that heal damaged nerves.

When used, this essential oil triggers an anti-inflammatory reaction in the nerves. Because of this, geranium is an excellent choice for neuropathy symptoms.

German Chamomile

The German chamomile essential oil contains a compound called chamazulene. This chemical is the most potent substance found in any essential oil for reducing inflammation. This oil has potent anti-inflammatory and anaphlogistic properties. These properties work together, making German chamomile very effective in dealing with nerve pain.

It is also great at reducing swelling and puffiness in the affected area. This is because it has lactone and coumarin. It can also be used as a booster for the immune system, a detoxing agent for the liver, and a nervous system sedative.

Ginger

Ginger oil is an excellent treatment for pain. This is because of its anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties. It is very gentle on the central nervous system and will also improve the mood. Look for the ginger oil with the name Zingiber officinale. 

One thing to keep in mind with ginger oil is that it may react with some medications. Another consideration is that it is usually more expensive than other essential oils.

Helichrysum

This oil has anti-spasmodic, analgesic, and sedative properties. It is also a natural nervine, which means that it will help to strengthen the immune system and prevent damage to the nerves. It also serves as a relaxant, which is an added benefit for someone with chronic pain. This would be a great oil for conditions like shingles, rheumatism, and arthritis.

Generally, helichrysum will be more expensive than many of the other oils listed here. But you must take into consideration that this oil is highly effective for treating pain while making your buying decision.

Holy Basil

There is a reason this essential oil is holy. For hundreds of years, holy basil essential oil has been used in the Ayurvedic tradition to combat various illnesses.

The Journal of Ethnopharmacology published a study where scientists administered holy basil oil to rats with severed sciatic nerves. The oil proved to reduce the symptoms associated with nerve damage.

Holy basil contains anti-spasmodic, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic properties. It also acts as an anti-depressant. The combination of these elements makes holy basil indispensable when it comes to relief from nerve pain.

Juniper

The monoterpenes in this oil make is great for the relief of pain from rheumatism. It also stimulates toxin and uric acid release from the body. This oil is an antalgic, meaning that it soothes pain. It is also anti-inflammatory.

It is great for nerve pain because apart from its great pain-relieving benefits, it is useful for relieving fatigue and depression. Its scent is woodsy, making it an interesting element when used in blends with other oils.

Juniper essential oil should only be used a few times per day. It is harmful to the skin if it is used more than this. People with kidney disorders should not use juniper oil. There are many different kinds of juniper oil. For the effects described above, get juniper berry essential oil.

Lavender

Lavender has been found to be an effective treatment for many neurological disorders. This evidence was brought to light by a report from The Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicines. It has even been used traditionally as a pain reliever.

As an anti-inflammatory oil, it is great for managing the tension caused by neuropathy. It is also helpful for relieving the stress brought about by neuropathy.

Marjoram

Marjoram can be helpful for a variety of conditions. These include muscle aches and pains, stiffness, back aches, and lumbago. It has anti-inflammatory properties and is also an analgesic as well as an anti-spasmodic.

Marjoram is also an excellent oil for strengthening the nervous system. When the nerves of the nervous system are damaged, marjoram can speed up the recovery process.

Nutmeg

This essential oil is great for pain relief and reduction of inflammation. It has also been proven to improve circulation of the blood. Nutmeg essential oil is a known pain killer and a sedative, making it an ideal choice for nerve pain management.

Peppermint

Peppermint essential oil will enhance the benefits of any other essential oil it is used with. It also has an intensely refreshing aroma. It has anti-spasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties. These make it perfect for handling the pain from neuralgia, arthritis, and rheumatism. 

It is also useful in handling aches in the muscles and the pain that comes along with them. Peppermint is also very soothing. Remember to use this oil mixed with a carrier if you are applying it directly to the skin.

Roman Chamomile

Roman chamomile is excellent for relieving the pain from nerve disorders. This is because of its analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-spasmodic properties.

Rosemary

Rosemary essential oil has analgesic, nervine, anti-depressant, and digestive properties. This makes is a powerhouse when it comes to pain relief and minimization of the other symptoms of neuropathy, such as numbness.

It also improves circulation and helps any lactic acid buildup flow out from the muscles. Then, it relaxes the entire body. Finding quick relief through use of rosemary oil is easy. Massage the oil with a carrier onto the affected area.

Sage

This oil is great for nerve pain. This is because sage essential oil has stimulating, analgesic, anti-spasmodic, and anti-inflammatory properties. 

Tea Tree

Several patient reviews have shown tea tree to be very effective when it comes to managing nerve pain. This is because tea tree essential oil has powerful analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. 

Wintergreen

This essential oil is a botanical pain reliever. This is because it is 99% methyl salicylate, a substance that behaves like aspirin. Wintergreen will help with muscle knots and cramps, nerve pain, arthritis, gout, pain in the joints and muscles, and swelling. This is because of its analgesic, anti-spasmodic, and anti-inflammatory properties.

Even though wintergreen has many benefits, there are some drawbacks. It should not be used on large areas of the skin. It also should not be consumed. People with aversions to aspirin should not use this essential oil in any form.

How to Use Essential Oils for Nerve Pain

There are many ways to use essential oils for your neuropathy. Here are some methods that will alleviate pain and manage other symptoms.

Topical Preparations

The most common way to use an essential is on the outside of the body. Topical application is quite an effective method of healing the body when done correctly.

There are distinct advantages to applying essential oils topically. If your immune system is compromised or you simply do not like the taste when ingesting essential oils, external application is for you.

Essential Oil Compress

This method is effective for managing severe pain. Hot compresses are great for increasing blood flow. Because they improve circulation, any essential oil you use with your compress will soak through your skin. This effect will yield lasting benefits as the essential oils penetrate into the muscles and nerves. Cold compresses reduce inflammation.

To prepare a hot compress, prepare a bowl of hot water. Add three to five drops of your chosen essential oil or oil blend into the water for your compress. Or, you can massage the oils directly onto your skin with a carrier oil, then apply the compress on the area. Soak a towel in the water. Apply the towel directly to the affected area and replace the compress when the towel is no longer warm.

Cold compresses are prepared the same way, but with cold water.

Massage

Using massage is a great way to increase blood flow to an area affected by neuropathy. Use an oil with a carrier and rub it into the affected area.

To prepare your oil blend with a carrier oil, mix 10 to 20 drops of essential oil for each ounce of carrier oil.

Carrier Oils

One thing to be aware of is that some essential oils must be mixed with a carrier oil. This ensures that the essential oils will reach their full healing potential. Carrier oils do not evaporate and act as a medium that allows the essential oil to retain its properties.

They even cause the components of the essential oil to be more available. Any ideas that carrier oils dilute essential oils are not true. They actually give essential oils room to breathe and activate, ready for absorption into the body.

These useful oils include:

  • Almond
  • Cocoa butter
  • Coconut
  • Hazelnut
  • Jojoba
  • Olive oil
  • Sesame
  • Shea butter

Bathing and Showering

A relaxing bath will help calm the nerves and will relax the entire body as well. Sprinkle eight to ten drops of your favorite essential oils into your bath water. Soaking in the warm tub with healing oils will help to reduce pain and numbness. Take your time during this treatment, at least 20 minutes is recommended to get the full effect of the oils.

Another thing that is excellent for pain reduction during a bath is Epsom salts. The salts contain magnesium, which is a natural anti-depressant. It will also serve to relax the muscles deeply.

Using essential oils in the shower if effective and effortless. To shower with essential oils, bring your oil of choice into the shower with you. Turn of the faucet and apply drops of the oil directly to your skin where you would like pain relief. The oil will soak into your skin beautifully.

These oils are gentle enough for use in the shower and bath:

  • Eucalyptus
  • Lavender
  • Pine
  • Rosemary
  • Tea tree

Internal Application

Essential oils can be used internally as well. Here are a few ways to use your essential oils for pain reduction.

Inhalation and Diffusion

Inhalation of essential oils is an excellent way to relieve stress and tension. The overall effect is that of a sedative. This treatment will leave you feeling less pain, and it will help you get better sleep! Inhalation heightens sensation in the nerves. Thus, it will help with any loss of feeling or tingling you might have experienced due to your neuropathy.

To inhale your essential oil, place a few drops in the palm of your hand. Rub both of your hands together and place them over your mouth and nose. Inhale gently and deeply. You can also drop some of your essential oil onto your pillow before you go to sleep at night.

Diffusion of essential oils has ambient effects that are less potent than direct inhalation. Add essential oil into your diffuser and it will pump healing energy into the whole room.

Pain Relief Blend Recipe

Adapted from: The Healing Intelligence of Essential Oils, The Science of Advanced Aromatherapy by Kurt Schnaubelt, Ph.D.

This blend is effective when it comes to pain relief. There are two components to this recipe: essential oils and carrier oils. They all work together to produce maximum pain alleviation. However, feel free to change the recipe as needed for your specific condition.

Carrier Oils 

  • 1 part Calendula
  • 5 parts Jojoba oil
  • 1 part St. John’s Wort

Essential Oils 

For each once of carrier solution, add these essential oils.

  • Clove: 2 drops
  • Ginger: 3 drops
  • Helichrysum: 3 drops
  • Lavender: 3 drops
  • Roman Chamomile: 3 drops
  • Rosemary: 3 drops

Tips for Using Essential Oils

  • Remember that essential oil treatments for pain and other symptoms of neuropathy are temporary. These remedies must be continued regularly.
  • You might want to consider using an oil blend when you try out essential oils for pain relief. This is because a certain oil might be great for easing tension while another is good for improving circulation. They will work symbioticallyto give you the maximum benefit. 
  • Be sure to only use pure, organic, or therapeutic grade oilsfor your pain treatment.
  • Along with essential oil treatments, a great way to reduce your pain is to make healthy changes in your lifestyle. These include quitting smoking, consuming less alcohol and caffeine, consuming less sugar, eating more fresh fruits and vegetables, and getting more sleep and exercise. 
  • And finally, remember that essential oil remedies are not meant to be standalone treatments. They can and should be used along with prescriptions given by an experienced physician.

Conclusion

Essential oil preparations can be potent for pain relief. Many of them have qualities that directly counter the symptoms of nerve pain, also known as neuropathy. They can also serve to enhance the overall well-being of the people who suffer from severe pain. This bodes very well for those who experience this severe pain on a daily basis.

Essential oils, combined with medical therapies, can drastically improve the quality of life for those with nerve pain. It is recommended that you create the blend of essential oils mentioned above, as this will produce the most desirable effects for managing your pain.

Apply the mixture topically, as needed. You can also try individual essential oils, and different treatments mentioned in this article based on the symptoms of your neuropathy.

For more on uses of essential oils, and different things they can be used for, please check out our complete list of essential oils and what they are used for.

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No Medical Advice

IMPORTANT: We wrote this article to be helpful with educational and informational purposes only. The information in this article is not meant to convey medical advice and does not constitute the practice of medicine. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for, nor does it replace, qualified medical advice from a professional. See our full medical disclosure for more.