Essential oils for Nerve Pain
What is Nerve Pain?
Have you heard the term Neuropathy before?
How about Neuralgia?
These two words are the cause of a lot of pain and despair for 20 million in Americas. That’s 1 in every 16 US citizens.
So, what do they mean?
Well, they are both forms of nerve pain, but that’s where the similarities end and the frustration begins.
Neuropathy is a catch all term for nerve pain due to damage to the peripheral nervous system.
Neuralgia is much more confusing. It is a recurring pain along a nerve pathway with no noticeable nerve damage. So it’s cause is often unexplainable.
All in all, 30% of nerve pain cases are considered “idiopathic”, which means there is no known cause.
There are also a myriad of “known causes”. Here’s the short list:
- multiple sclerosis
- repetitive motion
- vitamin deficiencies
- alcohol and smoking
- cancer medications
- infections and autoimmune disorders
Nerve Pain Symptoms
The symptoms of nerve pain are vast.
Do you feel a burning or tingling in your hands or feet? Or maybe they just feel numb?
Do you ever get sudden jolts of pain down one leg?
Are you running to the bathroom frequently?
You know what, you don’t have the answer that last one.
These are just three of the symptoms that could point to nerve damage, and there are plenty more.
Basically, when a nerve is pinched or damaged it sends faulty signals to different organs or nerve receptors, like pain receptors. It’s not that you’re actually being stabbed in your leg, but your nerve sure as heck thinks you are.
Some more symptoms are:
- Increased clumsiness (a wavering gait, dropping things unexpectedly, etc)
- Brief and intense headaches that feel like electric shocks
- Irregularities with sweating (either too much or too little)
- An injury that doesn’t have any pain
- Partial immobility or paralysis
Some of these nerve pain symptoms can point to the larger problem causing them.
For example,nerve pain running down one leg which is a common sciatic nerve pain symptom. Though, this can also be a sign of femoral nerve pain symptoms.
Diabetic nerve pain symptoms can include burning, tingling, numbness in your hands or feet, as well as a loss of balance.
How do essential oils help nerve pain?
There are plenty of treatments for nerve pain, some more invasive than others.
Do you really want to go under the knife when you could use a topical treatment instead?
Don’t get me wrong though, there are some situations where surgery may be the best option. But, often you can forego a trip to the doctor and the westernized nerve pain treatment options and easily solve your pain with natural, holistic nerve pain remedies such as exercise, diet changes, and the help of essential oils or herbs.
Essential oils for nerve pain work in a few ways.
First, you want essential oils that are nervine, meaning they act on the nervous system.
Second, you will want something that dulls the pain. That’s where analgesic essential oils play a role.
Third, you’ll want to reduce inflammation that could put pressure on the nerve, so anti-inflammatory essential oils are also important.
The following list of essential oils have been chosen because of these qualities, making them the perfect essential oils for nerve pain.
List of Essential Oil for Nerve Pain
Helichrysum essential oil is a natural nervine and if used frequently and consistently, can improve one’s immune system as well as inhibit the nerve damage that accompanies injury and aging. Following an injury or even nerve pain related to skin burns, this essential oil applied directly to the skin is massively valuable in the regeneration of skin cells.
Acting as an analgesic, an antispasmodic and an anti-inflammatory agent, this oil is an excellent source of nerve discomfort relief stemming from wounds, shingles, pinched nerves, arthritis and rheumatism. With its mild sedative properties and its natural ability to assist with the rebuilding of nerve cells, Helichrysum is an outstanding oil to have in one’s nerve pain toolbox. Furthermore, stress levels associated with nervous pain are also lessened by inhaling the strong, honey-like aromas of Helichrysum.
2. Yarrow Oil
Yarrow essential oil contains salicylic acid which is a significant ingredient in the analgesic effect offered by aspirin. The anti-rheumatic qualities of yarrow oil means that it is good for blood circulation and a great source of pain relief for rheumatic and arthritic patients. Additionally, yarrow oil has excellent tranquilizing properties which can greatly benefit nerve pain sufferers who struggle to sleep restfully due to pain discomfort.
A yarrow essential oil that I personally love can be bought here.
Used throughout the ages in many religions and civilizations of the world, Sandalwood essential oil has reserved a well-deserved status of nobility and respect. Acquired from the heartwood of an old Sandalwood tree, this oil is one of the most expensive essential oils out there. However, with its all-encompassing pain relief qualities the value of this oil makes it a worthwhile addition to your first-aid kit.
It is a natural anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic and also a natural sedative. Sandalwood oil on the skin has a cooling property which is a very effective pain reliever from all varieties of inflammation in the brain – digestive, nervous and circulatory. Used in a diffuser, topically as well as ingested, sandalwood is remarkably helpful for skeletal pain, spasms, neuralgia and the pain associated with nervous and, and excretory systems. Whether the inflammation is as a consequence of an infection, injury, fever, antibiotics, allergies, an insect bite, or an autoimmune disease; sandalwood oil has you covered.
I like to use organic sandalwood like this one here.
Wonderfully fresh and instantly recognizable, the uplifting aroma of peppermint essential oil simultaneously awakens and relaxes the senses. Invigorating, refreshing and energizing; peppermint oil’s soothing and cooling characters make it especially effective in treating the mental and physical symptoms associated with nerve pain.
The benefits of this oil are threefold; it is an antispasmodic, an analgesic and an anti-inflammatory all packaged in a bottle small enough to close your fist tightly around. And hold on tight you should! This oil packs a powerful punch in naturally treating the symptoms associated with neuralgia, arthritis, rheumatism and sciatica. Topical application of peppermint oil is also an excellent method of improving blood circulation, which is greatly beneficial for damaged and injured nerves.
A study conducted in 2002 found evidence of peppermint oil having a dramatic analgesic influence on neuropathic pain in a 76-year old woman suffering from neuralgia.
5) Ginger Oil
Good, old ginger that many of us use regularly in our homes is a tried and trusted natural antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory agent. Likewise, ginger essential oil contains anti-inflammatory and analgesic characteristics that are especially beneficial in relieving local pain and soothing nerve tenderness.
Ginger oil can be used topically, inhaled or taken internally. All of these methods of use assist with nerve pain brought on by lupus, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. Ginger oil is a great oil to combine with other pain-relieving essential oils such as frankincense, bergamot, and sandalwood for its synergistic effect.
6. Lavender Oil
Lavender essential oil is excellent as an analgesic, an anti-inflammatory, an anticonvulsant and an antispasmodic and is therefore an obvious solution to combating nerve pain. Inhaling the sweet scent of lavender not only aids with a restful sleep, but also significantly alleviates stress that intensifies pain – fantastic for relieving nervous tension and making nerve pain more manageable. A wonderfully calming oil, lavender is helpful for alleviating pain associated with sciatica, neuralgia, lumbago and muscle spasms. It also acts as a natural anti-depressant in the face of the secondary symptoms attached to many of these aliments.
A must-have for any household and medicine cabinet, Eucalyptus essential oil is a familiar, minty-smelling warrior in the face of physical discomfort. The health benefits of Eucalyptus can be attributed to its anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antispasmodic properties. These characteristics, along with its ability to improve circulation within the body, make it a popular essential oil to turn to in treating sciatica, neuralgia and temporary nerve paralysis.
Especially useful if used immediately after injury or nerve damage, this oil should be your first port of call. A key attribute is its warming sensation making it a perfect addition to massage oil blends for nerve pain.
8. German and Roman Chamomile Oil
As a result of its high doses of chamaluzene and alpha-bisabolol, German chamomile is said to be the head soldier of the anti-inflammatory troops. Particularly effective at alleviating the pain associated with nerve damage, chamomile essential oil compresses the blood vessels surrounding the nerve, thereby relieving any painful, built-up pressure. The swelling linked to diabetic neuropathy as well as post-traumatic injuries make the antiphlogistic nature of chamomile an excellent choice for lessening swelling and inflammation. It’s no wonder that it’s widely regarded as one of the best essential oils for nerve pain.
In addition to German chamomile, Roman chamomile is also well-known for its analgesic, antispasmodic, anti-neuralgic and anti-inflammatory qualities. A 2014 study concluded that applying Roman chamomile oil can be valuable in minimizing the discomfort of inflammation disorders as well as reducing oxidative stress.
9. Geranium Oil
Native to the beautiful South Africa, the geranium shrub with its pretty, pink flowers has a number of healing compounds. Superb at boosting circulation and acting as an anti-inflammatory, geranium is especially effective in helping with neuralgia, neuritis and rheumatism. Geranium essential oil, when used topically, alleviates neuropathic pain, shortens the recovery time on nerve damage healing as well as encourages the regeneration of new cells. Developing research also proposes that direct application of geranium oil to the skin can dramatically relieve the pain associated with shingles.
10. Wintergreen Oil
Wintergreen essential oil is used in massage to help with skeletal pains, muscular aches, gout, arthritis, joint pain, spasms, sports injuries, tension headaches and nerve swelling. One of the primary components of Wintergreen essential oil is methyl salicylate which the human body metabolizes and turns into salicylic acid. Salicylic acid is a chief ingredient in many over the counter anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen and aspirin.
Considering just this fact alone, it is obvious that this oil is a top-quality, all natural analgesic, anti-arthritic and antispasmodic. Both clove oil and wintergreen oil share a numbing agent quality which provides pain relief similar to topical, medicinal treatments.
A wonderful organic wintergreen oil can be purchased here.
11. Majoram Oil
The pain relieving wonders and praises of Majoram essential oil cannot go unsung. This spicy, edible oil is analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and antispasmodic and is extremely effective at managing nerve pain or nerve damage.
It is also especially recognized for its ability to work its magic on the nervous system as a whole. Research has shown that Marjoram essential oil is able to not only strengthen the nervous system, but when nerve damage arises, it is able to speed up the healing process of the injured nerves by strengthening the damaged area. Used as a toothache remedy for spot application, massaging with this oil will also comfort those struggling with back ache, spasms, lumbago and muscular aches and pains.
Additionally, majoram has a mild sedative effect which provides much needed relief from chronic pain and assists those suffering from osteoarthritis and rheumatism. Majoram oil is notably successful as a pain alleviator when combined with rosemary and sage essential oils.
12. Clary Sage
Clary Sage essential oil has an extensive history as a medicinal herb aiding physical and emotional aliments. The stimulating anticonvulsive, sedative and nervine properties of this oil make it useful for painful conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, tendinitis and neuralgia.
One of clary sage’s most significant uses is for relieving nervous tension, alleviating headaches and calming the nervous system in moments of stress, insomnia and depression. When massaged with a carrier oil into the skin it is also beneficial for kidney issues, backaches, stomachaches, cramps, muscle stiffness and tumors.
13. Clove Oil
Most well-known for its remarkable toothache comforts, clove essential oil is also a useful tool in fighting the pain stemming from sprains, muscular injuries, arthritis and rheumatism. One of its primary compounds is benzocaine, a topical analgesic used to relieve nerve pain by blocking the nerve signals going to the brain.
Clove oil has been used for centuries as a natural pain-killer by providing a triple whammy of benefits – anti-inflammation, antispasmodic and analgesic. The wonderfully warming characteristic of clove oil provides a much desired numbing relief from pain and the antioxidants found in this oil assist in the protection of body cells.
A rat study conducted by the ‘Journal of Planta Medica’ discovered that a chemical compound present in clove essential oil was successful at recovering nerve functions of rats with diabetic neuropathy.
14. Balsam Fir Oil
More than just the twinkling, traditional Christmas tree, the oil from this tree has profound natural analgesic and analgesic effects on nerve pain, muscle aches and spasms. This is largely as a result of its powerful warming sensation which drastically increases blood flow, soothes spasms and promotes speedy healing and recovery.
Balsam fir essential oil is a great option for those suffering from diabetic neuropathy, arthritis, rheumatism as well as those requiring a muscle recovery treatment following physical exercise.
15. Frankincense Oil
An anti-inflammatory and a gentle sedative, Frankincense essential oil is also recognized for its ability to improve the transmission and communication of messages between the nerves and the brain. This eliminates any incorrect messages to the brain’s limbic system that results in nerve pain. On top of all of this, it boosts and stimulates the immune system and relaxes muscles. To use frankincense oil, blend one drop of frankincense with two drops of carrier oil and rub onto tender area.
A truly excellent frankincense essential oil can be sourced here.
16. Rosemary Oil
Rosemary essential oil is particularly helpful in combating the pain associated with rheumatism, sciatica and neuralgia; this pocket-sized healer is incredibly useful due to its analgesic, antidepressant and nervine qualities. Acting as a mild, fast-acting pain reliever, blood circulator and muscle relaxer, rosemary oil can be inhaled to soothe a headache or applied directly to relieve joint and muscle soreness, and to suppress muscle spasms.
Massaging damaged or injured nerves with rosemary oil will provide quick relief to nerve pain, will remove lactic acid from the body, improve respiration and will also relax and soothe painful muscle fibers.
17. Basil Oil
Deemed to be a divine plant by Hindus in India, basil is a significant ingredient in the treatments used to combat nerve pain and nerve damage. Basil essential oil is characterized by its analgesic, antidepressant, antispasmodic and balancing properties.
In a research study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, the holy basil oil was concluded as being particularly helpful in reducing nerve damage symptoms and increasing nerve receptivity. Simultaneously beneficial in calming nerve pain and offering stimulation to nerves, basil essential oil with its nervine properties is helpful for those suffering with Peripheral Neuropathy.
For a tried and trusted basil essential oil brand, look here.