Inflammation is a natural response produced by the body’s immune system. It occurs when the immune system is activated by a foreign invader, such as a virus or bacteria. The white blood cells in the body rush to the area that is infected to fight off the organism, which can cause inflammation at the site. Common symptoms of inflammation include:
- Joint pain
- Joint stiffness
- Loss of joint function
Some diseases can cause the immune system to activate even when there is no foreign body to fight off. The immune system will fight against its own tissues, causing damage. This happens as a result of an autoimmune disease. Some common autoimmune diseases include:
- Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Type 1 diabetes
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- Celiac disease
- Graves’ disease
Chronic inflammation due to these diseases can be debilitating. They can affect organs such as the heart, kidneys, and lungs. Most cases of inflammation can be treated with rest, exercise, and medications. But when it comes to alternative therapies to treat inflammation, essential oils can be used to reduce some of the symptoms that can cause discomfort.
Essential Oils For Natural Relief
People have been using essential oils to treat everything from insomnia to constipation. They can be effective at treating different ailments due to the compounds they contain. Many essential oils have compounds that be used to treat migraines and headaches. Others have properties that relieve stress and help you sleep better.
When it comes to treating inflammation, many have been known to have a positive effect. There are several essential oils that have anti-inflammatory properties. One study shows that the following can be used to effectively reduce inflammation caused by the COX-2 enzyme:
These are not the only essential oils that can assist with inflammation reduction.
Reduce Inflammation With These 5 Essential Oils
The below essential oils have been studied for their anti-inflammatory properties and found to be successful in providing relief.
1) Ginger. This oil is a powerhouse when it comes to inflammation, especially that which is caused by Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). It is an effective treatment that can block inflammation in the joints without producing the side effects of other anti-inflammatory medications. For people with chronic inflammation and pain, ginger essential oil can be used as an effective treatment. It can prevent further joint inflammation and damage. Ginger can also ease nausea that sometimes accompanies illnesses that cause inflammation.
2) Frankincense. With a wide range of anti-inflammatory properties, frankincense essential oil can reduce inflammation, pain, and stiffness. Its ability to reduce inflammation and remodel skin cell tissue. The boswellic acids found in frankincense can help reduce the autoimmune response and prevent further damage to the cartridge. The antidepressant properties in this essential oil can also balance mood and alleviate stress that can come from chronic inflammation.
3) Turmeric. This essential oil has been used for thousands of years in traditional medicine. One of the main compounds found in turmeric is curcumin, which has been known to alleviate inflammation. It’s the combination of the curcumin with the other components of the turmeric essential oil that makes it a potent anti-inflammatory. It can reduce inflammation in joints, and improve circulation in the body.
4) Eucalyptus. Eucalyptus essential oil contains properties that have both analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects. Many of its compounds can reduce swelling and ease pain. One study showed that people who underwent knee surgery noticed less pain and lower blood pressure levels after inhaling eucalyptus essential oil at regular intervals. This oil can also improve mental clarity and raise energy levels, which can assist those who suffer from chronic inflammation.
5) Basil. This essential oil contains a wide range of therapeutic properties. Basil has the ability to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress that can lead to chronic health problems such as heart disease, Parkinson’s, or Alzheimer’s disease. It contains two compounds that reduce inflammation (cineole) and swelling (linalool). Basil oil can settle the nerves that can be heightened when dealing with chronic inflammation.
Methods Of Application
The best methods for using essential oils for inflammation are absorption and inhalation.
- For absorption, dilute the essential oils in a carrier oil, such as coconut, sweet almond, or jojoba. Apply the mixture directly to the affected area.
- For diffusion, place a few drops of the desired essential oil into an essential oil diffuser. The diffuser will disperse the oil compounds into the air where they can be inhaled.
If you are experiencing persistent inflammation, speak with your doctor about possible causes and additional treatments.