Green Valley Aromatherapy

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Aromatherapy and Arthritis

Using essential oils to treat the emotional and physical symptoms of living with arthritis.

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Arthritis is one of the leading causes of disability in North America. According to the Centers for Disease Control, there are “over 100 types of arthritis the most common of which is osteoarthritis” (www.cdc.gov). Arthritis is is a group of conditions which involve damage to the joints of the body. Symptoms of arthritis include pain, aching, stiffness, and swelling in and around the joints.

Emotional Impact of Arthritis

Constant pain, aching joints, swollen muscles and an overall stiffness can have a negative effect on the emotions. When it comes to the daily tasks of self care (for example, getting dressed, preparing food and keeping self and home clean), there are various aids to assist. While these aids work well, they do not necessarily improve the mood and increase ability to cope with the situation. Living with chronic pain and the problems associated with arthritis can be wearing. Many people develop symptoms of depression, anger, resentment and frustration.

Aromatherapy and Arthritis

Aromatherapy is a gentle, powerful healing modality that uses pure essential oils. Essential oils are distilled from plants and the oils can positively affect physical, emotional and mental health. Using essential oils that are naturally anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritic, calming, uplifting, circulatory and analgesic may help to alleviate arthritis symptoms.

Hot Baths and Exercise

According to the Arthritis Association, a daily soak in a hot tub can ease pain and increase flexibility and range of motion. While exercise is recommended for arthritis sufferers, the Mayo clinic, in a recent study, found that soaking in a hot bath gave many of the same health benefits of exercise with less strain on the heart. A hot bath increases the heart rate while lowering the blood pressure and is an ideal place to use essential oils.

Ways to Use Essential Oils to Treat Arthritis Symptoms

Since taking a bath can be so beneficial to arthritis sufferers, add eight to 10 drops of pure essential oil to the bath and mix. Alternately, add 10 drops of pure essential oil to 10mls of carrier oil (coconut, jojoba, or healing emu oil) and massage on the affected area.

Essential Oils to Treat Arthritis Symptoms

Analgesic essential oils will help with pain management and include: Benzoin essential oil, Chamomile (G) essential oil, Lavender essential oil and Rosemary essential oil.

Essential oils that help to increase circulation in the body include: Black Pepper essential oil, Ginger essential oil and Marjoram essential oil.

Essential oils to detoxify the body include: Cypress essential oil, Fennel essential oil, Juniper essential oil and Lemon essential oil.

Conventional medications for arthritis can leave the skin thin and brittle, opening it up to injury and infections. Essential oils to help heal bruising and infections include Helichrysum essential oil, Ravintsara essential oil, Rose Geranium essential oil and Tea Tree essential oil.

To deal with the stresses, frustration and possible depression of living with arthritis, try diffusing essential oils of Lavender essential oil, Sandalwood essential oil and Vetivert essential oil.

Using essential oils to manage the pain of arthritis, reduce symptoms for the arthritis sufferer and uplift the spirit is the goal. It is an economical and natural alternative or adjunct to expensive and sometimes experimental conventional medication.


This article was first published at Suite 101 on November 25, 2009 and is republished here as per the terms of our agreement with Suite 101. Visit Suite 101 to read all of our articles.

*This is educational information and any opinions expressed here-in do not replace professional medical advice. If you are ill, see a suitably qualified medical practitioner.*

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