Arthritis is an inflammatory condition of the joints that requires immense care and caution in its management as it can cause pain, inflammation, joint stiffness as its main symptoms.
Along with these general symptoms, arthritis can also cause stress and anxiety among the sufferers.
Management strategies include medications, exercise, diet control, weight reduction, joint supplements and complementary and alternative therapies like hot or cold therapy, physical therapy, aromatherapy etc.
Complementary therapies are easy and non-invasive methods for managing diseases. Arthritis is one such condition that can benefit from these therapies.
Essential oils are concentrated extracts obtained from natural sources. Aromatherapy is an act of using these oils on the skin or by inhalation for a therapeutic benefit.
Utilizing aromatherapy in the management of arthritis is well-known.
Before we describe the beneficial aspects of orange essential oil in arthritis, let us familiarize ourselves with some preliminary information of this oil.
What is Orange Essential Oil?
Orange is a citrus fruit tree which originated in China and India. It was then carried to different parts of Europe. Back in the days, the use of this fruit was limited to consumption alone.
Recent decades have expanded its use by packed orange juices and utilizing them in confectioneries and flavoring.
Citrus fruits have numerous benefits on health. In olden days, citrus fruits and their extracts have been used to treat cold and cough, skin inflammation, muscle pain, indigestion, infection, etc.
Recent research confirms these properties of citrus fruits.
Orange essential oil is a volatile citrus oil that is obtained by pressing orange peels.
This extract contains terpenes, volatile oils, flavonoids. It has 90% ‘limonene’, an active chemical constituent called which is responsible for its therapeutic benefits. Orange oil has medicinal benefits like those of other citrus fruits.
Benefits of Orange Essential Oil in Arthritis
Benefits of Orange essential oil in arthritis are due to its citrus nature and the presence of a chemical called limonene. This oil has been identified to reduce pain, inflammation and oxidative stress in arthritis patients. Orange oil can eliminate stress and anxiety as well. It has also been recently discovered to reduce fatigue and help in weight reduction which is crucial for arthritis patients.
1. Orange Oil Can Alleviate Joint Pain in Arthritis
Orange essential oil can provide benefits to arthritis patients by reducing the pain in the joints. Various research data which support this effect are summarized below.
A meta-analysis (collective review of many research studies) of 12 trials suggested that orange oil can be beneficial in many different types of pain alleviation.
It is also proven to be a cost-effective and safe option for pain relief.
Knee pain suppression was noted among 59 elderly patients enrolled in a trial, who underwent a massage therapy with orange essential oil. It was also found to reduce stiffness in the joints and improve their physical performance.
A study conducted by Davood H et.al. confirmed that orange oil inhalation can reduce pain in patients when compared with patients who did not receive the aromatherapy.
In view of these scientific data, orange oil seems to be an excellent pain-relieving agent that can aid in joint pain reduction in arthritis patients.
What does this mean? Orange essential is a strong pain-relieving agent that can be used by inhalation or topical application to reduce pain in arthritis patients. It is also found to be cost-effective and safer option among analgesics.
2. Orange Oil Suppresses Inflammation in Arthritis
Inflammation is the root problem in arthritis victims which form the main therapy target. Orange oil is a citrus fruit that is known to reduce inflammation which can soothe inflamed joints.
Orange essential oil is rich in limonene, which has been proven to be anti-inflammatory via studies on animals. It exerts its action by inhibiting the factors that cause inflammation in the body.
Laboratory studies also indicate the anti-inflammatory effect of orange oil.
A study conducted by Husam Ghanim et. al. included 30 healthy subjects in a trial which showed reduced inflammation causing chemical in the body.
Orange oil is made up of flavonoids, coumarin and volatile oil which also exhibit anti-inflammatory effects that add on to the benefit.
What does this mean? The orange essential oil contains a good amount of substances that reduce inflammation in the body. This effect can be used to manage inflammation of joints in arthritis.
3. Orange Oil Minimizes Oxidative Stress in Arthritis
Arthritis is a condition in which there is high oxidative stress in the body. Which means there can be toxic damage to the cells. This can be avoided by increasing the intake of antioxidants.
No doubt orange oil has antioxidant properties as it is a citrus fruit that has been long used for this effect. Evidence from various research studies also supports this claim.
Orange oil contains enzymes that reduce the toxins in the body and renders it free from oxidative stress.
A trial in humans has confirmed that orange juice.
Studies in animals have also proven the antioxidant effect of orange essential oil.
Research also shows that the antioxidant potential of orange essential oil can be helpful in reducing the inflammation too.
What does this mean? Arthritis patients require increased intake of antioxidants and orange essential oil being an excellent antioxidant can be used in detoxification of the body.
4. Orange Oil Can Help Arthritis Patients Reduce Weight
Increased weight forms a major issue and therapeutic target in arthritis patients. Exercise and diet control is mandated by management guidelines.
Orange essential oil holds the potential to impart weight loss in arthritis patients.
The orange essential oil can help in weight reduction by increasing the energy expenditure in the body and reducing the fat cell accumulation.
A review of 20 clinical studies including 360 human subjects concluded that orange oil can produce moderate weight reduction in -12 weeks.
Nevertheless, the evidence for orange oil in weight reduction is little and more studies are necessary to prove the efficacy and safety of this property.
What does this mean? Orange essential oil can help in the weight reduction in arthritis patients which could help in the better management of the disease.
5. Orange Oil Can Help in Fatigue Reduction
Fatigue is a major part of the problem in arthritis that can limit movement and disable physical activity.
A recent research study on animals indicated the potential of orange essential oil in reducing fatigue.
This effect can be applied to reduce tiredness in arthritis patients which can improve their physical performance.
In a study from Japan including 34 patients, orange oil was found to reduce fatigue and bring about relaxation in a majority of patients.
The mechanism behind this effect is the reduction of oxidative stress which is responsible for muscle fatigue.
However, an increased number of researches in this area is needed to confirm this benefit in arthritis patients.
What does this mean? Orange essential oil can reduce fatigue which can improve the physical activity in arthritis patients. However, more scientific data are necessary to consolidate this benefit.
6. Orange Oil Has Anti-Anxiety Effects
Arthritis can cause stress and anxiety that can reduce the quality of life in arthritis. It may also increase the chances of developing depression.
Aromatherapy using orange oil has been studied in a hundred women in a clinical trial, which demonstrated its power in anxiety reduction.
It is claimed as the best and easy method to reduce stress and anxiety.
Another clinical trial including 30 patients proved that orange oil was made the subjects less anxious and ‘limonene’ is the chemical constituent which could be responsible for this effect.
Anti-depressant effect of orange oil has also been identified which is comparable to that of the drug(fluoxetine) used for managing depression.
Animal studies have also shown the anti-anxiety effect which led to the study of orange essential oil in human subjects.
What does this mean? Orange oil is a good anti-anxiety and de-stressing agent that can uplift mood and reduce the chances of developing depression in arthritis patients.
How to Use Orange Essential Oil - Dosage
The orange essential oil can be taken orally, applied topically or taken by inhalation.
The exact oral dose for arthritis of orange essential oil has not been ascertained by research.
It can be used orally as per the package instruction or on physician’s advice.
4-5 drops of orange oil can be inhaled to reduce pain.
It can be added to a carrier oil (almond or vegetable oil) and massaged on the joints to alleviate pain.
Dilute the oil as per the manufacturers’ instructions.
Orange oil is generally regarded as safe by the FDA for oral consumption.
Oral intake of bitter orange essential oil has been shown to cause adverse effects like increased chest pain, heart rate, and blood pressure.
This oil must be taken for weight reduction under physician guidance only.
The orange essential oil can cause phototoxicity, i.e., increase the chances of sunburn when exposed to the sun after oil application.
Orange essential oils are flammable and therefore must be kept away from the fire.
Orange oil when applied to the skin may cause irritation sometimes.
Therefore, it is necessary to test the oil on a small patch of skin (forearm) before using. If no reaction occurs, it is safe to be used.
Orange essential oil is a citrus peel extract that contains 90% of limonene which imparts this oil with many health benefits.
These benefits can be applied to arthritis patient in the management of various symptoms.
The orange essential oil can be used to reduce pain and inflammation of joints in arthritis.
It is a powerful antioxidant which can help in detoxifying the body which is much needed by arthritis patients.
Inhalation of orange essential oil can reduce the chances of depression by using it to reduce anxiety and stress which is commonly faced the problem by among arthritis sufferers.
Orange oil can also be used to reduce weight and improve physical activity by reducing fatigue. However, research in these two areas are sparse and more data can consolidate this effect.
Orange oil can be used orally, topically and by inhalation with slight caution. It is a good, safe, efficacious and cost-effective alternative therapy which can be used in the management of arthritis.