Best Essential Oils for Joint Pains & How to Use

Quick Answer: Best Essential Oils for Joint Pain

  1. Basil Essential Oil
  2. Chamomile Essential Oil
  3. Bay Essential Oil
  4. Coriander (seed) Essential Oil
  5. Eucalyptus Essential Oil
  6. Frankincense Essential Oil
  7. Ginger Essential Oil
  8. Lavender Essential Oil
  9. Rosemary Essential Oil
  10. Yarrow Essential Oil
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Joint pain is the inflammation, discomfort, pain, or swelling in joints of the body.

It can occur in cartilage, bone, ligaments, muscles, ankle, knees, elbow or wrists, [1] or in arthritis, rheumatism, arthralgia, and life-threatening fevers which are malaria, dengue [2], and chikungunya. [3] [4]

Other factors responsible are weight lifting, obesity [5], avascular necrosis fracture, bursitis and fibromyalgia [6].

NSAID’s are extensively used for pain relief but have symptoms such as swelling, high blood pressure, allergic reactions, etc. [7]

Essential oils are powerful antiphlogistic and anti-inflammatory natural remedies. They heal injuries and are an effective solution for Joint pain.

What are Essential Oils?

Essential oils are odorous and volatile compounds found in secretary structures such as glands, secretary hair, duct, cavities or resin ducts in gums, roots, leaves, flowers, stem, grass, bark and twigs of a plant.

They are lipophilic and have a low molecular weight.

These oils are rich in bioactive compounds that provide them with their therapeutic properties. They are highly concentrated and potent in nature.

They are constituted of hydrocarbons such as terpenes, and oxygenated compounds that are aldehydes, esters, alcohols, ketones, phenols, and oxides.

The oils can be administered in three most sought ways.

The administration methods are topical use as massage, night and day creams, and lotions, oral use as gel capsules, or mixing the oil with honey and consuming.

Lastly in aromatherapy as the name suggests we use vapors and fragrance in form of diffusers, baths, and inhalations.

Essential Oils For Joint Pain

Essential oils have anti-inflammatory bioactive constituents like alcohols, esters, and oxides.

Lactones are effective analgesics. Oils rich in these are good choices for joint pain relief.

Hyssop essential oil is used as a hot compress for rheumatic pains and joint aches. It suppresses the inflammation of joints.

These oils are soothing and decrease joint pain by their analgesic action.

The analgesic characteristic reduces pain by influencing the release of neurotransmitters including dopamine, serotonin, endorphin, and noradrenalin. [8]

They are also performing Antirheumatic and Antiphlogistic functions in the body make these oils a one shop stop for pain relief.

Pine oil increases and stimulates blood circulation in the body. This oil is good for arthritis, gout, and rheumatic joint pain. [9]

The oil has warming effects on the body.

Moringa tree, commonly known as the drumstick tree, is useful in joint pain. The essential oil of seeds is massaged into the skin to ease from joint pain and stiffness. [10]

Hot compresses are great home remedies alleviating pain from body parts. Using Thyme oil in a hot compress ensures great relief from pain

Essential oils are enriched in components which access the circulatory system through blood vessels in the epidermis and lymph system during massage therapy.

These then relieve the pain and improve physical function. [11]

Other oils which are equally pacifying and comforting are Marjoram, Clove (warming properties), Peppermint (cooling properties), Turmeric and Vetiver (increases oxygen transport in the blood and comforting joint pain) essential oils.

Best Essential Oils For Joint Pain

Essential oils are traditionally used for all body benefits. They are corrective and alleviate any kind of disorders, pain [12] or skin cuts and wounds.

Some of these oils exhibit cooling action while some show warming action on the body and naturally ease out body pain.

They can be used individually or in combinations for providing relief in any ailment. overall rating

Basil Essential Oil

Basil is a household name in the Indian region, the highly aromatic, penetrating and refreshing fragrance of the oil is remedial for many conditions.

This herb having dark green colored ovate leaves purifies the air system too.

Basil essential oil is steam distilled from leaves. The plant belongs to the annual tender herb kingdom. The oil has a pale yellow tinge.

It relieves inflammation associated with joint pain via Linalool, Linalyl acetate and 1, 8- cineole bioactive compounds present in it.

The oil must be cautiously used during pregnancy and it might irritate the skin in some person.

Best way to use: Body Massage, Steam Inhalation, and Vaporizer. overall rating

Chamomile Essential Oil

Chamomile essential oil is steam distilled from flowers of strongly aromatic herb. The color of oil is deep blue.

It has soothing, calming properties, and eases discomfort due to its warm, herbal and sweet fragrance.

A research experiment showed chamomile oil significantly reduced the use of acetaminophen tablets to relieve pain when treated with topical application of the chamomile oil for three weeks. [13]

The oil is rich in antiphlogist properties. It is a pain reliever and shows analgesic action on the body in conditions such as joint pain and rheumatism. [14]

Chamomile oil has beneficial azulenes and alpha-bisabolol which suppresses inflammation of the body.

Compress the internally inflamed area with this oil. The anti-inflammatory property is useful when applied as cold compress to inflamed joints.

Pretest-Posttest research showed that aroma massage with a blend of Chamomile, Lavender, and ginger essential oil reduced the knee pain significantly.

The patients were advised to use the blend two times a day for two weeks. This also indicates the benefit of essential oils in the self-care intervention technique. [15]

Best way to use: Administered using Cold compress, massage.

For this healing bath blend, you need to blend Roman Chamomile oil 16 drops, Eucalyptus Radiata oil 20 drops, Lavender oil 10 drops, Cypress oil 5 drops, and Juniper berry oil 5 drops.


  • Take 4 drops of the above blend and add it to 2.5 ml carrier oil.
  • For the bath to have more beneficial effects, add two handfuls of Epsom salt or one handful of Dead Sea salt or Rock salt.

Three-oil joint Poultice:

  • For this, you need Roman chamomile 3 drops, Eucalyptus peppermint 3 drops, lavender 1 drop.
  • Now make a stiff paste using 15 g dry clay and adding water. Add the essential oils to it and mix well.
  • Using muslin cloth cover the joints where you have applied the paste
  • The treatment should be done twice a day.

This will ease the stiffness of the joint and ease the pain. overall rating

Bay Essential Oil

Bay essential oil is steam distilled from leaves of the evergreen plant. The leaves are thin, long and leathery. The fragrance is sweet and spicy with a pale yellow tinge.

It has warming properties and relieves joint pain and aches, rheumatic pain can be easily treated with it.

Oral consumption of oil is contraindicated during pregnancy and for children below two years of age. It can irritate sensitive skin.

Best way to use: Leaf oil is used in inhalation and massage therapy.

Combine this oil with Rose and juniper and make your joint pain disappear in no time. overall rating

Coriander (seed) Essential Oil

The oil is extracted by crushing ripe coriander seeds of a strongly aromatic herb. It has bright green delicate leaves.

The oil is widely used for garnishing and flavoring snacks, dips and curries

It has a warming action on the body and beneficial for joint pain such as in gout arthritis rheumatism.

The oil has analgesic, inflammation relieving and antispasmodic properties.

The oil is pungent can be stupefying if taken in large dosage, so always ensure the correct amounts

Best way to use: Administered in Massage oils overall rating

Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Eucalyptus is one of those oils which gets pale yellow tinge on aging.

The plants are tall and oils potency increases on aging. The oil is extracted from leaves and young twigs.

The oil has a penetrating and refreshing fragrance and with aging, it shows a yellow tinge. Eucalyptus oil treats rheumatic arthritis, muscle, and joint aches. [16]

This oil contains citronellol and 1, 8 -cineole which is responsible for reducing inflammation in joints.

It helps in decreasing pain and increasing range of motion in the aching joint. [17] The oil exhibits these actions through neural networks in the body.

Research on 60 female patients showed that massage therapy with this oil decreased joint pain and gave them a better quality of life to live. [18]

It has a species known as Eucalyptus citriodora which specifically treats joint pain. [19]

Ingestion or oral intake of the Eucalyptus oil can cause complications. So it is advisable to use this oil in massage therapy or blending it in lotions and using it for topical application.

Best way to use:  Administered in Massage blend.

Healing Bath [20]:

To get relief use the following blend, take Sweet Fennel essential oil 5 drops, Cypress essential oil  15 drops, Juniper berry essential oil  15 drops, Eucalyptus Lemon essential oil  10 drops.


  • Blend all the oils and, take 3 drops and dilute them in 2.5 ml of carrier oil for bath therapy.
  • This much quantity of oils can accommodate 15 baths.
  • After running the bath, you should salt it. Add two large handfuls of Epsom salt, one large handful of rock salt or Dead Sea salt.
  • To this now add the blend of carrier oil and essential oils.
  • This will detoxify the body and provide relief. overall rating

Frankincense Essential Oil

The extraction method for Frankincense essential oil is steam distillation.

The oil is sourced from resin. This resin is extracted from the leaves of the tree. The uniqueness about the leaves is there pinnate shape.

The oil is rich in alcohol and used for its anti-inflammatory action on the body. It is a pain reliever.

The method employed is steam distillation and has a warm, fresh and rich aroma.

A study used Frankincense, Bergamot, and Lavender essential oil in a 1:1:1 ratio and diluted them to 1.5%. 50 ml of Sweet almond oil as a carrier oil was used.

The results were reported as a significant decrease in pain in hospice patients with terminal cancer. [21]

Best way to use: This oil has no noted contraindications; hence it can be used in steam inhalation, bath blend.

Soothing Body oil:

  • Make a blend of these magical oils having 10 drops of Frankincense essential oil, 8 drops of Rosemary essential oil, 7 drops of Lavender essential oil, and 5 drops of Ginger essential oil.
  • Bled these oils together and let them sit for eight hours to synergize.
  • Take 5 ml of carrier oil and add 3-5 drops of the blend.
  • Massage this to the affected areas. overall rating

Ginger Essential Oil

Ginger essential oil is steam distilled from the dried ground root of the perennial herb. The oil is filled with spicy and minty fragrance.

The oil has a warming action and relieves pain in the body [22].

It provides mind and body with freshness and pungent taste. The essential oil has pale yellow tinge.

The oil enters our circulation system through vaso-dilation in the required body area and increases the stimulation of tissues to reduce stiffness.[23]

Ginger oil is substantial in improving joint function. [24]  It is recommended to use in arthritis, rheumatism, aches, and pain.[25]

A study shows a significant reduction in inflammation and effective analgesic action of bioactive constitute [6]-gingerol in the carrageenan-induced paw edema rats. [26]

Low dilution of ginger oil can be used as a massage therapy or compress in joint pain and rheumatism. It gives immense relief in pain and inflammation.

A purposive clinical trial on osteoarthritis patients showed the use of ginger kidney compress or ginger compress therapy in alleviating symptoms of osteoarthritis including joint pain.

The application was done using cotton cloth which was soaked in a hot ginger infusion.

A 30-minute application was given over the kidney region and rest for 20 minutes was given to patients. [27]

A blend containing 1% ginger and 0.5% orange essential oil was administered using six massages in three weeks; results were in favor of intervention group and reported of decreased knee pain and intensity in them [28].

Best way to use: Revitalizing body oil for massage.

For this take 8 drops of German Chamomile, 10 drops of Lavender, 2 drops of Peppermint, 8 drops of Ginger, 10 drops of Plai essential oils.

Massage 3-5 drops of this blend diluted in 5 ml of carrier oil during morning and night time application. [29] overall rating

Lavender Essential Oil

The oil stands high among all kinds of essential oil with its balsamic, flower-like sweet fragrance.

Lavender essential oil is extracted from steam distillation method. The part used is flowering tops from an aromatic green woody shrub.

Its benefits include normalizing body functions, improving and decreasing the intensity of pain.[30]

It is effective in reducing joint pain; Lavender oil eases swelling and reduces inflammation in the body by lowering the reaction to pain within the central nervous system

A study reports that by using 2-3 drops of Lavender on a warm cotton towel and using it as a warm compress on the knee of patients.

This not only decreased their joint pain but reported a considerable increase in the flexibility of joints. [31]

Lavender oil is a storehouse of many bioactive constituents possessing anti-inflammatory properties such as Linalool, alpha-terpineol, Geranyl acetate, 1, 8- cineole, Linalool oxide and octane-3 (Lactone).

Using Peppermint oil and Lavender oil together gives a pain relief formula. The blend is also cooling on the body, soothing to joints and anti-inflammatory.

People with low blood pressure, sensitivity, or pregnant women must use oil cautiously.

Best way to use: Lavender and Marjoram essential oils mixed are great for joint pain. The blend can be used as bath oil, inhalant, mixed with carrier oil and used as massage oil. [32]

Magic Massage oil: All you need to do is follow three steps to get amazing results.

  • You will need 10 drops of Lavender essential oil, 15 drops of Sandalwood essential oil, and 5 drops of Ginger essential oil.
  • Blend all oils together and to use just add 3-5 drops of this blend to 5 ml of carrier oil.
  • Now massage gently till the oil absorbs into the skin.

Just lavender blend: A second method requires only 10 drops of lavender oil and 30 ml of carrier oil (coconut, jojoba oil).

Mix them well use for gentle massage on affected area. The unique quality for this blend is its safe use on children also. [33]

Arthritis pain relief blend: [34]

  • You need ½ tablespoon of each castor oil and grape seed oil. Pour them in a dark colored glass bottle.
  • Now add 6 drops of lavender, 3 drops of marjoram, 3 drops of black pepper and 6 drops of plai essential oils.
  • Mix well and use on affected areas as required. overall rating

Rosemary Essential Oil

Rosemary oil is steam distilled from sky blue flowering. Rosemary is a bushy shrub.

The oil is thin and colorless. It is strongly aromatic of minty, strong and fresh scent. The fragrance is slightly medicinal.

Many pain-relieving essential oils are sedative; however, rosemary oil is an excellent analgesic without any sedative effects.

It relieves the pain of rheumatism or arthritis.

A study investigated the effects of an essential oil blend on joint pain in arthritis patients.

The administered blend contained Rosemary, Marjoram, and Lavender, Eucalyptus, and Peppermint oil in ratio 1:1:2:2:1. Carrier oil formulation had 45% of almond, 45% apricot and 10% of jojoba oil. The results showed a significant reduction in pain. [35]

Best way to use: Massage, bath, compress

Healing bath Blend:

  • For this amazing relieving blend you must take Rosemary oil 15 drops, ginger oil 4 drops, lavender oil 4 drops, and Frankincense oil 5 drops.
  • Blend it all and let it synergize for 8 hours, use only 3 drops of this blend in 5 ml of carrier oil.
  • Use this formulation along with one handful of Rock or the Dead Sea salt in your bath therapy.

Pain-relieving Blend: [36]

Formulation of oils:

  • Carrier oil – 30 ml Grape seed oil
  • Eucalyptus essential oil – 3 drops
  • Frankincense essential oil – 3 drops
  • Geranium essential oil – 6 drops
  • Rosemary essential oil – 6 drops

Blend the oils and thoroughly massage into the joints.

This blend can be used as a hot compress. For that measure 750 ml water and add to it 8 drops of the blend.

Take a small cloth and get the blend in it. To not to escape the heat, wrap the joint plastic and dry cloth. Leave this compress for one hour. overall rating

Yarrow Essential Oil

Yarrow essential oil is distilled from dried herbs. The oil has a dark blue to a pale yellow tinge.

This perennial herb has pink-white flowers with a fresh and sweet aroma.

The oil is an antirheumatic. It is a potent analgesic and anti-inflammatory due to the presence of azulene.[37]

The oil increases red and white blood cell production.

The oil is contraindicated to be used in pregnancy and infants and toddlers.

Best way to use: Primarily used in Massage blends and bath oils.

Take 2-3 drops of yarrow oil and mix with St. John’s wort oil. Massage and run in the stiff joints to get the best results.

Precautions While Using Essential Oils

If the oil gets into eyes, quickly irrigate eyes with whole milk or vegetable oil. This dilutes the oil. Then rinse with water and seek medical help.

These oils can cause irritation or sensitivity to the skin so always ensure to do a patch test before trying out a new oil

If there is a skin reaction, quickly wash the affected area with non-perfumed soap.

Essential oils should be stored in tightly closed bottles and stored in a cool location away from light to maintain their potency for many years.

Some oils like bergamot and other citrus essential oil can make your skin photosensitive, so try to avoid sun exposure after their use.

They are highly flammable, hence must be stored away from gas stoves or match sticks.


Joint pain can be excruciating for a person of any age. It can occur at any joint but you are likely to feel it in knee, elbow and wrist joints.

The medications used for comforting pain are very costly with possible side effects.

Not only this, limitations are further extended to restricted mobility, limited range of motion, and agonizing pain.

To knock off the pain, essential oils are surely a therapy you should look for! These oils will benefit you with stiffness, swelling, pain, and inflammation of joints.

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