The winter season is a welcome change for many, especially with the holidays ringing in the colder months. However, for many the change in weather can be painful- especially for those who suffer from arthritis. Arthritis refers to swelling or inflammation that affects the body’s musculoskeletal system, particularly the joints, with osteoarthritis (the degradation of joins, cartilage and bone) and rheumatoid arthritis (an autoimmune disease causing the inflammation of flexible joints) being the two most common forms. Common symptoms of arthritis include swelling, redness, and restriction to your range of movement. The most noticeable symptoms, however, is moderate to severe joint pain and stiffness.
The treatments recommended for arthritis usually depend on number factors that include the person’s age and overall health, as well as the severity of the condition. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, taking the natural approach by utilizing the natural anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties of essential oils can be an effective strategy in treating arthritis.
Marjoram oil has been traditionally used for treating bruises, sprains, muscle spasm, and stiff joints, making it great for relieving arthritic pain. Marjoram essential oil also has a calming effect that relieves anxiety and stress. When applied topically, it can relax the muscle and relieve soreness, while promoting feelings of wellbeing and calmness.
Note: Don’t use the oil on broken or sensitive skin, as it can be irritating.
Rosemary oil ranks among the essential oils for arthritis as it has an abundance of anti-pain properties, as well as anti-inflammatory benefits.
How to use: Dilute the rosemary oil with a carrier oil (such as olive or jojoba oil), and rub the mixture onto the arthritis stricken area.
Eucalyptus oil has a number of benefits in terms of treating muscles and joint pain. Eucalyptus oil should be warm when it’s applied over the affected part and should be covered with plastic wrap for better result. Eucalyptus oil can help heal rheumatoid arthritis in any months of the year but studies show that it works great in winter seasons.
Ginger essential oil is an amazing healing agent that contains chemicals with analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects on the body. It’s been shown to lessen pain associated with arthritis, making it a great pain reliever. Ginger has that slight burning sensation similar to the initial intense burning feel you get when you consume spicy pepper. While it typically only lasts a few seconds, researchers discovered that it affects the pain pathways directly and rather rapidly in most cases, relieving the inflammation, which in itself causes pain.
Lavender essential oil has a wide range of great properties, including hair care and relief from headaches and migraines. Lavender is known to provide balance to the body, promote sleep and relive anxiety. As a treatment for arthritis, it can help reduce soreness and inflammation around painful areas. It works by increasing oxygenation and circulation to the joints.
How to use: To use, mix about 5-10 drops with warm olive oil before massaging it gently to affected areas. For a full body relief, you may add several drops to your warm bath to soak aching joints and muscles.
Peppermint oil is commonly used for cooking and as a beauty product ingredient. However, thanks to the presence of l-menthol, one of the best features of peppermint oil is its anti-inflammatory properties. This, when coupled with its natural pain reliving properties, make the oil perfect for the topical treatment of painful inflammation.
Note: Peppermint oil is very strong undiluted, so combine it with a carrier oil before rubbing it on your joints to relieve pain.