Ganglion cysts happen, nobody knows for sure why. It’s important to know they’re not life-threatening, but they can take a long time to shrink and heal. This is where natural remedies can speed things up. Read more to find out what the best essential oils for ganglion cysts are and why.
In this post, you’ll be reading about:
- The way aromatic oils can help shrink ganglion cysts on wrists or other joints.
- The pros and cons of some of the best ones you can choose to use.
- Best ways to use these aromatic oils to get faster results.
- A few practical Aromatherapy recipes to try as soon as possible.
- Facts, signs, possible causes and theories about ganglion cysts. Be sure to check this section out, to find out lots of interesting things.
- Finally, a few safety tips about the use of essential oils for ganglion cysts.
Essential Oils for Ganglion Cyst Shrinkage (Pros & Cons), How to Use & Recipes
Ganglion cysts look like lumps or even tumors, which scares a lot of people. It is not a reason for concern though, because these cysts are not cancerous. The lump or swelling you see on your joints is filled with a liquid similar to the synovial fluid.
The latter’s purpose is to lubricate the joints and make movement possible. I will tell you more about the cystic fluid in the last part of this post.
Ganglion cysts don’t normally hurt, but they can if the swelling presses on a nerve. At times, they can also impair the movement of the affected joint. Even if they’re not life-threatening or painful, they can be very unaesthetic.
Left alone, ganglion cysts can go away on their own, but that may take a very long time (years). If everything goes well, it might shrink and heal in about 6 months.
How Can Essential Oils Help with a Ganglion Cyst?
Aromatherapy uses essential and carrier oils, as well as hydrosols. They’re used as remedies to improve health and well-being. Essential oils are:
- Steam-distilled from different plant parts (roots, leaves, blossoms, etc.). Sometimes, they can also be extracted by carbon dioxide (CO2).
- Volatile aromatic essences that diffuse and disperse into the atmosphere very fast. Aromatic oils evaporate very fast, which is why you can smell them so intensely, so fast.
- Not greasy when applied to the skin. They don’t contain fatty acids like carriers do.
- Sensitive to light, oxygen, and heat. Some have a very short shelf life (citruses), while others resist for years.
- Very concentrated. It usually takes tens of kilos of plant material to get a few milliliters of the essence. It is why you can use such small amounts for long periods of time.
- Oil-soluble. This means they mix only with oils and neutral substances like salt, honey, and milk. Essential oils don’t mix with water because their molecular weight is heavier.
The aromatic oil molecules that make these substances have different roles and benefits. When it comes to ganglion cysts, the best essential oil should be:
- Diuretic, to promote water and toxin elimination, and improve lymph flow. The latter should also help shrink the liquid-filled lump on your joints.
- Circulatory, to improve circulation. This delivers oxygen and nutrients to the cells and joints, which helps with a faster recovery.
- Stimulant, to boost the production of collagen and promote faster healing. To improve the immune system and the production of antibodies.
- Anti-inflammatory, to decrease the inflammation of a possibly pressed nerve.
- Analgesic, to decrease the pain (local sedative).
- Anti-tumor, to inhibit the growth of benign tissue. Ganglion cysts are benign, otherwise known as non-cancerous.
Essential oils can help you shrink a ganglion cyst and/or speed up healing. Aromatherapy is not a miracle cure, however, and what works for someone, may not work for you.
Ganglions need a lot of time to shrink and go away. They are also likely to come back. If you have your own blend of essential oils for ganglion cysts, it can save you time and trouble.
There are many different aromatic oils that can help with ganglion cysts. Some of the best are Frankincense, Juniper berry, and Lemon Eucalyptus. Let’s see what makes them good and what you should be aware of before using these remedies.
1) Frankincense Essential Oil
Botanical name: Boswellia carterii.
- Frankincense oil is very good for ganglion cyst treatment. It is so mainly because it has an anti-tumor effect. The oil was found effective at inhibiting tumor growth in general. It specifically inhibited some types of cancer cells.
- The oil is also anti-inflammatory and stimulant. If the cyst is painful, the oil can soothe and decrease the resulting inflammation.
- Frankincense promotes the production of collagen and speeds up tissue healing. In case of surgery, the oil of Frankincense can also help you heal without scars.
- On top of it all, Frankincense is very soothing for the nervous system. It can relax and promote a peaceful feeling.
- People with asthma and epilepsy must talk to their doctors first. There is a high risk of an induced attack/seizure.
- The oil has cortisone-like effects. This means it may interact with certain medications.
- High dosage of Frankincense can cause kidney toxicity.
Why I like it:
I like the smell of this oil, so oriental and mystic, sweet and peaceful… One thing is sure, you can use Frankincense oil for ganglion cysts. It can soothe pain, decrease inflammation and prevent it from growing. The oil can also purify the air and prevent infections.
2) Juniper Berry Essential Oil
Botanical name: Juniperus communis.
- One can use Juniper berry for ganglion cysts because it’s a great diuretic essential oil. It promotes water and toxin elimination.
- It also stimulates the lymph draining process, which in turn leads to a smaller lump.
- Juniper oil improves the circulation by fluidifying the blood. It is great to decongest a local lump such as a ganglion cyst.
- The oil is antioxidant and helps to speed up healing.
- The oil of Juniper should not be used by people with cancer.
- It should also be avoided if you suffer from kidney problems.
- Juniper has hormonal effects, which make the oil susceptible to drug interactions.
- It can also irritate the mucous membranes.
- The risk of a seizure or asthma attack is also higher.
Why I like it:
The smell of Juniper berry is sweet and balsamic. Traditionally, people would use the plant for rheumatic pains. Today, the essential oil of Juniper is still used for that purpose. This oil can also protect from infections and promote a better breathing.
3) Lemon Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Botanical name: Eucalyptus citriodora.
- Lemon Eucalyptus is one of the best essential oils for cysts. It is highly anti-inflammatory, which is helpful in case of pain and swelling. The oil is very popular for rheumatic remedies.
- It is stimulant and circulatory too. When you use Lemon Eucalyptus essential oil for a ganglion cyst, it stimulates the blood flow.
- It can also relieve pain and sedate locally.
- This oil can also soothe the nervous system and enhance your mood.
- The oil is irritant to the mucous membranes.
- It can cause watery eyes or coughing episodes.
Why I like it:
Fortunately, you can use the oil on children older than 3 years too. It doesn’t have many side effects, though large amounts can be toxic. Its scent is lemony and tart, with eucalyptus notes. You can use Lemon Eucalyptus essential oil for cysts and repel insects.
As you can see, some essential oils are great for getting you rid of ganglion cysts. Or at least, they can be used to soothe the pain and improve their aspect. Here are a few other good essential oils for ganglion cysts:
- Immortelle (Helichrysum)
- Mastic (Lentisk)
- Clove bud
Each of these essences has many useful properties. For example, Clove essential oil is antinociceptive. This property refers to the ability to reduce pain. In other words, it acts like a local anesthetic (much like lidocaine).
Using Oregano oil for ganglion cysts can also help. It has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects. It can also relieve pain and itching. Helichrysum, Cistus, and Mastic are all great at improving circulation. They can also help decrease the swelling and pain.
Also, if you trust them and want to use doTERRA essential oils for cysts, feel free to do so. Just keep in mind that there are lots of other reputable sources where you can buy oils from. What matters is the purity of the products, which can be verified.
Ask to get access to the GC/MS report of the essence you’re interested in and read it well. That’s where you’ll find details such as the extraction method, botanical name, and chemotype.
These are all important in determining how pure the oil is. Read more about how to choose your essential oils here.
*Consult your doctor before using any of these essential oils for ganglion cyst treatment. They may interact with other drugs you’re taking. Or they may trigger certain other conditions, especially if you’re prone to them.
How to Use Essential Oils for Ganglion Cyst on Joints
Ganglion cysts can occur wherever there is a joint. They do happen most often on the wrists and ankles or feet/toes. Most of the times they don’t hurt either, but they can look ugly.
For that reason, the majority want to get rid of them as fast as possible. Surgical treatment is not usually recommended. It becomes an option only if the cysts hurt and cause you trouble moving your joint.
Luckily, Aromatherapy can provide some relief and even speed up their healing. Essential oils are known to improve the aspect of skin, and cysts make no exception.
They don’t represent a miraculous cure for ganglion cysts, however. You must know this before starting to use them, so you don’t get disappointed afterward.
The best way to enjoy their effects and benefits is through a local application. You can mix up to 20 drops of essential oils for ganglion cysts per Oz (30 ml) carrier. This amount can be more or less, depending on how your skin tolerates the ingredients.
Many sources recommend applying the oils neat (undiluted), directly to the cyst. The long-term use of these oils used this way can cause problems. They can sensitize the skin area. It will always react to that essential oil or the major compounds in its composition.
Make a blend out of 3 – 4 aromatic oils and apply it every 2 hours or so. The best results come from frequency and consistency. Ganglion cysts can heal on their own but very slowly.
Applying blends only occasionally or once/twice a day can’t really speed this process up either. That’s why it’s best to make a roll-on blend and keep it with you or on hand at all times.
Some of the best carrier oils to use for ganglion cysts are:
- CBD Hemp
- Black Seed (Nigella)
These oils have anti-inflammatory and nourishing properties. Some of them can also improve the circulation and enhance the effects of essential oils.
Essential oils for ganglion cysts can also be diffused. They can disinfect and refresh the air, thus protecting from infections. At the same time, these aromatic oils could help you relax and unwind.
Castor oil for ganglion cyst treatment is a popular choice. The oil has strong anti-inflammatory properties. It’s also antibacterial and can strengthen the skin and affected surrounding tissue.
I recommend using a high-quality nebulizer for diffusion. It diffuses the oils pure and undiluted because it doesn’t use water. A nebulizer can cover very large areas too.
Read more about diffusing with aroma diffusers:
Other ganglion cysts natural remedies are:
- Aloe Vera gel – anti-inflammatory and soothing.
- Epsom salts – disinfectant and wound-healing.
- Black tea – antioxidant.
- Pineapple (for bromelain) – circulatory.
- Turmeric (Curcuma) – anti-inflammatory.
Apply these ingredients pure or made into a paste, or simply soak your ganglion in a mixture for 20 – 30 minutes.
I’ve also heard people claiming that the oil pulling method helped them get rid of ganglion cysts. I have not found any medical proof to support this claim. I don’t see how it could work either.
The oil you swish around your mouth helps with gums and teeth. Those who’ve said the method worked, also said they’ve had the cyst for a long time (years).
It seems to me that it was just a happy coincidence. We know that ganglion cysts can go away on their own, after years. That said, I don’t recommend the ganglion cyst oil pulling method for reasons I just explained.
Essential Oil Recipes for Ganglion Cysts
As usual, the time to put all that theory to practice is here. Check out the following essential oil blends to use on your ganglion cysts. Feel free to adapt the recipes with what you have handy or you like best.
Ganglion Cyst Aromatherapy Synergy (30ml roll-on)
- Lemon Eucalyptus essential oil: 5 drops
- Helichrysum essential oil: 5 drops
- Juniper Berry essential oil: 5 drops
- Arnica oil: 1 Oz (30 ml)
Give the blend a good shake before each use.
Ganglion Cyst Daily Compress Recipe
- Epsom salt: 1 tablespoon
- Hot water: 1 cup
- Compress/soft cloth
- Frankincense essential oil: 2 – 3 drops
Mix the salt with the essential oil, then dissolve it well into the water. Soak the cloth and wring out the excess. Apply on the ganglion for about 10 minutes, until the compress cools off. Repeat for half an hour.
The salt can be replaced with Castor oil or any other carrier. You can mix both oils together and pour a moderate amount on the compress.
10ml Roll-On Ganglion Cyst Natural Remedy
- Hemp seed/Coconut oil:1 Oz (30ml)
- Frankincense essential oil: 6 drops
- Oregano essential oil: 2 drops
- Clove bud essential oil: 2 drops
Add the essential oil drops and then top off with the carrier oil. Give it a good shake before each use.
Like I said, there is no natural cure for ganglion cysts. You can either let them run their course or use Aromatherapy to speed things up.
Ganglion Cyst Facts, Signs & Symptoms, Causes & Safety Tips
Ganglion cysts are not cancerous and most of the times, they’re not painful either. When that happens though, it’s because the fluid-filled lump presses or touches a nerve. These lumps vary in size from small (pea-sized) to large (1 inch/2.54 cm diameter).
This size is given by the amount of gelatinous liquid found inside. A cyst forms on tendons and/or joints on the hands and wrists, feet and ankles.
Other joints may be affected too, but it’s not very common. These commonly affected areas are thought to be so because of all the movement.
The fluid that fills the cyst is similar to the synovial fluid, but it’s not the same. It’s made mostly of hyaluronic acid and it’s a lot thicker than the synovial fluid.
The latter is useful in maintaining the joints and tendons lubricated. The joint movement can pump this liquid into the cyst, or it can be a degenerative process. There are other theories that refer to how this cystic fluid forms.
The exact causes of ganglion cysts are not known. There are, however, many theories. Some of them make a lot of sense too. Specialists believe they can be the cause of:
- Joint stress and degeneration.
- Pre-existent joint/tendon injuries.
- Abnormalities of the joint.
All these theories and others need to be researched in more depth and a consensus must be reached.
The signs of a ganglion cyst are swelling and tenderness. When you touch it, you should feel the liquid inside. This cyst can be painful and red only if there’s inflammation or nerve damage.
Sometimes, the ganglion may sit there unnoticed, especially if it’s very small. Bigger ones become unaesthetic and need some sort of treatment.
The usual treatment involves surgery or/and draining. The latter method should be performed only by a doctor. Otherwise, the risk of infection is very high.
If you wish to get rid of them faster, you can use essential oils for ganglion cysts. They are safe and easy to use, and most importantly, they’re non-invasive.
Other types of cysts:
- Retinacular ganglion cysts – They’re also known as volar retinacular cysts, sesamoid or pearl-seed ganglia. They form on the flexor tendon sheath that’s found in the carpal tunnel of the hand. In other words, they’re cysts that affect the fingers. The same essential oils for ganglion cysts can be used for retinacular ganglion cysts.
- Meniscal cysts – These cysts appear along the margins of the meniscus. The meniscus is the cushion of the knee bones. Do meniscal cysts go away? They do go away on their own, but only after you deal with the meniscus tear first.
We also have sebaceous cysts, but they don’t make it into the category of ganglion cysts. Those are caused by clogged pores and bacteria.
You can read more about acne and some natural remedies here. Some of the best essential oils for sebaceous cysts are Lemon Eucalyptus, Tea Tree, Oregano, and Cinnamon.
Safety Tips for Safe Essential Oils Use
Like any other remedy, Aromatherapy can also have its downsides. It’s usually very safe and easy to use, especially when used appropriately.
This appropriate use refers to moderate amounts and short periods of time. It also means no internal use without medical advice. Here you have some more tips to take into account:
- Test each aromatic essence you want to use for allergic reactions. Apply a drop on the inside of the forearm and watch for irritation, itching, etc. If nothing happens within a few hours – a day, the oil is safe.
- Avoid applying undiluted essential oils to ganglion cysts.
- When you diffuse aroma oils, do so in small (15 – 20 minute) bursts. Keep the room well-ventilated to avoid headaches and nausea.
- If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, check with your doctor before using them.
- The same goes for elderly people and/or children.
- Make sure there’s no pet around when you diffuse aromatic oils. Some may be toxic, especially for cats.
The good news about using essential oils for ganglion cysts is that they can be shrunk. The bad news is that it may still take a long time until they’re gone. It is, however, better than surgery or waiting for them to go away on their own. Luckily, if there’s no pain involved, you might not even notice when your cyst shrank.
What do you think about these natural remedies and their application methods? Have you ever tried any essential oil for pain or swelling? I’d love to hear more about your experiences.