As time goes by, nerves begin to suffer some sort of damage. Depending on your lifestyle, this damage may be more or less severe. But what do you do to soothe it if you don’t want to intoxicate your body with medications? One of your best options is the use of essential oils for nerve pain.
Why essential oils? I intend to give you many details along the article about them and their use as a complementary therapy. Aromatherapy could be a therapy that adds more benefits and value to your lifestyle.
In this article, you’ll find:
- Details about how to use essential oils for a pinched nerve or more serious nerve damage.
- 4 of the best oils for nerve pain, with pros and cons, and my own opinion about them.
- A few essential oil blends that can help you manage your nerve pain easier.
- A comprehensive list of frequently asked questions about neuropathy and neuralgia. They’re both nerve conditions.
Best Essential Oils for Nerve Pain, Benefits and Blends
Pain, no matter what its roots are, has various degrees of intensity. One ant bite for instance, may cause only a bit of discomfort, while nerve pain is quite a serious matter. Generally speaking, this condition may alter the life of a person on many levels.
The International Association for the Study of Pain describes pain as “an emotional and sensorial experience”. More than half of the medical consultations today are motivated by pain.
It is indeed a sign to be taken seriously, as the body sends this message to the brain when something is wrong.
Plants have been the main source of pain relief for humans from the beginning of time. Plants have also been the main source of inspiration for some very important medicines.
Their painkilling properties and their active molecules have inspired the creation of aspirin. Aspirin was created from willow. Morphine-based drugs have been created from poppies.
These two medicines are both used for pain relief. The first one is for milder pain, while the second is for more serious pain.
Today, we have the steam distillation method, which is used to extract plants’ most potent essences. Plant essences are also known as essential oils.
Essential oils are very powerful! They can be quite toxic if consumed without medical advice or prior research. However, if used moderately and topically, they have very little side effects. If they do, they’re usually mild (skin rashes, itching, burning sensation, etc.).
These aromatic essences, as concentration, are somewhere between herbal teas and pharmaceuticals. They’re in no way a substitute for medications. They can however, enhance their effects and improve your mood considerably.
Essential Oils for Nerve Damage Can:
- Prevent nerve pain.
- Effectively control pain frequency and intensity.
- Act on the source of pain, which is inflammation.
- Sedate the painful area.
- Inhibit the receptors responsible for amplifying the pain sensation in the body.
How to Use Essential Oils for Nerve Damage
The best method of using essential oils is through massage. Simply dilute them in some carrier oil and apply with massage movements on the aching area. Massage stimulates the blood circulation and warms the painful area. Warmth and heat are always good inhibitors for pain.
Add 6 – 12 drops of essential oil (EO) in 1 Oz (30 ml) carrier oil. Depending on the EO used and the pain level, you could add more or less. Some essences need to be used only in small quantities!
Other good methods of enjoying the benefits of essential oils for nerve pain are:
- Hot compresses. Soak a towel in hot water and pour your chosen essential oils on. Keep the compress pressed to the aching area and change it when it cools off.
- Hot baths. Add 12 – 20 drops of EO in some Pink or Epsom salt, shower gel or milk. Stir well and drop the mixture into your bath water. Relax and inhale deeply for a good while.
Heat soothes the pain and improves the blood flow. Thus, the oils you use will travel faster and deeper once they’re in contact with the skin.
Nerve pain is part of a bigger picture called neuropathy. I will tell you more about it and neuralgia in the FAQ section that follows after giving you some of the best essential oils for nerve damage and pain.
1) Frankincense Essential Oil
In Latin, the tree from which frankincense resin is collected is called Boswellia carterii. This oil has a very long history and tradition. It was and still is used in religious rituals all over the world. It is also used in perfumes. Luckily, there’s more to it.
- It is a great anti-inflammatory. Any inflammation in the body can be soothed with this oil.
- Frankincense acts on the mediators (cytokines and leukotrienes) that cause pain by inhibiting them.
- The oil can act against tumor formation and relieve pain (analgesic).
- The most significant warning for this oil would be that it can have psychotropic effects. This means that if the oil is consumed in high dosages, it can affect behavior and brain activity.
- It should only be used for up to 4 continuous weeks.
What type of pain is it good for?
- Arthritis, asthma, joint pain, rheumatism, back pain.
Why I like it?
First of all, I like the smell of Frankincense. I also like to add it as a base note in some of my warmest perfumes. Plus, it is such a great beauty ingredient! It acts as an antioxidant, being suited for mature skin types. For pain relief it can be used 3 times a day, which makes it very adaptable in various combinations.
2) Juniper Essential Oil
The fruits of juniper have been used since the Middle Age. They were a great relief to all sorts of pain-associated problems. They were mostly infused and drank like medicine. Thankfully, today we have a better extract, which we can use locally anytime.
- The monoterpenes in this oil’s composition give it anti-rheumatism effects.
- Juniper is a great essential oil for nerve pain relief. Among others, it can stimulate the elimination of toxins and uric acid from the body, through the skin.
- This oil is also a great antalgic. It means it can calm down the pain. It also acts as an anti-inflammatory on the nerve damage.
- You should not use this oil for more than 2 or 3 times a day, to avoid the skin getting used to it.
- If you have kidney problems, you should totally avoid the oil of Juniper.
- There are many types of Juniper oils. For the effects I just described, you should look for Juniper berry essential oil.
What type of pain is it good for?
- Arthrosis (osteoarthritis), gout, rheumatism, headaches.
Why I like it?
I think Juniper is a good essential oil for neuropathy because it can also help with extreme fatigue and depression. It also has a fresh, alpine fragrance which makes it very interesting in blends.
3) Wintergreen Essential Oil
This aromatic essence is almost a classic in the world on natural remedies. Its Latin name is Gaultheria procumbens. It’s important to know it to differentiate among other types of plants that belong to the same family.
- Wintergreen essential oil is especially good for fever and joint pain.
- It contains almost 99% methyl salicylate. This substance acts just like aspirin.
- Wintergreen is a great pain reliever and anti-inflammatory.
- The oil of Wintergreen should not be used on wide areas.
- People that are allergic to aspirin should avoid using this essential oil for nerve pain.
- Without medical guidance, its consumption is totally prohibited.
What type of pain is it good for?
- Neuralgia, inflammations of the nerve tissue, and muscle pain. It is also good for joint pain, strains, back pain, and spondylosis.
Why I like it?
It’s quite easy to like this aromatic essence when you’re looking for a quick pain relief. Wintergreen can really enhance the effects of all other essential oils used for nerve damage and pain. It is also a great beauty ingredient! I say that because it can soothe acne inflammations quite efficiently.
4) Ginger Essential Oil
This aromatic essence is one of the warmest oils. It can heat up the area where it is applied. Oftentimes, if used undiluted (for a quicker pain relief), it can also sensitize the skin.
You will feel heat and a burning sensation on the skin. That is what makes the body exhaust its reserves of neurotransmitters that trigger the pain sensation.
- Ginger is an oil good for almost anything. But it is especially good at relieving all sorts of pain.
- It has anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties.
- Ginger essential oil acts very gently on the nervous system, enhancing the mood also.
- There are other types of Ginger oils, but the best one bears the name of Zingiber officinale.
- The oil of Ginger is also much more expensive than other oils.
- There is the risk of other medications to react with this essential oil.
What type of pain is it good for?
- Neuralgia, neuropathy, arthritis, arthrosis, muscle pain, joint or muscular stiffness, rheumatism.
Why I like it?
I like to use Ginger oil for nerve damage, vertigo and general fatigue. It can also deal with car sickness, which I sometimes suffer from. Ginger is one good anti-inflammatory to have around.
You can also combine Ginger essential oil with cayenne pepper. This one could be macerated in some vegetable oil, for instance. This way the nerve pain relief can be even greater.
Other Great Essential Oils to Use for Nerve Pain:
- Peppermint essential oil (Neuralgia and Neuropathy)
- Roman and German Chamomile essential oils (Neuralgia)
- Lavender essential oil (Neuralgia and Neuropathy)
- Nutmeg essential oil (Neuralgia)
- Geranium essential oil (Neuralgia and Neuropathy)
- Rosemary ct. camphor essential oil (Neuralgia)
- Sandalwood essential oil (Neuralgia)
- Clove essential oil (Neuralgia)
- Tarragon essential oil (Neuralgia)
- Clary sage essential oil (Neuralgia)
- Basil essential oil (Neuralgia)
- Helichrysum/Immortelle essential oil (Neuropathy)
- Cypress essential oil (Neuropathy)
- Tangerine essential oil (Neuropathy)
- Lemongrass (Neuropathy)
- Lemon Eucalyptus essential oil (Neuropathy)
- Patchouli essential oil (Neuropathy)
- Blue Tansy essential oil (Neuropathy)
- Ylang-Ylang essential oil (Neuropathy)
When there’s a chronic inflammatory pain, the body taps into its cortisol reserves. Cortisol, often known as the stress hormone, is the one dealing with inflammation. Nerve damage and pain takes a lot of cortisol. It is therefore important to boost its production.
Essential oils that have cortisol-like properties and functions can help producing more of this hormone.
Black Spruce and Pine essential oils are good oils for nerve pain. They have that “cortisol-like” effect on the body. Mix equal parts of essential oils with carrier oil and massage your kidney area 2 times a day. You can do so 5 days a week.
Combine this stimulation with your nerve pain relief treatment, or when you’re recovering from surgery. It is also useful for periods when you feel down and very tired.
On a more personal note, when it comes to using essential oils for nerve pain in feet, I like to use Peppermint or Lemon Eucalyptus. I prefer these two essential oils for whenever I feel my feet aching because:
- They are very cooling. That cold sensation on my feet, after walking or standing a long time, is very welcome.
- They also improve the circulation, which takes away the tension.
- These oils (and many others) can strengthen the blood vessels.
- They can make the pain slowly dissipate and offer the relief you need.
If you want to use essential oils for the nerve pain in your feet, I would recommend using cooling ones.
Essential Oil Blends for Nerve Pain Relief
When deciding what blend would be most suited for your condition, take into consideration the following:
- The trigger factor of the pain you feel.
- How intense that pain is.
- The way it affects you. Is it bearable or not? Could you sleep on it, etc.?
- Your other health problems.
- The other medications you’re using.
- Your medical history (allergies, etc.)
- Your age as well. It plays an important role in this process too.
Each type of oil used in neuropathy has its own characteristics, pros and cons. Considering the above factors will help you make good and safe blends to relieve nerve pain.
Because they are so different, almost all are good oils for nerve damage. You can use them in various blends, to your liking.
That way you can soothe pain on all levels, including the psychological/emotional plan as well. It’s always a pleasant experience to inhale the scents you like.
We all cope with pain differently. Because of that, and because we have over a hundred essential oils to choose from, we can make ourselves the blends we really need. Blends that deal with the pain and make us feel better each day. Here are a couple recipes to help you get rid of that nerve pain.
Essential Oils Blend for Nerve Pain (Nerve Damage and Neuropathy)
- Wintergreen essential oil: 1 ml (~20 drops)
- Peppermint essential oil: 1 ml
- Roman Chamomile essential oil: 15 drops
- Ginger essential oil: 15 drops
- Tamanu oil: 2 Oz (60ml)
Mix all these oils together and shake well before each use. This is a more concentrated blend and you could start lower at first. Apply every time it hurts directly on the aching area. Use gentle stimulating movements and maintain the area warm.
Milder Nerve Pain Relief Blend
- Frankincense essential oil: 10 drops
- Juniper berry essential oil: 10 drops
- Helichrysum essential oil: 10 drops
- Black seed oil: 1 Oz (30ml)
Shake this blend well before each use. Massage the painful area as many times as necessary and maintain it warm for at least 30 minutes.
FAQ about Nerve Damage, Neuralgia and Naturopathy
I’ve told you what essential oils for nerve pain to use. I’ve given you some natural remedies as well. Now it’s time to find out a little bit about the causes of nerve damage and what to do to prevent or improve this condition, among other things. I’ve put all this information in a questions and answers section so it is easier for you all to find what you need.
a) What is nerve pain?
Nerve pain is a sensation you feel after a nerve has been damaged.
b) What is Neuralgia?
Neuralgia is the pain resulted from damage done to the peripheral nervous system. Professionals have divided our nerves into 2 main categories (or groups):
1) The CNS (Central Nervous System), with the brain and spinal cord.
2) The PN (Peripheral Nerves), with all the remaining nerves.
Neuralgia is pain coming from the second group of nerves, which can be located anywhere. It is also a pain that can come back. Essential oils for nerve pain or nerve damage can help you soothe this condition.
c) What is Neuropathy?
Neuropathy usually includes damage to the peripheral nerves, but it’s not a rule. Nervous system problems can enter this category too.
It may feel like a lot of tingling, numbness and even weakness in the limbs or muscles. These symptoms may vary depending on which nerves were affected.
d) What causes nerve pain, neuralgia or neuropathy?
There are many causes for this type of pain, and among them we have:
- Too much glucose in the blood (added sugar).
- Drugs and medications.
- Alcohol abuse.
- Diseases like HIV (autoimmune) and tumors.
- Surgeries or physical injuries.
- Deficiency of vitamins and nutrients.
e) What vitamins to take to prevent nerve damage and neuropathy?
The lack of certain vitamins can actually kill your nerves. To prevent it from happening and improve the health of the other damaged nerves, you should make sure you have enough:
- Vitamins B2, B12.
- And Vitamin D.
f) What about the use of essential oils for nerve damage?
The oils I mentioned in this article are chosen specifically for their benefits in case of nerve damage. They can strengthen the blood vessels and improve circulation. More blood and oxygen to the nerves means less pain and a slow tissue regeneration.
Essential oils for nerve pain are also anti-inflammatory and pain killers. They make good natural remedies to use with other prescribed medications. Using blends with essential oils for neuropathy can help on an emotional plan as well.
You can choose uplifting, energizing and relaxing oils to help you cope with the pain and the general discomfort. Aromatic oils have been proven effective in stimulating the nervous system and improving the mood.
Whether it is a pinched nerve or more serious nerve damage, nerve pain can occur anywhere in the body. Its symptoms may also vary depending on the affected nerves. To find out what nerves were affected, you should first consult a doctor.
You can use essential oils for nerve pain to relieve some of the pain and strengthen the blood vessels. A better circulation will supply the nerves with more blood and oxygen. That usually takes away the pain faster. Don’t forget to add relaxing scents that you like in your blends. They will help you cope better with the pain and the treatment period.
How do you deal with your nerve damage? What essential oils do you prefer?