Top 8 Essential Oils For Inflammation
This content was updated for accuracy and relevance on November 11th, 2020
What essential oil is good for inflammation? Identifying the source of your discomfort is the first step to figuring out which essential oils are best for your needs. While some inflammation is visible to the naked eye—irritated skin, or the red patch around a fresh cut—respiratory and GI inflammation are invisible.
An oil that can help combat skin irritation may not be the best for respiratory complaints, and vice versa. Additionally, whether you are looking for an essential oil to aid in muscle soreness or wound healing, we know the best essential oils for you!
If you’ve ever been stung by a bee or rolled your ankle, you know that acute inflammation is the body’s natural response to injury and infection. While healthy inflammation aids healing, in some cases, disruptions to the immune system can result in chronic inflammation.
When inflammation persists, you may experience fatigue, stress, bloating, and physical discomfort for months or even years.
Along with eating leafy green veggies and getting more sleep, essential oils with anti inflammatory properties can help reduce chronic inflammation. Below are the 8 top essential oils for inflammation.
#1 Muscle Relief Synergy Blend
Whether you’re experiencing muscle soreness due to physical activity, an injury, or during periods of stress or sleep, the Muscle Relief synergy blend might be the best EO blend for you.
The powerful, minty aroma can support the loosening of tight muscles to help decrease inflammation and swelling thanks to its cooling effect. This blend contains Peppermint, Clove Bud, Wintergreen and Helichrysum essential oils, which are some of the best inflammation-fighting oils around.
#2 Hemp Essential Oil
Also known as cannabis essential oil, Hemp essential oil is produced by the steam distillation of the cannabis herb. It doesn’t contain THC or CBD. Instead, its active components are myrcene and beta-caryophyllene, which are packed with anti inflammatory properties that may help reduce redness and swelling.
Hemp is one of the most promising essential oils for joint pain and inflammation.
A 2015 study on myrcene found that this compound may improve cartilage health.
Myrcene also has mid analgesic properties, meaning that it can help reduce physical discomfort.
If you’re suffering from muscle pain, aching joints, or post-exercise inflammation, Hemp oil may hasten your body’s natural healing.
Note: Hemp essential oil and Hemp Seed carrier oil are two different products. They can be used in combination, or separately. What’s the difference? Hemp essential oil is made from the Hemp herb, while Hemp Seed carrier oil is made from seeds and composed of skin-nourishing fatty acids.
#3 Peppermint Essential Oil
A 2016 study demonstrated that Peppermint essential oil can significantly reduce itchiness, including itchiness caused by scars. With cooling, analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties, Peppermint essential oil is a prime pick for helping reduce inflammation caused by sunburn or injury. Consider adding Peppermint essential oil into your routine to minimize pain caused by skin inflammation.
In addition, Peppermint improves the absorption of other essential oils by the skin. Peppermint oil also makes a great addition to just about any topical application as it enhances other oils’ effects on the skin.
#4 Eucalyptus Essential Oil
There’s a reason why cough drops often taste like eucalyptus: this aromatic plant can help reduce inflammation in the respiratory tract. Eucalyptus has long been a staple of folk medicine traditions in Brazil, where it is used to help with respiratory inflammation.
Modern science is beginning to confirm eucalyptus’ beneficial effects:
A 2003 study in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology demonstrated that inhaled eucalyptus reduced respiratory pain and helped combat inflammation in test subjects.
A more recent 2017 study identified specific chemical pathways that enable Eucalyptus oil to support lung health.
While you should continue with your prescribed antibiotics and medications through the full course of treatment, Eucalyptus essential oil can be a great additional support due to its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, decongestant, and mucolytic (mucus-thinning) properties.
#5 Lavender Essential Oil
The mother of essential oils, Lavender has been used medically for millennia. A 2002 review of relevant scientific literature on Lavender confirms its antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties.
Known to help support mood as well as aid the healing of surface-level wounds, Lavender essential oil can help support both respiratory and topical inflammation.
Dilute Lavender essential oil and use it as a topical application to help with inflammation as well as consider using an aroma diffuser before bed to reap its relaxing properties.
#6 Spruce Essential Oil
Spruce is thought to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and analgesic properties. A traditional medicine in First Nations cultures, spruce has long been used to manage physical discomfort, especially sore joints. Spruce essential oil may also be used to help with chronic pain such as joint inflammation or muscle aches.
A 2015 study by Dr. Yadav Uprety and his colleagues found that boreal plants—including spruce—can be effective in mitigating aches like joint stiffness and muscle soreness.
When it comes to pain and respiratory issues associated with inflammation, Spruce’s properties make this oil a go-to.
#7 German Chamomile CO2
German Chamomile has long been used as a medicinal herb for ailments—including inflammation—that appear on the skin’s surface. Traditional cultures apply German Chamomile topically to:
Help speed wound healing of bruises and cuts
Help soothe irritation
Help treat rashes including poison ivy and diaper rash
In a summary of current findings on German Chamomile, Professor Janmejai Srivastava and his colleagues note one reason for Chamomile essential oil’s efficacy at soothing upset skin: “chamomile flavonoids and essential oils penetrate below the skin surface into the deeper skin layers,” delivering their anti-inflammatory effects where they’re most needed.
When it comes to inflammatory skin problems, it’s important to use gentle, soothing products that won’t further irritate the skin.
#8 Ginger Essential Oil
You may already eat Ginger for an upset stomach because the plant’s unique chemical composition provides benefits when applied topically too.
A review of scientific literature on Ginger oil indicates that clinical studies are underway to evaluate Ginger’s use for treating stiff joints, sore muscles, and more.
Ginger essential oil has a well known antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties along with its uplifting aroma that makes it a natural choice for physical discomfort.
Using Essential Oils In Home Remedies For Inflammation
Now that you’ve read about all the best essential oils for pain and inflammation, you’re probably eager to put them to use in your daily life. The following remedies deliver plants’ most potent qualities exactly where you need them.
Soothe Sore Muscles
As you can see, several oils hold promising qualities for reducing the physical discomfort associated with inflammation. Try out the following anti inflammatory essential oil recipes to create your own relief at home:
1 tbsp soy wax
10 drops Hemp essential oil
6 drops Helichrysum-italicum essential oil
- 2 drops German Chamomile CO2
In a double boiler, melt the wax.
Turn off heat, then add all oils.
Pour mixture into a 2 oz tin or glass jar and let cool.
Scoop out and apply to areas of concern.
Pro tip: If you're regularly dealing with muscle soreness, try taking a bath with our Detox Bath Salt or Ache Bath Salt. All of our Bath Salts include high-quality Epsom salt which can help speed up the recovery process while your body eliminates toxins.
Calm Irritated Skin
If your skin is itchy, red, or inflamed, give it some much-needed moisture by applying the following blend after washing your face:
2 tbsp Tamanu carrier oil
5 drops Hemp essential oil
5 drops Lavender essential oil
2 drops German Chamomile CO2
This cooling, anti-inflammatory essential oil blend can help soothe itchiness and reduce redness.
Focus On Your Joints
Whether you’ve been spending too much time at your keyboard or you’ve taken one too many tennis serves, your joints may need some TLC. Especially for those suffering from arthritis pain, follow these steps to support pain relief.
1 oz soy wax
2 oz Avocado carrier oil
7 drops Frankincense essential oil
5 drops German Chamomile CO2
5 drops Lavender essential oil
Melt soy wax in a double boiler.
Add all oils and stir to combine.
Place mixture in a 3 oz glass container.
Apply to inflamed areas.
Respiratory Blends For Aromatherapy
If you’re experiencing inflammation in the form of chest tightness, mucous, and other cold symptoms, harness the power of essential oil aromatherapy.
Here are two of our favorite blends.
Place this blend in a 10 ml bottle for decongestant, mucolytic, and anti-inflammatory effects. Add to an aromatherapy diffuser to soothe respiratory inflammation.
50 drops Eucalyptus essential oil
50 drops Spruce essential oil
50 drops Spike Lavender essential oil
If you would rather use a unique, pre-blended essential oil, try our Respiratory Ease synergy blend.
Get Well Soon Blend
Place the following oils in a 10 ml bottle to create an anti-inflammatory stock blend for inflammation associated with skin irritation, injury, and infection.
50 drops Lavender essential oil
50 drops Frankincense & Myrrh synergy blend
50 drops German Chamomile CO2
If you would rather use a unique, pre-blended essential oil, try our Align or Yuzu Cannabliss synergy blend. Some other single oils to consider are Tea Tree, Roman Chamomile, Clary Sage and Cinnamon oil. Contact us today if you have any additional questions about the best anti inflammatory essential oils.
1. Cavaleiro, Alexandrina and Ferreira Mendes. “Evaluation of the anti-inflammatory, anti-catabolic and pro-anabolic effects of E-caryophyllene, myrcene and limonene in a cell model of osteoarthritis.” European Journal of Pharmacology 750 (2015): 141-150. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0014299915000412
2. Elsaie, Lotfy T et al. “Effectiveness of topical peppermint oil on symptomatic treatment of chronic pruritus.” Clinical, cosmetic and investigational dermatology vol. 9 (2016): 333-338. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5066694/
3. Silva, Jean et. al. “Analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects of essential oils of Eucalyptus.” Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 89.2-3 (2003): 277-283. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0378874103003131
4. Yadav, Niket and Harish Chandra H. “Suppression of inflammatory and infection responses in lung macrophages by eucalyptus oil and its constituent 1,8-cineole.” PLOS ONE 12.11 (2017). https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0188232
5.Cavanagh, H.M.A. and Wilkinson, J.M. “Biological activities of Lavender essential oil.” Phytother. Res., 16 (2002): 301-308. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/ptr.1103?casa_token=TrevNG748woAAAAA:hifNb_cQJeRLzmdb7XKXCfxyDtdo6S5OlnMIYpWmsf7bRw6lLnOijIR5Z-46dF-qWe2LwF-4YE0wOw
6. Uprety, Yadav, Lacasse, A. and Asselin, H. “Traditional Uses of Medicinal Plants from the Canadian Boreal Forest for the Management of Chronic Pain Syndromes.” Pain Practice 16 (2015): 459-466. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/papr.12284?casa_token=P6yZXCErIrUAAAAA%3AuKVIkWQFnSo1EhHtmstkfoI3NDm9_YnWmQM-hAU0Jop6HAFtb8VOJrPaiBmOvPa9pL2PS0JBKsTRlFw
7. Srivastava, J. K., Shankar, E., Gupta, S."Chamomile: A herbal medicine of the past with a bright future (Review)". Molecular Medicine Reports 3.6 (2010): 895-901. https://www.spandidos-publications.com/mmr/3/6/895
8. Mashhadi, Nafiseh Shokri et al. “Anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory effects of ginger in health and physical activity: review of current evidence.” International Journal of Preventive Medicine 4.1 (2013): S36-42. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3665023/