Oils as Alternative Treatment for Arthritis

by Phume Mdluli

Taking over-the-counter or prescription medications for the symptoms of arthritis can get tiring at times. When you just need a break from the conventional treatments, look no further than natural or essential oils as an alternative. For centuries, these oils have been used to treat many conditions and symptoms, including arthritis. And here are some of the most effective of them.


Lavender oil is one of the most popular oils used in aromatherapy. It is a multipurpose oil known to relieve body pain, nausea, insomnia, anxiety, depression, and eczema. Lavender oil is usually inhaled, added to a warm bath, or applied topically (mostly for skin conditions).

In 2016, a study was conducted to test how lavender oil diluted in sweet almond oil affects osteoarthritis of the knee. Over the course of 3 weeks, the participants massaged the mixture onto their swollen knees nine times or three times a week. The participants reported that their pain has been reduced after the first week.

Lavender essential oil would help a lot if you are experiencing distress or anxiety with your arthritic pain. It can be purchased online or in health stores.


Eucalyptus oil is proven to have analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties, and may also improve blood circulation. You can inhale eucalyptus oil directly or add a few drops of it to a warm bath.

For a 2013 study, people who underwent knee replacement surgery inhaled eucalyptus oil at 30-minute intervals for 3 consecutive days. The participants reported a significant reduction in pain, and their blood pressure levels were lowered.

You can buy eucalyptus essential oils online or in health stores.

Cannabidiol (CBD)

Containing cannabidiol extracts from cannabis plants, CBD oil can relieve pain that comes with chronic conditions, like arthritis. It is also known to alleviate anxiety and depression. Despite coming from cannabis plants, CBD has no psychoactive effects.

Several studies conducted on animals suggest that CBD can relieve inflammatory pain associated with arthritis, and even treat arthritis itself, specifically osteoarthritis. A study published in 2017 found that CBD is a safe and useful treatment for the osteoarthritic joint pain and nerve damage.

CBD oil is applied directly onto the area affected by arthritis. It is also available in powder, creams or gels for topical applications, and can be taken orally as a capsule or oral spray.

CBD is not legal everywhere. For areas where it can be purchased legally, CBD products are available in dispensaries.

Ginger oil

Ginger is a healing agent commonly used for its pain-relieving effects and anti-inflammatory properties. It is known to have analgesic effects on joint and knee pain associated with osteoarthritis.

To use it for your arthritic pain, simply apply a few drops of ginger oil topically on the affected area. To boost its effects, use a hot compress after applying the oil onto the area. However, some people may be allergic to topically applied ginger, so you should test it on a small area first, like the back of your hand, before using ginger oil for arthritis.

Before using any of these oils to treat your arthritis, it is best that you consult a medical professional first. You may also use natural oils alongside your medications to ensure holistic healing.

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