Essential Oils for Nerve Pain Relief
By Caryn Gehlmann, Clinical Aromatherapist
Nerve pain, also called neuralgia or neuropathic pain, happens when a health condition affects the nerves that carry sensations to your brain. Nerve pain is unique and can often feel like a shooting, stabbing, or burning sensation. Can essential oils for nerve pain provide relief? There certainly aren’t any miracle cures or quick fixes, however, many people do find relief from using the right combination of essential oils.
Kelly, an e3 customer, recently reached out to me because she had recently recovered from shingles but had some residual nerve issues. So I decided this would be a great topic for our Q&A with Caryn: Which essential oils can I use for nerve pain?
Here are a few suggestions when you want to try using essential oils for nerve pain. First, a reminder, it is important to note that essential oil use is not intended to replace medical treatment if necessary. Always consult a healthcare professional for proper guidance.
It has been our experience that a gentle approach to nerve pain is important. You don’t want to aggravate or inflame the nerve endings. So whatever application method or essential oil combination you use, start slow and test a small area of your skin to see how your body reacts.
For cooling relief for nerve pain, you can try…
- Cold compresses. Hold a cool cloth or compress against the site of nerve pain to help reduce inflammation and discomfort.
- Cool baths. If the pain is over a large area, a cool bath can provide relief. You can add essential oils, but make sure not to put them directly into the water! For tips on how to prepare your bath see, How to Safely Use Essential Oils in Your Bath Water.
- An aromatherapy spritzer can provide soothing relief. If cool feels best, keep it in the refrigerator.
Remember to always dilute essential oils before applying them to your skin. Here are safe dilution recommendations to keep in mind.
- For direct application to your skin: Use 1-2% dilution of essential oils in a carrier oil and apply as needed. See our chart of dilution recommendations.
- When making a spritzer: Use 1-2 % dilution of essential oils to distilled water. See the article Easy DIY Essential Oil Spritzer and Roll-On Recipes.
- When using a compress: Add 1 or 2 drops in the basin of water and agitate the water to mix well. See the article Essential Oils for Face Compresses for Your Skin Type.
Here are some helpful essential oils for nerve pain relief:
Peppermint: Cooling and analgesic effect. It may help to numb the area and alleviate some of the discomfort.
Lavender Anti-bacterial and analgesic properties. Can bring relief to inflammation and itching.
Eucalyptus Radiata: Antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Marjoram Sweet: Analgesic properties.
Helichrysum: Anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.
Thyme, ct. linalol: Anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce pain and swelling.
When choosing which essential oil to use, also keep in mind the scent that you find the most calming and relaxing. Researchers report in Essential Oils and Neuropathic Pain that, “The interplay between neuropathic pain, depression, and anxiety is bidirectional, and improving a patient’s emotional state may lead to decrease pain sensitivity.”
Please feel free to reach out to us with your questions on the use of essential oils for nerve pain and one of our clinical aromatherapists will be happy to help you find reliable answers. Our blog has even more safe tips from aromatherapy educators — those on our own staff as well as other guest contributors. To stay up-to-date on the latest tips, recipes, and sales, sign up for our newsletter, you’ll also get a coupon you can use on your next order.