Although essential oils are strong and effective, they aren’t dangerous when used appropriately, unlike some prescription pain or sleep medications. Only use products made from high-quality, therapeutic-grade essential oils.
Since the dawn of time, humans have turned to the natural world for therapy and healing. Distilling plant materials into volatile, concentrated liquids — the plants’ “essence” — results in an essential oil. This intense concentration means only a small amount of essential oil is necessary for therapeutic purposes.
Each essential oil boasts specific health properties, with most oils useful for several conditions. These oils are applied directly to the skin in minute amounts or inhaled via a diffuser.
If you are in pain and can’t sleep, you’re experiencing both a physical ailment and a quality of life issue. The right blend of essential oils eases discomfort and allows you to rest and get your quality of life back. Certain essential oils work better for some people than others. For best results, consult an essential oil practitioner. Another option is purchasing several recommended oils and seeing which ones offer you the best relief.
If your muscles ache, specific essential oils can naturally help your pain and discomfort. A good massage with the right essential oils can soothe aching muscles. For arthritis, a drop or two of the appropriate oil gently massaged into the affected joint can make you feel better and move more freely. Essential oils with pain-relieving properties include:
- Blue tansy: Offers support for irritation.
- Camphor: Anti-inflammatory
- Chamomile: Although best known as a sleep aid, it also relieves nerve pain and acts as an anti-inflammatory.
- Clary sage: Especially effective for massage.
- Eucalyptus: Anti-inflammatory and analgesic
- Frankincense: Anti-inflammatory and sedative
- Helichrysum: In holistic Mediterranean medicine, this is the go-to oil to reduce inflammation.
- Juniper: Helps relieve muscle spasm.
- Lavender: This versatile essential oil provides natural pain relief.
- Osmanthus: Helps soothe nerves and permits relaxation.
- Peppermint: Good for headaches and its cool sensation aids sore muscle relief.
- Rosemary: Another suitable oil for headaches, and a natural antidepressant.
- Spearmint: Strong anti-inflammatory.
- Wintergreen: Naturally analgesic
Blend several of these oils together with an appropriate carrier oil to obtain pain relief. For best results, combine oils with anti-inflammatory as well as pain-relieving properties. For chronic pain, apply a hot compress over the area after massaging in the oils several times daily.
Help for sleep
Over-the-counter and prescription sleep aids often cause side effects. It’s not unusual to experience a “sleep hangover,” and end up feeling groggy the next day. Certain drugs can cause memory loss or contribute to all sorts of behaviors while under the influence. Essential oils allow you to relax and fall asleep naturally. You should feel normal and refreshed the following day. Essential oils for sleep include:
- Bergamot: Stress-relieving
- Cedarwood: Calming and soothing
- Lavender: Also has sedative and stress-relieving properties.
- Lime: Aids recuperation after illness.
- Orange: Peaceful, calming influence
- Roman chamomile: This type of chamomile has stronger sedative properties than ordinary chamomile.
- Rose: Helps when lack of sleep is due to emotional stress.
- Sweet marjoram: Relieves anxiety and can lower blood pressure.
- Valerian: The classic sleep inducer.
- Valor: Helps stop snoring.
- Vetiver: A good choice for insomnia.
- Ylang ylang: Calms nerves and has sedative properties.
Used together, the oils for pain and sleep complement each other. Since sleep is your body’s natural way of repairing itself, it’s essential for recuperation when you are in pain. Start your diffuser 30 to 60 minutes before bedtime, so the aroma penetrates the sleeping area and readily reaches your olfactory nerves. Another tip: Put a few drops of the essential oils on the soles of your feet.
A good night’s sleep releases hormones that help tissues regenerate. Without sufficient sleep, you can’t experience true health. The better you sleep, the more quickly your muscles will heal. Wake up and feel refreshed and less sore.