Have you ever wondered why people diffuse oils or use them as topical lotions and such? Essential oils (EOs) are used throughout the world as pain remedies, sleep inducers, and medicinal practices.
These oils are bought and sold regularly in everyday stores such as Walmart, Albertsons, and Target.
They’re relatively inexpensive, affordable, and widely available — but are they effective?
Trust me, this isn’t one of those scratch-and-sniff remedies.
The Basics of Oil
I’ll be honest with you: I thought essential oils were one of those fads young kids started coming out with.
I had no idea why you would want to rub a bunch of oil on myself in order to feel better.
However, the use of these oils goes back to the time of the Pharos in Egypt: around 4500 B.C.E. (1).
So I was wrong about the fad!
Essential oils can be applied to the skin, inhaled, bathed in, and even gargled (although we will focus on using it on the skin and aromatherapy). These oils have many different uses and applications.
Diffusing and Using Oil On Your Skin
Why do you — as a neuropathy sufferer — want to use essential oils on your skin or inhale them from the air?
Essential oils have amazing properties that, when used correctly, may aid in your fight against neuropathy.
Using Oil On Your Skin
EOs have an incredibly low molecular weight which allows them to pass through the skin. Fascinating researched discovered that, after these oils absorb into our skin, these oils appeared in our exhales (2). That is really amazing!
Using essential oils on your skin are a quick and efficient way to get all of the benefits without setting up a diffuser. Additionally, most of these oils smell fantastic; it’s a win-win!
Diffusing the Oil Into An Aroma
A diffuser is a great way to use essential oils as well. Some oils are dangerous to use on your skin so they must be diffused.
Creating aromatherapy from EOs spreads the benefits in an entire space and not just on yourself. It ensures long-lasting effects as you can adjust the amount of water and oil you add to the appliance.
The only downside to aromatherapy is that you usually have to purchase a diffuser. They are typically not expensive.
Top 3 Essential Oils for Neuropathic Pain
Just search “essential oils” on Amazon or your favorite web-store and you’ll be bombarded with oil after oil claiming such-and-such.
I’ve decided to read what peer-reviewed researchers had to say about essential oils and their use for neuropathy.
Here are the 3 best oils for dealing with neuropathic pain and related symptoms. Please take into consideration that these oils are generally safe to use directly on the skin, however, it would be best to use a carrier oil for your first couple of tries. I know of a few people that simply add a few drops to their lotion to apply it to their skin — it would be best to ask your doctor, though.
One of the more famous EOs, lavender is commonly used to relax and unwind. I put this oil on the list at the very top for one simple reason: feeling relaxed is the first step to feeling better.
Here are correlated data showing the benefits of lavender essential oils:
- Ambient odors of both orange and lavender reduce anxiety and improve mood (3)
- Lavender oil preparation for mental health and physical health (4)
- Significant reduction in daily use of acetaminophen in post-operative days following surgery (5)
Buy one here: Artizen Lavender Essential Oil ($9)
Although hailed for its well-known use for irritable bowel syndrome, peppermint essential oil has been recognized for relieving other ailments, too. These happen to directly relate to neuropathy!
Here’s the research:
- Shown to relieve itching and muscle aches (6)
- Significant improvement in grip strength and physiological parameters (7)
- Shown to decrease pain when applied topically (8)
Buy one here: Healing Solutions Peppermint Essential Oil ($8.50)
Eucalyptus oil is derived from the leaves of the Australian eucalyptus tree. It has been used for thousands of years and is now available for your use!
Here is what I could find on eucalyptus oil:
- Inhalation of eucalyptus oil was effective in decreasing pain and blood pressure (9)
- A decrease in pain after eucalyptus oil inhalation (10)
Buy one here: Healing Solutions Eucalyptus Essential Oil ($6)
The Bottom Line With Essential Oils
If you take three things away from this article, let it be these:
- Essential oils, when used correctly, have been shown to dramatically decrease pain
- They’re safe to use but some oils can be very irritating to the skin
- There are many EOs out there, so do your research and see what works best for you.
Remember, it is critical that you speak to your doctor about trying EOs. Neuropathy sufferers are all very different! Consult your physician before making any major lifestyle change.
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