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The Best Essential Oils for Knee and Joint Pain

It’s hard to feel happy when your body hurts!

Aches, joint pain, and inflammation affect everyone at some point in life. Whether they are temporarily or you have to deal with them on a regular basis, they are no fun. It is natural to seek relief for the discomfort. You can go for the conventional treatment route but you can also opt for natural remedies such as essential oils.

It’s estimated that 20% of people of all ages have chronic body pain which they experience every day or most days. It’s even worse for the older segment of the population and 60-75% of people over the age of 65 say they have at least some persistent pain. Knowing how to support your body and spirit through the experience of acute or chronic pain is one of the real blessings of knowing how to use essential oils.

Pain is a personal and subjective experience that means different things to different people. Studies from WWII showed that many injured soldiers who were going home due to serious wounds, viewed those wounds and the pain they caused as blessings, because they were going to get them sent home; they were their tickets out of the war and back to safety. Astonishingly, those soldiers didn’t complain much about their pain, even when their wounds were severe. People undergoing medical treatments that can save their lives are often better at dealing with the pain of their procedures than are people having routine dental work. People whose back injury means they don’t have to return to a job they hated will often deal with their pain better than people who will be losing a job they loved.

Studies on both humans and animals have documented the actual analgesic effects of specific essential oils for specific types of pain (1, 2, 3). You must know which ones to choose. There are over 200 essential oils and only some of them will help you with pain.

Knee and joint pain can disrupt your daily life.

But there are ways to feel better. There are lots of plant-based essential oils that might help.. But there’s some scientific evidence that certain oils might help ease knee and joint pain. They include:

  • Black cumin (Older people rubbed black cumin oil into their achy knees 3 times a day for 3 weeks. They felt better than the group that only took acetaminophen.)

  • Eucalyptus (People who breathed in eucalyptus oil had less pain and lower blood pressure after total knee replacement.)

  • Frankincense and myrrh (When used together, these oils eased joint inflammation in rats with arthritis. Frankincense is the dried sap from trees in the Boswellia genus. It has been used for centuries as incense. It’s also known for its antiseptic, regenerative, and anti-inflammatory properties. A 2010 study confirmed frankincense as a potential treatment for reducing inflammatory symptoms, specifically from osteoarthritis. To treat rheumatoid arthritis, apply diluted frankincense oil topically on the affected area.)

  • Ginger (Ginger is a common healing agent used for its anti-inflammatory properties and pain-relieving effects. A 2001 study evaluated the analgesic effects of ginger on joint and knee pain in osteoarthritis patients. More than half of the participants in the study had reduced knee pain using the ginger extract versus those using the placebo. They also used less drugs over time to treat their joint pain. To use ginger oil for pain, you can apply a few drops topically on the affected area. For an added boost, use a hot compress after massaging the area with oil. It’s important to note that it’s possible to be allergic to ginger applied topically, so you should always do a test patch on a small area first.)

  • Lavender (A massage with lavender oil helped ease musculoskeletal pain and knee pain from osteoarthritis.)

  • Lemongrass (A small group of people with rheumatoid arthritis felt a little less pain after using lemongrass oil for 30 days. Experts think the plant chemical citral may be anti-inflammatory.)

  • Orange (Orange has a warm, familiar, fruity aroma. This oil's amazing ability to calm inflammation comes as a surprise to some. It's also used for decreasing swelling.)

  • Roman Chamomile (This essential oil calms inflammation and helps muscles and joints gently release tension and pain. A very emotionally soothing oil with a sweet floral, fruity aroma that makes it popular in bedtime blends.)


Put 10-15 drops of an essential oil in 2 tablespoons of a carrier oil. Those are oils like coconut, almond, olive, avocado, or jojoba. That’ll help protect your skin and make it easier to absorb. Rub into your skin, wherever you feel joint pain. You can also massage some onto your feet, arms, wrists, neck, or behind your ears.


You can put a few drops on a cloth or you can also buy a waterless or water-based diffuser. That’s a device that sprays essential oil mist into the air. Follow the instructions on how much to use.

This advice is not intended as medical advice and should not be used in the diagnosis or treatment of any health issue that needs medical attention. Some essential oils have specific risks for use so be sure to consult a reliable reference to learn about safety before using any essential oil. Be smart, stay safe – and don’t waste your money!

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