The popularity of essential oils has created many opportunities for them to be used even by those that never have before or have only used them for diffusing and making a room smell good. Essential oils are useful in many different kinds of instances and one of those is for muscle soreness.
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Although there can be many different reasons for muscle soreness, this article will talk specifically about muscle soreness due to exercise – that’s not to say that the below mentioned essential oils can’t also be used for other types of muscle soreness with success as well.
1. Lavender Essential Oil
One of the most popular essential oils, lavender oil has anti-inflammatory and calming properties that help to make it one of the best oils to use for sore muscles. In one study, lavender essential oil was even shown to reduce joint pain in individuals with osteoarthritis.(1)
To use lavender essential oil for muscle soreness, combine 4 drops with a carrier oil such as coconut or olive oil and massage into the area that is sore or painful.
Lavender is also an excellent mild sedative to induce sleep which is important for muscle repair.
2. Black Pepper Essential Oil
Black pepper has been used for many decades in eastern medicine and the essential oil is just as potent. It’s very useful for muscle soreness since the oil has a warming effect on the part of the body where it is applied and helps to improve the circulation in that area.
The oil also has pain relieving properties which make it a true powerhouse for muscle soreness.
To use black pepper essential oil, combine 2 drops with a carrier oil and massage into the area.
3. Peppermint Essential Oil
Another very popular essential oil, peppermint can be used for many other things other than it’s wonderful, refreshing smell. Peppermint oil can be used for aching muscles in a bath since it has relaxation properties – also useful for mental health and concentration.
It also has anti-spasmodic which can help to calm muscle spasms or cramps after pushing your body beyond its limits.
To use peppermint essential oil, combine 3 or 4 drops with a carrier oil and massage into the target area.
Globally, eucalyptus oil is more known for its ability to clear nasal airways when battling a cold or some other congestions. In Brazilian folk medicine, however, it has been used for generations as a pain management technique (2). To use, combine 4 drops of eucalyptus essential oil with a carrier and massage into the affect area.
5. Cardamom Essential Oil
Used in traditional Ayurveda, cardamom essential oil is a powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic that has been backed up by research (3). Massaging the oil onto the skin helps to provide relief for muscles that are sore and inflamed after a workout.
6. Camphor Essential Oil
Considered one of the best essential oils for pain relief and anti-inflammation, camphor essential oil is also used widely in pain relief creams.
The oil has a cooling effect when applied directly to the skin and can help to reduce any bruising or swelling associated with muscle soreness or injury.
Maing a solution with a 3 drops of camphor essential oil and a carrier oil, then massaging directly to the skin with a cloth will deliver the desired effects.
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Essential oils are widely available, although it is always recommended that you find ones that are pure and natural if you truly want to full benefits that they provide. You can shop online for essential oils or go visit a local health foods store to find them. However, not all essential oil brands are created equal, so whichever brand you decide to go with, do thorough research and read reviews before making a final decision.
You should also experiment with different oils to see which works best for you but these 6 are a good place to start, considering that there are hundreds of essential oils you can choose from.