Treating Rheumatoid Arthritis

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Essential Oils

Rheumatoid arthritis patients use a variety of treatment options to reduce inflammation and alleviate pain and stiffness. In addition to medication, therapy, exercise and diet, many patients also use essential oils for rheumatoid arthritis treatment.

Essential oils can be effective at pain relief although they are not used to stop or slow disease progression. This is a natural or holistic treatment strategy that can be used in conjunction with prescribed rheumatoid arthritis medications.

What are Essential Oils?

Essential oils are derived and produced from the oils of certain natural herbs, flowers, fruits and other plants. They characteristically emit a strong, soothing fragrance or have a strong sweet or spicy taste.

Essential oils have been used in joint pain and stiffness relief for thousands of years. Before today’s conventional pharmacology treatment, ancient Chinese and Indian medicinal practices used essential oils to treat a variety of symptoms including joint stiffness and pain.

Today essential oils can be purchased in a variety of formats including edibles, sprays, oil rubs as well as in aromatherapy formats like candles.

How do Essential Oils Work?

Essential oils are extracted from the leaves, stems, flowers, fruits, and branches of a variety of different plants. They are rich in several different nutrients and minerals that can help soothe arthritis pain and inflammation. Vitamins A, C, E and other complex chemicals and minerals occur naturally in several plants.

Several essential oils possess antioxidant, analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties which are thought to help reduce inflammatory symptoms and alleviate pain in some people. When certain essential oils are used or ingested, they can target joint inflammation and pain in similar ways to a pain-killing drug or a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID).


Types of Essentials Oils for Rheumatoid Arthritis

There are several types of essential oils that have been studied and used in helping treat rheumatoid arthritis joint pain and inflammation. By adding these essential oils to your diet, you may benefit from natural treatments to reduce or ease rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.

Some of the essentials oils for rheumatoid arthritis that can be added to your diet include:

  • Peppermint
  • Orange
  • Ginger
  • Frankincense
  • Myrrh
  • Turmeric

These essential oils can be used as ingredients in cooking recipes, or they can be used in flavored water or tea beverages to drink regularly.


Peppermint is an essential oil with many health benefits including its ability to help reduce inflammation. Peppermint naturally contains several ingredients including menthol and limonene which are used for healing.

As essential oils for rheumatoid arthritis peppermint oils have natural analgesic, anesthetic and anti-inflammatory properties which help alleviate joint pain and stiffness. Peppermint can be added to water or brewed to make tea.


Essential oils derived from orange also have anti-inflammatory properties. As a citrus, orange has natural antioxidants which have been shown to be important dietary components for rheumatoid arthritis patients.

The effects of orange oil as an antiarthritic treatment were studied and it was found that it can lower inflammation levels by interrupting inflammatory response in the immune system due to its natural antioxidant properties.


For years, people have used ginger as an antiarthritic treatment because it has natural analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. In fact, laboratory studies have shown that certain ginger extracts can be used effectively to prevent joint inflammation and destruction.

Ginger is root plant that can be extracted for its gingerol and nongingerol compounds. Lab test results showed that when essential oils derived from ginger contained both these types of compounds, its use in treating rheumatoid arthritis inflammation was more effective.

Ginger extract can be used to help numb, dull or alleviate pain. Ginger is used in cooking spicier dishes or for making beverages like ginger flavored waters and teas.


Some studies have been conducted on the use of certain varieties of Boswellia, also known as frankincense, in treating rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.

Frankincense has natural anti-inflammatory properties and can be used to help rheumatoid arthritis patients reduce inflammation, pain, and stiffness. In laboratory testing settings, frankincense has also shown positive immune system effects.

Frankincense can be applied as an essential oil topically or it can be chewed or mixed into water to drink.


Myrrh is another essential oil used for its antirheumatic properties to help treat rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. Myrrh is a gum derived from tree resin and has historically been used in several healing capacities to treat a variety of conditions.

Myrrh has natural analgesic properties that make it effective as a natural essential oil for rheumatoid arthritis treatment. The use of myrrh oil combined with other anti-inflammatory essential oils can help to alleviate joint pain and stiffness.


Turmeric is a traditional Asian and Middle Eastern spice used in cooking and for healing properties. It has a prominent active ingredient called curcumin which has been found to help protect joints from inflammation. One study found that turmeric essential oil taken orally specifically relieved joint inflammation by reducing levels of one particular cytokine, or inflammatory messenger, in the immune system.

Turmeric can be taken orally by creating turmeric teas or cooking with it as an ingredient in Asian style dishes.

Using Essential Oils for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Essential oils for rheumatoid arthritis pain and inflammation can be used in several ways from cooking to diluted beverages.

Essential oils can also be effective when combining several of them together to create a pain mixture. Certain essential oils have more analgesic properties, meaning they work as pain relievers while others are more anti-inflammatory. These together work to alleviate pain while reducing inflammation levels.

Frankincense and myrrh are two essential oils that work effectively together to treat help treat rheumatoid arthritis joint pain and inflammation. Research has shown that when combined together as one pain mixture, frankincense and myrrh are effective at suppressing joint inflammation and relieving the intensity of pain.

Mixing orange and ginger essential oils together has also been known to help reduce intense levels of pain and stiffness in muscles and joints.

Speak to your doctor before adding essential oils to your rheumatoid arthritis treatment strategy. Use pure essential oils sparingly as they may cause strong reactions in some people with digestive sensitivities.

Essential oils are a natural way to help rheumatoid arthritis patients find much-needed pain and inflammation relief. By using essential oils in conjunction with medications, therapy, and an overall healthy lifestyle, rheumatoid arthritis patients can continue to live a high quality of life by reducing chronic pain.

How to get Pure, Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils

 My favorite diffusers and aromatherapy supplies.


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