Top 20 Essential Oils for Relieving Pain and Inflammation

New Top 20 essential oils for relieving pain and inflammation

Are you in pain? Everyone experiences aches and pains occasionally. Some discomfort is mild and tolerable. Did you know that organic remedies such as Healthy MONQ can help you regain comfort?

Because of the wide spectrum and impact of pain, remedies are often varied and range from simple to complex, lifestyle changes to medical management, and easily accessible to those requiring clinical intervention. Increasingly, individuals are using topical essential oils as well as breathing specifically crafted essential oil blends such as Relieve MONQ to manage aches and discomforts while achieving holistic wellness.  Obviously, however, when in pain, and particularly when in severe pain, seeking medical attention is most appropriate.

The top essential oils for relieving discomfort associated with aches and pains are highlighted below:

Eucalyptus leaves

Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Eucalyptus has healing powers long recognized by native peoples, including the aboriginal people of Australia. This essential oil is derived from eucalyptus tree leaves native to Australia, New Guinea, and Indonesia.

Eucalyptus essential oil contains anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, and antiseptic properties, which provide significant relief from muscle and joint pain. It has cooling and refreshing effects, which may reduce stress and alleviate mental exhaustion.1

Eucalyptus oil requires dilution with a carrier oil before topical application and should only be used in moderation. Use circular motions to apply eucalyptus oil to affected areas and on reflex points to relieve muscle and joint discomfort. You can also find eucalyptus in our Ocean blend if you want to eliminate the work of combining different essential oils on your own!

lavender plant

Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender essential oil is extracted from the fragrant flowers of the lavender plant. The oil is a popular and versatile choice offering a range of benefits for total wellness. It acts as an anti-inflammatory that can relieve inflammation around joints. It also contains calming properties that may alleviate stress, relax the mind, and improve sleep quality.2

Lavender can be used topically or diffused. For relief from inflammation and joint discomfort, regularly massage affected areas with lavender essential oil. Small amounts (one to two drops) of this undiluted oil can be used to provide relief from aches and pains That said, some may find that for direct application diluting three to five drops of lavender in one teaspoon of carrier oil may prevent skin irritation. Alternatively, place five drops of lavender essential oil in a warm bath to achieve relief from discomfort and relaxation benefits. Or, simply diffuse lavender essential oil to promote relaxation and sound sleep.

Rosemary Essential Oil

Rosemary is native to the Mediterranean and is part of the mint family. The oil contains antioxidants, which help remove toxins from the body while boosting immune system function. In addition, rosemary essential oil contains potent anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties.3

Rosemary essential oil is most beneficial when applied directly to affected areas or added to bathwater. For topical application, dilute the oil with a carrier oil and gently massage onto the skin.

Marjoram bushel on wooden table

Marjoram Essential Oil

Marjoram is also native to the Mediterranean. The essential oil is derived from the leaves of the plant and has been used for hundreds of years to relieve spasms, sprains, swelling, and stiffness in the joints and muscles.4

The health benefits offered by marjoram essential oil include analgesic, antispasmodic, and antibacterial properties that work to reduce inflammation and pain in overexerted muscles. The oil is also a sedative and nervine, which may reduce stress.

For fast pain relief, apply the oil directly to affected areas after diluting it with a carrier oil.

Peppermint Essential Oil

The peppermint plant is native to Europe and is considered to be the world’s oldest medicinal plant. The peppermint essential oil contains menthol, menthone, and methyl esters, which make it a great choice for relieving discomfort associated with aches, pains, and inflammation.

The menthol found in the oil is also a cooling agent that works to ease the pain and discomfort of aching muscles or joints.

To make a healing salve using peppermint essential oil, mix five to 10 drops of peppermint oil with two tablespoons of warmed coconut oil and apply to the affected area.

Peppermint essential oil is quite strong, so it is often diluted with a carrier oil and used alongside other essential oils like lemon, rosemary, or marjoram. To avoid irritation, a patch skin test should be conducted before applying this oil to larger areas of the skin.

essential oil bottle with chamomile flowers

Chamomile Essential Oil

This essential oil is extracted from the flowers of the chamomile plant. Chamomile has been used for centuries—ancient Egyptians used it to embalm pharaohs, for cosmetic purposes, and to relieve fever symptoms.5

There are two main types of chamomile: Roman and German, both are similarly effective. Regular massages with chamomile oil have been shown to relieve pain and break down uric acid deposits surrounding joints. Chamomile is also a sedative and calms the nervous system, which helps reduce stress and promote sleep, which is why it’s in our Sleepy blend.

Mix a couple of drops of chamomile essential oil with a carrier oil like sweet almond oil, olive oil, or coconut oil and massage it onto the affected areas. The essential oil can also be added, undiluted, to a diffuser to provide relief from headaches.

Clary Sage Essential Oil

Clary sage essential oil is derived from the leaves and buds of the clary sage herb, which grows abundantly in Europe.

This oil is a potent anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic agent making it effective for the relief of aches, pains, and muscle spasms. Clary sage is also soothing for the skin.6

Because it is fairly potent, clary sage essential oil should only be used in small amounts.

Ginger Essential Oil

This essential oil is derived from the ginger rhizome, which grows in southern China, West Africa, and a few other parts of the world.

Ginger oil contains zingibain—an anti-inflammatory that works to reduce muscle and backaches, pains, and swelling. Additionally, this oil may improve mobility.7

Studies have shown that ginger essential oil is most effective for these discomforts when diluted with a carrier oil and regularly massaged onto the affected area. Ginger essential oils are also effective when applied to a warm compress.

For optimal results blend ginger essential oil with orange or lavender essential oils

Frankincense on wood

Frankincense Essential Oil

Frankincense essential oil is derived from the gum resin of Boswellia trees, which grow primarily in North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula.

This essential oil is a potent anti-inflammatory agent and a sedative. Typically, frankincense essential oil is an effective remedy for stress and discomfort.

Frankincense is best used topically as a remedy for pain. Dilute the essential oils with a carrier oil and massage it directly on the affected area. Frankincense may also be diffused when used to improve sleep. You can find frankincense essential oil in our Zen blend to feel peace and relaxation in addition to its health benefits.

Yarrow Essential Oil

Yarrow essential oil is derived from dried yarrow herb that grows in Europe.

It has potent restorative, analgesic, and anti-inflammatory properties, making it one of the best essential oils for treating muscle and joint pain.

Typically, topical application of yarrow essential oil diluted in a carrier oil and massaged onto the affected area is effective for relieving discomfort caused by aches and pains.

In addition to the essential oil properties, teas made with yarrow have been shown to alleviate abdominal pain and reduce inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract.

wintergreen essential oil

Wintergreen Essential Oil

This essential oil is derived from the leaves of a native North American tree. Native Americans historically used the oil for alleviating headaches, fever, rheumatism, and back pain.

The wintergreen plant is among few of the world’s plants that contain high amounts of methyl salicylate, which contains pain-relieving qualities similar to aspirin. Its therapeutic properties make it effective for relieving muscle and joint pain.8

Wintergreen is most effective when diluted and applied directly to the affected area.

Vetiver Essential Oil 

This essential oil is derived from a type of grass called vetiver, or khus, that grows in India.  Vetiver oil has been used in ancient Ayurvedic medicine to relieve rheumatism, arthritis, muscle pain, and headaches.

Vetiver essential oil has anti-inflammatory properties including the ability to reduce swelling,  especially in the joints.

This essential oil may be diluted and applied directly to the affected area. Vetiver also works as a tonic that boosts the immune system.

Helichrysum plant and essential oil

Helichrysum Essential Oil

Helichrysum essential oil is one of the most expensive in the aromatherapy world. It is derived from the helichrysum plant, which is part of the sunflower family and has been used in traditional medicine for centuries.

Helichrysum is highly-valued for its pain-relieving properties, and the essential oil contains anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, and analgesic properties, all of which work to reduce swelling in joints and muscle pain.9

Helichrysum may be diluted and used topically or used aromatically via diffusion.

Clove Essential Oil

Clove essential oil is extracted from the clove plant’s dried flower bud and has been used for centuries as an analgesic

This essential oil has anti-inflammatory and anesthetic properties that make it an especially efficient and effective remedy for various types of pain. Clove essential oil has also been shown to maintain healthy circulation and stimulate metabolism.10

This oil can be used in several different ways. It can be diluted with a carrier oil and then massaged onto affected areas, added to a bath, or used aromatically.

Copabia tree

Copaiba Essential Oil

This essential oil is made from the sap of the copaiba tree, found in the Amazon rainforest. South American natives have used the oil for centuries as a remedy for a variety of ailments.

Copaiba essential oil has both analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties, some of which have been shown to reduce the body’s natural response to pain.11

Thyme Essential Oil

Thyme essential oil has a rich medicinal history that spans multiple cultures and many uses from an antidote for poison and venom to protection against the plague and more.

The thymol found in this essential oil has excellent antiseptic qualities that relieve both swelling and inflammation. It has also been shown to be an effective agent for addressing pain associated with dysmenorrhea, a condition that causes very painful menstruation.12

Thyme is most effective when diluted in carrier oil and applied directly to the affected area. Heating the solution may give additive relief, especially for menstrual symptoms.

cayenne pepper

Cayenne Pepper Essential Oil

This essential oil is derived from the cayenne pepper, which has its origins in Mexico. The essential oil has excellent analgesic properties.  

The analgesic properties of cayenne pepper essential oil are derived from the primary active ingredient is capsaicin, which is particularly helpful when addressing inflammation. Its warming properties also make cayenne pepper essential oil the desired remedy in the winter, when chilled, and general health.

Cayenne pepper essential oil should be diluted with a carrier oil and then applied as needed for pain relief.

Lemongrass Essential Oil

Lemongrass essential oil is steam distilled from the stems and leaves of lemongrass, which is native to Africa, Southeast Asia, and Oceania.

In Ayurvedic medicine, steam from boiling lemongrass is used to treat arthritic joints. The steam facilitates the absorption of the oil into the tissues to provide long-lasting relief from pain.

Lemongrass essential oil also has diuretic and astringent properties and can draw excess fluid out of body tissue. Thus, it may be used to relieve widespread inflammation.

Lemongrass essential oil may be diluted and applied topically to the affected area to relieve aches, pain, and inflammation.

Stacked wood

Birch Essential Oil

Birch essential oil is derived from the bark of the Betula lenta birch tree. It has a camphor-like, sweet aroma.

Birch essential oil contains strong analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects that come from its salicylic acid and salicylate content. The oil also has strong astringent properties, which may reduce swelling around the joints and improve range of motion.

This oil may be diluted and massaged onto the affected area for relief of pain and discomfort.

Relieve MONQ

This uniquely formulated blend is designed to relieve everyday aches and pains. Drawing from the healing properties of ginger, spikenard, and helichrysum and with hints of black pepper, copaiba, frankincense, lavender, Roman chamomile, and other essential oils, Relieve addresses multiple discomforts.  

Using a Relive MONQ personal diffuser, slowly breath in the blend through the mouth before exhaling from the nose. Repeat two to three times and throughout the day as needed.

Safety and Precautions

Many of the essential oils mentioned above are highly potent. Because of this, it’s important to dilute them with a carrier oil like almond, coconut, or jojoba oil before topical application. Before applying to larger areas of the body, conduct a patch skin test with any of the essential oils mentioned above to avoid irritation.

Women who are pregnant or nursing should avoid using most of these essential oils and should consult with a medical professional before choosing to use any of them.

Additionally, individuals with pre-existing or chronic conditions are limited in their essential oil use. Please consult with a healthcare professional before adding these essential oils to your daily routine.


Aches and pains affect everyone and are never fun. It is not uncommon to seek remedies for the various discomforts we experience. In addition to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, adding essential oils into your daily routine may reduce symptoms of pain and inflammation. Furthermore, many essential oils, including those mentioned above, have a range of other positive health benefits thus contributing to holistic wellness.

Seek out a healthier more comfortable you— try the essential oils listed above to find pain relief just for you.

Photo credits: SvetlanaLukienko/shutterstock.com, MadeleineSteinbach/shutterstock.com, PMaxwellPhotography/shutterstock.com, Oxik/shutterstock.com,  ASFoodstudio/shutterstock.com, NANCYAYUMIKUNIHIRO/shutterstock.com,  JuliaSudnitskaya/shutterstock.com, ThanthimaLim/shutterstock.com,AmyLv/shutterstock.com, NatailiaK/shutterstock.com, DaniVincek/shutterstock.com, 5PH/shutterstock.com, GitaKulinitchStudio/shutterstock.com, EkaterinaKondratova/shutterstock.com, kazmulka/shutterstock.com, LianeM/shutterstock.com, mirzamlk/shutterstock.com, Ni_racha/shutterstock.com,  Allforyoufriend/shutterstock.com, 


By Jesse Waddell

Jesse is a writer and editor who enjoys being surrounded by the scents and relief that essential oils can provide. When he is not busy writing he can be found practicing the guitar and playing with his Yorkie named Little Terpene.

Favorite MONQ blend: Mountain

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The above information relates to studies of specific individual essential oil ingredients, some of which are used in the essential oil blends for various MONQ diffusers. Please note, however, that while individual ingredients may have been shown to exhibit certain independent effects when used alone, the specific blends of ingredients contained in MONQ diffusers have not been tested. No specific claims are being made that use of any MONQ diffusers will lead to any of the effects discussed above.  Additionally, please note that MONQ diffusers have not been reviewed or approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. MONQ diffusers are not intended to be used in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, prevention, or treatment of any disease or medical condition. If you have a health condition or concern, please consult a physician or your alternative health care provider prior to using MONQ diffusers. MONQ blends should not be inhaled into the lungs.

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