You know, millions of people on earth have nerve pains which is unexplained. So, it makes it too difficult for them to go for medication. And even if they are successful at recognizing the cause, medication doesn’t work for them many times.
But you will feel good to hear that there’s one more alternative to medication. And it is an essential oil for neuropathy.
And the best part about it is that this alternative is not at all new, it’s been used for several thousands of years. So, you, too, could use them for yourself without much hesitation.
Here’s the complete list of essential oil which have potential therapeutic effects on neuropathic pain.
You Will Learn:
Essential oil is the oil extracted from the plant and known for its characteristic essence. The essential oils contain aromatic compounds that help them get their characteristic essence.
Neuropathy or nerve pain is a condition resulting from damage in the somatosensory nervous system. It may be a result of abnormal sensations also known as dysesthesia. Nerve pain in simple terms is a result of permanent or temporary nerve damage.
How Does Nerve Pain Occur?
The reasons could be many, but some of the most common causes behind neuropathy could be:
- Neural Injuries [injuries to the brain, spine, or nerves]
- Cancer / Treatment of Cancer via radiation
- Multiple Sclerosis
As you may look above, there’s just not a single cause for nerve pain.
As stated by NINDS (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke) in one of its articles, diabetes is the leading cause of nerve pain in the United States, and 60-70% of people with diabetes suffer from severe to mild nerve damage.
Nerve pain results in feelings such as numbness, tingling, burning, sensitivities, and even paralysis.
Why Essential Oils Are Good For Neuropathy?
Essential oils are loaded with benefits, some of which you must be aware of as knowing them would provide you with internal satisfaction. Let’s get to know them
Benefit 1. Essential oils have good anti-inflammatory properties which help you with neuroinflammation (inflammation of the nervous system).
Benefit 2. Much essential oil has anti-spasmodic properties which may help slow down the transmission of a parasympathetic nerve impulse. These nerve impulses are one of the primary causes of severe nerve pain.
Benefit 3. Essential oils are also known to contain antimicrobial properties which can help you with treating infection.
How to use essential oil for nerve pain?
If you have made your mind to use essential oil for your nerve pain, you must keep a thing in your mind. Do not apply essential oil directly to the site of nerve pain. Using them directly may cause itching, irritation, or rashes.
So, always dilute your essential oil with any carrier oil. A good rule of thumb to dilute them say, 1 ounce (25-30 ml) of carrier oil for every 12 drops of essential oil. Also, remember to have a patch test on your skin before using it on a regular basis.
Most preferred carrier oils for dilution before topical application for nerve pain include:
- Apricot Kernel
To use essential oil on nerve pain generally two ways are preferred – massage therapy/ topical treatment and aromatherapy.
1. Massage Therapy / Topical Treatment:
If you are not sensitive to an essential oil (after confirming from the patch test), then massage therapy should be your first choice for nerve pain. For massage therapy, just pour the diluted essential oil over the painful area. Then lightly rub the area for about 5-10 minutes.
If you feel essential oil works on your nerve pain, then you may reapply it to the site after 2-3 hrs.
Note: Essential oil is generally used externally, so never ingest them orally even though they are safe (except wintergreen).
The topical application of essential oil causes it to seep deep down through pores present on your skin and produce a therapeutic effect. And hence it helps essential oil to reach your nerves directly. Hence this method is considered a little bit effective than aromatherapy.
For those who are sensitive to the topical application of essential oil on nerve pain aromatherapy is the safest option. As during aromatherapy of essential oil, they don’t come in contact with your skin
For aromatherapy always consider following the instructions mentioned on the label of essential oil about its dilution and saturation extent.
When you go for aromatherapy, your respiratory system receives the aroma and processes it for different areas of your body to cause a soothing effect.
17 Best Essential Oils for Nerve Pain
Let’s directly jump into the complete list which I have brought here for you. You can fully trust it, as I personally had a lot of time spent researching this list.
1. Thyme Oil
When it comes to soothing the pain caused due to neuropathy, nothing works better than thyme oil. The presence of thymol (which is a monoterpene) in thyme, provides it with good analgesic properties to relieve nerve pain.
To relieve the pain in your nerves, the impulses passing through the spinal cord need to be disrupted and thymol does exactly the same.
And since the pain impulse doesn’t get registered to your brain, you don’t feel the pain. So, purchasing a good brand of thyme oil could be worth it for your nerve pain.
2. Lemongrass Essential Oil
Due to its fragrance and fresh flavor, lemongrass is used in many soups and fragrant stir-fry as a staple. Along with these qualities, it also has few good approaches to the health field.
Lemongrass essential oil helps with neuropathic pain due to its natural analgesic property. And its anti-inflammatory properties also help with neuroinflammation.
All these properties of lemongrass make it a great essential oil for aromatherapy. So, you may use it for healing your nerve pain. Along with it, its aroma is highly effective at stress, anxiety, and depression.
3. Clove Oil
Essential oil made from the clove is rich in eugenol. It has great antioxidant property and along with it, it also helps to heal nerve damages caused by any toxin.
During a study at the School of Medical Sciences, University of Aberdeen, diabetic rats were given the treatment of clove oil having eugenol. And it was concluded that clove essential oils were successful at healing the damage caused to sciatic nerves due to diabetes.
To use clove oil for neuropathic pain just soak a rag with clove oil and apply it to the affected area for a few minutes. It will help you soothe the nerve pain. If you have sciatica then, clove essential oil could really be a promising treatment option for you.
4. Yarrow Oil
Yarrow essential oil has a dark blue color and it’s a bit similar to German chamomile (also an essential oil) due to the presence of chamazulene in it. This oil also has a wonderful history in treatment of nerve pain.
The presence of chamazulene in yarrow oil provides it with anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties. These properties of yarrow oil helps in the prevention of spasm, which sometimes cause permanent nerve damage.
For nerve pain relief, just take some yarrow oil and dilute it with some carrier oil. Then massage this recipe over the area of nerve pain. And that’s all you have to do.
Frankincense is found in the form of fragrant resins. These are collected from Boswellia trees [especially found in forests of Africa] and burnt as incense too. Essential oil of frankincense is also a good remedy for nerve pain.
Also, during a study on rats with crush injury, the effect of frankincense on peripheral nerve regeneration was observed. And it was concluded that frankincense extract was able to promote regeneration of the sciatic nerve and was able to improve its functioning.
Due to its anti-inflammatory and sedative properties, it prevents painful signals from nerves to reach the limbic system of your brain.
The transmission of incorrect signals to your brain often leads to nerve pain. Hence, frankincense also helps to sort out this issue by improving the signal accuracy.
6. Sweet Marjoram
Marjoram has always been known for reducing menstrual pain. Along with-it clinical studies also report natural analgesic properties in them. This property is also helpful for neuropathic pain relief.
Marjoram essential oil also reduces swelling and any inflammation caused by nerve injuries. Still, there isn’t enough evidence to support these points. So, use it for your nerve pain only if you are comfortable.
7. Bergamot Essential Oil
Aromatherapy of bergamot oil for neuropathy is also an old remedy for nerve pain treatment. They even help in relief from opioid resistant pain medication.
Study also shows bergamot oil to reduce stress, mood – disorders, anxiety, and even chronic pain.
So, aromatherapy with this essential oil could be considered a cost-effective treatment for nerve pain. It’s also safe to use as several studies have been performed using them.
8. Holy Basil (Tulsi Oil)
For thousands of years, basil oil is being used by practitioners of Ayurveda to treat several medical issues including nerve pain. It could easily be identified by its aroma – sweet, fresh, and spicy. Just like clove oil, the presence of eugenol in basil essential oil makes it special for neuropathic treatment.
Saponins, a key chemical present in basil also make it useful for neuropathic pain. A study conducted on rats showed that holy basil was effective at treating sciatic nerve pain.
Another study shows that treating neuropathic pain with basil could lead to a decrease in calcium level may be due to antioxidant effects.
Still, basil essential oil is great at nerve pain treatment and you may go with it without any hesitation. It’s prepared from herb and thus it has the least side effects.
9. St. John’s Wort
During a case report, a female patient suffering from trigeminal neuralgia showed a dramatic response to the homeopathy treatment of Hypericum Perforatum (the scientific term for St. John’s wort). She reported instant relief from nerve pain symptoms, after treatment from St. John’s wort.
St. John’s wort is being used for a long as a remedy for anxiety and depression which goes along with moods such as trouble sleeping, nervousness, and tiredness.
Though there are not many pieces of evidence to support the point still many scientists declare that presence of hypericin in them is great at improving mood.
Another study showed, St. John’s wort was successful at treating a patient with photodynamic sensory neuropathy.
But evidence (1) is also there that St. John’s Wort essential oil doesn’t help with painful polyneuropathy (pain due to malfunctioning of many peripheral nerves).
The bottom line which comes out from here is, you can surely use this oil but after having proper research on it.
Chamomile as an essential oil is also considered a great remedy for neuropathy. It’s is the most ancient medicinal herb know to humans and have always been known for their soothing properties whether it for nerve pain, joint pain or any kind of pain.
It is also known best for relief from ailments such as hay fever, inflammation, muscle spasms, insomnia, ulcers, wounds, menstrual disorders.
Based on plants from which these oils are extracted, they are of two types German and Roman. Are you thinking about which one is the best for nerve repair? Then, the answer is certainly both. It’s because they both are known for their unique properties and have great healing properties even after having remarkable differences.
Let’s get to know them separately.
I. Roman Chamomile
Roman chamomile essential oil is also widely known for nerve damage repair. You may easily identify roman chamomile essential oil from its light but intense apple fruity smell.
Its essential oil helps to calm the nervous system along with supporting feelings of anxiety and stress. Being rich in esters, it has antispasmodic properties too.
II. German Chamomile
German Chamomile being one of the oldest herbal medicine is still widely used in the various medicinal fields (including neuropathic pain treatment).
Along with being used in raw form for the treatment of various digestive disorders (including loss of appetite, nausea, and even indigestion), it is also used as an essential oil. Its essential oil is frequently used as a mild sedative to calm nerve pain.
11. Ginger Oil
Essential oils extracted from ginger are also helpful for sciatica nerve pains. The presence of Zingibain in ginger provides it with good anti-inflammatory properties which may help in reducing neuropathic pain resulting from inflammation.
Ginger is also widely used for cooking purposes such as in tea, as a cooking ingredient, and many a time to add flavor. [In India they are also known for controlling coughs if you keep ginger pressed between your jaws for some minutes.]
Even if there isn’t much scientific evidence to help ginger oil in neuropathy, still you may trust them. It’s because they rarely show any side effects and they are ancient herbal medicine.
12. Helichrysum Italicum
When it comes to the time taken for the action of essential oils on nerve pain, nothing works faster than the Helichrysum italicum. It is the fastest pain reliever among all.
Just like all other essential oils, it is also loaded with anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, and analgesic properties helpful for neuropathic pain relief. Along with relieving nerve pain, it also helps with nerve cell regeneration.
Its property of nerve regeneration is really helpful for curing shingles and burnt nerves. [Shingle is a viral infection often characterized by viral infection leading to painful rashes on the affected parts.]
Along with these properties, scientific data also declare that its flowers and leaves are used for several health disorders such as allergies, cold, cough, skin, liver and gallbladder disorders, and even sleeplessness.
So, it is best recommended if you have suffered a nerve injury and cells are needed to be restored. Many sciatica patients claim it to relieve pain within minutes of its application.
Though not being so popular essential oil, wintergreen is still considered good for sciatica nerve pain. Methyl salicylate is a chemical present in it, which is very similar to aspirin. And as you know aspirin plays a supreme role in any kind of pain relief, so does wintergreen.
The presence of methyl salicylate in wintergreen helps to reduce the compression and irritation of sciatic nerves. Thus, preventing leg spasm caused secondary to sciatica.
Studies have also shown to help wintergreen oil to facilitate transdermal absorption. [Transdermal absorption is the property of your skin to absorb lipophilic and hydrophobic drugs and several other ointments.] Hence this oil can improve your skin with sensitivity towards the topical application to treat nerve pain.
Just a few drops of this oil could help with long-term pain relief. You may even add a couple of drops to your bath water for good results. Along with neuropathy, it is also helpful for arthritis, headaches, and dysmenorrhoea.
14. Rosemary Oil
Rosemary oil is most commonly used in kitchen space but just like all the above, it too has therapeutic potential for different kinds of pain [including nerve pain].
During a study, the rosemary extracts were tested on rats for chronic construction injury (CCI) of sciatic nerves. The results declared that rosemary has neuroprotective properties and they also reduced neuropathic hypersensitivity.
So, looking at the above properties of rosemary essential oil, it’s clear that they too are good for nerve pain especially when its sciatica.
Peppermint oil, in recent times, is being used for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Along with it, they have anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant properties too. Hence, they too add to the list of essential oil for nerve pain.
These properties make peppermint effective to relax muscles, act as a pain reliever, and also prevent muscle spasms. A study (2) conducted in 2002 on a 76 years old woman using topical peppermint oil, was successful at treating her neuralgia, a nerve pain along the length.
As stated by the researchers, she was resistant to almost all other standard therapies, but peppermint helped. Still, more research is needed to show if peppermint oil is best at treating neuropathic pain.
16. Lavender Oil
European Medicines Agency has approved lavender oil as a herbal medicine for anxiety and stress. And these days people are also making use of it for nerve pain treatment.
Several studies found lavender oil to exhibit anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties which are essential for any neural pain treatment.
A recent study (1) done on two groups of patients going through peripheral venous cannulation (PVC), found out that the group which was given lavender oil aromatherapy had lower scores of pain and anxiety.
Lavender oil could be a good alternative for soothing neuropathic pain, but still, much research is needed. It is also effective for sciatica pain symptoms.
17. Eucalyptus Oil
Eucalyptus essential oil is also a great remedy for nerve pain treatment. Eucalyptus oil can also modulate blood pressure via ANS (Autonomous Nervous System) and CNS (Central Nervous System.
In a 2013 study on rats, olfactory stimulation with eucalyptus oil on rats was successful at reducing sympathetic nerve activity in them. It was possible due to the active compound present in eucalyptus i.e. linalool.
The essential oil of eucalyptus is also used for several medical purposes including nasal congestion, asthma, and even tick repellent. It can also be applied to the skin as a remedy for ulcers.
The bottom which comes out is, due to anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, eucalyptus essential oil is also good for nerve pain. Thus, you can surely move with it without much research.
Risks and Potential Complications
Though essential oils serve a wide range of purpose still, it may have a number of risks and potential complications. This is also due to the fact that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t regulate the quality of essential oils, as it considers most of them as cosmetics.
Hence the reputable brands and manufacturers are the best solution to avoid these issues.
Also, before purchasing any essential oil for yourself, try to have a proper amount of research on it.
Improper usage of essential oils may lead to skin irritation and some allergic reaction especially in the case of children. They are more susceptible to its toxic effects.
You would also like to have a patch test before going for new essential oil. Don’t know how to do a patch test? Well, here it is.
Take the essential oil, dilute it with a carrier oil following the good rule of thumb (as mentioned above). Apply it to the back of your palm or any other part of your forearm. Leave the area for a few hrs (2 to 3 hrs).
If the region where you applied the oil feels itchy or looks red or dry, then simply say no to it.
Some possible potential complications with essential oils while using it for nerve pain include:
- Skin Rashes
- Skin Inflammation
- Eye Redness
- Seizures (loss of consciousness)
- Skin Irritation
- Sun Sensitivity
- Allergic Reactions
The Bottom Line
Essential oils can be both beneficial and inexpensive method for nerve pain relief. They can also help to repair damaged nerves, relieve muscle spasms and provide you with better sleep at night.
You can find essential oil at any health store or online shopping sites. Again a reminder, do not apply it directly without diluting them, and also remember to have a patch test. Contact your doctor if your nerve pain worsens.
Now I would love to hear from you. Which part of this article did you enjoy the most? If it’s you which essential oil would you go for after seeing the list? Let me know by commenting below.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which is the best essential oil for nerve pain?
Peppermint, lavender, frankincense and roman chamomile are some of the best essential oil to treat nerve pain.
Can essential oil heal nerve damage?
Essential oil may help to heal nerve damage as they have good analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. Some like helichrysum italicum are known to show their effect within minutes of its application.
What helps nerve pain naturally?
Some natural treatment for nerve pain include essential oils, vitamins, warm bath, and acupuncture.
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Adarsh Kumar is the guy behind the growing Health & Wellness blog Health On Planet. He is a 5 years old veteran of the Health Industry with previous expertise as a health writer for several other blogs. He provides his readers with articles about surgery, nutrition, and wellness related aspects.