TopSix Essential Oils Used for Chronic Pain: Outline
TopSix Essential Oils Used for Chronic Pain: Outline
Essential oils are natural oils that are typically extracted from plants through distillation, for instance using steam, mainly for their fragrance or healing properties. Correspondingly, aromatherapy, also known as essential oil therapy, is the science and art of using essential oils from plants to harmonize, balance, and improve the health of mind, body, and spirit it also explores how the physiological, psychological, and spiritual aspects of a person respond to certain aromatic extracts from plants.
Essential oils are concentrated as such, they are only added in very small amounts to massage oils and bathing salts (Agnew, Leach, & Segal, 2014).
Thesis/ preview statement: Overall, essential oils have a wide range of functions, from pain relief to neuropathy, migraines, inflammation, and muscle tension this paper presents six of the best essential oils, as well as their specific uses in pain relief.
Black pepper oil is obtained by drying the unripe fruit of black pepper plant, also known as Piper Nigrum, and is commonly found in Malaysia, China, Madagascar, and Southern India.
The chemical composition of black pepper includes pinene, limonene, beta caryophyllene, linalool, alpha termineol, alpha terpenene, sabinene, beta bisabolene, phellandrene, and camphene (Tollison, Satterthwaite, & Tollison, 2001). It possesses antibacterial, antirheumatic, antioxidant, apeient, carminative, digestive, antispasmodic, and diaphoretic properties.
As an antioxidant, black pepper repairs oxidative damage caused by free radicals hence relieving any associated pain and inflammation. In addition, it has a warming and stimulating effect that improves blood circulation within the body, which in turn causes the relief of pain associates with arthritis and rheumatism. Moreover, the improved circulation helps to eliminate toxins from the blood, which could otherwise cause damage to sensitive organs such as the liver and muscles, causing pain.
In aromatherapy, black pepper is commonly used together with rosemary, geranium, lavender, citrus, juniper, marjoram, frankincense, and other oils that contain spice. Its benefits involve relieving chest pains caused by colds and flu, relieving rheumatic and arthritic pain, and soothing aching muscles. In some cases, it can be used to reduce mind-related nerve pain, increasing the concentration of the mind.
Nevertheless, as much as black pepper has pain relieving properties, it should not be used in excess due to the fact that it also has adverse effects in certain cases. For instance, it should be avoided during pregnancy due to its ability to sensitize the skin. In addition, using too much black pepper oil can lead to the overstimulation of the kidneys, as well as result in skin irritation. Moreover, if taken in large quantities, it can cause sleeplessness, vomiting, unrest, inflammation of the intestines, unrest, loose motions, sneezing, and eye irritation.
Clove essential oil is obtained through the steam distillation of leaved from the clove tree, also known as Syzygium aromaticum, which belongs to the Myrtaceae family.
Clove oil is chemically composed of eugenol (approximately 87 %), beta-caryophyllene, and euhenyl acetate (Tollison et al., 2001). The clove tree is evergreen and produces a flower bud/clove bud that has numerous medicinal properties. Fundamentally, clove oil widely used to treat a variety of disorders, which include headaches, asthma, toothaches, indigestion, blood impurities, and coughing among others. Nevertheless, the most important and most popular use of cloves is in dental care clove is a primary ingredient in mouth wash, toothpastes, and oral care medications.
Notably, several things make it particularly useful in dental care and the first is its germicidal properties, which are effective for relieving pain associated with sore gums, tooth aches, and mouth ulcers.
Inherently, its use in dentistry is mainly due to its high concentrations of eugenol, which has been used in dentistry for numerous years.
In addition, clove oil has the ability to ease pain associated with tooth cavities in India tradition, one is supposed to add clove to a small cotton ball then put it at the end of a tooth that is aching due to a cavity.
Moreover, clove oil is used as a primary ingredient in balms for reducing the pain of teething in infants. When mixed with salt and applied on the forehead, clove reduces or eliminates headaches.
Furthermore, it has many flavonoids, which serve as anti-inflammatory agents, hence, can be used to relieve pain caused by inflammation for instance, during asthma, sinusitis, tuberculosis, as well as injuries or sprains. Besides, chewing the clove bud causes relief for sore throats.
Oregano essential oil is obtained via the steam distillation of the fresh leaves of the oregano plant, also known as Oreganum vulgare.
The chemical components of this oil are cymene, thymol, carvacrol, caryophyllene, linalyl acetate, terpinene, geranyl acetate, borneol, linalool, bisabolene, and pinene. In regards to health, the oil is widely known for its antibacterial, antiviral, anti-parasitic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, digestive, emenagogic, and ati-allergenic properties.
The ability of oregano to reduce pain in wounds was first discovered in Greece applying oregano on wounds and cuts reduced pain and promoted healing.
There are three ways of administering oregano essential oils there are via aromatherapy, topical application, and ingestion.
In aromatherapy, few drops of the oil are added to a cotton ball and a person is advised to inhale the oil from time to time.
In topical application, the oil is mixed with a carrier such as coconut oil and applied on the skin.
Lastly, oregano can be ingested in small quantities, usually in a mixture of honey or some other non-dairy beverage.
In regards to pain management, oregano oil can act as an expectorant, which means that it removes the mucus or phlegm blocking the respiratory tract, and it soothes the inflamed walls of the throat and lungs causing pain relief.
Additionally, it reduces pain and swelling when applied topically due to its anti-inflammatory elements. Moreover, oregano oil is important for pain relief during menstrual cycles it also prevents the premature onset of menopause.
Lastly, the antioxidant properties of oregano allow it to scavenge free radicals in the blood, allowing damaged cells and internal organs to be repaired, leading to reduced pain and improved overall health.
Eucalyptol, also known as 1, 8-cineole, is a colorless liquid and naturally occurring organic compound that is used as an essential oil. It is usually distilled from the leaves of Eucalyptus globulus, also known as the Tasmanian blue gum this is a tall, evergreen that is native to Victoria and Tasmania.
In addition, it is the most widely grown species of eucalyptus around the world. Eucalyptol is colorless, and has a strong woody smell and it is usually preferred for its high concentration of cineole.
Inherently, this oil can be obtained by distilling different species, such as Eucayptus polybractea, Eucalyptus radiate, Eucalyptus citriodora, and Eucalyptus globulus. Nevertheless, Eucalyptus globulus contains the largest percentage of 1, 8-cineole, hence, is the most widely used.
Traditionally, the Australian aboriginals used oil-containing infusions of eucalyptus leaves to treat fever, body pains, and sinus congestions among a variety of other painful conditions.
In principle, the diluted for of eucalyptol is administered orally to help alleviate pain caused by an inflammation of the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract, asthma, coughing, sinus inflammation, bronchitis, and respiratory infections (Schnaubelt, 2011). It is also used to reduce pain in wounds and burns. Moreover, the oil is effective at soothing inflamed mucous membranes during allergies and asthma, both of which may be associated with intense pain.
In treatment, a drop of eucalyptol is added to an organic cotton ball and a person with recurrent asthma or allergies should sniff the cotton ball several times a day. Alternatively, one can add a few drops of the oil to hot water and use it for steam therapy, or use it in a nebulizer to reduce pain in the respiratory tract in the case of asthma. Eucalyptol is also mixed with other oils and applied topically on the skin to reduce muscle pain during inflammation.
Clary sage oil is an essential oil that is distilled from the leaves and buds of clary sage herb, scientifically known as Salvia sclarea, which is native to Italy, Southern France, and Syria nevertheless, although native to certain parts of Europe, it is grown around the world.
Normally, this oil is added to detergents, soaps, and lotions in order to soothe the skin. In regards to pain relief, it is particularly effective for dealing with menstrual cramps and hot flashes. In addition, it is effective for dealing with labor pains during child birth. Intrinsically, clary sage belongs to the Labiatae family of plants, and its chemical composition consists of a few essential oils that have a high concentration of esters.
Particularly, 75% of clary sage is made up of an ester called linalyl acetate the remaining components, which make up the remaining 25% are sclareol, geraniol, alpha terpineol, linalool, neryl acetate, and germacrene-D (Barnard & Raymond, 1998). The most common uses of clary sage essential oil are improving vision and prevention of premature vision loss due to old age.
In regards to pain therapy, clary sage oil is important due to its stomachic, hypotensive, nervine, emmenagogic, carminative, astringent, antispasmodic, and anticonvulsive properties. Fundamentally, this oil reduces painful convulsions, for instance the ones caused by epilepsy (it is tantamount to a sedative for nerves).
In addition, it causes pain relief in the events of muscle and respiratory system cramps, headaches, stomachaches, and cholera that is spasmodic (Dunning, 2007). Effectively, it is commonly used to relieve muscle tension, pain resulting from involuntary spasms, as well as the pain associated with the premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
In regards to its hypotensive benefit, clary sage reduces blood pressure, which can lead to pain and strokes by relaxing the arteries and veins to allow blood flow. Furthermore, this herb improves digestion and the absorption of nutrients in the gut, easing pain caused by constipation and bloating. Although, this herb clearly has very many benefits, most people are only familiar with clary sage oil is known for its soothing and calming, anti-inflammatory, and antispasmodic properties.
Rosemary oil is distilled from a plant by the rosemary herb (Rosmarinus officinalis). Essentially, the rosemary herb is woody, evergreen, with needle-like leaves, and a sweet citrus-like fragrance. Notably, the rosemary herb is closely related to mint and resembles lavender.
Rosemary derives its scientific names from the Latin words “ros” and “marinus”, meaning dew and sea, respectively in such a manner, it is popularly referred to as the “dew of the sea”. Other people believe that the shrub is so named due to fact that the Virgin Mary spread her cloak over the plant and its white flowers turned blue—this made it to be called the “Rose of Mary (Rosemary)”.
Rosemary oil’s chemical composition includes an estimated 44.02% p-cymene, thymol, linalool, gamma-terpinene, alpha-pinene, beta-pinene, and eucalyptol (Schnaubelt, 2011).
Notably, possesses various antispasmodic and analgesic properties it is particularly useful for treating headaches, joint and muscle aches, as well as back pain. In aromatherapy, rosemary oil is used to massage affected areas in order to ease pain caused by headaches, muscle pains, rheumatism, and arthritis.
Rosemary also possesses anti-inflammatory properties, which makes it useful for relieving pain caused by sprains and joint aches. The oil can also be inhaled to reduce pain caused by headaches. In addition, consuming rosemary in foods, such as soups has been shown to improve digestion as well as relieve pain caused by complications in digestion such as constipation and bloating.
Moreover, rosemary can also ease the pain associated with asthma as it clears the respiratory tract, allowing air to flow freely. Lastly, rosemary has antioxidant properties that prevent free radicals from causing oxidative stress to cells and organs, which would otherwise result in pain.
Juniper oil is extracted from the female cones (berries) of the Juniper shrub, which is scientifically known as Juniperus communis from the Cupressacease family.
The shrub is mostly found on the mountains and heaths of Europe, North America, and Southwest Asia it has distinct stiff needle-like leaves (blue-green), yellow flowers, short trunk, and blue/black berries.
Notably, these plants grow up to 25 feet high. Traditionally, juniper oil is extracted through distilling the twigs, needles, bark, and berries of the juniper shrub. Concerning appearance, juniper berry oil is pale with a fresh slightly woody and fruity fragrance.
The chemical composition of juniper berry oil is camphene, beta-pinene, linalool, linalyl acetate, bornyl acetate, terpineol, beta-phellandrene, para-cymene, alpha-pinene, δ-cadinene, myrcene, limoene, germacrene D, beta-caryophyllene, borneol, and nerol (Colvin, 2009).
Fundamentally, Juniper oil possesses antispasmodic properties in such a manner, it is particularly effective for relieving aches in joints and muscles, as well as alleviating nerve pain. In addition, it is widely recommended for its astringent, diuretic, carminative, vulnerary, rubefacient, and tonic properties.
As an anti-rheumatic agent, juniper oil improves the circulation of blood in the body, which in turn helps to eliminate uric acid and other toxins that potentiate pain in conditions such as arthritis, gout, renal calculi, and rheumatism, which are all associated with the improper circulation of body fluids.
Contrarily, its antispasmodic properties allow it to ease pain associated with any form of cramps, whether muscular, respiratory, or intestinal.
Furthermore, its astringent properties make it effective for curing toothaches, whereas its stomachic element makes it effective for treating painful gut-related illnesses. Nevertheless, this essential oil could be toxic to people who suffer from kidney problems, as well as pregnant women anyone using it should maintain low concentrations.
Agnew,T., Leach, M., & Segal, L. (2014). The Clinical Impact andCost-Effectiveness of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy for theTreatment of Acne Vulgaris: A Protocol for a Randomized ControlledTrial. TheJournal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 20(5),399-405.
Barnard,N. D., & Raymond, J. (1998). Foodsthat fight pain: Revolutionary new strategies for maximum painrelief.New York: Three Rivers Press.
Colvin,L. (2009). ABCof pain.New York, NY: BMJ Publishing Group.
Dunning,P. T. (2007). ComplementaryTherapies and the Management of Diabetes and Vascular Disease: AMatter of Balance.Chichester: John Wiley & Sons.
Schnaubelt,K. (2011). Thehealing intelligence of essential oils: The science of advancedaromatherapy.Rochester, Vt: Healing Arts Press.
Tollison,C. D., Satterthwaite, J. R., & Tollison, J. W. (2001). Practicalpain management.Philadelphia, Pa: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.