Essential Oils for Knee and Joint Pain (2024)

Knee and joint pain can disrupt your daily life. But there are ways to feel better. Plant-based essential oils might help, along with over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medications.

Essential oils have been around for thousands of years. Using them for therapeutic or medicinal reasons is called aromatherapy. Here’s what you need to know.

What Are Essential Oils?

They’re the scented parts of a plant, usually the bark, leaves, or peel. You smell them when the plant is crushed. Special steaming processes also bring out the fragrance.

Essential oils have a strong scent. But that’s not what helps you feel better. The plant’s chemicals affect your brain and body. They get into your bloodstream when you put the oil on your skin or breathe it in.

Types of Essential Oils

There are lots of them. But there’s some scientific evidence that certain oils might help ease knee and joint pain. They include:

  • Bergamot
  • Black cumin (Nigella sativa)
  • Cinnamon
  • Eucalyptus
  • Frankincense and myrrh
  • Geranium
  • Ginger
  • Lavender
  • Lemongrass
  • Orange
  • Rosemary
  • Peppermint

Do They Really Work?

Aromatherapy may also lower your stress levels and how you sense pain. More research is needed to know how helpful essential oils really are. Here’s what some small studies found:

Black cumin. Older people rubbed black cumin oil into their achy knees 3 times a day for 3 weeks. They felt better than the group that only took acetaminophen.

Eucalyptus. People who breathed in eucalyptus oil had less pain and lower blood pressure after total knee replacement.

Frankincense and myrrh. When used together, these oils eased joint inflammation in rats with arthritis. Experts are looking into how this might help with conditions like rheumatoid arthritis.

Ginger. A group of people with ongoing knee problems reported less pain and stiffness a month after a massage with ginger oil. The group that only got a massage did not. They also showed better physical function overall.

Lavender. A massage with lavender oil helped ease musculoskeletal pain and knee pain from osteoarthritis.

Lemongrass. A small group of people with rheumatoid arthritis felt a little less pain after using lemongrass oil for 30 days. Experts think the plant chemical citral may be anti-inflammatory.

How to Use Essential Oils

Don’t put essential oil directly on your body. It may sting or irritate your skin. Here are some tips:

  • Massage. Put 10-15 drops of an essential oil in 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of a carrier oil. Those are oils like coconut, almond, olive, avocado, or jojoba. That’ll help protect your skin and make it easier to absorb. Rub into your skin, wherever you feel joint pain. You can also massage some onto your feet, arms, wrists, neck, or behind your ears.
  • Inhaling. You can put a few drops on a cloth or sniff the air as you slowly wave an open bottle of essential oil in front of you. You can also buy a waterless or water-based diffuser. That’s a device that sprays essential oil mist into the air. Follow the instructions on how much to use.

Always test a small part of your skin first. Be on the lookout for an allergic reaction. Symptoms may include:

What Not to Do

Aromatherapy is generally considered safe. But since it is not regulated, you can't be sure what you are getting. All of the ingredients do not have to be listed on the label.If you’re pregnant, don’t use essential oils unless your doctor says it’s OK. Don’t use them on children or babies.

Don’t eat or drink them. Experts aren’t sure it’s safe. And be careful if you go outside. Some essential oils, like bergamot, can make your skin sensitive to sunlight.

Essential Oils for Knee and Joint Pain (2024)


Which essential oil is good for knee pain? ›

Here's what some small studies found:
  • Black cumin. Older people rubbed black cumin oil into their achy knees 3 times a day for 3 weeks. ...
  • Eucalyptus. People who breathed in eucalyptus oil had less pain and lower blood pressure after total knee replacement.
  • Frankincense and myrrh. ...
  • Ginger. ...
  • Lavender. ...
  • Lemongrass.
Aug 5, 2022

Which oil is best for knee pain relief? ›

Read about the Best Knee Pain Relief Oils in India below.
  1. Blue Nectar Ayurvedic Pain Relief Combo. ...
  2. Sheopal's Ayurvedic Ortho Pain Relief Oil. ...
  3. Dr. ...
  4. Kerala Ayurveda Myaxyl Oil. ...
  5. Jiva Ayurveda Pain Calm Oil. ...
  6. Baidyanath Mahanarayan Taila. ...
  7. ACH... ...
  8. OZONE KWIK Pain Relief Oil.
Apr 14, 2024

What is the strongest anti-inflammatory essential oil? ›

Thyme essential oil had the most effects, reducing COX-2 levels by nearly 75 percent . The National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy also lists many oils that may reduce inflammation, including: roman chamomile. ginger.

What is the strongest essential oil for arthritis? ›

Below are six of the best essential oils for RA symptoms, alongside scientific evidence supporting their effectiveness.
  1. Eucalyptus. Eucalyptus contains several compounds that may help to reduce inflammation, swelling, and pain. ...
  2. Frankincense. ...
  3. Lavender. ...
  4. Ginger. ...
  5. Turmeric essential oil. ...
  6. Basil.
Jun 20, 2022

Does frankincense really help knee pain? ›

It can prevent the production of inflammatory substances in the joints. Current evidence, based on four RCTs, suggests that it might have some beneficial effects in treating participants with osteoarthritis of the knee which might last for a period of time after treatment is stopped.

Does frankincense stop knee pain? ›

In this study, topical solution of Frankincense extract could decrease pain severity and stiffness of knee and improve the patients' daily activity.

How to use frankincense oil for knee pain? ›

  1. Adults and children 12 years of age and older: apply 10-30 drops into palm or hand and massage into affected areas.
  2. massage oil in hand to coat painful areas.
  3. can be used up to 4 times daily.
  4. children under 12 years of age: consult a physician.

How to lubricate knee joints naturally? ›

The more you move, the more lubrication moves through your joints. Movements may include simple warm ups before starting your workout, gentle stretching and exercise. Hydration is another key element to keeping your joints lubricated.

How do you use frankincense oil for arthritic knees? ›

Frankincense oil can be used topically to relieve knee pain. You can mix a few drops of frankincense oil with a carrier oil like coconut oil or jojoba oil and massage it onto the affected area. You can also add a few drops of frankincense oil to a warm bath and soak in it for 20-30 minutes.

What essential oil is like ibuprofen? ›

chamomilla essential oils are even better than commercial anti-inflammatory medicine (ibuprofen), via markedly down-regulating the expression of inflammatory cytokines, like cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin-6 (IL-6) and nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) in vivo.

What essential oil gets rid of inflammation? ›

Thyme, ginger, bergamot, rose, clove, fennel and eucalyptus give you plenty of options and some can even provide relief from joint pain. If you notice inflammation on your body, you should first speak with your doctor to ensure it is nothing serious.

What essential oils are good for arthritis and inflammation? ›

Essential oils are most commonly used in an infuser and inhaled.
  • Eucalyptus oil. Eucalyptus oil has a number of anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. ...
  • Ginger oil. Ginger is a common healing agent used for its anti-inflammatory properties and pain-relieving effects. ...
  • Turmeric oil. ...
  • Frankincense oil. ...
  • Orange oil.
Dec 14, 2017

What oils should you avoid with arthritis? ›

Oil. Let's be clear: not all oils are bad for you! However, there are certain oils that have been shown to increase inflammation, namely: corn, sunflower, soy, and vegetable oil.

How to make oil for knee pain? ›

​ To begin with this easy recipe, wash around 7-9 garlic cloves. Meanwhile, take a pan and add a bowl of mustard oil and heat it over medium flame followed by 1 tsp methi( fenugreek seeds), 5 crushed cloves, chopped garlic cloves and 2 sprigs of rosemary and black pepper. Boil the oil till the garlic turns brown.

Can you rub olive oil on your knees? ›

Did you know an olive oil massage can be a natural and effective alternative to prescription medications for treatment of painful joints? A recent study has shown olive oil massaged into painful fingers and knees can reduce pain as effectively as prescription medical treatments.

How do you mix frankincense for knee pain? ›

  1. 20–30 drops pure frankincense essential oil.
  2. 10 drops pure ginger essential oil.
  3. 20–30 drops myrrh essential oil.
  4. 4 ounces fractionated coconut oil (or unrefined)

How can I get my knees to stop hurting? ›

How to get knee pain relief at home
  1. Applying ice.
  2. Taking a pain reliever.
  3. Using a heating pad.
  4. Stretching.
  5. Foam rolling.
  6. Using a massage gun.
  7. Resting.
  8. Modifying your workouts.
Aug 10, 2023

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