Nerve pain, neuropathy and neuralgia are forms of chronic pain that occur as a result of damage to the nerves. Many essential oils for nerve pain have been proven to be much more effective that conventional pain medication.
What is Nerve Pain?
Chronic pain affects more than 1.5 billion people across the world. Around 4 million of chronic pain sufferers in America are dealing with nerve pain. Nerve pain, also known as neuropathic pain is complex and can be difficult to treat. Conventional pain killers and NSAIDS seem to have low efficacy in providing relief to those with nerve pain.
Nerve pain can be categorized into 2 main types, these are:
- Neuralgia – In cases of neuralgia, there may not be any nerve damage or inflammation present, but pain along the nerve pathway is experienced recurrently.
- Neuropathy – Trauma to the peripheral nerves, caused by diseases or injury creates nerve pain that starts out as a tingly feeling in the extremities and has a tendency to spread to other areas.
There are more than 50 diseases, conditions, medications and toxins that contribute to nerve pain. Some of these include:
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• Celiac disease
• Some drugs such as pain killers
• Heavy metal poisoning
• Vitamin B12 deficiency
• And others
Using Essential Oils For Nerve Pain
Nerves are incredible and unique cells which relay physical sensations received from the skin to the brain. Without nerves, we wouldn’t be able to feel anything. In many cases of nerve damage/neuropathy, the sense of feeling is lost. In other cases, severe pain from the damaged nerve is relayed back to the central nervous system. It’s like a plea for help – your body is letting you know, via pain, that something is wrong and it needs help as soon as possible.
One of the best ways of healing your nerve pain is by going the natural route because conventional pain killers come with unwanted side effects. I once developed severe nerve pain in my left thumb after improperly carrying a heavy suitcase. Going to the doctors would have just resulted in a series of scans or x-rays and prescription of pain killers, which incidentally are a factor contributing to nerve pain – ha!
Instead I harnessed the power of essential oils to massage my thumb every day. At this time, I was traveling and I only had access to frankincense and vetiver, which worked wonders! Read: 5 Must-Have Essential Oils for Travel
Research on Essential Oils for Nerve Pain
Essential oils have long been recognized as potent pain killers and healers of all sorts of health condition and chronic pain, including nerve pain. Recent studies carried out on the potency of essential oils only further support the effectiveness of these natural substances in healing nerve-related pain.
A study carried out in The East West School of Herbal and Aromatic Studies established the premise that neuropathic nerve pain can be successfully managed with essential oils. (1)
The essential oils examined in this study include peppermint, geranium, black pepper and rosemary. A mix of these oils was applied onto the areas where patients suffered nerve pain, especially in the extremities of their bodies, such as foot pain.
It was found that essential oils successfully reduced inflammation, increased circulation and decreased peripheral neuropathic nerve pain.
What Makes Essential Oils Good For Nerve Pain?
- Analgesic – The analgesic properties of essential oils give them the ability to achieve analgesia, which means relief from pain. Examples include clove oil and helichrysum essential oils.
- Anti-inflammatory – Anti-inflammatory compounds in essential oils help to reduce inflammation or swelling, including in cases of arthritis and tendinitis. Examples include blue tansy, yarrow and sandalwood essential oils.
- Anti-spasmodic – Compounds present in some essential oils have anti-spasmodic tendencies, which stop the spasming of muscles. They halt the transmission of parasympathetic nerve impulses and lessen muscle spasming. Examples of such essential oils include marjoram, basil and juniperberry.
- Sedative – Some essential oils such as lavender and clary sage have natural sedative properties, which help to induce calmness and promote sleep.
- Stimulatory – Stimulatory effects in essential oils such as geranium, help raise the levels of physiological or nervous system function in the body.
- Nervine – Natural nervine compounds found in essential oils have the ability to calm the nerves. Some essential oils like helichyrusm, ylang ylang and rosemary have potent nervine properties.
- Adaptogenic – Adaptogenic essential oils like geranium, when applied topically result in the stabilization and balancing of physiological processes. They also reduce stress within cells.
Top 20 Essential Oils for Nerve Pain
Out of hundreds of potent essential oils that exist in the world, these are the top 20 essential oils for nerve pain. They contain all the properties mentioned above, which help to directly address and heal nerve pain/ damage:
2. Roman Chamomile
4. Juniper Berry
8. Blue Tansy
10. Ylang Ylang
12. Clary sage
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19. Black Pepper