It’s a privilege to get old
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard, “Don’t get old kid.” My response is always the same though, “Well, not everyone gets the chance to become old, right?” I realize that dealing with our bodies’ aches and pains every day is no easy feat, but what if there was an easier way? Better yet, what if we could supplement our current pain relief methods with more natural ones and in turn, quell the pain substantially?
Well, let’s begin by explaining what is causing the pain in our joints to include the hands, hips, knees, and spine. All of our joints have what’s called, articular cartilage which provides an overlay for the bones where they converge to form a joint. Furthermore, this cartilage is how bones glide over one another smoothly when transitioning from stretching to flexing at the joint. In addition, this cartilage serves as a shock absorber by softening the ‘blow’ with weight-bearing exercises.
Now, when we get older, this cartilage between our joints begins to rub away and weaken. Consequently, we begin to develop a more ‘bone-on-bone’ scenario and are diagnosed with osteoarthritis (the most prevalent form). In contrast, some people are inflicted with rheumatoid arthritis which is an autoimmune disease that goes after cartilage and ultimately, harms the joints. Either way, both types of arthritis can be debilitating and result in a percentage or total loss of joint mobility. Not to mention, arthritis extends to other forms including fibromyalgia, gout, lupus, and osteoporosis.
Statistically, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “from 2013 to 2015, an estimated 54.4 million US adults (22.7%) annually had ever been told by a doctor that they had some form of arthritis.” In addition, people over the age of 65 have a 49.6% chance of ever being diagnosed with arthritis, as well as 26% of women (19.1% for men) receiving a diagnosis of arthritis.
In terms of conventional treatments, there is no magic cure or a way to eliminate the totality of symptoms. Instead, physicians prescribe painkillers with anti-inflammatory properties in order to subdue the pain and reduce swelling. In addition, corticosteroids are administered to minimize inflammation by ‘quieting’ the immune system’s combative activity. Simply put, physicians offer medications to control arthritic symptoms in the interim (not long term) and some include lasting side effects, a hefty price tag, and dependency issues.
Treating naturally with essential oils
Did you know that the primary ingredient in aspirin originated from bark on a willow tree? Crazy enough, nature is where we can find the most wholesome, restorative substances for our achy bodies. With that being said, I’d like to mention nine different essential oils with anti-inflammatory properties and healing elements.
1.) Eucalyptus. This oil comes from the fragrant leaves on a gum tree found in Australia and contains eucalyptol (found in cough suppressants). Furthermore, eucalyptol is a form of treatment for sinus infections. In addition, eucalyptol is used to control asthma with its anti-inflammatory properties. ***dilute it in a carrier oil and apply topically to painful joints. Keep an eye for skin irritations.
2.) Frankincense. This oil is “extracted by way of steam distillation from gum resin on the frankincense tree” and found in Africa and the Middle East (Modern Essentials). Research has demonstrated that frankincense may interrupt the advancement of rheumatoid arthritis by impeding some inflammatory elements. As a result, this keeps the cartilage from being further damaged.
3.) Geranium. This oil comes from the Botanical family, Geraniaceae and has roots in treating bone fractures, tumors, and wounds with its anti-inflammatory response. In addition, an observation was made during a study with mice that showed how applying geranium topically “reduced the inflammatory response of neutrophil (white blood cell) accumulation” (Modern Essentials).
4.) Ginger. This oil is drawn out by steam distillation from rhizomes of Zingiber officinale and has “non-nutritive plant chemicals such as geraniol which have protective or disease preventive properties” to include anti-inflammatory (phytochemicals.info). ***best to dilute in a carrier oil due to its heat intensity and rub in where needed.
5.) Lavender. This oil comes from the flowering top of the beautiful lavender plant and is highly recognized for its anti-inflammatory capabilities. Not to mention, this oil is just as therapeutic for osteoarthritis as it is for rheumatoid arthritis. Also, it’s a beloved oil in terms of calming the mind and relaxing the body. ***just 3 -5 drops will do the trick.
6.) Marjoram. This oil was administered medicinally by the French to arthritic patients and hones in on the bones, cardiovascular system, and muscles. When marjoram was added to eucalyptus, lavender, peppermint, rosemary, and carrier oils for dilution, arthritic sufferers noticed less pain and minimal depressive feelings.
7.). Myrrh. This oil has anti-inflammatory properties that are multi-versatile. It can handle varying degrees of inflammation from a sunburn to inflamed, arthritic joints. Not to mention, the Chinese combined myrrh with frankincense to produce a harmonious mixture to enhance circulation and ease the pain resulting from rheumatoid arthritis.
8.) Peppermint. This oil contains menthol (commonly found in throat lozenges) which works like an anesthetic to make you impervious to the pain. Simply put, it dulls the pain and makes you nonreactive to it. In addition, it has anti-inflammatory elements that reduce swelling associated with rheumatoid arthritis. ***for a more comforting approach, warm up a carrier oil and add 5 – 10 drops of the oil to it.
9.) Rosemary. This oil possesses both anti-inflammatory properties and “peripheral antinociceptive (pain-sensitivity-blocking properties) which was observed experimentally. In addition, rosemary has rich antioxidant levels.
So there you have a brief explanation on getting relief from arthritic pain with essential oils. I encourage you to take this opportunity to explore more natural ways of treating arthritis. In turn, you may find yourself in less pain and more able to do the things you love again. With that being said, here’s to living your best life ever! Feel free to leave me a comment or any insight you may have on the topic of relieving arthritic pain with essential oils.
Bright, S. (2016). 10 Essential Oils That Can Seriously Relieve Arthritis. [online] Natural Living Ideas. Available at: http://www.naturallivingideas.com/essential-oils-for-arthritis/ [Accessed 6 Mar. 2018].
Cdc.gov. (2018). Arthritis-Related Statistics. [online] Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/data_statistics/arthritis-related-stats.htm [Accessed 6 Mar. 2018].
Modern essentials. (2014). Orem, Utah: Aroma Tools, pp.90, 93.
Pegura, C. (2017). The Best Essential Oils to Relieve Arthritis Pain. [online] Organic Aromas. Available at: https://organicaromas.com/blogs/aromatherapy-and-essential-oils/the-best-essential-oils-to-relieve-arthritis-pain [Accessed 6 Mar. 2018].
Phytochemicals.info. (2018). Phytochemicals. [online] Available at: http://www.phytochemicals.info/ [Accessed 8 Mar. 2018].
The Miracle of Essential Oils. (2018). 7 Powerful Essential Oils for Joint Inflammation – The Miracle of Essential Oils. [online] Available at: https://www.themiracleofessentialoils.com/essential-oils-for-joint-inflammation/ [Accessed 6 Mar. 2018].