12 Essential Oils for Arthritis Pain

Arthritis pain can have a profound effect on a person’s quality of life, affecting the ability to fall and stay asleep, having a slow start in the morning and the ability to complete everyday tasks. Fortunately, essential oils can help. Here are my top picks for essential oils to address arthritis pain:

Black pepper oil (Piper nigrum)

Black pepper essential oil is a powerful oil that has warming properties when diluted and applied to arthritic joints. Its natural analgesic compounds immediately start working to reduce pain levels. Use diluted in small amounts topically for healing joint pain.

Camphor (Cinnamomum camphora)

The oil of the camphor tree has been used for centuries as a traditional remedy against pain and inflammation. It has been found to have antiseptic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic and anti-infective properties, all of which make it an excellent choice in the treatment of arthritis pain. Most over-the-counter pain-relieving products that contain camphor usually contain a synthetic version that does not have the therapeutic properties of real camphor and are best avoided altogether. Because it is a potent oil, always dilute camphor and conduct a 48-hour skin patch test.

Clove oil (Eugenia carophyllata, Eugenia aromatic or Syzygium aromaticum)

Great for rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, clove oil is a potent anti-pain oil. As a result, it should be used sparingly and heavily diluted. Avoid use if you have extremely sensitive skin.

Copaiba (Copaifera reticulata, officinalis, coriacea, or langsdorffi)

This little-known rainforest tree produces one of the best pain relievers I’ve ever come across, particularly when it is in essential oil form. It contains cannabinoids that are similar to those in marijuana but do not have any mind-altering effects. Some varieties on the marketplace are minimally effective so you’ll want to make sure you’re getting a high-quality brand. Also, most companies cut the trees down to extract the oil when that is entirely unnecessary and a tragedy for the rainforests and planet as a whole. Choose a copaiba product that is harvested by tapping the trees similarly to how maple trees are tapped.

Ginger oil (Zingiber officinalis)

As an essential oil applied topically to the skin, ginger stimulates circulation in the joints, alleviates stiffness, warms the joints and helps reduce pain levels. Do not use if you have highly sensitive skin.

Lavender oil (Lavandula angustifolia or Lavandula officinalis)

While lavender can help with joint stiffness, it really shines when pain is keeping you up at night. You can apply it directly to the joints or diffuse into the air for up to an hour before bed to help relax your nervous system and help you sleep. Avoid use during pregnancy particularly if you have a history of miscarriage.

Lemongrass oil (Cymbopogon citratus or Cymbopogon flexuosus)

Lemongrass helps tone the connective tissues and can be helpful when the tendons no longer hold the joints with precision, which can cause excessive friction and arthritis pain. Be sure to conduct a skin test first as this oil can irritate those with highly sensitive skin.

Marjoram oil (Origanum majorana or Majorana hortensis)

Applied to affected joints, marjoram helps to cleanse the joints of the byproducts of inflammation. Avoid use during pregnancy or if you suffer from epilepsy.

Peppermint oil (Mentha piperita)

A powerful anti-inflammatory with natural anagesic properties, peppermint is a great addition to the natural healing toolkit of arthritis sufferers. Unlike most oils, it can be used “neat” which means undiluted. You won’t need much—just a drop or two applied to the affected joints will leave a cooling sensation that helps alleviate pain. Wash hands immediately after applying and avoid eye contact.

Rosemary oil (Rosmarinus officinalis)

Not just good for cooking, the oil extracted from the herb, rosemary, has anti-pain properties, is a relaxant and is useful for joint pain. It also calms the nervous system, which is the route by which pain signals travel to and from the brain. Relaxing the nervous system is an important process to improve pain both in the short- and long-term. Regular use of rosemary oil on the affected joints but also through inhalation can be helpful for arthritis sufferers. Avoid during pregnancy and if you suffer from epilepsy.

Tansy oil (Tanacetum annum)

This naturally blue essential oil contains the active component thujone which is toxic when ingested but has potent anti-pain properties for topical use.

Wintergreen oil (Gaultheria procumbens)

Wintergreen is an excellent oil to alleviate pain due to its methyl salicylate content, which is similar in composition to aspirin. Few plants contain this potent analgesic compound.

Essential oils are best diluted for topical use. Dilute 2 drops in about 1 teaspoon of carrier oil like apricot kernel, almond or coconut. If you have sensitive skin, be sure to conduct a 48-hour skin test first after heavily diluting the essential oils. Don’t skimp on price. Most of the cheap oils on the market contain cheap, and sometimes toxic, ingredients. You really do get what you pay for when it comes to essential oils. You don’t need all of them. I generally pick a few and blend with carrier oil as a natural liniment for arthritis.

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Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM is the publisher of the free e-newsletter World’s Healthiest News, the Cultured Cook, co-founder of BestPlaceinCanada, and an international best-selling and 20-time published book author whose works include: Cancer-Proof: All Natural Solutions for Cancer Prevention and HealingFollow her work.



Roselyn V
Roselyn Veado17 days ago

I was diagnosed in June, 2013 with OSTEOARTHRITIS of the spine and both knees, symptoms started with severe back pain, joint swelling and stiffness in my knees and eventually the feeling spread to my shoulders and neck, i couldn’t lift my arm without pain medications. I was prescribed tramacet and arcoxia for 8 months but had to stop them due to bad effects. In 2017, I started on OSTEOARTHRITIS HERBAL FORMULA from RICH HERBS FOUNDATION, this natural herbal treatment reversed my osteoarthritis. Visit ww w. richherbsfoundation .c om. The treatment worked incredibly for my arthritis condition.

rachel ramah
Past Member 18 days ago

Thank you!

heather g
heather g19 days ago

Thanks - I didn't know Camphor Oil is so strong.

Jan K
Jan K24 days ago


Mark Turner
Mark T25 days ago


Janet B
Janet B25 days ago


Teresa W
Teresa W25 days ago

Julie, nor will meat.

Angela K
Angela K25 days ago

Thanks for sharing

Teresa W
Teresa W25 days ago

thank you

Danuta W
Danuta W25 days ago

thanks for sharing