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Arthritic Pain

Parts of this were taken with permission from Essential Oils Overview and Reference Guide, published by: The Family Tree, 2008


see also Back Pain, Bursitis, Joint Pain, Muscle Pain
see below for the distinction between arthritis and rheumatism.

Both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis originate from an inflammatory condition in the joints. Essential oils can reduce inflammation and provide pain relief but does not reverse damage if the condition has progressed to the point of destruction of joint structures. In his book, Nature’s Living Energy, Dr. David Hill comments, “In treating patients with rheumatoid arthritis, I have found that a combination of Lemon and Myrrh, or Oregano applied topically can be quite soothing to inflamed joints.” A pain blend is also very effective. Many essential oils like Peppermint, Wintergreen, citrus oils, and Lavender are both analgesic and anti-inflammatory, making them beneficial for inflammation and pain. Particularly for inflammation: Myrrh, Oregano and citrus blends.

See more very helpful information on rheumatoid arthritis refer to the general category of auto-immune diseases.

Difference in Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Both cause inflammation in the joints of the body and can result in pain, difficulty, and even deformity in the limbs.  Here is a brief summary of the difference:

Osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative arthritis, is a result of wear and tear on the joints and therefore usually occurs more frequently with advanced age.  In each joint of the body where there is bone-to-bone contact the contacting surfaces of the bones are covered with a smooth coating of cartilage.  To aid in lubrication there is also synovial Arthritisfluid in the joint.  In osteoarthritis this cartilage is worn or degenerates and eventually allows actual bone-on-bone contact.  This results in inflammation in the bone and surrounding area and sometimes stimulates formation of bone spurs on the bones.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease and can happen at a much earlier age than is typical for osteoarthritis.  In rheumatoid arthritis the body attacks the synovial membrane and other connective tissue in the joint causing inflammation.  This inflammation then leads to deterioration of the cartilage in the joint with the accompanying pain and difficulty in movement.

Here are some of the key differences:

  Osteoarthritis Rhematiod arthritis
Age Usually begins after 40 Usually begins age 25 – 50


Develops slowly over years

Can develop quickly,
within months



Swelling and tender


Hips, knees, spine and fingers most common. Can affect either/or hands, etc.

Primarily fingers and small joints.  Will affect both hands, both wrists etc.


Tends to lessen after a
short time of use

May be for hours, morning stiffness is common


Rhuematoid Arthritis vs. Polymyalgia Rheumatica

PMR is sometimes confused with RA.  Listed below are comparisons of the two conditions as noted in QualityHealth.com:

Painful areas muscles joints
Areas affected fingers, wrist, feet hips, shoulders
Those affected primarily females primarily females
Age at onset (typ) over 50 mid 40s
How develops very suddenly gradually
Prognosis goes away 1-2 years chronic

Go to Muscle Pain for more information on polymyalgia rheumatica.

Arthritis vs. Rheumatism

Arthritis is the common term used today to refer to diseases that affect the joints. Rheumatism is an older medical term, not commonly used today, that referred to diseases that caused pain and stiffness not only in the joints but in bones, ligaments or tendons as well.


[search helps: Heberden's node, Bouchard's nodes]

Oils, blends & products recommended:

Oils & Blends: BirchC, Soothing BlendC, FrankincenseC, LavenderEC, LemonEC, MarjoramC, MyrrhC, OreganoEC, PeppermintC, Vetiver, WintergreenC

Essential oils based products:  Massage Blend Technique, Soothing Blend Rub, GI Cleansing Formula, Basic Vitality Supplements (LLV)

Also consider: EucalyptusEC, GeraniumC, German Chamomile, GingerC, LimeC, SandalwoodC

Note: to understand the E and C superscript go to Home and scroll to New Helps.

Suggested protocols:

Rhuematoid Arthritis: see specific suggestions for autoimmune disorders.

Temporary pain relief - Birch, Soothing Blend, Peppermint, Wintergreen and other anti-inflammatory oils applied topically to the affected area, use a carrier oil for those with sensitive skin. Follow topical oils with Soothing Blend Rub and heat pad for deeper penetration. Wintergreen should be diluted with a carrier before topical application.

  Dr. David Hill in his book Nature’s Living Energy comments, “In treating patients with rheumatoid arthritis, I have found that a combination of Lemon and Myrrh, or Oregano applied topically can be quite soothing to inflamed joints.” Also in his book Frankincense he speaks of oils heavy in sesquiterpenes being helpful with arthritis since they inhibit inflammatory response. These include oils such as Cedarwood, Frankincense, Ginger, Myrrh and Ylang Ylang.

  Consider the pain relief ointment Soothing Blend Rub with an added drop of the Soothing Blend.

  Equal drops of Wintergreen, Lemongrass, Frankincense, and Eucalyptus blended with a 50% carrier of coconut oil has been found by some to be the effective formula for arthritic pain.

An oil or blend should be applied directly to the affected areas using light massage. Use a hot compress after massage application for deeper penetration and relief. For further relief use a local bath for the hands or feet. Fill a bath bowl with hot water. Add 3-4 drops of the oil or blend and soak your hands or feet till the water begins to cool. Agitate the water often to keep the oils well mixed with the water.

Since arthritis is more often a chronic condition some will benefit most by rotating between a variety of oils.  Others have lived with the pain for so long or have used prescription medications they may not respond immediately to the oils.  Periodic (weekly) Massage Blend Technique relieves the stress from the constant pain of chronic conditions as well as rebuilds homeostasis in the body.

Long term relief - Folks have reported positive results by improving diet with supplements and/or using a cleansing protocol.  Most often mentioned are using the Basic Vitality Supplements (LLV) on a consistent basis, the GI Cleansing Formula cleansing protocol.

Experiences and Testimonials of others

Submissions directly to  EverythingEssential.me.  Our thanks to:


Jan - I’ve discovered that Soothing Blend Rub applied to the area, followed immediately with a drop of the Soothing Blend is doubly effective. Two cases where people with long-standing and well treated chronic pain and range of motion limitation – thumb and shoulder – have now been pain-free for 3 months after 1 application of that combo.


Karen - I have arthritis in my toes and fingers and have been using the Basic Vitality Supplements (LLV) supplements for  a few months and my arthritis was better but I switched to the new supplements (Basic Vitality Supplements (LLV)) and my pain went away completely in a few days.


Janine - I have a friend who has taken meds. for years for arthritis, and has problems with tendonitis as well.  Has any one had success using the oils for either of these conditions?  What specific oils would you recommended?

Pat - I have put a blend together for arthritic pain using: Soothing Blend, Marjoram, Helichrysum, White Fir and Lavender. I have a friend who has rheumatoid arthritis and I add Frankincense to the above blend. They have been getting good results.


Kendra – A friend has arthritis in his knee, he can hardly walk and the pain is horrible.   Seriously the fellow has been in pain for a long time and has tried every type of drink, herbs, and vitamins.  Whatever comes to mind he has taken trying to find some relief.

Dian - My husband's back is fused with osteoarthritis, he has been in two separate rear end car accidents 10 years apart.  He uses the MJ Assist stating that it is the only thing that has taken away 90% of the pain.

Kendra - Can I ask you if he used anything before that?  Did he try all the new, "supposedly, this is great" products out there before he tried the MJ Assist. Assist?

Dian - Yes he has tried the new “supposedly great stuff" and the MJ Assist takes away 90% of the pain.  His list of ailments in the past 10 years is very long and he makes sure that I order his monthly supply of MJ Assist.


Chris - I have a friend who has rheumatoid arthritis.  What would be good? Thanks for your input and ideas!

Pat - Like with most autoimmune disorders the LLV pack will help balance the body and help your friend with rheumatoid arthritis.  Birch and Peppermint oils can provide temporary pain relief.


Mamaoilily- My moms friend has arthritis and I have recommended Soothing Blend, Marjoram, Frankincense or Rosemary.  Which one is best and how do you use it!

Pete - Dr. Hill recommended Vetiver for arthritis at the first convention.  You might have them try Birch and MJ Assist.

Pat - Arthritis is an auto immune  disease so the GI Cleansing Formula along with Deep  Blue, Peppermint and/or Vetiver is a great choice.

Sunny  - Some people also like to use Oregano (with a carrier).  It warms and soothes. Good luck!


Peggy - I have a person asking about rheumatiod arthritis, what would you suggest? I was thinking the LLW for sure and the MJ assist.

Pat - For sure the LLV, for the affected areas the oils best used are Soothing Blend, Wintergreen, Geranium and Peppermint. These oils have given much relief to friends who suffer from this. They also use the Yeast Blend (see Candida) and notice a marked difference in their pain levels.

Rob - I am excited to see what Birch will do for sufferers of arthritis.  It is highly anti-inflammatory and relieves joint pain.  Seems a match made in heaven for arthritis.

When you use essential oil for arthritis, at first you need to apply them often, using many oils, including Soothing Blend, Marjoram, Lavender, Frankincense, Oregano, Sandalwood, Peppermint and Wintergreen.

Apply with massage, take dietary supplements, and eat well.

Protocols folks recommend for children


Arthritis originates from an inflammatory condition in the joints. Essential oils can reduce inflammation and will provide pain relief but is less proficient at reversing damage if the condition has progressed to the point of destruction of joint structures.

Like most treatable conditions with essential oils, everyone reacts differently. What might be most effective with some, others have found a different blend more effective. What is important is consistency and enduring the trial and error phase as you find an oil or blend that is most efficacious for you.

What’s happening?
For people that have been suffering from arthritis in the hands, and have started using essential oils for themselves and their families, they are beginning to notice that simply the everyday application and use of these powerful oils is beginning to offer relief from arthritic pain. There are a number of essential oils that are known anti-inflammatory as well as having analgesic properties, as a result, normal use for various reasons has been beneficial to their arthritic pain. The same concept is true for people suffering from carpel tunnel.

We will discuss 3 blends that have been most successful in treating the painful and debilitating effects of arthritis.

��    first, Dr. David Hill in his book Nature’s Living Energy comments, “In treating patients with rheumatoid arthritis, I have found that a combination of Lemon and Myrrh, or Oregano applied topically can be quite soothing to inflamed joints.”

·    Second, Consider a pain relief blend like (...)’s Soothing Blend™. It is a blend of some of the most effective analgesics, and anti-inflammatory oils that exist. Blue tansy, camphor, Helichrysum, osmanthus, Peppermint, and Wintergreen to name a few. Wintergreen is an oil often associated with analgesic creams such as icy-hot and Ben-Gay. Primarily because these products use a synthetically produced (methyl salicylate) that is a chemical copy of the natural major component in Wintergreen (gaultheria procumbent) and has proven effective as a warming pain reliever. However by using Soothing Blend, you actually experience the product in its natural 100% pure state.

·    Third, equal drops of Wintergreen, Lemon grass, Frankincense, and Eucalyptus in a 50% carrier of coconut oil has been found by some to be the effective formula for arthritic pain.

Different Strokes for Different Folks
Like mentioned above, some blends are more or most effective for different people. It is recommended you try a blend for one week, if you’re not satisfied with the results, try a different blend. Start with 3 applications per day. Once you find the blend that offers the most relief, be consistent with applications, reducing the frequency of use gradually till the minimum effectual amount is found.

An oil or blend should be applied directly to the affected areas using light massage. Use a hot compress after massage application for deeper penetration and relief. For further relief use a local bath for the hands or feet. Fill a bath bowl with hot water. Add 3-4 drops of the oil or blend and soak your hands or feet till the water begins to cool. Agitate the water often to keep the oils well mixed with the water.

Diet and Nutritional complements to essential oils


What Science & Research are saying

Candida, Inflammation & Auto-Immune Illnesses

Kathy - This summary is based on Dr. Bruce Semon's book An Extraordinary Power to Heal (2003). This summary gives general explanations about how yeast can cause so-called autoimmune illnesses and chronic disease. For detailed explanations, including an extensive chapter on how the immune system is supposed to work--and how yeast prevent it from working correctly--we recommend that you read An Extraordinary Power to Heal.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Crohn's Disease, Fibromyalgia, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Lupus, Multiple Sclerosis, Numbness in the hands, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Ulcerative colitis:  What do these have in common?  They all respond to dietary intervention and anti-yeast treatment.

Why might chronic diseases ranging from psoriasis to ulcerative colitis to arthritis respond to dietary intervention and anti-yeast treatment? These diseases are all marked by the body appearing to attack itself. They are called "auto-immune" diseases.

I have always considered the idea of the body attacking itself as a strange idea. Why should the body do that? In 40 years of research, the biomedical research community has been unable to come up with any answer. Maybe the concept is wrong.

Maybe the body is not attacking itself primarily. Maybe the primary target is not the body but the yeast Candida albicans. To understand how such terrible diseases can occur, we need to look at the interactions of Candida albicans and the immune system.

Yeast are normal residents of the intestinal tract. After antibiotics, yeast grow to fill in the space left by dead bacteria and the yeast continue to grow at this higher level. The body still must contain the yeast so that the yeast does not invade the rest of the body. If Candida invades the body, the result is often death.

The best way to look at the immune system is to understand that the immune system has both defensive and offensive weapons. The main defensive weapon is inflammation. Inflammation is like putting up a wall, a hot wall, which makes it difficult for invading foreign microorganisms to get through. Inflammation will occur anytime the immune system contacts a foreign invader. But as you know the inflammation is painful. Along with the inflammation, should come the offensive weapons which kill the foreign invader. The problem is that Candida has many tricks to evade the offensive weapons of the body's immune system.

Candida is a very difficult organism for the body's immune system to clear.   Why?

Yeast have a capsule on the outside which prevents the first line (phagocytic) white blood cells of the body from engulfing the yeast and killing it. So the body must rely on the other parts of the immune system.

Candida has other tricks to evade the body's immune system. One of these tricks is to change its outside. The immune system recognizes the outside receptors of the invading organism and then sends out signals to start an immune response. Some of the immune responders then look for cells with those receptors. Candida albicans can change the receptors which it is displaying, making it difficult for the body's immune cells to react appropriately. In essence, Candida albicans is a moving target, which changes its form.

The most important thing to know about Candida is that Candida albicans can make factors which suppress the immune response to itself. These factors can be found in the circulation of people with significant Candida infections. When these factors are purified and placed in cultures of immune cells, these immune cells do not develop the responses to Candida which they are supposed to develop. In other words, Candida can make factors, which prevent the body from reacting to and killing the Candida. These factors prevent the total eradication of Candida from the body.

The Candida can suppress the offensive weapons of the body's immune system. But the inflammation will still be generated because when the immune system detects a foreign invader, there will always be inflammation. The problem is that the foreign invader, the Candida, is not going away, because the immune system's offensive weapons are suppressed. The inflammation will remain and inflammation is painful.

In the intestinal tract, there is Candida, which tries to invade the intestinal wall, and the immune system responds with inflammation. The problem is that the Candida suppresses the immune system's offensive weapons, so the Candida stays and the inflammation is prolonged. This prolonged inflammation is called ulcerative colitis if it occurs in the large intestine and it is called Crohn's disease if it occurs in the small intestine. These disorders are prolonged inflammation resulting from the immune system's inability to clear Candida.

In ulcerative colitis, there is painful inflammation of the intestine rather than regulated containment. As the body fights the yeast in the intestine, some of the cells fighting the yeast circulate and come into contact with yeast on the skin and start an inflammation there, leading to eczema and psoriasis .

Candida causes autoimmune problems such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis in this way. Candida puts out receptors on its cell surface which are actually human receptors for connective tissue and the immune system. If the body attacks the Candida in the intestinal tract, the body's immune system will attack anything which looks like the Candida. Because of the connective tissue receptors on Candida, the body's immune system may attack other cells in the body which have these receptors.

Many tissues such as the joints have connective tissue and as the body attacks the Candida, the body will also attack these cells. The result is painful joints or other inflamed tissues.

Candida also has receptors which are similar to those in the brain. When these cells are attacked, the result is multiple sclerosis.

In other words, Candida acts as a long term vaccination displaying the body's own cellular receptors to the body's immune system. When the immune system sees such receptors for a long enough time, it will attack cells which display such receptors, which includes the cells of the body. There is research which shows that such immune system reactions occur. The yeast Candida is the primary target. If the Candida is removed the body stops attacking itself.


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NOTE: The advice shared in this site has not been evaluated by the FDA. The products and methods recommended are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease, nor is it intended to replace proper medical help. As members offer or look for answers, kindly understand that essential oils work to help to bring the body into balance - thus helping the body's natural defenses to restore homeostasis. Essential oils are not used to "treat" medical problems.