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Carpal Tunnel

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


Carpal TunnelThe carpal tunnel is an area of the wrist where the flexor tendons pass through to the fingers.  The median nerve also passes through this tunnel and is surrounded by the flexor tendons. The tunnel formed by bones of the wrist and the transverse carpal ligament.  The median nerve is of special importance since it carries sensation to the three fingers and controls the movement of the thumb (it does not go to the little finger).

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is the condition where the median nerve is irritated or pressed causing numbness, weakness and/or tingling and even painful sensations.  This nerve travels from the neck through the shoulder and elbow onto the wrist so the irritation may occur in any of these areas.  Carpal Tunnel Syndrome specifically refers to pressure or irritation originating in the wrist area.  Causes for this include:

·    Repeating the same movement of the wrist, especially if the wrist is bent down.

·    Wrist injuries

·    Bone spurs

·    Some types of arthritis

·    Pregnancy or obesity make create such pressure

·    Some even note that smoking can reduce blood flow to the median nerve causing Carpel Tunnel Syndrome!

Oils, blends & products recommended:

Oils & Blends:

Healing: Massage BlendC, CypressC (circulation), FrankincenseC, Helichrysum (nerve damage), LemongrassC (connective tissue), Marjoram (muscle tissue)

Pain: Soothing BlendC, Wintergreen

Essential oils based products:

Also consider: BasilC, Birch, Clove, EucalyptusC, LavenderC, OreganoC

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

Suggested protocols:

One or two drops to the wrist area 2 or 3 times daily applied to the wrist area where the nerve irritation is occurring.   Soothing Blend for pain followed with Massage Blend or Cypress, Helichrysum, and Lemongrass if available.  The experiences of others suggest other oils combinations will also be effective.

Remember also that the median nerve originates at the spine and travels thru the shoulder and elbow so that the nerve damage in some cases could be in an area other than the wrist and applying oils to the point of the damage would be best.

Experiences and Testimonials of others

Kendra -  What do you use for carpal tunnel?

Rob – Let me share my personal experience with EO's and carpal tunnel.  A few years ago, before (...) oils as a family we used other oils and I personally got to a point that I couldn't use essential oils anymore.  This was because I would have a severe allergic reaction to severely to many oils.  When (...) oils were introduced, I was thrilled to realize that I could use them as much, and as often as I liked.  As a result, every morning and every night I was applying essential oils to my kids, my wife, others, and myself.  Even before this time I had suffered a lot from carpal tunnel and had just learned to live with it.  So as I was initially using my new found treasure of (...) essential oils I was not specifically working on my carpel tunnel but I realized one day that it was gone. Completely!  It made me realize that just their daily use in no particular oil, order, or method had been therapeutic for my carpal tunnel. 

I realize that is hard to set up a protocol from this for someone else but that was my experience. Now with more experience if I were to help myself specifically for that problem I would consider Lemongrass, Basil, Wintergreen, Cypress and Frankincense topically - daily or twice daily.  Upon flair-ups I would use these oils followed by warm compress.

If more pain relief was necessary at the beginning consider Clove or Marjoram for their analgesic properties.  Remember in some cases you must deal both with symptoms (pain, cough, etc.) and the root cause separately.

Pat - I know a lady who is just starting to use Marjoram and Soothing Blend for her carpal tunnel. The Marjoram is for the tendons and muscles and the Soothing Blend for the pain. I should also suggest to her that  Cypress will increase circulation that in turn will speed healing.

I also know of another person who successfully used Soothing Blend and Frankincense.


Kendra – I have read that Helichrysum is also effective.  Do you have information about Helichrysum and carpal tunnel?

Rob - Helichrysum provides a full spectrum of helping properties.  It has a compound called eugenol (1-2%), a phenol with analgesic properties that contributes to the oil's pain-relieving assistance.  


Kathy - I have read all the stuff online and want to ask someone who has had personal experience with carpal tunnel - so far I have picked Cypress for increased circulation.  What I want to know is which oil or oils are the best as an anti-inflammatory?

The oils I have to use are:

·  Marjoram

·  Birch

·  Soothing Blend

·  Sandalwood

·  Helichrysum

·  Lemongrass

Do I need all of these and which one or ones would be best?

Tamalu - When Mark was suffering from CPS, we used Soothing Blend and Lemongrass more than anything. Those connective tissues start to inflame and swell, becoming brittle over time. Soothing Blend will bring cooling and healing, and Lemongrass's ability to provide the tools to restore strength and elasticity to those tissues is fantastic!

Also feel around in the neck along the spine. If there is swelling or pain along the spine, especially shooting pain, it is highly likely that you are not dealing with carpal tunnel at all, but an undiagnosed neck injury which is causing nerve damage and radiating into elbow and wrist. It is imperative to get the heat out of that spine to prevent any further damage and begin repair. For this, I use Soothing Blend, Grounding Blend, and the new Tension Blend. Stretching exercises for the neck (gentle, gentle) are so helpful, as you will likely find neck movement is limited.

Some of the symptoms of a neck injury include: chronic sinus issues, headaches, sleep apnea, sciatic pain, and gastric distress, among many others. Many of us are walking around with neck injuries and health issues that we just can't get on top of because the pain or symptoms lie elsewhere.

Brooke - I actually have very painful thumbs!  After I paint or do other things with them too much I can't even lift a plate.  If someone even bumps my hands it feels like they've broken into a million pieces!  I have found tremendous relief from using the oils.  I have used almost all of the ones you have mentioned here.  Birch, Soothing Blend, and Lemongrass have worked the best for me - but also the Tension Blend has really worked well, and I use it the most!  Some of them I can stand the smell better than others (don't really like Lemongrass).  Marjoram is in the Tension Blend too.  I have recently started trying the MJ Assist - so we'll see if that give any relief too.

Protocols folks recommend for children



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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.