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Nerve damage

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


see also: Bell's palsy, neuropathy, trigeminal neuralgia.

Nervous SystemThe nervous system has three primary functions. The Sensory System gathers information about the environment around the body and transmits it to the brain.  This would include touch, taste, or any of the five senses.  The Motor Nerves (Somatic) control the voluntary movements of the body such as walking or talking. The Autonomic Nerves control the involuntary actions of the body such as heartbeat, digestion, or adrenal release. (The tab above, Nervous System, gives a more detailed description of the complete nervous system.)

Because of the complexity of this body system there are many possible problems that may occur with a myriad of symptoms.  These can range from the nuisance of having numbness in the end of a finger to a disabling injury to the spine.  Nerve damage may be the result of, or a symptom of, a number of diseases.  Listed below are some common conditions involving nerve damage:

  Autoimmune diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, lupus, and multiple sclerosis.

  Cancer growth can caused direct damage to nerve tissue or enlarged tumors can apply pressure on nerve tissue.  Beyond there may be collateral damage to nerve tissue from the cancer treatments of radiation and chemotherapy.

  Diabetes often includes damage to sensory nerves resulting in diabetic neuropathy.

  Infections of different types such as HIV, hepatitis C, and Lyme disease affect the nerves.

  Medicines, drugs, or toxins can damage nerve tissue.

  Motor neuron diseases such a ALS or Lou Gehrig’s diseases affect neurons directly.

  Pressure from arthritic growth or other abnormalities often constricts nerve passageways or puts pressure on nerve tissue resulting in pain and discomfort.

  Trauma to any part of the body can result in damage to sensory, motor, or autonomic neurons or their pathways.

Symptoms will vary depending on which part of the nervous system is damaged:

  Autonomic nerve damage may include bladder problems, constipation, dry eyes, dry mouth, excessive perspiration, or sexual dysfunction.

  Motor nerve damage may produce muscle atrophy, paralysis, twitching, or weakness.

  Sensory nerve damage can result in burning, dizziness, numbness, pain, or tingling.

Oils, blends & products recommended:

Oils & Blends:  Massage Blend, Grounding Blend, Cypress, Geranium, Helichrysum, Juniper, Peppermint, Roman Chamomile

Essential oils based products:

Also consider: Birch, Cassia, GrapefruitC, Lavender, Lemon, LemongrassC, Marjoram, Oregano, PatchouliC, Vetiver

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

Suggested protocols:

Nerve damage can come from a variety of sources.  If uncertain consider the possibilities of viral or bacterial infection, muscle spasms or cramps, local inflammation, or other root causes and use oils recommended for these concerns.  For repair and regeneration of nerve tissue Frankincense, Helichrysum, and Roman Chamomile are most often suggested. More complex protocols also increase blood circulation to hasten healing and may have oils for pain management.  Below are three protocols suggested:

Restore damaged nerve tissue:

·  Apply 1 - 2 drops of Frankincense and/or Helichrysum to the affected area 2 to 3 times daily to restore .

Restore damaged nerves, including increased circulation:

·  5 parts - Helichrysum

·  3 parts - Cypress

·  8 parts - Geranium

·  2 parts - Juniper

·  1 part - Peppermint

3-4 drops topically to the area of damage 2-3 times per day.

Restore damaged nerves, increased circulation, pain management, and infection protection:

·  15 drops Geranium

·  10 Helichrysum

·  10 Wintergreen

·  8 Marjoram

·  6 Cypress

·  5 Peppermint

·  2 Clove

·  2 Lemon

3-4 drops topically to the area of damage 2-3 times per day.

Experiences and Testimonials of others

Terry – An acquaintance has nerve damage caused by shingles. His doctor has him taking the same drug given for epilepsy. He'd like to know which oils would help heal his nerve damage. Maybe something to get rid of the shingle virus (or whatever it is) that tends to come and go now. Can anyone tell me more about that?

Pat - Frankincense dropped under the tongue daily and Marjoram applied with a spray apparatus when the shingles are topical.

Janyce - I have recommended Peppermint to repair nerve damage.  I have been using it on my foot neuroma and it is helping a lot.  Just a suggestion.

Heather - Is it kinda like neuropathy? Massage Blend and Lemongrass are good for nerves and circulation.

Pat - Melissa is what we use for killing virus, Marjoram will assist with pain and topical blisters and then Helichrysum for repairing the damage.

Temple - My mom has some pretty serious nerve damage, and her RN after neck/ back/spine surgery recommended that she use Peppermint oil on the back of her neck during her recovery.


Sue – I have a friend who has ended up with facial nerve damage after she got an infection in an eye tooth from an old filling. The old tooth and filling have now been removed but the nerve damage was the result. I am thinking Protective Blend  for any infection. But not sure about the nerve pain. Any other thoughts would be appreciated.

DeEllen - Helichrysum is good for nerve damage and Birch, cayenne, and Ginger "hinder the production of neurotransmitters that carry pain messages from nerve endings to the central nervous system." I don't know if that helps or not, but I got it from notes I have about essential oils and pain.

Pat - Roman Chamomile is also good for nerve damage and it also regenerates. I would use any of these oils directly on the surface of the face and drop Frankincense under the tongue.


April - My mom had a tongue cancer removed and in doing that has had some serious nerve damage, both on her tongue and on the outside of her mouth on one side.

1. She can't move any muscles on one side of her mouth and I'm wondering if anyone has any suggestions for helping bring the feeling back. I'm not sure if anything can be done since it was damaged in surgery, but I wanted to try for her.

2. She has a condition her doctor calls "burning tongue." She says it feels as if she has just had too-hot hot cocoa and her tongue has been burned. She has this sensation constantly, which is painful for her. Any thoughts at all would be very greatly appreciated.

Kathy - I would try 1 drop of Helichrysum and 2 drops of Lemongrass in 1 teaspoon of carrier, then swish and pull the mixture around the tongue twice per day - morning and night (you don't need to swallow). See if she feels a difference after a few weeks of consistent use.  Use grapeseed, coconut oil, water or vco for a carrier.

Rob - I was looking through my older notes on nerve damage protocols, and found this suggestion had been effective for some...

15 drops Geranium, 10 Helichrysum, 10 Wintergreen, 8 Marjoram, 6 Cypress, 5 Peppermint, 2 Clove, 2 Lemon

3-4 drops could be used topically as close to the area of the damage as possible, and added to a carrier and used as an oil push for 10 or so minutes per day.


Mahina - I was wondering what the best protocol would be for your husband who has smashed his pointer finger with a hammer. It has been a few days, but there is a blood blister underneath the nail and I don't want it to die and fall off. Ideas?

Katie - I did this to mine, though it was with a water bottle.  I can't tell you how much it hurt, and throbbed for hours.  I still have some nerve damage, but I thought for SURE I would lose my nail.  I didn't though.  I applied Frankincense and Lavender and a drop of Helichrysum several times each day.  I also applied Basil for the nerve damage, and although I still have a little less sensitivity to my middle finger, I can feel it well and I didn't lose my nail.  It absorbed into barely a little blood blister.  Hope it works as well for your husband.

Diane - My husband did this as well, and very bad, thought he was going to lose the nail too. I used Oregano and Lemon for the pain, and then Soothing Blend for tissue repair (I'm still building my collection, so I don't have many like Helichrysum yet). It's still badly bruised, but he still has the nail. He stopped letting me apply oils after a couple of days though.

Jan - Add Lavender to that mix. I cut my pointer  finger to the bone two weeks ago, thought I was going to have to have stitches. It swelled up and lots of bruising. I just put Frankincense, Helichrysum, Melaleuca and Lavender on the cut and bruising and in 2 days the swelling was down and in 4 days took the bandage off completely. It was all healed. Awesome oils.


Shannon - Can anyone give me some ideas on what to use for nerve damage to feet and back. My husband back in 98 broke his pelvic bone and ruptured some discs in his back and has since had severe problems with his feet hurting, numb, cold. He started anodyne treatments and that made them worse. Any suggestions on how to get him feeling better! PLEASE!!!

Kathy - I would say for Nerve Damage: Helichrysum, Geranium, Peppermint, Cypress ((...) Massage Blend oil would be good too) rub onto nerve-damaged areas as well as on the bottom of the feet.  Try the Massage Blend Technique too if you can.

I also found this recommendation to restore damaged nerves:

·  5 parts - Helichrysum

·  3 parts - Cypress

·  8 parts - Geranium

·  2 parts - Juniper

·  1 part - Peppermint

The recommendation was to apply in the above order.  If an oil is not available (ie Juniper) skip or use an oil with similar constituents.  

Nancy - I attribute Dr Hill with this procedure for “neuropathy of the feet”.

·    It starts with 2-4 drops Grounding Blend, rub into feet (then I usually cross right hand to left foot and left hand to right foot and hold until I feel a 'connection')

·    Next, on one foot, add the next three oils, either separately or combined: 2-4 drops Cypress,2-4 drops Basil, 2-4 drops Marjoram

·    Finish with 2-4 drops Peppermint

·    Finally cover with hot moist towel and perhaps a dry towel to keep the heat in for the longest time.

Repeat on other foot. The time varies on relief, and some day’s response is better than others, but keep using it and you should notice a difference.


Loryjean - I have nerve damage in my legs and hand. The very first thing is the Basic Vitality Supplements (LLV) Pack, for nutritional support. Grounding Blend 2-3 times a day. I use Vetiver, Marjoram, Cassia, Birch and I also do the Candida Cleanse for 3 weeks about every six weeks, followed by Probiotic Defense Formula. Susan Lawton suggested rotating oils for chronic conditions, so I am going to try some others from time to time. I also use Lemon, Lavender and Peppermint every day. Because part of my problem is inflammation, and if he's been injured, his probably is, too- I use Oregano on my feet night and morning with the Birch, as well. I am getting better; I don't expect to be totally relieved from problems I've had for years, but (...) HAS made an incredible difference in my life! Best of luck to you.

Shannon - Thanks~! I will give it a try!  What if I am rubbing it on his feet do I need to do it differently? Hope it works~ I am desperate for some relief for him~ LOL

Dian - Have him lay on his stomach and rub it on his back on the area of the damage then put a warm towel and a blanket over that, then on the bottom of his feet and have him put socks on to help warm the oils for better absorption.

Pat - One of our new oils, Coriander is known to help with poor circulation and Roman Chamomile is a powerful new oil that increases the ability of the skin to regenerate, helps the liver reject poisons and is good for restless leg. Any of these conditions could be part of what he is experiencing.

Protocols folks recommend for children


The Nervous System

The nervous system is the complex interconnection of neurons throughout the body that receive sensory inputs and controls the voluntary and involuntary actions of the body.  The complete nervous system is divided into subsystems that have unique functions:

Nervous System

Central Nervous System – This includes the brain and the spinal cord (and interestingly the retina).  The spinal cord and brain receive all the sensory inputs from the peripheral nervous system, integrates all of this data, and initiates appropriate responses.

Peripheral Nervous System – The PNS connects to all parts of the body and gathers information to be sent to the CNS and also transmits the signals sent from the CNS to control muscles and organs throughout the body.  The PNS usually includes the Sensory System and beyond this is divided into two subsystems known as the Autonomic and the Somatic Nervous Systems.Spinal Nerves

  Sensory System – This is the part of the nervous system that alerts the brain of external stimuli.  There are sensory receptors for the five senses of hearing, touch, taste, smell, and vision that sends information to the brain through neural pathways.

  Autonomic Nervous System – This controls the involuntary activities of the body such as heart rate, blood pressure, digestive functions and much more.  This includes the muscles in the skin (around hair follicles; smooth muscle), around blood vessels (smooth muscle), in the eye (the iris; smooth muscle), in the stomach, intestines and bladder (smooth muscle), and muscles of the heart (cardiac muscle). Other glands and organs include the adrenal, kidney, liver, mucous, nasal, oral, and salivary.

       The ANS is divided into two major divisions, sympathetic and parasympathetic, plus the less well-known enteric nervous system.

       Sympathetic Nervous System – This part of the ANS originates in the thoracic and lumbar sections of the spinal cord (T1 thru L2).  It controls what is commonly referred to as the “fight or flight” responses of the body.  In this state signals are sent through the nervous system to maximize the body’s resources to deal with impending stress.  This includes a faster heart rate, increased blood delivered to the muscles and less to the digestive system.

       Parasympathetic Nervous System – This part of the ANS originates in the medulla region of the brain and the sacral region of the spinal cord (CN 3, 7, 9, 10 and S2 thru S4).  This controls the “rest and digest” responses of the body.  Signals are sent throughout the body to build energy that include decreased heart rate, lower blood pressure, and activation of the digestive system.

       Enteric Nervous System – Less frequently referred to, the ENS delivers specialized nerve signals to the gastrointestinal tract, the pancreas, and the gall bladder.

  Somatic Nervous System – Also know as the Motor Nerves these control  the voluntary movements of the body.  The CNS sends signals through neural pathways to the muscles that then can provide the movements of the skeletal system.

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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.