A sprain is an injury to the ligaments around a joint of
the body. Ligaments are strong bands of tissue that tie bone
to bone and hold joints like the ankle, wrist, knee, etc
(Technically speaking a strain of a joint involves the
muscles or the tendons that are the strong bands that tie
bone to muscle.) Severe sprains are often accompanied by
bleeding that in turn causes bruising hence the black and
blue appearance. The injury to a ligament can vary from the
ligament being stretched, to a partial tear or in a worst
case a complete tear of the ligament. Ankle and knee sprains
are most common and usually result in rapid swelling and
significant pain. Most minor sprains can be helped with home
care whereas structural damage will require professional
For immediate relief the RICE treatment is recommended,
combined with essential oils, to relieve pain and provide
more rapid healing. See the Suggested Protocols tab above
for the recommended oils to combine with this treatment:
R Rest the
joint for 24 –48 hours.
Avoid activities that induce pain.
Ice the injury for 15 –20 minutes every 3 – 4 hours.
This limits the swelling.
the area with an Ace bandage or similar device.
Snug but not tight, do not cut off circulation.
Elevate the strain joint above the heart as much as
Oils, blends & products
Oils & Blends:
pain, circulation, inflammation, warming and repair: Massage Blend
Birch, Soothing BlendC, LavenderEC, Tension Blend, White FirC, Wintergreen
inflammation and warming:
Cinnamon, CloveC, Cypress, EucalyptusEC,
GingerC, Oregano, Peppermint
• Tissue repair:
Frankincense, HelichrysumC (nerve), LemongrassC
(ligaments, tendons), MarjoramC (muscle)
Essential oils based
Roman ChamomileC, RosemaryC,
understand the E and C superscript go to Home and
scroll to New Helps.
For pain the analgesic essential
oils such as Lavender or Marjoram should be used topically
immediately and often for the first 24 - 48 hours because
they do not over stimulate
circulation. If the pain is too intense use Soothing Blend as
well. This should be combined with the RICE
treatment (Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate) described on the
After the swelling is controlled (24 - 48 hours) use a
blend of oils that limits pain, increases circulation to
speed healing and oils that repair tissue. Soothing Blend,
Cypress, Helichrysum, Lemongrass,
Marjoram and/or the Massage Blend are highly recommended. To speed results apply these with hot and cold compresses or hot and
cold foot-baths (if an ankle). The compress or bath should
include the blend and the hot and cold should be repeated every
5 or 10 minutes, for 3 or 4 rotations. Then this whole
process should be repeated every 3 to 12 hours depending on
Special Precautions: If after the first 2 - 4 days the
sprain is not responding to the treatment, there may be a
broken bone or severely torn ligament and it should be
reviewed by professional medical help.
Experiences and Testimonials of others
Courtney - My
friend’s 10 year old daughter sprained her ankle last night
and I am not sure which oils are best to help her with. She
has a somewhat large bump that is surrounded by swelling on
the side of her ankle. She cannot walk on it. Would Soothing Blend work the best directly on the ankle? Please help.
Marti - I would try these if it were my
daughter (and yes Soothing Blend would help)
Helichrysum if you have it, it is great
for swelling and tissues
Lemongrass, again will help with swelling,
pain and ligaments,
Marjoram - great with muscles
Lavender - to help calm the area and
Myrrh can also help with tissues
Massage Blend - just because
Eucalyptus can also be used as an
anti-inflammatory and is good for circulation and healing
Pat - The first thing you need is to
get the swelling under control and Helichrysum works really
well for that, Soothing Blend helps with the pain, add Marjoram
and Wintergreen to that. Lavender will also help the trauma
to that area. As you can see there are so many oils you can
use for this type of injury. Elevate and oil for two full
days, oiling consistently. Having the young girl put the oil
on will help a lot. She is using the power of healing and
getting more oils into her system. Her parents need to take
turns with that because the power of love is also very
OH - I had great success with
"Massage Blend" massage blend. I sprained my ankle badly and
within 2 weeks I was back to running on the beach. Soothing Blend would work for pain relief. I hope she iced it
immediately, as well as kept it elevated. I was amazed how
fast my ankle healed and the bruising didn't get to the ugly
black and blue. Many of the single oils in Massage Blend deal
with pain and inflammation, as well as circulation...
Dian - Don't forget cypress for
Julia - Working in
the garden yesterday! I pulled too hard on the rototiller
cord and felt my wrist give. I knew it was pretty bad and
ran inside and grabbed the first thing I could think of...
peppermint. It felt tender, but I was able to keep working
and even worked on the computer typing! It wasn’t until
later that afternoon the pain really settled in and today my
wrist and all the tendons in my hand, especially my thumb
are all swollen and stiff. I'm keeping peppermint on it and
taking BF&C... any thing else I could be using?
Wendy - Lemongrass would be great!!
Keep it on!
Maria - My friend sprained her ankle and
I'm wondering what oils would be useful? Any suggestions?
Pat - Depending on which oils you have:
Soothing Blend for the pain and swelling
Marjoram for the muscle around the
Lemongrass for the ligaments
Using all or whatever you have of these oils will benefit
Sunny - I ran across a young woman at a
show who had sprained her ankle several days previous. She
had to walk on it and it was painful. At my suggestion, she
sat down and I put a couple of drops of Massage Blend on the
inflamed area. She got instant relief.
Jan - Another suggestion - cypress
and/or helichrysum to relieve swelling and bruising.