Essential Oil Lotions For Aches and Pains

Essential oils for aches and pains answers the most asked questions like “What is the strongest essential oil for pain”? “What essential oils are good for pain and inflammation”? and “How to use essential oils for pain”?  When looking to relieve sore muscles, inflamed joints, back pain, overworked muscles,  and neuropathic pain, essential oil properties can offer some pain relief. Effective essential oils for aches and pains include: Lavender, Juniper, Ginger, Black Pepper, Copaiba, Roman Chamomile and Helichrysum. You can simply add our favorite blends with essential oils for aches and pain to a carrier oil or our super easy ‘One For All’ Base Lotion.

You can make homemade essential oil blends for Muscle Pain, Sore Muscles and Overworked Muscles, Arthritis and Rheumatism, Pain Relief And Inflammation, Joint Pain and Neuropathic Pain and use them as natural pain relievers.

Benefits of Essential Oil Lotions For Aches and Pains 

We often get asked “What essential oils are good for pain and inflammation”? There are plenty of very good answers to that question. As we progress, you will see the need to understand what kind of pain or inflammation you wish to target and it helps to narrow down the most effective essential oils for you.

When you are first learning how to use essential oils for pain, it can be a minefield and quite confusing, but I hope that this article is going to make the process as simple as possible for you.

Essential oils are effective tools for tackling sore muscles, overworked muscles and for pain relief. The active properties and chemical constituents in the essential oils can be harnessed and targeted exactly where you need it.

Essential Oils For Aches and Pains vs Pill Popping

Essential Oils For Aches and Pains vs Pill Popping

As a chronic pain sufferer myself, I have plenty of experience of hovering over the decision to use essential oils or pop a pill. It will be personal for everyone, as there are as many different types and experiences of pain, as there are sufferers!

Often, if you are suffering from longstanding and chronic pain, it can take a while to develop a successful regime. Be prepared to invest some time in this. Many essential oils will have a cumulative effect and need time to build up and work more effectively for you.

As an example, I shall use the Vetiver that I introduced into my nighttime routine by dropping a few drops into my late night bath to help me sleep. Not only did I start to sleep better, but after about 3 months I noticed that my (very painful) cramps associated with endometriosis were lessened and not as acute. This was an unexpected twist I hadn't bargained on and over time the effect strengthened. I suppose what I am saying is…. Sometimes, it can take months.

Therefore, if you are dealing with immediate and acute pain and looking at pain relievers, sometimes, a pill may give you more immediate relief, but use it alongside an essential oil to bolster the effect as well.

If you are looking at reducing inflammation and pain over a period of weeks and months, then essential oils are going to be a blessing to you. 

Control Over Your Ingredients With Essential Oils For Aches and Pains

When you make your own homemade Essential Oil Lotions For Aches and Pains it gives you complete control over EVERY ingredient that you include.

You can choose to use ingredients to make completely natural and organic base lotions and ointments as delivery methods for your essential oil blends.

It allows you to choose a more natural and sustainable way of delivering your own healthcare in a way that aligns with your ethos.

This is becoming increasingly important to people in the modern world. Parents are now seeing these organic homemade formulas they want for their kids, are actually just as good for them too. Whole families are making these shifts now and controlling elements of their own healthcare at home.

There does need to be a common sense approach here and immediate medical advice should be sought if pain is particularly acute, unexplained or lingering past a few days. 

Target Exactly What You Need With Essential Oils For Aches and Pains

It pays to understand your aches and pains when you are working with essential oils and we shall look at this a little later.

Have a think, before we progress further, what is causing my pain? Where is it coming from? What is causing it?

Is it because you walked too far yesterday or did you run a marathon? A pain through overworked muscles.

Maybe your hand is hurting because you have bruised it? Or is it longer lasting pain like from Carpal Tunnel?

Perhaps, your back is hurting because that box was too heavy? Or is your spine degenerating?

Is your pain short lived or chronic?

Would you describe your pain as a dull ache or acute and sharp?

Is there swelling accompanying your pain?

Have you noticed any redness of the skin and does it feel hot to touch? Or is it cold and cool to the touch?

The more precise you can be about the type of pain you or your family are experiencing, the better.

Understanding Different Essential Oil Lotions For Aches and Pains

With essential oil for aches and pain you have the ability to use their active properties and chemical constituents to target the exact nature of the pain you're experiencing.

We can create different types of essential blends for aches and pains for a variety of different pains. You may be experiencing joint pain, muscle pain, pain associated with inflammation, pain associated with bone degeneration or Neuropathic pain. It really helps to know what source of pain you are dealing with. 


Where there is inflammation, we would want to target that directly. When you treat the inflammation, it should reduce any swelling which in turn should help to reduce pain.

Example: Think of a dental abscess for example, where infection causes inflammation of the surrounding tissues which put pressure on the nerves which sends off intense pain signaling. When you reduce the inflammation, you often also reduce the pain. Copaiba and Roman Chamomile essential oils are great choices here. 

Overworked Muscles, Tendons and Ligaments

When we work our muscles well, our bodies produce Lactic Acid. Unfortunately,  that can make us feel achy and our muscles sore and stiff after exercising.

Example: You’ve just run a marathon and you can’t move because of stiff, aching muscles. You would want to directly target the buildup of Lactic Acid and look to reduce inflammation of the muscles, tendons and ligaments. Essential oils like Lavender, Juniper and Ginger are wonderful for this.

Arthritis and Rheumatism

Where there are Arthritic or Rheumatic conditions there are usually associated build ups of certain acids. Therefore, you want to work on reducing Uric and Lactic acids particularly.

Example: An arthritic joint that is swollen and bulbous is generally where Uric and Lactic acids have crystallized and hardened around the joint and caused the hard swelling and contributes to the lack of mobility in the joint. Essential oils like Lavender and Juniper help break down those acids and over time can reduce that crystallization around the joint. They do need to be used consistently though for that cumulative effect I talked about.

Bone Degeneration

Where there is a joint destabilizing or crumbling, it creates a different kind of pain. Unfortunately it is not the kind of pain that you can treat the same way as the other examples. Bone pain is some of the most intense and hard to target pain of all. Often, we have to look at treating the pain through the way that nerve signals are working.

Example: I have degeneration in my lower back at L4 and L5 where my spine is crumbling, albeit slowly thankfully! The pain, because it is bone pain, can sometimes be intense and overwhelming. It has also caused something called Neuropathic Pain which is where your brain's signaling goes a bit haywire! Therefore, I don’t target the bone pain, I target the NERVE signaling and the pain that creates instead. Personally, I use Marjoram, Lavender Vetiver and Ylang Ylang as a multi pronged approach on my worst days. 

Neuropathic pain

Neuropathic pain can occur if your nervous system is damaged or not working properly. You can feel pain from any level of the nervous system, from the peripheral nerves, spine and brain. Together, the spinal cord and brain form our central nervous system. Peripheral nerves are those that are distributed throughout your body, including the limbs, arms, legs, fingers and toes.

Neuropathic pain is where these damaged nerves send the wrong signals to the pain point. 

Nerve activity can change at the site of injury, and in some parts of the central nervous system. Neuropathy is a functional problem or change in one or more nerves. Diabetes causes about 30% of neuropathy.

The problem here is that it is not always easy to diagnose the onset of neuropathic pain as there are hundreds of diseases associated with this type of pain.

People who suffer from autoimmune diseases like ME, Fibromyalgia and Hashimoto's Disease all tend to suffer some form of neuropathic pain.

Example: My back injury also caused peripheral neuropathy in my fingers, toes and the top of my head. I experience numbness to some extent in all of these extremities. I also suffer pain in places that were not injured but where the nerves were damaged ‘further’ down the line by the original injury. I use Marjoram essential oil and Lavender essential oil to get on top of those ‘spiky’ nerve signals.

Neuropathic Pain is the hardest to treat and usually the most likely type of pain to be chronic. However, essential oils can be widely utilized to offer some relief not only from the pain, but also the frustration and myriad of other emotions that come with being a chronic pain sufferer. 

Best Essential Oils For Aches and Pains

Best Essential Oils For Aches and Pains

We have a great back history of articles on this topic and I thought it would be a good visual representation to compare some of the highly recommended essential oils together.

We can compare essential oils for muscle pain with essential oils for joint pain and inflammation and so on and so forth. It will clearly highlight where there are repeating essential oils that cross all sections. These are the essential oils that if you are a beginner to essential oils for aches and pains, you may wish to purchase and try out for yourself.

It will certainly help you answer and work out questions like:

    • What is the strongest essential oil for pain? 
    • “What’s the best essential oil for muscle pain recipe?
    • “What’s the most effective essential oil recipe for pain and inflammation?

I will link the title of each section to a specialized article written either by Liz or Jake. You can visit these articles to find more information on those specific conditions and the essential oils that would be most effective for you to use and why.

Just click the link and pop back to see how you can use them to make your own targeted Essential Oil Lotions For Aches and Pains right here!

Essential Oils For Aches and Pains
Sore Muscles Inflammation Arthritis Back Pain Muscle Pain Neuropathy
Lavender Copaiba Lavender Lavender Lavender Lavender
Juniper Roman Chamomile Juniper Frankincense Juniper Bergamot
Ginger Lavender Roman Chamomile Rosemary Sweet Basil Rosemary
Rosemary German Chamomile Copaiba Peppermint Fennel Peppermint
Roman Chamomile Juniper Black Pepper Lemongrass Ginger Roman Chamomile
Copaiba Fennel Ginger - Black Pepper German Chamomile
Helichrysum Yarrow Helichrysum - Frankincense Yarrow
Black Pepper Sweet Basil Frankincense - Cedarwood -
Peppermint Helichrysum Wintergreen - Clary Sage -
- Tea Tree Geranium - Rosemary -

Ok let’s have a look at which essential oils appear time and again across the different sections?

The top essential oils for aches and pains include the following:

Lavender Essential Oil (Lavandula angustifolia)

Lavender essential oil is always going to be towards the top of any pain relieving list of essential oils for aches and pains, especially where it also encompasses inflammation. It contains constituents like linalool that are analgesic, anti inflammatory, antirheumatic, antispasmodic, diuretic, nervine. (An, 2021)

Some of these actions can help reduce inflammation, flush it from our bodies, soothe and calm our nerves responses and these actions culminate to assist in reducing the symptoms of pain.

Often, our posture and how we hold ourselves has an impact on our pain levels. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I am rigid with pain. Holding myself so tightly and rigid does not help and I have to remind myself to relax and loosen my muscles and soften my posture. This is the time when I will reach for the Lavender essential oil to help me do this.

Safety: Do not use it in the first 16 weeks of pregnancy.

Copaiba Essential Oil (Copaifera officinalis)

Liz really rates this essential oil for reducing inflammation and has it at the top of her list of essential oils for aches and pains. Where there are imbalances in the body’s chemistry caused by poor signaling from a receptor called the CB2 receptor. It will likely cause an increase in both pain and inflammation, but it has the added effect of also reducing our precious immunity.

Luckily for us, Copaiba essential oil contains significant amounts of a constituent called beta-caryophyllene. It has been proven to have a weak binding affinity with the CB2 receptor. (Scandiffio, 2020) This in itself will help lessen those chances of pain and inflammation getting out of hand. 

To quote Liz  - The Secret Healer (2022) “Copaiba is not only one of the best essential oils for inflammation; we would suggest it forms one of the most critical parts of its healing”.

It stands to reason that this essential oil needs to be at the forefront of any regime tackling pain which is associated with inflammation. Perhaps you will pop it at the top of your list of essential oils for aches and pains too?

Actions: Anti-inflammatory,  local anesthetic.

Safety: Do not use it in the first 16 weeks of pregnancy.

Juniper Essential Oil (Juniperus communis)

One of the first things that I learnt as a professional aromatherapist was the benefit of Juniper herb and essential oil for people with arthritis and rheumatism. Especially the role that it plays in breaking down both Uric and Lactic acids in the body. 

For me, it is one of the first essential oils for aches and pains that I used alongside Lavender. It is still one I reach for time and again all these years later. 

Aromatherapists use Juniper to cleanse  tissues and joints. This helps to dissipate Lactic acid and clear it out of our system. Blending it with Lavender essential oil, creates a powerhouse effect that is hard to beat. 

Actions: Antirheumatic, antispasmodic, nervine, rubefacient, sedative, tonic.

Safety: Do not use it in the first 16 weeks of pregnancy.

Ginger Essential Oil (Zingiber officinale)

Ginger is such a beautifully warming essential oil and it is widely used in Ayurvedic medicine to heat the system and get it moving. Including our sore, aching muscles. Firing them into action and clearing out the toxins.

It is one of the best essential oils for muscle pain during the colder months of the year, when we may need a little encouragement and warm up before we have to get moving for the day.

Ginger, warms, cleanses and energizes and is worthy of inclusion in your essential oils for aches and pains.

Actions: Analgesic, antispasmodic, rubefacient, stimulant, tonic.

Safety: Do not use it in the first 16 weeks of pregnancy.

Roman Chamomile Essential Oil (Anthemis nobilis L.)

There are conditions where inflammation in the muscles can cause pain and weakness. They might be caused by injury, infections, autoimmune conditions or even the side effects from medication or illegal drugs.

Roman Chamomile can be extremely helpful in soothing inflamed muscles. It is chock full of anti-inflammatory and analgesic constituents that help it to work in a gentle, calming and soothing way to bring relief. 

Roman Chamomile should be one of your essential oils for aches and pains. A top choice for sore and overworked muscles especially the muscles of the back, legs and feet.

Actions: Analgesic, anti-neuralgic, antispasmodic, nerve sedative, tonic.

Safety: Do not use it in the first 16 weeks of pregnancy.

Helichrysum Essential Oil (Helichrysum splendida)

Helichrysum is the essential oil to turn to where your pain is associated with a wound that won’t heal or is taking its sweet time! It’s a truly special oil to harness where there is inflammation of broken or damaged skin. 

It's one of the best essential oils for aches and pains to use to bring a bruise out and encourage it to heal faster as it contains Neryl Acetate, a skin healer. 

Use it for sprained ankles, bruises, cuts,  bumps and scrapes. Those pains that are acute at the time but won’t last long. 

I also include it here for its properties that lend it to become a muscle tonic, to tone, and strengthen the muscles,  and potentially helps to reduce the chances of possible injuries.  

Actions: Anti-inflammatory, nervine.

Safety: Do not use it in the first 16 weeks of pregnancy.

Frankincense Essential Oil (Boswellia serrata)

When it comes to tendons and ligaments, Frankincense should be our best friend. Its properties help to restore elasticity to tissues. Which is why it is so popular in beauty products for ladies of a certain age. It works on deeper levels too and really helps in those places where we experience stiffness and the associated pain that comes along with it. 

As an essential oils for aches and pains, it is wonderful for stress and it can help us to slow our breathing rate, relax our body, loosen our posture, relax our muscles and ahhhhhh…. I feel better already, do you?

When you are experiencing stress or anxiety related tension that is contributing or exacerbating your pain, consider adding Frankincense to your blend. 

Actions: Anti-inflammatory, sedative, tonic.

Safety: Do not use it in the first 16 weeks of pregnancy.

Rosemary Essential Oil (Rosmarinus officinalis)

Now, I know Rosemary comes with half a page of contraindications, but in some circumstances it is an absolute Godsend. Worthy of inclusion here as one of the better essential oils for aches and pains.

It is an essential oil with nervine properties, so it is especially useful if you have nerve related pain like Sciatica. It also has extremely efficient anti-inflammatory benefits. 

Rosemary is a wonderful stimulating and invigorating essential oil, so it’s not one to use late at night. It’s perfect for using before exercising to get your blood pumping and raise your energy levels. 

Actions: Analgesic, antirheumatic, antispasmodic, nervine, restorative, rubefacient, stimulant - circulatory, tonic for nervous system. 


    • Do not use it in the first 16 weeks of pregnancy.
    • Rosemary contains constituents proven to be pro-convulsive for some people, be cautious with this essential oil if you have epilepsy.
    • The stimulant nature of Rosemary may also stimulate your blood pressure, so those with Hypertension - High Blood Pressure need to use it with caution, if at all.
    • It contains constituents that can be neurotoxic and can affect psychosis or delusory issues like schizophrenia; use with extreme caution if you experience or are diagnosed with any of these.
    • If you have any of these conditions and wish to use Rosemary, please consult your relevant medical professional for advice and supervision.
    • High in carvone, the maximum dilution of this oil is 1.4%.

Black Pepper Essential Oil (Piper Nigrum)

Black Pepper is another of those firehouse essential oils for aches and pains that bring warmth to the proceedings and fire everything up in a good way. 

Like Ginger, it's a great essential oil to use to warm muscles and joints in preparation for use or exercise. Being a rubefacient essential oil it brings the blood to the surface of the skin, the better the supply of blood to the area the faster the healing process can begin. 

It is a great essential oil to use to condition the muscles, so make it part of your exercise and training regimen.

Actions: Analgesic, antispasmodic, rubefacient, stimulant - nervous and circulatory, tonic. 

Safety: Do not use it in the first 16 weeks of pregnancy.

One Base Lotion To Serve Them All

One Base Lotion To Serve Them All

You don’t need anything fancy here. You just need one very good lotion that is absorbed quickly and easily, one that does not leave a greasy or oily residue either. 

When I used to sell lotions, people really loved it when they absorb quickly and fully, I mean who has time these days to flap about the bathroom drying off lotions before dressing? I know I don’t. 

This is very nourishing and hydrating for your skin and simple enough to be easy to make at home for yourself and is extra kind and gentle to your skin. 

I can’t abide greasy lotions, so this is my favorite recipe and a sure fire winner every time.

You can use this one lotion base for all of these essential oil blends for aches and pains and many more besides.

You Will Need:

    1. Mixing bowl
    2. Stainless steel spoon
    3. Measuring Scales
    4. Measuring spoons
    5. Measuring Jug
    6. Jars and Lids
    7. Labels


Makes approximately 200 ml of Base Lotion

    • 50ml (1.69 fl oz ) Organic water-based cream base or Aqueous Cream
    • 1 tbsp Glycerine
    • 1 tbsp Sweet Almond Carrier Oil (or carrier oils of your choice)
    • 1 tsp Witch Hazel
    • 50ml (1.69 fl oz ) Rose Geranium Hydrosol or Rosewater (Use extra Spring water if you don’t have this)
    • 50 ml (1.69 fl oz) Spring Water (bottled or boiled)

Optional: 1% preservative - Follow the manufacturer's instructions.


    1. Follow your manufacturer's instructions if you are adding a preservative and note when to add it in.
    2. Weigh out your Aqueous Cream into the mixing bowl.
    3. Add in your chosen carrier oil and mix until thoroughly combined.
    4. In your measuring jug, measure the Rosewater, add the Spring Water, and mix together.
    5. Add the Glycerine and Witch Hazel into the water mixture, and combine.
    6. Carefully and slowly, pour a small amount of the fluid into the aqueous cream base and combine well with the spoon. 
    7. Keep adding the fluid mixture in small amounts until the desired consistency is reached.
    8. If it feels too thick, add more Spring water, and combine well until the desired consistency is to your satisfaction.
    9. Carefully, add in your essential oils and mix until thoroughly combined.
    10. It is easier to pour this mixture from the bowl into the cleaned measuring jug to fill your jars.
    11. Lid immediately. 
    12. Label clearly, listing all the ingredients for safety reasons and date your jars. 
    13. Always do a 24-hour patch test on your inner elbow or wrist before applying it to your face or body.

Troubleshooting This Recipe For Essential Oil Lotions For Aches and Pains

If the mixture feels too thin for you - Add more Aqueous Cream until you reach the desired thickness and consistency. Alternatively, you could add Cosmetic Butter, like Shea Butter or Cocoa Butter. 

It is too thick - Add more fluid, hydrosol, water, or Witch Hazel. 

If it is too oily for your liking, add a tsp of Arrowroot powder, Cornstarch, or finely powdered Kaolin Clay.

And yes…  it really IS as simple as that.

Our Favorite Blends and Essential Oil Lotions For Aches and Pains

For Muscle Pain, Sore Muscles And Overworked Muscles

Here, we want to focus on the best essential oils for muscle pain in order to bring swift and effective relief. Relaxing and soothing our muscles, clearing out toxins and acid build up and flushing them from our system.

Our favorite muscle pain relieving essential oils include: Lavender, Juniper, Ginger, Rosemary, Black Pepper, Roman Chamomile.

Add to 100ml of Base Lotion - (Recipe and method above)

Safety: Do not use it in the first 16 weeks of pregnancy.

For Arthritis and Rheumatism

Both Arthritis and Rheumatism can be chronic and debilitating conditions. It is important when developing and formulating your blends that you are including essential oils that also uplift you and help maintain positive mental wellbeing. 

Our favorite Arthritis and Rheumatism targeted essential oils include: Lavender, Juniper, Roman Chamomile, Frankincense, Copaiba,  Ginger.

Add to 100ml of Base Lotion - (Recipe and method above)

Safety: Do not use it in the first 16 weeks of pregnancy.

For Pain Relief And Inflammation

When you are looking for an effective essential oil recipe for pain and inflammation, then look no further. Chock full of essential oils with analgesic and anti-inflammatory actions and properties, it is sure to do the job. 

Our favorite Pain Relief And Inflammation essential oils include: Copaiba, Roman Chamomile, Lavender, Ginger, Helichrysum, Frankincense.

Add to 100ml of Base Lotion - (Recipe and method above)

Safety: Do not use it in the first 16 weeks of pregnancy

For Joint Pain

There are some really effective essential oils for joint pain and inflammation. It is important to target the cause of the pain, so choose your essential oils judiciously here

Our favorite joint pain relieving essential oils include: Lavender, Juniper, Rosemary, Black Pepper, Ginger

Add to 100ml of Base Lotion - (Recipe and method above)

Safety: Do not use it in the first 16 weeks of pregnancy.

For Neuropathic Pain

When you suffer from neuropathic pain you are in need of effective pain relievers. This is where you can harness the actions and properties of essential oils for pain relief. I tend to target nerve signaling and this has worked effectively for me in the past. As has the long term approach of the essential oils having a cumulative effect when used over a period of time. 

If you are going to start a regimen for Neuropathic Pain, sign up for the long haul for the most effective results and cumulative relief. 

Our favorite Neuropathic Pain essential oils include: Lavender, Bergamot, Roman Chamomile, Yarrow, German Chamomile.

Add to 100ml of Base Lotion - (Recipe and method above)

Safety: Do not use it in the first 16 weeks of pregnancy.

How To Use Essential Oil Lotions For Aches and Pains

These Essential Oil Lotions For Aches and Pains are very simple to use.

First of all, always do a 24-48 patch test to make sure that you are not sensitive to any of the ingredients.  For a more thorough approach, patch test just the Base Lotion and make sure you are not sensitive to that first.

Then patch test the essential blended lotion as well. That way, if you do have a reaction, you will have a clear sense of what your skin might be reacting to, the base lotion or an essential oil. 

You can apply any of these Essential Oil Lotions For Aches and Pains up to 8 times a day, rubbing into the area where you are experiencing the pain. However, for whatever reason that might not be possible. If that happens, simply apply generously to your inner wrists. It will still get into your bloodstream and have an effect. 

We don’t recommend applying this to the face other than the jawline and forehead, as you need to avoid getting any of these essential oils for aches and pains in your eyes.

Do not apply to intimate areas either please!

The Final Word

No one knows or understands your pain better than you do.

Use your knowledge and experience of your pain to create an essential oil regimen designed at targeting the core issues. Whether that is muscle soreness, inflammation in the muscles or joints or neuropathic pain. 

Dive deeper into what the essential oils can do and use the links in the table above to do some deeper reading. Develop your understanding of how you can best harness these essential oils for aches and pains in the best way possible for you.

In the meantime have a go at the blends with essential oils for aches and pains that resonate with you and remember to give them time to have that cumulative effect for you. 

Whatever type of pain you are dealing with, we are sure you can find perfect essential oils for aches and pains to suit your needs.

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