Best Anti-Inflammatory Essential Oil

best anti inflammatory essential oilSwelling and inflammation are the body’s immune system response to what it identifies as a problem. This may be a temporary problem related to illness or injury, or it may be a chronic issue that puts the immune system into action regularly. You may be suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), back pain and swelling related to nerve damage, or possibly a sports injury that has your ankle or wrist swollen to twice its normal size. Whatever the cause, there is hope for relief from inflammation and swelling!

Inflammation and swelling can cause a great deal of discomfort in your body, and many people use oral medications in order to reduce swelling. But too many anti-inflammatory drugs taken over time can cause other problems including stomach pain, heartburn, and possibly even damage to the liver or kidneys.

Essential oils work naturally to bring healing to your body with fewer side effects. Even so, essential oils are powerful substances that can be dangerous if used incorrectly. Because of this, be sure to check with a medical professional prior to using essential oils for inflammation—particularly if your physician has prescribed medication.

Best Essential Oils for Inflammation

While there are probably dozens of anti-inflammatory essential oils, some work better than others. Here’s our list of the best essential oils for inflammation:

Chamomile Essential Oil

Regularly used for its soothing, calming, and anti-inflammatory properties, Chamomile comes in two main varieties: German Chamomile and Roman Chamomile. This essential oil can be added to a carrier oil and massage topically into the skin to reduce painful swelling and inflammation. For swelling and inflammation in the mouth and gums, try adding a bit of chamomile essential oil to water and using it as a mouthwash to help with mouth ulcers or cold sores. This oil is also effective in reducing stress and anxiety when diffused in the air using a cool mist humidifier.

Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Particularly effective in relieving pain and swelling due to blocked sinuses, Eucalyptus Essential Oil works well when used to combat the negative effects of sinus infections. Inhaling this oil can not only help to reduce inflammation in the nasal passages, but also reduces pain and fights bacteria. Its expectorant properties make it especially useful when used with colds and cough, allowing mucus to be expelled from the body. Eucalyptus may also work well when applied topically, with a carrier oil, to relieve muscle and joint pain or inflammation. This oil is also effective when used for cleaning, deodorizing, and disinfecting purposes around the house, and it may also work to help relieve irritation from insect bites.

Thyme Essential Oil

For those struggling with inflammation and pain related to joints, muscles, or backache, Thyme Essential Oil may provide relief when applied topically. Thyme contains carvacrol, a compound that naturally suppresses the production of COX-2, which is an enzyme related to inflammation in the body. Thyme also contains anti-spasmodic agents, which may be effective in relieving pain and cramping associated with menstruation. Apply topically, diluted with a carrier oil, and massage into the affected areas such as back or lower abdomen.

Rosemary Essential Oil

A natural choice for relief of chronic pain, Rosemary Essential Oil helps to improve the circulation of the blood while relieving spasms and pain in the muscles. All of this, combined with its anti-inflammatory properties make Rosemary effective when used topically to relieve inflammation, pain, and discomfort related to disease or injuries. This essential oil also has analgesic properties which can help to kill pain, or improve the effectiveness of other analgesic (pain-relieving) drugs.

Sweet Marjoram Essential Oil

Not only does Sweet Marjoram Essential Oil work as an anti-inflammatory agent, but it also has sedative properties which help to relieve the pain that is often associated with swelling. Working effectively to relieve pain and swelling due to a toothache, place a drop or two of Sweet Marjoram Essential Oil mixed with olive oil onto a cotton ball and place on the painful, swollen tooth area.

Yarrow Essential Oil

A soothing, healing herb used in Ayurvedic medicinal practices, Yarrow offers strong anti-inflammatory properties although it is less commonly known than many other herbs. Yarrow Essential Oil is particularly helpful in relieving the pain and swelling associated with rheumatism or degenerative arthritis. Add to a carrier oil and apply topically with massage for relief. This oil is also effective in reducing inflammation within the gastrointestinal tract which may help remove abdominal pain. Gout, dermatitis, rosacea, and eczema are all inflammatory skin conditions that may be treated with Yarrow Essential Oil, according to the DARU Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Helichrysum Essential Oil

For inflammation associated with injuries, Helichrysum may be effective in relieving pain as well as repairing damaged skin. Its ability to prevent bruising means that this oil should be applied topically, diluted with a carrier oil, just after an injury. Helichrysum essential oil is anti-inflammatory in nature, as well as analgesic, and works well to manage chronic pain related to nerve damage or other health issues. This essential oil may also be applied to the skin following sun exposure to relieve painful sunburn and prevent additional damage to the skin.

Recipe: Best Essential Oil for Inflammation

Combining together some of the best essential oils for inflammation, this recipe for an anti-inflammatory massage oil offers relief from swelling and pain related to various diseases and injuries.

4 drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil
4 drops Marjoram Essential Oil
2 drops Lavender Essential Oil
2 drops Rosemary Essential Oil
2 drops Thyme Essential Oil
1 drop Peppermint Essential Oil
2 ounces carrier oil (Sweet Almond, Grapeseed, Fractionated Coconut, etc.)

Mix together and store in a dark glass jar. Apply to affected area and massage into joints and muscles as needed to relieve inflammation and pain.


Using the best anti-inflammatory essential oils offers relief from swelling, pain, and discomfort associated with various illnesses and injuries. And because essential oils are powerful and all natural, their side effects are much less detrimental than those found in over-the-counter or prescription medication. Forget about the pharmacy or medicine cabinet and, instead, head to your essential oils to find the natural relief from inflammation that you’ve been searching for.

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