Best Essential Oils for Muscle Aches and Top Recipes for Muscle Pain Relief and Spasms

essential-oils-for-sore-muscles

Soreness is a symptom of overexerted muscles, due to vigorous exercise. Soreness is caused by tiny tears in muscles that are produced by overexertion. Age and arthritis are among the major causes of soreness in muscle. If your muscles are sore, due to overexertion or chronic physical activities, you should use essential oils for sore muscles pain, and move your muscle gently. If the soreness is caused by arthritis, you should use essential oils and simple exercises to manage the condition.

Top 10 Essential Oils for Sore Muscles

Essential oils can be beneficial for the muscular and skeletal system if you choose the ones with right healing properties. Natural oils with detoxifying effects can help remove toxins deposit in joint spaces. This will not only help you get rid of the toxins, but symptoms as well. Many detoxifying oils have anti-inflammatory properties, so they will help ease inflammation around joints.

Essential oils for muscle pain can heal muscle fibers that are faintly torn, due to minor injury or energetic exercises.

There are various oils that have pain-relieving/analgesic effects that are useful for relieving ligament, tendon, and muscular pain. Analgesic oils help get rid of pain by managing the activity of the nerve endings that transmit pain. You should consider essential oils with antispasmodic properties.

Sore Muscles

They will help ease muscular spasm, and they have a relaxing effect on smooth muscle of the internal body organs. You should choose these oils if you experience spasm of smooth muscle associated with diarrhea, menstrual cramps, colic, and indigestion. Normally, injured muscles need oxygen and nutrients to heal. Therefore, you should consider rubefacient oils because they cause an increase in blood supply, oxygen, and nutrients.

Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender oil contains chemical compounds that have sedative, pain-relieving, muscle-relaxing, and anti-inflammatory qualities. It will help you heal sore muscles, if your muscles are sore due to overexertion or when you are trying a new form of exercise. It is considered to be one of the safest essential oils. You can use it neat, but it is wise to dilute it with carrier oil before any kind of application. Sensitivity may occur after long-term use if you do not mix lavender oil with carrier oil.

Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Eucalyptus oil is stimulating, antispasmodic, and anti-inflammatory. When you use the oil in a massage, it provides relief to sore muscles. It increases blood flow to the affected area, hence relaxing the muscles. Add a few drops of the oil to your bathtub, and immerse your body in the tub for 30 minutes.  It can help soothe inflammation and stiffness associated with arthritis. Eucalyptus oil should not be ingested during pregnancy.

Clary Sage Essential Oil

Clary Sage Essential Oil

The essential oil of clary sage is an antispasmodic, astringent, and calming. The oil makes a safer choice for as sore muscles treatment. It helps to relieve spasm and muscle pain, headache and back pain. The oil is useful for calming the nervous system and ease depression. Make a relaxing bath by adding twelve drops of clary sage oil in your warm bath water. Moreover, you can make a warm compress by adding twenty-five drops of the oil to four ounces of warm water. Soak your hand towel with the mixture and place the towel on sore muscles to release the pain.

Peppermint Essential Oil

Peppermint Essential Oil

Traditionally, peppermint oil is applied topically for the symptomatic relief of localized muscle pain. It is a muscle relaxant and painkiller because it soothes aching sore muscles. Apply a few drops of diluted peppermint essential oil for muscle pain to aching muscles and massage for ten minutes. As an antispasmodic, it helps relieve spasms. It is generally considered safe at recommended doses. It should be diluted with carrier oil, and used with caution. Safety has not been established during pregnancy and nursing, thus it should be avoided. Topical application of peppermint oil is not recommended in children, due to serious respiratory distress.

Rosemary Essential Oil

Rosemary Essential Oil

Rosemary is one of the most effective essential oils for muscle pain. It has anti-pain properties, is a relaxant, and it helps eliminate muscular and nerve pain. It is useful for physical fatigue, including muscle aches and pain. It stimulates blood circulation, ensuring that sore muscles receive enough nutrients and oxygen. When applied to the skin, rosemary oil is usually used to treat muscle pain, symptoms of arthritis, and to improve blood circulation. You are advised to dilute this essential oil with carrier oil before using.

Ginger Essential Oil

Ginger Essential Oil

As an analgesic, it relieves sore muscles associated with arthritis, and it calms muscle spasms and sprains. Ginger oil stimulates circulation, ensuring that painful muscles receive enough oxygen and nutrients. You can benefit from reduced levels of inflammation along with muscle pain post-workout, thus facilitating quick recovery from intense training. The oil can be irritating to the skin. Therefore, you have to dilute it with carrier oil, and conduct a patch test before using. Pregnant/nursing women and young children should avoid this essential oil.

Marjoram Essential Oil

Marjoram Essential Oil

Marjoram is highly resourceful analgesic oil, especially for treating muscular pain caused by arthritis. It relieves spasms, muscle pain, strains, and cramping muscles. You can blend it with black pepper, helichrysum, clary sage, basil, lemongrass, rosemary, and lavender essential oils for muscle cramps to treat soft tissue trauma, spasm, pain, and muscle tension. Likewise, you can blend it with grapefruit, juniper, and cedarwood natural oils to treat arthritis and joint pains.

Basil Essential Oil

Basil Essential Oil

The essential oil of basil is obtained from the leaves and flowers of the plant by steam distillation. It has a sweet spicy, herbaceous aroma. Basil is an analgesic and an antispasmodic. Therefore, it helps relieve pain and spasms. You can blend it with marjoram, black pepper, lavender, clary sage, geranium, and rosemary essential oils for muscle aches to treat muscle tension, pain, and stress. When blended with peppermint, eucalyptus, lemon, rosemary, and lavender oils, it can be used to manage muscle fatigue, poor concentration, and headaches.

Geranium Essential Oil

Geranium Essential Oil

Geranium oil is an analgesic, an anti-inflammatory, an astringent, and tonic. Therefore, it is the ideal oil for calming inflamed muscles, relieves muscle pain, and helps contract and tighten tissues. It can be used to treat spasm, muscle pain and inflammation, when blended with black pepper, marjoram, rosemary, clary sage, and lavender oils. Pregnant women should avoid geranium oil. It may cause skin irritation, especially if applied undiluted.

Juniper Essential Oil

Juniper Essential Oil

Juniper oil is an antispasmodic, astringent, stimulant, and tonic. It has a fresh pine needle fragrance. It eases spasm and inflammation. It can be irritating to the skin. Therefore, you should dilute it with carrier oil, and conduct a patch test before applying topically on the affected muscles. Juniper oil should be avoided during pregnancy, and if you have kidney disease.

Oils for Muscle Pain Recipes

oils-for-muscle-pain

Recipe #1 – Circulation Boosting Blend

Ingredients:

  • 2 drops of ginger essential oil
  • 4 drops of cinnamon essential oil
  • 4 drops of black pepper essential oil
  • 4 teaspoons of coconut oil

Directions: Pour the coconut oil into a small glass. Add the essential oils for muscle spasms to the carrier oil, and stir. Pour the blend into a dark-colored, airtight glass bottle, and store the bottle in a refrigerator. Apply a few drops of the blend to the affected muscles and massage.  Repeat the treatment twice a day until symptoms improve.

Recipe #2 – Cold Pack Blend

Ingredients:

  • 2 drops of marjoram essential oil
  • 3 drops of Roman chamomile essential oil
  • 1 pint of refrigerated water

Directions: Add the refrigerated water into a ceramic bowl. Pour marjoram and Roman chamomile oils into the water. Use the blend to prepare a cold pack. Place the cold pack on the affected muscle, and keep it in place until it warms to body temperature. Repeat the treatment as necessary.

Recipe #3 – Muscle Massage Blend

Ingredients:

  • 5 drops of peppermint essential oil
  • 5 drops of ginger essential oil
  • 6 drops of eucalyptus essential oil
  • 2 tablespoons of grape seed oil

Directions: In a clean dark-colored glass bottle, add the oils and shake to mix. Use the blend to massage sore muscles in a circular motion as necessary. Additionally, you can add 4 drops of the blend to a hot bath, and soak your body for as long as possible.

Recipe #4 – Muscle Cramps Relief Blend

Ingredients:

  • 1 drop of clary sage essential oil
  • 1 drop of coriander essential oil
  • 2 drops of marjoram essential oil
  • 2 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 2 drops of chamomile essential oil

Directions: In a clean dark-colored glass bottle, add essential oils for muscle cramps. Make sure the bottle is airtight, and then shake it to mix the oils. Disperse the oils in a bathtub filled with warm water. Soak in the bath for 30 minutes, and repeat as necessary.

Recipe #5 – Overexerted Muscle Massage Blend

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
  • 5 drops of peppermint essential oil
  • 5 drops of ginger essential oil
  • 5 drops of eucalyptus essential oil

Directions: Pour the coconut oil into a clean, dark-colored glass bottle. Then add the essential oils and shake to mix. Use the blend to massage overexerted muscles.

Recipe #6 – Muscle Relaxation Massage Oil

Ingredients:

  • 1 drop of valerian essential oil
  • 2 drops of chamomile essential oil
  • 3 drops of helichrysum essential oil
  • ½ an ounce of flaxseed oil
  • 1 ounce of hemp oil

Directions: In a clean ceramic bowl, add the essential oils to the carrier oils and mix. Massage the blend into sore muscles as required.

Recipe #7 – Compress for Muscle Pain

Ingredients:

  • 1 drop of thyme essential oil
  • 1 drop of helichrysum essential oil
  • 2 drops of eucalyptus essential oil
  • 1 quart of cold water

Directions: Pour the water into a 2-quart glass bowl, add the essential oils, and blend. Saturate a clean piece of cloth in the mixture and apply to the affected area as required.

In Conclusion


The essential oils for sore muscles mentioned in this article have therapeutic properties, which makes them useful for treating sore muscles, muscle cramps, pain, and inflammation. Make sure the oils you choose are anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antispasmodic, and stimulant. However, you need to consult a physician, if your sore muscles are quick, intense, and last longer than 72 hours.

Sources and References

  1. NCBI Dehydration and Symptoms of Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness
  2. Health Direct Muscle aches and pains
  3. MedlinePlus Muscle aches
  4. BetterHealth Muscle cramp

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