Essential Oils for Sore Muscles

Essential Oils for Sore Muscles

This article is as appeared in Healthline.com 

18 Essential Oils for Sore Muscles 


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What you can do 

Sore muscles are bound to happen after a workout, but they don’t have to derail the rest of your day. If foam rolling and over-the-counter pain relievers aren’t doing the trick — or if you want something a little more natural — it may be time to consider essential oils. 

From eucalyptus to yarrow, there are a number of different oils that you can use to quickly ease muscle pain, tension, and swelling. Some of these tried and true options can tackle all three symptoms, while others are used for more targeted relief. 

Read on to find out what you should be slipping into your gym bag or adding to your evening bath. 

Use these oils for pain, tension, and swelling 

Each of the following oils boast being able to treat pain, tension, and swelling — talk about a triple threat! For added relief, consider mixing two or three of these oils together to create a custom blend. 

You can also try out different combinations to see which oils work best for you: 

  • Peppermint oilPeppermint contains menthol, which has a cooling effect on sore, achy muscles. It also has analgesicantispasmodic, and anti-inflammatory properties. 

  • Helichrysum oil. Helichrysum relieves muscle spasms, inflammation, and pain. 

  • Marjoram oil. Marjoram relaxes muscle spasms and tension. It’s known for its ability to ease pain and inflammation. 

Use these oils for pain and swelling 


These oils pull double duty by easing muscle pain and swelling. 

You can use them separately or combine them to create your own blend: 

  • Lavender oilLavender is prized for its ability to calm and relax. It also relieves pain and inflammation. 

  • Eucalyptus oilEucalyptus has a cooling effect on muscles and reduces pain and inflammation. 

  • Roman and German chamomile oils. Chamomile oils can help with pain and inflammation. They also help soothe muscle tension and reduce spasms. 

  • Rosemary oilRosemary is noted for its ability to ease pain and inflammation. 

  • Yarrow oil. Yarrow is used to reduce pain and inflammation. 

 Use these oils for tension and swelling


If you’re dealing with a mix of muscle tension and swelling, these oils may do the trick. 

You can use them individually or combine them to create a soothing blend of the oils: 

  • Cypress oil. Cypress calms and relaxes muscles spasms and works to soothe inflammation. 

  • Sandalwood oilSandalwood alleviates muscle spasms, tension, and inflammation. 

If you’re only dealing with one symptom 

Although it’s great to have super oils on hand, you may not always need to treat multiple symptoms. Here’s what you can pick up to ease one symptom at a time — and create a custom blend once your cabinet is stocked! 

For pain relief only 

You can use one or more of these oils to relieve pain and discomfort: 

  • Ginger oilGinger has a warming effect on sore muscles, which helps relieve pain. 

  • Black pepper oilBlack pepper alleviates pain by warming up your body. 

  • Clove oil. Clove is often used to treat pain. It also has a warming effect on sore muscles. 

For tension relief only 

Consider using one of these oils to soothe muscle spasms and tension: 

  • Clary sage oilClary sage alleviates muscle tension and spasms while promoting relaxation. 

  • Juniper oil. Juniper eases tension and eliminates muscle spasms. 

For swelling relief only 

Try one of these oils if you want to focus on relieving inflammation, bruising, or swelling: 

  • Arnica oilArnica relieves inflammation and swelling while soothing the skin. It’s often recommended for bruising. 

  • Lemongrass oil. Lemongrass works quickly to reduce inflammation and swelling. 

How to use your oils 

Essential oils are potent. If they aren’t used properly, they can irritate your skin and actually add to your swelling. Essential oils must be diluted with a carrier oil before application. 

Although carrier oils absorb some of the essential oil’s potency, they don’t interfere with its therapeutic properties. They simply reduce your risk for irritation. 

A general rule of thumb is to use at least 6 teaspoons of carrier oil for every 15 drops of essential oil. Carrier oils include coconut oilolive oilargan oil, and more. 

Roll on before or after a workout 

Remember the roll-on lip glosses that you used when you were younger? Essential oils are often packaged the same way! Roll-on bottles are a great way to carry diluted oils on the go and allow for mess-free application. 

You can buy prepackaged roller ball bottles containing your oil or blend of choice online or at your local health store. You can also purchase empty roller bottles and fill them with your own diluted oils. 

To mix your own oil: 

  • Use a pipette or medicine dropper to add about 15 drops of your chosen essential oils. 

  • Fill the rest of the bottle full of your chosen carrier oil. 

  • Firmly press the roller ball top onto the bottle. 

  • Roll the bottle between your hands for 30 seconds or so to ensure that the carrier and essential oils mix. 

  • Apply as desired. 

Use it for a massage 

If topical application isn’t enough, consider using your oils to do a self-massage. 

Not only can the oils penetrate deep below the skin to relieve pain, swelling, and tension, but massage can also help work out knots and quickly release tension. Just make sure you dilute your essential oils before application. 

You can also book an aromatic massage from a certified therapist. 

Add it to a relaxing bath 

Bathing with essential oils is a lush and luxurious way to loosen up and soothe stiff muscles. 

Simply add 10 to 12 drops of essential oil to an ounce of a carrier oil. Add that to the water flowing from your faucet and allow the water to disperse before getting into the tub. 

You can also add to the ambiance by lighting a scented candle or listening to some calming music. 

Add it to a cold or warm compress 

Compresses are known to relieve pain, inflammation, and swelling. You can boost these effects by adding your chosen essential oil to the fabric. 

To make an essential oil compress: 

  1. Fill your sink or a bowl with water. Cold water is typically used to soothe inflammation. Hot water is typically used to relieve pain. 

  1. Add the diluted essential oil to the water. 

  1. Submerge your towel until it’s completely wet with the mixture. 

  1. Gently wring out the excess water and apply the towel to the affected area. 

  1. Leave the towel on for about 15 minutes. 

  1. Reapply as needed throughout the day. 

  1. You can rewarm in the microwave. Take care to avoid burns. 


This article is as appeared in Healthline.com 


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