Oranges - Orange essential oil for chronic pain

The Benefits of Aromatherapy for Chronic Pain

When you smell a familiar scent - whether it's orange zest, gasoline, or your mom's meatloaf - it triggers a response in the brain. Studies have shown a connection between smell and memory, an immediate response that makes us feel powerful emotions or remember a particularly potent memory.

Aromatherapy uses scent to heal the physical and emotional body. Like many ancient remedies, most of the evidence is either anecdotal and experiential. But that doesn't mean that the benefits of aromatherapy for chronic pain don't exist. 

Essential oils from flowers, plants, and herbs have distinct effects on your body, mind, and spirit. For example, oranges reduce anxiety, clove numbs physical pain, and ginger combats inflammation. Multiple small studies have shown essential oils are safe and effective when used to treat chronic pain.

Keep reading to learn more about the essential oils that make Alta Ray's products so effective and how aromatherapy can help with your chronic pain.

The Benefits of Aromatherapy for Chronic Pain

Clove, orange, ginger, peppermint, and eucalyptus are five commonly used essential oils that show promising signs of mitigating the symptoms of chronic pain.

More studies with larger sample sizes are needed to further determine the possible clinical uses of essential oils. But here is some of the promising evidence that supports their use in pain management.

1. Clove (Syzgium Aromaticum)

Clove - aromatherapy for chronic pain

Clove oil has long been used to numb tissue topically and reduce pain. 

Research on the analgesic effects of eugenol - a chemical compound found in clove - is well documented

In dentistry, heavily diluted clove oil has shown to help reduce mouth, tooth, and gum pains. A recent study included 270 dental patients who were having a tooth extracted showed that the group receiving a eugenol-based paste experienced less pain and inflammation than the chlorhexidine control group (3).

Clove has anti-inflammatory benefits when applied topically. A 2017 study showed the it significantly reduced itching. The smell of clove may also give relief from cold and flu symptoms by easing congestion. 

2. Ginger (Zingiber Officinale)

Ginger - Aromatherapy for Chronic Pain

Ginger essential oil applied topically may help with discomfort associated with inflammation. It has demonstrated noticeable anti-inflammatory activities both in vitro and in vivo. While human trials are limited, here are a few small studies with positive results.

In a 2013 study of 140 elderly patients, diluted ginger essential oil was used for 30-minute massages given twice a week for five weeks. The group receiving the massage ginger oil had less pain than the control group.

A second study was conducted with 59 elderly patients experiencing chronic knee pain. A massage with diluted ginger and orange oils was more effective than a massage with just plain olive carrier oil. The aromatherapy group noticed significantly less knee pain intensity and had improved physical function.

3. Orange (Citrus sinensis) 

Orange - aromatherapy for chronic pain

The benefits of aromatherapy for chronic pain include emotional benefits like mood enhancement. The scent of oranges may reduce stress that in turn lowers the perception of pain.

In one review of nine clinical studies, the aromas of sweet orange and neroli (orange blossom) both reduced anxiety. 

Further, a small study with children demonstrated how reducing anxiety may help ease pain. The study was randomized with 150 children ages 8-12 years. It showed that the group who received aromatherapy with either sweet orange or lavender had less pain and anxiety associated with dental procedures.

4. Peppermint (Mentha x piperita)

Mint - aromatherapy for chronic pain

The topical cooling effect of peppermint oil acts like ice when applied topically. It supplies numbing analgesic benefits. Peppermint is comprised mainly of the menthol constituent, which imparts a cooling action that desensitizes nerves and reduces blood flow.   

One small, randomized study was conducted with nurses who had worked for two consecutive days. It showed that the topical application of a blend with peppermint and orange essential oils helped reduced pain and swelling in the lower legs and feet. 

5. Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus)

Eucalyptus - aromatherapy for chronic pain

Eucalyptus essential oil provides both analgesic and anti-inflammatory results. Animal studies have shown the 1,8-cineol component in eucalyptus reduces neuropathic pain. 

In a double-blind study with 43 adults having knee osteoarthritis, a topical cream containing eucalyptus and comfrey was assessed. Participants were instructed to apply the cream 3 times a day for 6 weeks and we were evaluated every 2 weeks during the treatment. The results were a significant reduction in pain and stiffness in the test group.

Why Alta Ray

When it comes to clove, ginger, orange, peppermint, and eucalyptus, the evidence seems to support their usage to treat specific types of pain. Scientific studies have shown analgesic, anti-nociceptive, anti-inflammatory, and anxiolytic activities that can play a role in pain reduction. However, more research is needed to determine the clinical uses and benefits of aromatherapy for chronic pain.

At Alta Ray, the essential oils in our products were chosen for more than their scent. We believe in a holistic approach to healing which to us means that everything from the scent to the sensation is essential to your experience of our products.

Before you apply Alta Ray to your skin, take a big whiff and let the carefully chosen scent start the healing process!

The information in this article has not been reviewed by the FDA and is not intended to treat, diagnose, or cure any disease.

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