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The best essential oils for pain

Which essential oils are best for pain relief?

Essential oils are used for a variety of reasons and, most importantly, may help relieve pain, whether applied topically or via aromatherapy. They come in a multitude of scents like lavender, lemon, rose, tea tree, mint and orange. Each scent has a specific function: Some help relieve pain, while others help with medical conditions like anxiety and sleep apnea.

What are essential oils? 

Essential oils come directly from a plant’s hidden roots, seeds, flowers and bark and are compound extracts that are distilled into oil. A plant’s scent comes from the essential oils and is often used in aromatherapy.

How to use essential oils

Essential oils are made via distillation from different grasses, flowers, trees, leaves and fruits. You can apply essential oils topically or via aromatherapy. In particular, lavender oil has been tested in clinical studies to aid endocriptic disruptors. Aside from being used in diffusers, essential oils are becoming an alternative or additive to medication. Relieving stress, fighting depression and helping overcome insomnia only scratch the surface of what essential oils can do — they are also used as antibiotics, anti-inflammatory substances and antioxidants.

Lavender essential oil benefits

Many different essential oils have been studied for pain relief, but lavender essential oil is especially useful for soothing post-surgical pain. It can be used in aromatherapy and is suitable for topical administration as well.


Hemodialysis helps kidneys that aren’t functioning properly by purifying blood. In a clinical trial, hemodialysis patients used lavender oil to relieve needle insertion pain. Pain intensity of needle insertion was measured in three states: 100 percent topical application of lavender essential oil after insertion, no intervention after insertion and inducing a placebo effect with water application. Results showed that topical application of lavender significantly reduced pain during needle insertion. 


This procedure may happen during childbirth to help aid difficult deliveries and can potentially cause mothers to experience depressive and post-traumatic symptoms after childbirth. Lavender oil is frequently used during this process because of its antiseptic and healing properties. In a clinical trial in Kamali Hospital in Karaj, Iran, the lavender essential oil effectively reduced perineal discomfort after an episiotomy instead of following the hospital protocol.  

Lower back pain 

Lower back pain is common in many adults and people of advanced age, and it occurs for various reasons. Depending on how severe the pain is, acupuncture is one method to help alleviate pain. Studies show that doctors are using lavender essential oil with acupuncture to achieve more effective results. After eight sessions of acupuncture followed by acupressure with lavender oil over three weeks, results showed that the treatments yielded success regarding short-term pain reduction. While this isn’t a permanent cure, it’s a great solution for additional relief if you suffer from mild to severe lower back pain.

Aromatherapy oils for pain relief

C-section pain 

Pain after a cesarean section can be troublesome to the point when pain relief is required. Those recovering from a C-section operation may benefit from inhaling chamomile essential oil. As little as 5 percent of chamomile oil was inhaled by patients at a distance of 5 centimeters from the nose every 4, 8 and 12 hours after surgery, with pain measured 30 minutes after each inhalation. Findings concluded that pain was reduced, thanks to the beneficial effects of the chamomile essential oil leading to pain alleviation with no side effects.

Coronary artery bypass surgery 

This surgical procedure restores normal blood flow to a clogged coronary artery. Studies have been conducted to see the effects of inhalation aromatherapy post-surgically. The lavender essential oil was proven to significantly reduce pain, anxiety and heart rate after surgery but not the systolic and diastolic blood pressure. 

Tonsillectomy pain 

After a tonsillectomy, pain can cause discomfort. However, studies have shown that essential oil, specifically lavender, helped decrease pain and the amount of medication taken after this procedure. 

Gya Labs Roman Chamomile Essential Oil

This pure essential chamomile oil helps with pain relief. Due to its natural ingredients, it’s perfect for aromatherapy because it will make you feel calm and relaxed.

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Plant Therapy Organic Lavender Essential Oil

This organic lavender essential oil is one of the most popular due to its beneficial properties and is available in three sizes. Its sweet, dry, floral scent helps with anxiety, relaxation and nerve tension. Additionally, it helps eliminate scars and wrinkles when added to carrier oil. 

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Edens Garden Lavender Essential Oil

This lavender essential oil is available in four sizes. It provides a sweet herbaceous aroma to aid in mental euphoria and body restoration. This hand-poured product is voted No.1 non-MLM essential oil company.

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NOW Essential Oils, Lavender Oil

This 100 percent steam-distilled, pure lavender essential oil is sold at a reasonable price. It’s specifically used for aromatherapy because it soothes, balances and normalizes. 

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Aura Cacia 100 Percent Pure Lavender Essential Oil

Due to its calming and relaxing aroma, this 100 percent pure lavender essential oil is one of the most popular. It’s vegan and cruelty-free and is GC/MS tested. 

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Essential oils worth checking out 

Rose essential oils 

Rose essential oil helps reduce pain and anxiety significantly, specifically with women who have undergone a cesarean section and patients with burns. Studies have been conducted to see how effective this oil is. In a clinical trial at Motahari Hospital of Jahrom, Iran, the Damask rose essential oil aromatherapy given to women upon a cesarean section proved to have a stronger effect of relieving pain than lavender oil.

For patients with burns, inhaled therapy of Damask rose essential oil also decreased pain and anxiety intensity. In addition to other methods, doctors highly recommend the Damask rose essential oil because it’s easy and affordable for many patients. 

Rocky Mountain Oils Blend of Rose Essential Oil

Its strong, sweet and floral aroma makes this rose essential oil great for relieving stress and pain. On the more luxurious side, a little goes a long way. Aside from helping to decrease pain, this essential oil brings feelings of comfort, reducing loneliness and grief.

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NOW Essential Oils, Rose Absolute

Available at a great price, this rose essential oil is made with jojoba and comes directly from the rose’s head. It’s great for aromatherapy because of its effects on pain to reduce tension and provide comfort.

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Plant Therapy Rose Absolute Essential Oil

Available in three sizes, Plant Therapy Rose Absolute Essential Oil comes directly from the plant’s flowers. Its sweet, waxy and floral aroma is known for promoting tranquility and rejuvenation.

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Orange essential oils

Like lavender oil, studies show that orange essential oil aids in hemodialysis fatigue. Ninety patients undergoing hemodialysis were randomly chosen and categorized into three groups: a group that used lavender aromatherapy, a group that used orange aromatherapy and a control group. Results concluded that orange essential oil did relieve fatigue. 

NOW Essential Oils, Orange Oil

This cruelty-free, orange essential oil with refreshing and revitalizing aroma is cold-pressed from fresh orange peels. It is vegan, free from synthetic ingredients, 100 percent pure and a great way to help alleviate pain and stress. 

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Plant Therapy Sweet Orange Essential Oil

If you’re looking for a lighter fragrance, this orange essential oil is perfect. Derived from fresh fruit peels and cold-pressed, it helps to provide uplifting and calming senses. Additionally, it can help with tension or pain. 

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Garden of Life Essential Oil - Sweet Orange

This sweet, organic orange essential oil is non-GMO and cold extracted from fresh fruit peels. Its calming aroma helps reduce stress and anxiety and provides an energy boost. Apply topically to sore muscles to reduce tension or use in aromatherapy. 

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Organic Orange Essential Oil 15ml by Rocky Mountain Oils

This essential orange oil has a medium-sweet, citrusy scent. It’s great for skin care and pain relief because of its soothing effects. Diffuse, inhale or apply topically for best results. 

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Tessa Schaal writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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