Essentials oils have been used for centuries. Here we will explore the best essential oils for bursitis. The ingredients from which these oils derive often have innumerable benefits and usages. These properties can be used to great effect when trying to treat, or at least lessen, the effects of bursitis.
What Is Bursitis?
What is bursitis you may ask? In short, it is painful, stiff, and swollen joints. The bursa, sacs of fluid near the joints which help reduce friction, become inflamed, and lead to this discomfort. This can be the result of age, high activity levels, or a result of completing repetitive tasks.
Whilst it is repeated pressure which most commonly causes bursitis it can also come as a result of an infection, bad posture, and even some forms of arthritis and diabetes. The hips, elbows, knees, and shoulders are the joints most at risk from this condition.
The 10 Best Essential Oils For Bursitis & How to Use Them
A 2010 study published by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology found that essential oils, especially thyme, inhibits the production of COX-2. COX-2 is the enzyme that leads to inflammation. For this reason, and their historic usage, these oils can be perfect to help with your bursitis. Let’s get started!
- Clove Essential Oil
- Thyme Essential Oil
- Rose Essential Oil
- Cinnamon Bark Essential Oil
- Eucalyptus Essential Oil
- Clary Sage Essential Oil
- Rosehip Essential Oil
- Ginger Essential Oil
- Juniper Berry Oil
- Black Pepper Essential Oil
As you will find it the case with all these oils, Clove has wonderful anti-inflammatory qualities. It contains the antioxidant eugenol which helps with this inflammation-fighting. For all the benefits of this, the eugenol does mean the oil is not suitable for use by children. So that is worth bearing in mind.
Whenever you are using a new essential oil it is important to do a patch test 24 hours before usage. After you have mixed your clove oil with your carrier oil of choice, place a small amount on your skin. If there is no negative reaction within 24 hours you are good to go!
Thyme! The star of the show. In the aforementioned study, thyme was found to reduce the inflammatory expression of COX-2 by up to 75%! The average across the tested essential oils was 25%.
Alongside side these fabulous anti-inflammatory properties, thyme is also known for its pain relief. In combination, this makes thyme essential oil one of the very best for bursitis. It is worth bearing in mind that this oil is very strong and can irritate the skin. It is best used with a carrier oil and then gently massaged into the affected joint.
The aroma of rose is well-loved and as an essential oil, it has been used for centuries. Its beautiful smell adds to its popularity of use. No doubt its smell creates a sense of calm for those who use it and in treating bursitis this is no bad thing.
It is worth noting that the extraction used for medicinal purposes is different from that found in rose perfumes and the like. Rose Ottos is what you’re looking for when treating bursitis. This will help with swelling as with most of these oils. Due to the calming effects of rose oil, this can be used via diffuser as well as for massaging the affected area.
Cinnamon bark is another essential oil popular due to its aroma. Cinnamon bark offers a deliciously warm and autumnal smell to the user. Cinnamon is of course known for is used in cooking, although the bark is best not to be used in this way! Anyone who has accidentally found a piece in their chai latte will know the bitter taste which ensues.
In terms of bursitis, cinnamon bark is used due to being anti-inflammatory and its warming effects. Simply dilute with your chosen carrier oil and massage gently into the area in need. The oil has been used in many ancient traditions meaning the effects are well documented.
Eucalyptus is often used for headaches and general pain. It can be used as an immune booster. It is, however, another oil that is not safe for use by children due to being high in cineole. This oil is best used in combination with other oils on this list. The smell is gorgeous!
When combined with a carrier and other essential oils it can then be massaged into the joint to ease discomfort. Eucalyptus oil is anti-inflammatory in nature. This can lead to a reduction in swelling. All this leads to one of the best essential oils for bursitis.
Salvia sclarea is found in the North Mediterranean Basin. Better known by the name Clary sage, this essential oil offers anti-inflammatory effects. It has documented usage as an antibacterial and an anti-depressant. Further, some users find it provides them with stress relief.
One element which is perfect for use on bursitis is its ability to improve circulation. This can offer wonderful relief for those who use it. Pain relief can also be a benefit when using this oil. The interlinking benefits found in clary sage make this an excellent all-rounder. It is another strong one that must be used sparingly in a carrier oil.
Earthier than its counterpart rose oil, this lovely essential oil can be used to offer pain relief and anti-inflammation. Throughout the world and throughout history this essential oil has been used by many peoples. In part, this is due to being known for its healing properties.
More recently it has gained popularity for its reported anti-aging effects. In the case of your bursitis, a soothing effect has been found. Although the softening nature on the skin is no bad thing! Rosehip is rich in vitamins A, C, D, and E, as well as in antioxidants. The oil is safe for most people, including during pregnancy.
Ginger is another cooking staple and an immune booster. In terms of the effects, it offers in its essential oil form; anti-inflammation of course! Its main constituent is zingiberene. This helps to stimulate circulation which is excellent when managing bursitis. The increased circulation can help to reduce the swelling in the area. In turn, your pain may be reduced. Many find the smell of ginger incredibly soothing too.
As with so many of these essential oils, the secondary side effects offered can be excellent. Bursitis can be incredibly uncomfortable and the calming impact of these essential oils must not be understated. This can be used in massage and diffusers.
Like many of these oils, juniper berry has been used since ancient times. Indeed there are biblical links to this one, with the juniper tree mentioned in many passages of the Bible. The smell of this oil is woody and fresh. The oil is believed to have purifying and cleansing effects.
This is yet another example of the secondary effects of the essential being beneficial to the stresses which bursitis may cause. Juniper berry oil is calming anti-inflammatory, and pain-relieving. This oil is strong so ensure you dilute it well before using on the affected areas.
Black pepper most likely brings to mind delicious Italian pasta dishes. This most basic of spices, in the modern world, has been used medicinally for centuries. At one stage it was as valuable as gold!
Although it is now incredibly affordable, in its essential oil makeup it offers incredible relief for those with bursitis. You might say it is worth its weight in gold when considering the usages. It eases pain and the stiffness of bursitis. It is mostly safe for users. As ever ensure you dilute before application to the area affected.
Essential Oil Recipes For Bursitis
Making your own essential oil mixtures at home is incredibly easy! All you will need is your chosen essential oils, carrier oil, and a bottle in which to decant the final product. Carrier oils include; coconut, almond, argan, jojoba, and more!
A suggested ratio to follow is one drop of essential oil per 30-40ml of carrier oil. Remember; the essential oils are highly concentrated! They can irritate the skin if too much is used. This is why carrier oils are, well, essential to this recipe.
Before you use any of these oils make sure to do a patch test. 24 hours before you use place a small amount on your skin. If you react badly, DO NOT USE. If not, you’re good to go!
To make your mixture;
- In a large jug measure out your chosen carrier oil.
- Add the drops of your favorite essential oils in the above ratio.
- Mix well!
- Decant into the bottle and you’re ready to go!
Some personal favorite combinations:
- Cinnamon and clove
- Rose and rosehip
- Ginger and cinnamon
- Thyme and eucalyptus
Get creative and mix your own!
What Essential Oil Is Good For Hip Bursitis?
Really, many of these oils would be of benefit to any form of bursitis. Due to the hip joint taking a lot of impact during your day you may want to look at some of the stronger essential oils on this list. Eucalyptus would be a good option, especially mixed with something like thyme.
As mentioned earlier, thyme has been found to reduce the production of COX-2 by up to 75%! If you’re looking to reduce that bothersome inflammation of your hip joint this could be a good start. Make sure to be careful with these strong oils. Dilute well with your carrier oil of choice!
I hope you’ve found this exploration of the best essential oils for bursitis useful. There are many ways to utilize these incredible oils to help your pain, swelling, and discomfort. Massage will create the most immediate relief. Use through a diffuser is better for mental and calming benefits. Happy healing and stay safe!