Arthritis and Aromatherapy
Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints and is characterized by pain, stiffness,
swelling, decreased range of movement and at a more serious stage deformity.
Aromatherapy is a holistic approach to health and wellness by means of
aromatic, plant derived scents. It is very much a traditonal method as well as a
science that encompasses the intuitive and creative aspects of preparing special
Aromatherapy blends for the treatment of arthritis are usually made from pure
essential oils, but also from hydrosols and -- more recently -- phytols. For
application to the skin they have to be mixed with vegetable oil, a cream base
or a carrier lotion. Essential Oils must always be used diluted when applied to
the skin. A dilution of 3% essential oils in 97% base is generally regarded as
very effective and safe.
Since the reasons for the occurance of arthritis are still not completely
established, it is difficult to find a cure for the disease. Arthritis could be
genetic, it could have to do with bone density loss, it could also be a type of
infection caused by toxins released in the body. Even more likely it is a
combination of several factors. It is -- at this stage -- only possible to treat the
pain and symptoms caused by arthritis but not it's underlying cause.
Aromatherapy is one form of arthritis treatment, using a variety of essential
oils. They can be added to the bath, massaged into the skin, inhaled or applied
as compresses. The right mixture of essential oils will help to relax, promote
pain relief and alleviate fatigue. Essential oils can also provide psychological
benefits like improving the mood and reducing anxiety.
Some of the more suitable arthritis oils are Lavender, Juniper, Thyme,
Rosemary, Benzoe, Eucalyptus, Camomile, Pine Scotch, Camphor, Angelica
Root, Ginger, Origanum, Black Pepper and Lemon.
One of the most effective ways to use aromatherapy for relieving pain and
reducing inflammation are hot compresses:
1. Fill a medium size bowl with hot, but not scalding water.
2. Add 3 to 6 drops of essential oil.
3. Fold a piece of sterile cotton cloth and dip it into the bowl.
4. Squeeze out excess water, but not too much.
5. Place the wet, hot cloth onto the affected area until it has cooled down to body temperature.
6. Repeat steps 3 through 5 at least two to three times.
7. Wrap the treated area in a dry and warm towel or blanket and leave the
patient to rest for a while.
Another good way to use aromatherapy for arthritis relieve is to rub diluted
essential oils (see above for dilution) onto pulse points and affected areas
during the day. Applying essential oils throughout the day can help to alleviate
pain and tension. The essential oils on the skin are quickly absorbed and enter
the bloodstream. This is an excellent form of arthritis relief and works also well
as a preventative measure.
Aromatherapy is a natural, safe and economical option to deal with the pain
and symptoms of arthritis. And above all, it has no negative side effects as so
many of the conventional treatments do. In mild cases of arthritis,
aromatherapy is often all that is needed to make a person comfortable.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is presented for
information purposes only. The material is in no way intended to replace
professional medical care or attention by a qualified practitioner. It cannot and
should not be used as a basis for diagnosis or choice of treatment.
About the author: Mireille Gautschi is a qualified Flower Essence Therapist and
Herbalist who has many years experience with the developement of natural
Her products can be found on the Hillside Herbal Products website www.hillsideherbal.com.au">http://www.hillsideherbal.com.au that
also offers a very informative newsletter.