Essential Oils For Peripheral Neuropathy & Nerve Pain: An Evidence-Based Guide

Shruti Baikerikar

(B.E. Biotechnology, PG Clinical Research)
Independent Researcher, Health Writer & Founder of Salubrainous [Full Bio]

essential oils for peripheral neuropathy

Name: Essential Oils
Number of scientific references: 70
Level of Evidence: Level II What is this?

Note: Topical application of essential oils can provide temporary pain relief in peripheral neuropathy. This pain-relief can be prolonged with regular application. More research is required to confirm their effectiveness. Essential oils can’t cure peripheral neuropathy but can be used as an add-on therapy for nerve pain management.

Essential oils are actively used today for health as well as culinary purposes. Old records of traditional medicine suggest that these oils have healing properties.

But if you have never tried essential oils before, the most important question that may be racing in your mind is ‘Do these oils work?’

A few research articles suggest that essential oils can aid in the prevention of diseases (even cancer) and can deliver therapeutic results when combined with conventional care.

But on the contrary, some health blog posts have assessed certain research studies conducted on essential oils and found that evidence regarding their effectiveness is limited and in some cases exaggerated.

This confusion is primarily because most of the research is in the form of pre-clinical studies and some human studies focused on aromatherapy have not delivered positive results.

So what should we expect from essential oil therapy for neuropathy!? Traditional medicinal systems still utilise essential oil based formulations for pain relief and wound care.

Essential oils can help in peripheral neuropathy by reducing pain and improving quality of life. The temporary pain-relieving effect of oils can improve mood and sleep. However, they cannot replace the conventional care, and these findings still need to be validated by robust clinical trials.

Irrespective of whether I have let you down by the ‘still need to be validated’ part or lifted you spirits with ‘improving quality of life’ part, I still urge you to read the rest of the article to understand the research behind this.

Quick Note: I am not a certified aromatherapist, and the data written below is purely from a scientific standpoint.

What are Essential Oils?

Scientifically essential oils are ‘concentrated hydrophobic liquids with specific aroma produced by aromatic plants’.

Emma, from Essential Oil Haven, defines them as ‘Concentrated versions of natural oils in plants.’

Now, why the term ‘essential’? Apparently ‘essential oil’ is the short version of ‘quintessential oil’. Quintessence, as per the Aristotelian idea, is the fifth element that makes up the matter and is referred to as the spirit or life force.

On a chemical level, these oils contain terpenes, sesquiterpenes, alcohols, esters, ketones, phenols (in case you remember high school organic chemistry). For the plants, these oils provide a natural defence against insects, microbes and also aid in pollination.

Dietary oils one the other hand are primarily composed of fat. Since essentials oils are concentrated, they must be diluted before use.

The oils used for dilution are known as carrier oils, and the commonly used carrier oils are coconut oil, olive oil, sweet almond oil etc.

5 Research-Backed Benefits Of Topical Essential Oils For Peripheral Neuropathy

The active compounds present in the oils confer many pharmacological properties to it, some of which could be relevant to peripheral neuropathy treatment. The studies quoted below are mostly conducted on animal models.

1.Essential oils relieve nerve pain

A review study published in Molecules 2016 has listed as many as 31 essential oils that have pain-relieving property.

For example, wild caraway essential oil is found to reduce pain like sensations by exerting an anti-inflammatory effect and by interacting with the nervous system.

Basil essential oils interact with the central and peripheral component of the pain, opioid receptors in the body and also reduce pro-inflammatory mediators. Eugenol, linalool and myrcene are the major therapeutic components that contribute to this effect.

Borneol is an active component present in essential oils derived from rare Southeast Asian herbs that have a similar odour as camphor. In an animal study, borneol is found to relieve pain by influencing GABAergic transmission (GABA is a neurotransmitter which has multiple functions in the nervous system).

Citral, another active component with lemon like odour mediates anti-nociceptive action by interacting with 5-HT2A serotonin receptor and may help relieve nerve pain (serotonin or our ‘happy hormone’ plays an important role in pain transmission).

Active components present in lemongrass, oregano and German chamomile reduce peripheral nerve excitability or activation and relieve nerve pain.

2.They have an anaesthetic action

Various active components present in the essential oils have local anaesthetic activity. Topical use of menthol gives a cooling sensation, and this is mediated by its anaesthetic effect.

Similarly, lavender oil (Lavandula angustifolia) also demonstrates anaesthetic activity in an animal model. Linalool and linalyl acetate are active compounds present in the oil that is responsible for this property.

3.They reduce inflammation

Inflammation can worsen nerve damage and pain in peripheral neuropathy. Certain conditions, like high glucose levels in diabetes, can contribute to high oxidative stress which causes nerve damage.

Pre-clinical studies report that essential oils of lemongrass, basil, lavender oil and Spanish sage have an anti-inflammatory property that helps protect from inflammatory conditions.

Similarly, certain essential oils such as Nigella sativa, lavender, rosemary and lemon reduce oxidative damage and influence antioxidant enzymes to alleviate oxidative stress in health conditions.

4.Essential oils have natural anti-microbial activity

Essential oils serve as a natural defence against insects and microbes for plants and research suggests that may also be beneficial in treating multidrug-resistant infections.

Thus, the topical application of such oils in diabetic foot ulcer may help control infection.

In fact, two US clinicians have shared their experience of using essential oil for wound care in foot ulcers. They used German chamomile, and lavender oil with grapeseed carrier oil and twice daily application resulted in healing of foot ulcers in two patients within 77-79 days.

Quick Gist: Essential oils have pharmacological properties such as analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial etc. Thus, topical application of the oils can help reduce symptoms of peripheral neuropathy. These findings are observed in pre-clinical studies and must be validated in human studies.

Does research support the use of essential oils for peripheral neuropathy?

Very few research studies (involving humans) have been conducted assessing the effect of essential oil in peripheral neuropathy, and they are described below.

Nutmeg extracts for painful diabetic neuropathy: a randomised, double-blind, controlled study

Motilal et al., Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (New York, NY), 2013

74 patients with painful diabetic neuropathy were enrolled in the study. The study lasted for four weeks. They received the following treatments:

  • Topical nutmeg extracts: 2% mace oil, 14% nutmeg oil, 6% methyl salicylate, 6% menthol, coconut oil
  • Placebo: 6% methyl salicylate, 6% menthol, coconut oil, alcohol

Both groups experienced a significant reduction in ‘worst’ and ‘average’ pain scores. Also, there was an improvement in pain-related symptoms (burning, pins and needles, tingling) and quality of life (mood, walking, sleep).

Researchers stated that nutmeg extracts did not offer additional advantages to topical formulations containing menthol and methyl salicylate for painful diabetic neuropathy.

Aromatherapy Massage for Neuropathic Pain and Quality of Life in Diabetic Patients

Gok Metin et al., Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 2017

46 patients with diabetic neuropathy were enrolled in the open-label randomised controlled clinical study.

The treatment group received aromatherapy massage three times per week for four weeks. The control group received routine care.

The massage duration was 30 minutes; 20 minutes for feet and 10 minutes for the hands. 6ml of essential oil was used (2ml for each foot and 1ml for each hand).

A blend of five oils was used: rosemary, geranium, lavender, eucalyptus and chamomile. They were mixed with a carrier oil (coconut oil) in a 5% solution at a ratio of 1:1:1:1:1. According to the researchers, the oil blend had pain-relieving, neuroprotective, sedative and circulation-boosting property.

The pain score in the treatment group at baseline was 6.5, 4.0 in the second week and 2.0 in the final week. The corresponding scores in control group were 6.0, 5.0 and 5.5.

At the end of the study period, the treatment group had a better quality of life scores than the control group.

The researchers noted limitations of the study such as not comparing the treatment with a massage involving the use of regular oil minus essential oils and lack of assessment of long-term effects of aromatherapy and massage.

They concluded that aromatherapy massage has low risk and high compliance; hence trained nurses can use it as a part of neuropathic pain management regimen.

Effect of Aromatherapy Massage on Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathic Pain and Fatigue in Patients Receiving Oxaliplatin: An Open-Label Quasi-Randomized Controlled Pilot Study

Izgu et al. Cancer Nursing, 2017

46 patients receiving oxaliplatin (chemotherapeutic drug) and experiencing chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy and fatigue were enrolled in the study. The study lasted for eight weeks.

Primarily patients being treated for colon cancer were involved in the study, and they did not receive any medication to prevent peripheral neuropathy.

The treatment group received aromatherapy massage three times a week for six weeks. No treatment was given in the last two weeks. The control group received standard care.

The massage lasted for 40 minutes: 10 minutes for each hand and foot. 2ml of essential oil was used for every region.

The essential oil contained peppermint, rosemary and chamomile. They were mixed at a ratio of 1:1:1 at 1.5% of 50ml coconut carrier oil.

The blend had pain-relieving, antinociceptive, neuroprotective and blood circulation is enhancing the effect.

At baseline, both groups had similar scores for fatigue and neuropathic pain. As the chemotherapy duration advanced, a number of patients in both groups experienced neuropathic pain compared to baseline frequency.

At week 8, six patients in the treatment group and 11 patients in control had neuropathic pain. The average patient-reported score for neuropathic pain was 4.0 in the treatment group and 5.5 in control group at week 8.

Researchers reported that there was no statistical difference in neuropathic pain rate in both groups at week 8. They attributed it to the possible short-term effect of aromatherapy.

Fatigue severity decreased gradually in the treatment group, and at week eight fatigue scores in the treatment group were less than that of the control group.

Researchers stated that the study shows promising results but noted several limitations such as small study population, lack of placebo, lack of blinding, a massage performed by principal investigator and record of subjective nature of neuropathic pain.

Quick Gist: Few studies have evaluated the impact of essential oil on peripheral neuropathy in humans. These studies have assessed only short-term effects, and the study design could have been improved.

The treatment mode involved was aromatherapy massage. Essential oils used were rosemary, lavender, chamomile, peppermint, geranium, eucalyptus, mace oil, nutmeg oil.

Two studies reported a modest improvement in pain scores for diabetic neuropathy while one study did not find any significant improvement in chemotherapy-induced neuropathy. Further research in the form of better-designed studies is required.

Top 10 Essential Oils For Peripheral Neuropathy And Nerve Pain [Evidence-Based]

Here are a few essential oils that can help in peripheral neuropathy symptoms and nerve pain relief. Most studies indicating the medicinal properties of the oils are on animal models.

There are a few human studies and case reports on conditions involving neuropathic pain (such as carpal tunnel syndrome and neuralgia) where essential oil application is found to be beneficial. Neuropathic pain or nerve pain presents with symptoms such as numbness, tingling, burning pain etc.

It can present with dysthesias or abnormal sensations like pins and needles or stocking-glove pattern where sensation in lower extremities and hands is lost. Allodynia is pain in response to a stimulus that generally does not cause pain.

I have focused on the pain relief action of the oil since that is the major component that needs to be managed in peripheral neuropathy. Additionally, the aroma of some of these oils may affect our stress response system and relieve mood-related symptoms in the short term.

1.Lavender Oil (Lavandula angustifolia)

lavender flowersVarious studies have explored lavender oil’s pain-relieving potential in different conditions such as post-surgical pain, arthritis, dysmenorrhea.

Lavender oil has anaesthetic property. Linalool found in lavender oil is found to prevent peripheral nerve excitation, inflammation and reduce nerve pain in animal models.

Also, inhalation of lavender oil may help refresh mood and improve quality of life in patients with nerve pain.

Lavender oil foot bath improves blood circulation in the feet. A recent study published in Journal of Hand Therapy, 2017 explored the effect of Lavendula stoechas (Spanish lavender) essential oil in carpal tunnel syndrome.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition where one experiences numbness or tingling in hand due to compression or squeezing of the median nerve that travels through the wrist. This condition involves nerve damage and pain but is not the same as peripheral neuropathy.

48 patients with mild to moderate Carpal tunnel syndrome were treated with a wrist orthotic (a brace used to support wrist joint). Additionally, some were given topical lavender oil treatment or placebo ointment.

At the end of the treatment, both groups improved regarding pain and electrophysiological parameters (indicative of nerve function). But those treated with lavender oil showed greater improvement in pain relief, grip strength and scored better on Boston CTS questionnaire (indicative of symptom severity).

These findings suggest that one may experience modest improvements in nerve pain relief with lavender oil use.

Buy Lavender Essential Oil From Amazon or iHerb

2.German Chamomile oil (Matricaria chamomilla or Matricaria recutita)

chamomile flowersThere are two popular varieties of Chamomile oil: German chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) and Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile).

German chamomile oil apparently has a deep blue colour due to the formation of chamazulene from matricin during steam distillation. Active ingredients such as bisabolol oxides and matricin contribute to the oil’s anti-inflammatory action.

Topical application of German chamomile oil (3 times a day) is found to reduce the need for painkillers in osteoarthritis patients.

Add-on treatment with topical chamomile oil is found to reduce symptom severity, improve functional status and may also bring about slight improvements in nerve function in carpal tunnel syndrome.

Researchers must investigate the potential of topical chamomile oil in managing diabetic and idiopathic peripheral neuropathy symptoms.

Buy German Chamomile Essential Oil From Amazon or iHerb

3.Peppermint oil (Mentha piperita)

peppermint leavesPeppermint oil is obtained from the leaves of Mentha Piperita.  I do use it for halting tension headaches at an early stage, and it does work for me. Thus I am not really waiting for research to prove its analgesic effect, but I found a study stating that peppermint oil is as effective as paracetamol in relieving tension headaches.

Menthol present in peppermint oil is responsible for its pain relief action. It prevents activation or excitation of neurons (nerve/brain cells) in response to pain.

Ion channels are these chemical gateways which open or shut in response to chemical ions flowing to it. These gateways present in nerve cells regulate pain transmission.

Menthol provides a cooling sensation and analgesic action by activating TRPM8 ion channel, regulating endogenous opioid system (our natural pain relief system) and relieves nerve pain (animal model).

Researchers from University College London Hospitals NHS Trust, UK described a case study where a 76-year-old woman with treatment-resistant nerve pain (postherpetic neuralgia) was treated with peppermint oil.

She was asked to apply neat peppermint oil (10% menthol) on her skin. There was an immediate improvement in pain, and the pain relief lasted for 4-6 hours after application. During two months of follow up, she continued to experience pain relief with minor side effects.

Buy Peppermint Essential Oil From Amazon or iHerb

4.Bergamot oil (Citrus bergamia)

bergamot fruitBergamot essential oil is extracted from the rind of the fruit Citrus bergamia which is a cross between lemon and orange.

Pre-clinical studies suggest that it similarly relieves nerve pain as lavender oil.

Rombolà et al. have recently highlighted the scientific mechanisms behind the pain relief action of bergamot oil. It has anti-inflammatory, anti-nociceptive (nociception is pain in response to extreme pressure or temperature) and anti-allodynic (allodynia is pain in response to a stimulus that is not likely to cause pain) properties.

It activates the peripheral opioid system to provide nerve pain relief. Low dose (inactive dose) of bergamot oil in combination with morphine is found to reduce neuropathic pain in an animal model.

Bergamot oil also has a neuroprotective effect. Its interaction with neurotransmitters can help in pain relief as well as mood disorders. Aromatherapy with bergamot oil may relieve stress.

Buy Bergamot Essential Oil From Amazon or iHerb

5.Geranium oil (Pelargonium graveolens)

geranium flowerGeranium is a perennial shrub that grows in South Africa. Geranium oil is apparently referred to as poor man’s rose since it holds similar benefits but it less expensive than rose oil.

Geranium extracts have anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive activity. The recent study recommending aromatherapy massage for diabetic neuropathic pain lists geranium oil as a useful essential oil for nerve pain relief.

Postherpetic neuralgia is a neuropathic pain syndrome resulting from herpes infection. Greenway and colleagues conducted a study wherein they treated postherpetic neuralgia patients with the following:

  • 100% geranium oil
  • 50% geranium oil with mineral oil
  • 10% geranium oil with mineral oil
  • Placebo
  • 025% capsaicin cream

24 out of 30 patients completed the study. Geranium oil treatment brought about a significant reduction in spontaneous and evoked pain. Higher the dose better was the pain relief score.

A few minor adverse events were noted such as lightheadedness, skin rash and burning in the eye due to the facial application.

Buy Geranium Essential Oil From Amazon or iHerb

6 and 7.Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha) and frankincense (Boswellia serrata) oil

frankincense resinMyrrh and frankincense are the most common combination of herbs used for pain relief. Myrrh is obtained from Commiphora myrrha or Commiphora mukul while frankincense is obtained from Boswellia carterii or Boswellia serrata.

These essential oils are extracted from the resins or gum obtained from tree trunks. The active compounds in myrrh are guggulsterones, and those of frankincense are called boswellic acids. Traditionally the oils are used for pain relief.

Extracts of myrrh and frankincense have anti-inflammatory and analgesic activity. These oils also have anti-microbial property.

They relieve neuropathic pain by reducing allodynia ( pain response to a stimulus that does not cause pain) and regulating pain transmission by activating ion channels.

Most of these studies are on animal models and are based on oral administration. Further research on the topical use of oils is warranted.

You can check this homoeopathic product Frankincense & Myrrh Neuropathy Rubbing Oil that many users have reported to be effective for relieving nerve pain. (Buy from Amazon or iHerb)

Buy Myrrh Oil From Amazon or iHerb
Buy Frankincense Oil From Amazon or iHerb

8.Ginger oil (Zingiber officinale)

ginger rootGinger is an effective analgesic that is used to treat muscle pain in sports, to counteract arthritic pain and for pain relief in dysmenorrhoea.

The ginger oil contains compounds such borneol, geraniol, linalool, geranial, α-zingiberene and each of these compounds have anti-nociceptive property. The oil also possesses antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Treatment with a standardised ginger patch or topical ginger compress is found to reduce pain scores in osteoarthritis patients.

Topical application of aromatic ginger oil for 6-15 weeks reduces pain intensity and disability in patients with chronic low back pain.

Nociception is pain sensed in response to extreme temperatures and pressure, and this is observed in peripheral neuropathy. Pre-clinical studies suggest that ginger oil has anti-nociceptive action and further research is required to assess its effect on neuropathic pain.

Buy Ginger Essential Oil From Amazon or iHerb

9.St. John’s wort oil (Hypericum perforatum)

st johns wort flowersIn my earlier post, I have explained the potential of St. John’s wort for peripheral neuropathy treatment, but the evidence available is limited to animal studies only. Also the herb has a strong profile for drug interaction susceptibility.

Hypericin and hyperforin are the active components of the herb that produce analgesia. Extraction from fresh flowers from the herb yields a deep red oil.

Oleum hyperici or St. John’s wort oil contains monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, hydrocarbons and most importantly hyperforin and adhyperforin.

But it does not contain hypericin and pseudohypericin. Traditionally the oil has been used for wound healing and pre-clinical studies show that it has anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial activity.

Two case reports have documented how topical application of St. John’s wort oil and neem (Azadirachta indica) oil (the combination is known as Holiol) helped treat severe diabetic foot ulcers.Within 4-6 months of treatment, significant recovery of diabetic foot ulcer and complete reduction in neuropathic pain was observed.

It would really interesting to see via robust clinical trials can effectively relieve nerve pain in peripheral neuropathy.

Buy St. John’s wort Essential Oil From Amazon or iHerb

10. Holy Basil (Tulsi) Essential oil

holy basilHoly basil and its related species have many therapeutic applications in traditional medicine systems. Few animal studies have investigated the analgesic effect of tulsi oil.

Oil extracted from Holy basil seeds relieves pain by interacting with the peripheral nervous system.

Tulsi extracts regulate neurotransmitter levels, reduce oxidative stress and inhibit inflammation to relieve nerve pain.

Active ingredients such as eugenol and myrcene present in Ocimum gratissimum essential oil relieve neuropathic pain. Linalool present in Ocimum basilicum essential oil blocks activation of peripheral nerve and exerts an analgesic effect (Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2016).

It also has a potent anti-microbial activity that can help in infectious conditions. Further research in humans to understand the efficacy of Holy basil essential oil in pain relief.

Buy Holy Basil Essential Oil From Amazon or iHerb

Quick Gist: Topical use of lavender, geranium, German chamomile and peppermint oil have proven pain-relieving action in conditions involving neuropathic pain.

The effect of ginger, frankincense and myrrh oil on peripheral neuropathy symptoms deserves further research.  Overall the studies on the use of essential oil in peripheral neuropathy are limited but do show some promise regarding the pain-relief action.

What To Expect From Essential Oils Therapy For Peripheral Neuropathy?

The use of essential oils is traditionally acknowledged. Regarding chemical composition, they do have components that possess pharmacological properties. Then why the ambiguity in their efficacy?

One reason for this is that to a certain extent, the data on their medicinal properties has been enormously exaggerated and misinterpreted by a few sources.

For example, the aroma of essential oils may relieve stress on short-term and refresh your mood, but you can’t expect it to cure Major Depressive Disorder.

Another aspect is that some of these oils are far too concentrated for oral ingestion. This limits their utility and efficacy in various health conditions; despite the availability of positive pre-clinical evidence, we can not utilise the complete therapeutic potential of the oils.

Their active components in large doses can be toxic to our health.

Topical application of essential oils can rescue and prevent worsening of a health condition, but only topical application alone may not cure certain conditions.

This applies to peripheral neuropathy. In case of diabetic neuropathy blood, sugar levels must be managed, in case of chemotherapy-induced neuropathy the dose of chemotherapeutic agents may need to be changed and in case of alcoholic neuropathy alcohol intake must be gradually reduced.

But while these aspects of the disorder are dealt with, during the treatment, application of pain-relieving essential oils can provide temporary pain relief. This analgesic action, in turn, may improve sleep, mood and quality of life.

Temporary pain relief and an alternative to oral painkillers are what you can expect with essential oil therapy for peripheral neuropathy, and this pain relief can be prolonged with regular application and standard treatment.

Quick Gist: Topical application or massage with essential oils can provide pain relief from peripheral neuropathy.  This nerve pain relief can last for a few hours after application but is temporary. The pain relief can be extended with regular application of the oils.

One cannot expect a cure, but the topical use of essential oil can serve as an add-on to standard therapy.

How To Make An Effective Essential Oil Recipe For Peripheral Neuropathy and Nerve Pain?

I am describing a general essential oil recipe that can be used to manage neuropathic pain. The process is similar to the essential oil protocol described in a human study on peripheral neuropathy.

The final product will be a 5% dilution essential oil formulation.

Here is what you will need:

  • Essential oils of your choice
  • 50 ml of carrier oil (I prefer coconut or olive oil)
  • A dropper or pipette
  • 5 ml amber coloured glass bottle
  • 50 ml amber coloured glass bottle

Step 1: Choose the essential oils

First of all, decide whether you would use single oil or a blend for neuropathy treatment.

Single Essential Oils

Any of the essential oils listed above would help as a single essential oil therapy for any peripheral neuropathy (diabetic or chemotherapy-induced etc.). For those who have never used essential oils before it is good to start with a single essential oil and ascertain if it helps you.

Lavender oil, Peppermint oil, St. John’s wort and Ginger oil are some of the essential oils which I think would helps as standalone therapeutic oil.

Essential Oil Blends

In case of blends, most of the essential oils mentioned above go well with each other except for ginger and peppermint oil. Also I have not found much on which oils go well with St.John’s wort essential oil, but St. John’s wort infused oil is used as a carrier oil due to its anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving property.

Here are a few suggestions on the blends of essential oil for nerve pain:

  • Lavender, Peppermint, Chamomile, Geranium
  • Lavender, Peppermint, Chamomile, Bergamot
  • Ginger, Frankincense, Holy Basil, Bergamot
  • Myrrh, Frankincense, Bergamot, Chamomile
  • Lavender, Chamomile, St. John’s wort
  • Lavender and Peppermint
  • Ginger and Holy Basil
  • Myrrh and Frankincense

The essential oil blends used in human studies are:

  • rosemary, geranium, lavender, eucalyptus and chamomile
  • rosemary, peppermint, chamomile

Step 2: Creating an Essential Oil Blend

The easiest way of blending the oils is using 1:1 ratio. You can read more about the technical aspects of blending essential oils here.

Depending on the number of essential oils you choose, add the corresponding drops (this will later help us get a 5% dilution as utilised in the study):

Number of Essential Oils

No of drops per Essential Oil

Five oils

10 drops of each oil (0.5 ml)

Four oils

13 drops of each oil (0.65 ml)

Three oils

16 drops of each oil (0.8ml)

Two oils

25 drops or 1.25 ml of each oil

One oil

50 drops or 2.5 ml of the oil

Add it to the small amber coloured bottle (5ml). Shake the bottle gently.

Step 3: Diluting The Essential Oils

The ratio of mixing the essential oil with carrier oil depends on the dilution. Here are some good resources to learn more about the carrier oils and dilution.

Carrier oils such as pure coconut oil and olive oil are my first preference due to easy availability, cost-effectiveness and anti-inflammatory properties.

The blend made in the earlier step is the right amount to achieve a 5% dilution with 50 ml carrier oil. Add the essential oil blend made earlier to the carrier oil and shake gently.

Pour the diluted oil in a 50 ml amber coloured glass bottle and let it rest for 24 hours. This can be used directly for an application or added to a roll-on bottle or spray bottle. Store in a cool dark place.

How To Apply Essential Oils For Peripheral Neuropathy and Nerve Pain?

The simplest way to use essential oils for nerve pain relief is a topical application. Ensure your oils are diluted and conduct a patch test to rule out allergies.

Apply it to the affected region and massage the area with oils for 10 minutes at least. Repeat this at least 2-3 times a day for long-lasting relief.

You can even prepare an essential oil foot soak by adding ½-1 cup Epsom salts and ten drops of the essential oil. Magnesium helps in peripheral neuropathy as well.

Essential oil blends in the form of roll-ons and ointments/creams are available. A menthol-based ointment can be helpful.

Please consult a certified aromatherapy specialist as well as your health practitioner before initiating therapy.

Precautions with Essential Oil Use

Essential oils are safe for topical use and inhalation. Do not consume essential oil unless you have confirmed it is food grade and can be used for flavouring.

Essential oils are highly concentrated and must be diluted before use. Conduct a patch test before using the oils for topical treatment.

Some oils cause photosensitivity- you can get rashes on the skin if you go out in the sun immediately after applying these oils. Citrus oils of bergamot is an example. Avoid sun exposure after application of these oils.

Handle essential oils with care and avoid their contact with eyes, ears and nose as it may sting or irritate the lining.

Certain essential oils are not safe for use during pregnancy and nursing. Please consult a professional about the same.

A few tips on storage of essential oils:

  • Avoid storing at extreme temperatures.
  • Avoid exposure to the oils to sunlight.
  • Use amber coloured glass bottles instead of plastic bottles for storage.

Please consult an aromatherapy specialist, herbalist or naturopathic doctor before using essential oils.

Conclusion: Do Essential Oils Actually Work and Help In Peripheral Neuropathy?

Essential oils do not cure peripheral neuropathy. But yes, essential oils may help in neuropathy by providing temporary pain relief. The level of pain relief improves mood, sleep and quality of life. The pain relief can be prolonged with regular application.

Essential oils can be used as an add-on to conventional treatment. They are a relatively inexpensive, non-invasive and a nontoxic alternative to conventional analgesics.

Taking other natural substances such as vitamin B may help in neuropathic pain relief and improve nerve function, or alpha lipoic acid may resolve oxidative stress and nerve pain.

The use of such therapeutic agents with essential oil application may improve therapeutic outcome in peripheral neuropathy. Before using a combination of therapies for peripheral neuropathy, please consult your health practitioner regarding the safety of the same.

No doubt the research on the use of essential oil in peripheral neuropathy (human studies) are limited and this may cast a doubt on their efficacy. While we wait for further studies, I want to know about your experience with essential oils and nerve pain.

Sharing your experience as comments below can be really helpful for other readers.

Essential oil uses for peripheral neuropathy

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