What is inflammation?
When your body encounters an offending agent (like viruses, bacteria or toxic chemicals) or suffers an injury, it activates your immune system. Your immune system sends out its first responders: inflammatory cells and cytokines (substances that stimulate more inflammatory cells). These cells begin an inflammatory response to trap bacteria and other offending agents or start healing injured tissue. The result can be pain, swelling, bruising or redness. But inflammation also affects body systems you can’t see.
Chronic inflammation: Your body continues sending inflammatory cells even when there is no outside danger. For example, in rheumatoid arthritis inflammatory cells and substances attack joint tissues leading to an inflammation that comes and goes and can cause severe damage to joints with pain and deformities. If your body sends out inflammatory cells when you are not sick or injured, you may have chronic inflammation.
How is inflammation treated?
If you have chronic inflammation, supplements such as vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D and zinc may reduce inflammation and enhance repair. doTERRA xEO Mega Essential Oil Omega Complex brings together CPTG Certified Pure Tested Grade® essential oils and a proprietary blend of marine- and plant-sourced omega fatty acids. Omega fatty acids support joint, cardiovascular, and brain health, as well as healthy immune function. Or you may use spices with anti-inflammatory properties, such as turmeric, ginger or garlic.
Eucalyptus contains several compounds that may help to reduce inflammation, swelling, and pain. A person can inhale eucalyptus oil by adding a few drops to a basin of hot water and inhaling the steam.
Practitioners of traditional medicine have used frankincense or “Boswellia” essential oil for thousands of years to treat a variety of ailments, including chronic pain and inflammation.
According to the Arthritis Foundation, the acids in frankincense have anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. They may also help to reduce autoimmune responses and prevent cartilage damage. A person can inhale frankincense or apply it to the skin. Always safely dilute essential oils in a carrier oil before applying them topically.
Lavender essential oil contains active substances that may have beneficial effects on the body, including anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and cell-regenerating effects. Pain and fatigue scores significantly decreased in the aromatherapy massage.
Ginger has a longstanding reputation for reducing chronic inflammation due to the anti-inflammatory effects of gingerols, which are compounds in the ginger plant. People can try diluting ginger essential oil in a safe amount of carrier oil and applying it to the joints.
5. Turmeric essential oil
Turmeric dual-chambered capsules: doTERRA is the first company to combine CPTG Certified Pure Tested Grade® Turmeric essential oil and turmeric extract in a dual chamber capsule. This product creates a powerful synergy of turmerones and curcuminoids, maximizing the effectiveness and benefits of both compounds toward a healthy inflammatory response.
Derived from a ginger family plant and a key botanical in traditional Ayurvedic health practices, turmeric oil and extract have a long history that’s inspired many uses of Turmeric essential oil today.
Basil contains a wide variety of potentially therapeutic compounds. Linalool, which research has shown to reduce swelling. Basil essential oil can lessen edema and a lower risk of cartilage damage. Apply topically with carrier oil to inflamed areas.
Best carrier oils for RA
- fractionated coconut oil
- olive oil
- jojoba oil
- grapeseed oil
- almond oil
- argon oil
- evening primrose oil
A person should also perform a patch test before trying a new essential oil mixture. This will involve applying a small amount of the mixture to the underside of the forearm or the bend of the elbow and waiting to see if signs of skin irritation develop. If the skin shows signs of irritation, a person should avoid using the mixture.
Aromatherapy oil blends for RA
Blending essential oils together may allow a person to enhance their effects. There are many potential blends a person could try using the essential oils listed above, but in the 2016 study on the impact of aromatherapy massage on RA, the researchers used:
The ratios of these oils was 3:3:2:2 respectively, diluted in fractionated coconut oil.
How to use essential oils for RA
- placing a few drops into hot water and inhaling the steam
- using a diffuser, which dilutes essential oils in water and releases a scented mist
- mixing essential oils into bath salts or oil and adding some to a bath
- diluting essential oils in a carrier oil and massaging the mixture into sore, stiff, or painful joints
Inflammation treatment at home.
You may choose to follow an anti-inflammatory diet. Some research shows that people who follow a Mediterranean diet have lower levels of inflammation in their bodies.
- Oily fish, such as mackerel, salmon or sardines
- Leafy greens like spinach and kale
- Olive oil