Essential Oils & Pain - Painful and Swollen Elbow

8:14 AM Posted by jo

I put together these suggestions for someone who had hot pain in her swollen elbow after she had been playing tennis. For the swollen and aching elbow I decided to use oils that had analgesic, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, rubefacient, and depurative properties (Therapeutic properties explained). Overuse and tension of joints and muscles may cause swelling, aching, stiffness, soreness, and even muscle strain around the affected area may occur.

With these therapeutic properties in mind I decided to use black pepper, Piper nigrum, Roman chamomile, Anthemis nobilis, cypress, Cupressus sempervirens var. stricta, and ginger, Zingiber officinalis

Black pepper
Black pepper has antispasmodic, analgesic, rubefacient and alterative properties. Its properties may aid in relieving the pain, increase the circulation, and reduce the muscular contractions.The alterative properties is said to detoxify the body.

Roman Chamomile
Roman chamomile has anti-inflammatory, antiphlogistic, antispasmodic, detoxifying, and analgesic properties. Chamomile has traditionally been a good choice for reducing swelling and inflammation.

Cypress is antispasmodic, alterative, rubefacient, and astringent. It's astringent properties have historically made cypress a useful oil for stopping swelling. It's alterative properties may detoxify the body. The rubefacient properties may increase circulation and relieve the pain. The antispasmodic properties may reduce muscular contractions.

Ginger has analgesic, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, alterative, astringent, and rubefacient actions. It is a very useful oil for the muscular system. These actions of ginger may aid in reducing swelling, relieve the pain, increase the circulation, and reduce inflammation.

I apply a cold compress to the injury the first 24 hours, and for at least three times a day. I also made a therapeutic essential oil blend to be used after the compress. The oil in this blend have traditionally been used to increase the circulation, reduce the inflammation, and provide pain relieving effect.

Compress blend
Roman Chamomile 9 drops
Cypress 12 drops
Ginger  9 drops
Total amount: 30 drops
Add 10 drops to 2 cups of ice water three times daily. Soak a wash cloth, a piece of flannel, or gauze and apply to the injured area. I sometimes add an ice pack on top of the compress and cover it with a towel. I replace the compress when it becomes warm. This is done three times a day. 

My oil blend
black pepper 12 drops
Roman chamomile 6 drops
cypress 6 drops
ginger 6 drops
Almond oil: 50 ml
Total amount: 30 drops of essential oils and 50 ml of base oil. 
I massage the affected area with a small amount of the oil three times a day. 

Before you leave:

I recommend that you always perform a skin patch test when you try a new oil.

Check out my safety page to make sure you are aware of any contrindications before you use essential oils. Some oils are not suitable when suffering from certain conditions. Also, Read this Before You Start Using Essential oils. Some oils should not be applied prior to sun exposure so make sure you check this list before spending time in the sun.

Not sure how to apply the oils? Visit these pages to learn how to apply the oils:
If you're new to essential oils you might want to check out my Getting Started Guide. 


Johanna is an aromatherapist and she is passionate about educating people about health, essential oils, real food, natural remedies, and nutrition so they make healthier choices in their lives. 

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