Essential Oils & Autoimmune Disease: The 7 Best Essential Oils for Treating Autoimmune Disorders
If you've made your way to this article, the chances are that you, like me, struggle with an autoimmune disease & you, like me, are looking for relief that traditional medications & treatments just don't seem to be giving you. My personal journey with autoimmune disease began when I was 19 & was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis & colitis. It took me almost 10 years of ineffective treatment & really bad side effects to find Essential Oils.
It has only been in recent years that I've felt inspired to share my journey & experiences with autoimmune disease. While I feel it's important to share these experiences with The Essential Life community, today I wanted to focus on providing information regarding which Essential Oils you should be investing in to help treat your autoimmune disorder.
What Essential Oil Should You Use to Treat Autoimmune Disorders?
My experience with treating my own autoimmune disorder with Essential Oils lead me to study & become a certified aromatherapist. My specialisation is in the treatment of autoimmune disorders & inflammation. This list is a culmination of my study &, more importantly, my personal experience with treating & managing my own autoimmune diseases with Essential Oils.
Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Eucalyptus Essential Oil has a number of properties that make it particularly useful for treating autoimmune diseases & disorders. When it comes to treating inflammation, which is a common denominator of most autoimmune diseases, Eucalyptus Essential Oil is a powerhouse.
I recommend using Eucalyptus Essential Oil in a massage oil. To treat inflammation & joint stiffness, I blend 40 drops of Eucalyptus into coconut oil (which is my favourite carrier oil. You can also use olive oil, or any other vegetable oil you have handy) & I massage it into my hands before bed. Eucalyptus oil can also be diffused in an ultrasonic aromatherapy diffuser to help manage inflammation.
Cinnamon Essential Oil
Cinnamon Essential Oil has powerful pain-relieving properties. Not only will this Essential Oil effectively treat inflammation, it also works as a local anaesthetic to provide a little bit of localised numbing for fast & all-natural pain relief.
When it comes to applying Cinnamon Essential Oil to your body, be very careful. While Cinnamon is an effective pain reliever, it is also a potential irritant. I don't recommend applying this Essential Oil undiluted, &, even when it's diluted, I strongly recommend doing a skin test before applying anything containing Cinnamon Essential Oil to your skin. I find that Cinnamon Essential Oil is particularly effective when I am dealing with discomfort associated with colitis. I blend this oil into a small amount of coconut oil & apply it to my abdomen as needed when colitis is causing me trouble.
Clary Sage Essential Oil
Clary Sage Essential Oil is effective for treating autoimmune disease thanks to this oils balancing properties. If you're like me & you find that stress aggravates your condition, or causes outright flair-ups, try diffusing Clary Sage in your home. Clary Sage is also extremely effective when applied to your body. To apply Clary Sage, dilute it into your preferred carrier oil & massage it onto your wrists.
Clary Sage is also particularly effective when applied to the bottom of your feet. When I find stress building up in my life, to help me cope, I apply a blend of 30 drops Clary Sage Essential Oil & 30 drops Lavender Essential Oil, which I've diluted into coconut oil, to the bottom of my feet. Doing this in the evening, right before you climb into bed, helps you wake-up refreshed, with reduced stress & anxiety levels.
Cypress Essential Oil
Cypress Essential Oil is one of my favourite oils for treating autoimmune disease. It is extremely effective at treating inflammation & offers fast & effective pain relief.
One of the things we are often asked here at The Essential Life, is what Essential Oil is best for fibromyalgia. My answer is: Cypress Essential Oil. To effectively treat pain associated with fibromyalgia, blend 30 drops of Cypress Essential Oil & 20 drop of Lavender Essential Oil, into your favourite carrier oil & massage the blend into problem areas. For even more effective pain relief, add 5-10 drops of Peppermint Essential.
When using Peppermint Essential Oil, never apply it undiluted to the skin & always do a skin test before applying it as Peppermint causes an intense cooling & tingling sensation that it too uncomfortable for most people.
Ginger Essential Oil
Ginger Essential Oil is one of the warming Essential Oils. Ginger's warming properties make it particularly effective for treating pain & inflammation. To use Ginger Essential Oil, blend 30 drops with 15 drops of Eucalyptus Essential Oil & 10 drops of Cinnamon Essential Oil into you preferred carrier oil & massage it into any problem areas.
Pure ginger Essential Oil can also be ingested in small amounts to treat inflammation from the inside. I don't recommend consuming more than 1-2 drops per day, &, if you're going to consume any Essential Oils, I recommend doing using a capsule to do so, or adding the Essential Oil to your cooking & consuming it that way. Ingesting Essential Oils on their own tastes disgusting & can cause mouth ulcers & other irritation.
The easiest way to ingest the benefits of ginger, is to buy ginger root at the grocery store, grate it, & use it in your cooking.
Juniper Berry Essential Oil
Juniper Berry Essential Oil is an intense & natural detoxifier. It's cleansing & detoxification properties are what make this Essential Oil especially effective for treating autoimmune diseases. I recommend using Juniper Berry Essential Oil for treating all type of autoimmune associated arthritis, gout, grave's disease, psoriasis & more.
To use Juniper Berry Essential Oil, blend 30 drops of Juniper Berry & 30 drops of Cypress Essential Oils into a dark, glass bottle with a dropper. Run yourself a warm bath, ensure the water is as warm as your can stand, & then add a few drops of the Juniper & Cypress Essential Oil blend. Start with just 2-3 drops of the blend & add more if required.
With your bath drawn, all that's left to do is lay back & relax.
This blend of Essential Oils is also extremely beneficial when diffused in your home.
Chamomile Essential Oil
Chamomile Essential Oil is, hands down, the most effective Essential Oil when it comes to treating skin conditions. If you suffer with any skin condition or disorder, whether it is related to an autoimmune disease or not, I HIGHLY recommend investing in pure Chamomile Essential Oil. While Chamomile is gentle enough to be applied directly to unbroken skin that is free of irritation or inflammation, it's a bit of a pricier oil, which is why I recommend diluting it.
For autoimmune conditions which involve complications with the skin, I recommend blending Chamomile Essential Oil into jojoba oil. Jojoba oil is especially effective as a carrier oil because its chemical composition very closely resembles that of our skin's natural oils.
Precautions for Treating Autoimmune Disease With Essential Oils
There are a few things we'd like to make sure you're aware of with regard to treating autoimmune diseases with Essential Oils.
Firstly, we really want you to seek medical advice. While we here at The Essential Life have a lot of faith in Essential Oils, it's important to note that we strongly advocate for augmenting traditional medication & treatment with Essential Oils. We don't necessarily believe that you should forgo medical treatment & exclusively use Essential Oils.
Secondly, We highly recommend making diets & lifestyle changes if you've been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease or disorder. There are many different triggers with regards to flair-ups. My own personal triggers is stress. For this reason, I have had to learn strategies for dealing with stress. Essential Oils are a big part of how I manage stress. Stay tuned to The Essential Life blog where I share more information about how I effectively manage stress levels.
Food is another HUGE trigger for me. In my research, diet & activity levels are the #1 area that doctors & other health experts say need to be changed to effectively manage an autoimmune disease. "Healthy Cooking to Support Autoimmune Disorders" by Leah Thievgat, really helped me to take control of my autoimmune disorder. I also force myself to do at least 30 minutes of exercise every.single.day. I don't really struggle with flare-ups any longer, but when I did, I would still ensure I found a way to be active for 30 minutes. If my feet were what was hurting me, I do a low-impact upper-body workout. If my upper-body was the trouble, I'd go for a walk. If all else failed, I'd try a low-impact Yoga flow.
Lastly, we really want you to be aware that there are three Essential Oils we want you to stay away from if you have an autoimmune disease. Avoid using, diffusing or consuming: Palmarosa, Rosalina & Thyme Essential Oils. These oils leave at risk of over-stimulating your immune system & causing further damage. Admittedly, the risk is low, but, in my opinion, it's just not worth the risk.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR - BRITTEN THOMPSON
Who is Britten? She's a reticent little beast born in the wilds of Northern Alberta to a foul-mouthed, French-Canadian father & an angry, stiff-upper-lipped mother. Britten is, almost always, wild-haired & poorly dressed. She recently left the beautiful & untamed chill of Canada for the blistering & somewhat oppressive heat of Australia. Her list of pastimes is short & includes reading, writing, petting cats, overeating & alphabetizing things. She's a fan of Windex on Facebook because who doesn't want a streak free shine? She dreams of one day writing a super-awesome novel that affords her & her partner a comfortable lifestyle, a large property, a few horses & the means with which to foster children in need...or just becoming a red panda.
When Britten isn't writing, reading, or organizing things in her home, she can be found cuddling with her boyfriend, arguing about why Rajon Rondo is the best point guard in the history of ever, browsing Gumtree for a future cat or kitten, or contemplating days gone by, the passage of time & how ridiculous it is that humans have yet to evolve enough to grow a third set of teeth.