Aromatherapy: The New Pain Killer?
Should the “A” in “arthritis relief” stand for aromatherapy? Many health care specialists as well as arthritis sufferers are beginning to think so, and research as well as results are beginning to agree.
Arthritis happens when a chemical imbalance in the body does not get rid of uric acid efficiently. Instead, the excess acid gets deposited as crystals in the spaces of the joints. It does not take long after that for the pain of arthritis to occur, as well as the stiffness, inflammation, loss of motion, and eventually damage to the joint itself.
The medical world has long looked for a cure for arthritis and a way to ease the crippling pain. One way that is gaining favor is the use of aromatherapy, which means using scents and aromas for pain relief and relaxation. The pain is reduced, according to specialists, because these aromas work directly on the amygdala, which is the emotional center of the brain. Throughout history, many cultures have used essential oils, which are the natural aromatic compounds found in leaves, seeds, and other parts of plants, to treat ailments.
The essential oils for relieving joint pain include birch, chamomile, clove, cypress, fir, ginger, juniper berry, marjoram, peppermint, and rosemary. These are some of the applications suggested to treat the pain and inflammation of arthritis through aromatherapy:
- Make a massage oil of birch, ginger, and marjoram for a pain-relieving bath.
- The aroma of green apples reduces the severity of migraine headaches and has a like effect on joint pain.
- Make a compress of benzoin, chamomile, lavender, and rosemary to reduce joint inflammation.
Making an aromatic liniment is recommended for the relief of arthritic joint pain using such essential oils as cinnamon, clove, and peppermint, which supply the heating action. The liniment base is either rubbing alcohol or an alcohol such as vodka. To reduce inflammation, the liniment is made more effective with the use of lavender, marjoram, and rosemary.
Those who advocate aromatherapy for the treatment of arthritis also recommend reducing the intake of red meats and consulting a doctor before beginning any new treatment.