Last updated on March 1, 2022 – First published on June 16, 2021
Essentials oils for neuropathy have become very popular lately. They’re natural, have rare or mild side effects, and are sold over-the-counter. Peripheral neuropathy affects more than 20 million Americans. When despite medical treatment, symptoms get unbearable and pain is chronic, many turn to alternative solutions.
Aromatherapy is a potent alternative medicine that should be used with caution and reason. Whether you’re seeking valuable information to create your own nerve pain recipe or you’re looking for ready-to-use essential oils blends specially formulated for nerve pain, dig in! This in-depth article is all about essential oils and neuropathy!
Neuropathy is serious and can lead to severe complications. Never substitute your medical treatment. Always seek your doctor’s advice first. Take extra care of your feet and don’t forget to get a yearly diabetic foot exam performed by a health professional.
Aromatherapy and the use of essential oils are centuries-old traditional medicines that have proven to effectively reduce nerve pain, lower inflammation, reduce swelling, and soothe the nervous system (among many other effects). Despite a massive increase in popularity, modern scientific researches about the use of essential oils for neuropathy are still limited.
A 2017 Turkish study reported a 66% drop of diabetic nerve pain on patients who got their feet massaged with essential oils, compared to a 9% drop only for those who got medical care without aromatherapy massage. An older 2010 American study had already shown similar results with a homeopathic essential oils blend. That’s pretty much all we’ve got on the subject so far.
Now, if you read patients’ testimonials, learn about aromatherapy and think out of the box, essentials oils are definitely worth the try if you’re looking for alternative ways to ease chronic neuropathy pain.
The best way to use essential oils for neuropathy is by topical application. Massaging the affected areas with 2-3% essential oils diluted into a carrier oil is the most recommended use. Choose your essential oils carefully. Some essential oils help decrease nerve pain, others boost nerve repair and blood circulation. A blend of essential oils that complement each other is always better than one oil only.
Prefer organic, pure, and clean products. Avoid cheap essential oils: they’re extracted with chemicals, are more irritative, and often lose their natural properties during the process. If you don’t know where to buy quality essential oils, I’d recommend you have a look at Rocky Mountain Oils and Plant Therapy. Both are reliable and sustainable USA-based aromatherapy companies offering top-quality products.
If you’re beginning with aromatherapy, you may want to try one of the ready-to-use essential oil blends for neuropathy.
Essential oils and aromatherapy are not regulated by the USA Food and Drug Administration (FDA). They are strong natural products that can have undesirable side effects. They should be used carefully and with the supervision of a professional. Neuropathy is a serious condition and can lead to severe complications. Never substitute your medical treatment without asking for your doctor’s advice first. This article does not represent medical advice and should not be interpreted as such.
There’s not one essential oil that works best for neuropathy, and good essential oil recipes for neuropathy combine several essential oils together. Some essential oils soothe the pain while others help repair damaged nerves or stimulate the nervous system. Aromatherapy professionals most often recommend 6 essentials oils for neuropathy and nerve pain, whether caused by diabetes, chemotherapy, or other conditions.
The following oils are for topical use only and need to be diluted into a carrier oil first. Never apply pure essential oils to your skin.
Peppermint (mentha piperita) is a hybrid plant of spearmint and watermint. You find its essential oil in pretty much every aromatherapy topical blend for pain. With more than 40 compounds, including menthol, it’s a strong natural analgesic and anti-inflammatory. It also helps boost blood circulation, which is quite valuable for people living with diabetes and neuropathy.
Helichrysum italicum, also known as the curry plant because of its strong smell, comes from the Mediterranean region. It has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries, mainly for its anti-inflammatory properties. It’s believed to help heal and regenerate nerves, as well as to repair connective tissue cells. Alternative medicines swear by its capacity to ease peripheral neuropathy symptoms. Thus it’s present in most essential oils blends targeting nerve pain and damage. Due to its rarity, Helichrysum is one of the most expensive essential oils. You can buy pure Helichrysum essential oil from Rocky Mountain Oils.
Frankincense essential oil is extracted from the resin of Boswellia sacra tree found in the Arabian Peninsula. Apart from having anti-stress, muscle relaxing, and sedative properties, it contains great quantities of terpenes and boswellic acid, both of which are potent anti-inflammatory compounds. Frankincense essential oil is also believed to improve message transmission from the nerves to the brain, which can ultimately help reduce nerve pain.
Finally, Frankincense is said to help control blood sugars in patients with diabetes, but no scientific study has been conducted on that topic yet. It smells amazing! When buying, be careful to choose the Frankincense Boswelia Sacra (the Frereana, Serata, and Carteri kinds have much less powerful properties).
Myrrh is another resin oil often associated with Frankincense. It’s has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese and ayurvedic medicines. Myrrh essential oil’s natural compounds interact with our opioid receptors to decrease our brain’s perception of pain. It also inhibits the production of inflammatory chemicals, considerably reducing swelling and pain. Due to poor blood circulation, diabetics often suffer from swollen feet. When applied on the skin, it provides a slight cooling effect that’s beneficial against peripheral neuropathy discomforts like tingling.
Basil plant has been used for centuries in Ayurveda traditional medicine to treat nerve pain. A 2015 scientific study by the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and drug Research of Punjabi University, India, confirmed that Basil plant extract considerably decreased sciatic nerve pain in rats. Another study from the Journal of Ethnopharmacology showed that Basil helps reducing nerve damage and increasing nerve receptivity. A great ingredient to add to your neuropathy pain relief recipe!
Roman Chamomile essential oil contains Borneol that is known to reduce pain and inflammation. A 2015 study from the Nanjing, China, Department of Pharmacology found that “Borneol alleviates mechanical hyperalgesia in chronic inflammatory and neuropathic pain in mice“. There’s no similar study on humans, yet this is quite promising and definitely worth the try!
German Camomile is also often used in topical blends for peripheral neuropathy. While the German kind is more potent as an anti-inflammatory, the Roman one is better at soothing and calming pain.
Aromatherapy is a big world and there are more than 130 different essential oils available. You have just read about 6 essential oils that potentially have great effects on peripheral neuropathy and nerve pain. But many others also show intense pain relief, anti-inflammatory, soothing, and nerve boosting effects and would be valuable additions to your essential oil recipes for neuropathy: Lavender, Clove, Tea tree, Turmeric, Sweet Marjoram, Thyme, Lemon, Copaiba, Ginger, etc.
Creating your own essential oil recipe for neuropathy can be intimidating. Essential oils have to be chosen knowledgeably, diluted precisely, and applied adequately. Moreover, making your own blend does require a higher investment. Buying pure essential oils is quite expensive, and you’ll use only a few drops of each kind. There are some very good ready-to-use essential oil blends specially formulated for neuropathy and nerve pain. Here are the best ones I’ve found:
Essential Oils: Basil (Ocimum basilicum), Helichrysum italicum, Peppermint (Mentha piperita), Sweet Marjoram (Origanum marjorana L.)
Carrier Oil: Coconut oil.
Vibrant Blue Oils’ Nerve Repair blend has been specially formulated for people suffering from nerve damage and peripheral neuropathy. It combines 4 of the most potent essential oils to fight neuropathy into a natural coconut carrier oil.
This essential oil blend has proven to repair damaged nerved, relieve nerve pain, ease inflammation, stimulate blood flow, reduce swelling, and help regenerate new cells. The perfect aromatherapy combo for neuropathy and diabetic nerve pain!
Use 2-3 drops of the Nerve Repair blend to gently massage the affected area (usually the feet or hands in case of neuropathy). You can also apply it on a cold compress and let it rest for about 15 minutes. Apply 2-3 times a day, depending on your needs.
12 Essential Oils: Peppermint, Clove Bud, Laurel Leaf, Black Pepper, Cinnamon Cassia, Ginger Root C02, Chamomile German, Juniper Berry, Thyme Thymol, Wintergreen, Camphor, Pine Scots.
CBD Extracts: Hemp Oil, C02 Extracted Broad Spectrum* CBD Oil 200mg,
Zatural is one of the leading US-based companies in the CBD market. Its products are doctor-formulated, lab-tested, locally grown, and GMO-free. There has not yet been any precise study about the effects of CBD on neuropathy. Still, CBD’s proven pain-relief and anti-inflammatory properties can only be great additions to any topical blend targeting peripheral neuropathy pain, symptoms, and discomforts. Besides, CBD is showing great promises for diabetics as it may help reduce blood sugars and improve overall diabetes management.
This Quick Relief roll-on combines CBD with 12 essential oils, including the most efficient ones for nerve pain and damage. I personally really like the roll-on format, as it’s super easy to apply, and you can carry it everywhere with you.
Related article: The Best Sugar-Free Edibles & CBD Gummies for Diabetics
Essential oils: Basil, Helichrysum italicum, Peppermint, Marjoram
Carrier Oil: Fractionated coconut oil
Rocky Mountain Oils is a US family-owned company selling top-quality essential oils worldwide. Phoenix and Michael carefully source their products from sustainable farms and sell only 100% pure, natural and clean essentials oils and blends.
Their Nerve Support Blend combines four essentials oils with distinct effects on nerves: pain relief, nerve tonic, anti-inflammatory, nerve repair, and tissue regeneration, blood circulation booster, and soothing. That’s a complete combo for neuropathy patients! It’s diluted in natural coconut oil, so it’s ready to apply on your skin. The small format allows you to carry it everywhere and you can use it several times a day. Oh, and plenty of customers have reported strong relief effects on neuropathy foot pain (read the reviews on the product page!)
Essential Oils used in products: Lavender, Peppermint, Tea Tree, Oregano, Camphor.
CBD Extracts: broad-spectrum hemp extract
I’m sorry if you’re not a fan of CBD, but I am and I can only recommend you try it if you have nerve pain. Remember, CBD comes from the Cannabis plant but does not provoke any “high”. Its use in foot care products is justified by its strong pain relief and anti-inflammatory properties.
CBDFX is a reliable and clean USA-made CBD company whose products have proven high efficiency. The footcare set is just great! The foot cream alone is worth the try as customers report strong pain-relief effects. In addition, foot masks are a great treat for your feet! The products are available separately too. They combine CBD oil, lavender, peppermint, and tea tree essential oil for pain relief and soothing effects, as well as shea butter, coconut, and sweet almond oil to moisturize, soften and nourish your skin. When living with peripheral neuropathy, you must keep your feet moisturized and healthy.
Essential Oils (organic): Frankincense, Myrrh, Turmeric
This is a simple yet very powerful composition to target neuropathy pain and symptoms with aromatherapy. Frankincense oil is thought to improve message transmission from the nerves to the brain, which can ultimately help reduce nerve pain. Myrrh’s natural compounds interact with our opioid system to block our brain’s perception of pain. It also helps reducing swelling and provides a slight cooling effect on the skin. Turmeric is a strong anti-inflammatory and relaxant agent that helps soothe pinched nerve pain.
So, Organixx’s blend is a great Essential Oils Combo to try if you’re suffering from nerve pain. Plus, it smells wonderful! These are 100% pure essential oils: you will need to dilute a few drops into a carrier oil before applying to your skin.
Essential Oils (2%): Basil (Ocimum basilicum), Thyme Thymol (Thymus vulgaris), Himalayan Cedarwood (Cedrus deodora), Australian Sandalwood (Santalum spicata).
CBD Products: Cannabis Sativa (Hemp) Flower, Leaf and Stem Extract, Cannabichromene (CBC) Isolate.
Carrier Oils: Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Abies Sibirica (Fir) Oil, Kunzea Ambigua (Kunzea) Oil.
The CBD + Iso Nerve Body Oil is a unique product you won’t find anywhere else (yet!). Plant Therapy, a renown and reliable aromatherapy USA company, has recently launched a new and innovative product line combining essential oils with CBD extracts.
This one is specially formulated for nerve damage and is a great product to try if you’re looking for alternative neuropathy pain relief. CBD is proven to considerably decrease the perceived sensations of pain without provoking the “high” effect we often attribute to Cannabis. The additional essential oils have been carefully selected to ease and reduce nerve pain, pinched nerves, sharps, and tingly discomfort patients with neuropathy often suffer from.
The Nerve Relief Body Oil is ready to use. Apply a generous amount to your palm and gently massage your feet. If you’re not a fan of CBD, Plant Therapy also offers a 100% pure organic essential oils synergy for pain relief that works great on neuropathy pain.
Essential Oils: Boswellia Carterii (Frankincense), Cinnamomum Zeylanicum (Cinnamon, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot), Citrus Limon (Lemon), Commiphora Myrrha (Myrrh), Eucalyptus Globulus.
Oils: Aconitum Napellus, Bryonia Alba, Hypericum Perforatum, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Myristica Fragrans
The Frankincense and Myrrh neuropathy oil is specially formulated to fight neuropathic pain, whether from diabetes, chemotherapy, or other conditions. It provides temporary relief from chronic neuropathy symptoms such as soothing pain, burning sensation, prickling, tingling and numbness.
Made with 11 oils and essentials oils with analgesic, pain relief, and anti-inflammatory properties, it’s a 100% all-natural homeopathic composition. Can apply up to 4 times a day in adults and children over 12. Frankincense and Myrrh Neuropathy Rubbing Oil is available on Amazon, Walmart, CVS, Walgreens, etc.
Essential Oils: Peppermint, Lemon, Balsam Fir, Clove, Balsam Copaiba, Wintergreen, Helichrysum Italicum, Vetiver
Oils: Coconut oil
Featuring 8 essential oils, including Peppermint, Helichrysum italicum, Clove, Balsam Fir and more, Young Living Deep Relief Roll-on has a strong cooling effect that works great on some neuropathy patients. It’s an all-natural composition from a leading aromatherapy USA company. Portable and lightweight, take your roll-on everywhere and apply up to several times a day if needed.
Essential oils should never be applied pure on your skin. They are so concentrated and potent they could burn or irritate your skin. When applied topically, you must dilute them into a carrier oil first. To make a neuropathy rubbing oil, count about 2-3% of essential oils. You could use any carrier oil you want, but some specific ones do bring additional value against nerve pain.
Castor oil contains Ricinoleic acid, which is known to have strong anti-inflammatory and pain relief properties. It helps boost healing if you have minor wounds on the feet or hand. It’s also an excellent skin moisturizer. Kind of the perfect carrier oil for your neuropathy blend. And it’s cheap! Personally, I like the one from Sky Organics on Amazon.
Coconut oil also has pain relief natural properties and would be a great choice for nerve pain. Most ready-to-use neuropathy essential oil blends are made with coconut as a carrier oil. Coconut oil is also believed to help boost blood circulation, which is a valuable thing for people with diabetic neuropathy. It does have anti-inflammatory effects but only if taken orally (you can cook with coconut oil by the way!). Last but not least, coconut oil is a great moisturiser and helps prevent infections. When living with diabetic neuropathy, you’re more prone to develop foot infections than the general population.
Emu oil is less common and more expensive, but it has proven considerable pain relief effects. It comes from the deposits below the skin of an Australian bird, scientifically named Dromaius novaehallandiae. Emu oil is becoming very popular because of its recently discovered numerous health benefits. When applied topically, it’s a potent anti-inflammatory, helps heal wounds, nourishes the skin, and may even help treat ulcers, which is a common complication of diabetic peripheral neuropathy. You can buy pure Emu oil or check the Original Blue-Emu Pain Relief Cream.
No. Essential oils and aromatherapy are no treatments for neuropathy. Neuropathy is a severe medical condition that can lead to serious complications. Do not substitute your medical treatment without your doctor’s advice.
What essential oils can do is alleviate neuropathy symptoms: pain, tingling, numbness, discomfort, etc. Essential oils have different effects on different people. They can work great on some while having no effects on others. You’ll have to try for yourself!
Neuropathy can affect various parts of the body. All the essential oils presented in this article have potential effects on any kind of peripheral neuropathy and nerve damage, whether caused by diabetes, chemotherapy, or any medical conditions. The most common neuropathy is peripheral neuropathy caused by diabetes and high blood sugars. It mainly affects the feet and hands. The best essential oils for neuropathy in the feet are the same as for any neuropathy.
Chemotherapy treatments for cancer can damage the nerves and cause severe nerve pain. Essential oils can help reduce chemo-induced neuropathy pain. The same essential oils and essential oil blends can help neuropathy pain whether it’s caused by diabetes or chemotherapy. Always ask for your doctor’s advice first.
A pinched nerve is different from nerves damaged by neuropathy. Pinched nerves are temporary and the pain usually usually goes away with rest and painkillers within a few days or weeks at the most. You would not need the same essential oils as for neuropathic damaged nerves. Any essential oils that’s known for its pain-relief, analgesic, or sedative effects should ease the pain from a pinched nerve.
Neuropathy is serious and can lead to severe complications. Never substitute your medical treatment. Always ask for your doctor’s advice.