The Perfect Essential Oil for Pain Relief

The Perfect Essential Oil for Pain Relief

Essential oils are famous for being used in a variety of therapeutic methods. Different oils boast their own specific benefits and contain various properties that can assist with dozens of concerns and ailments. Anything from bug bites to anxiety to not sleeping well—there’s an essential oil for that. 

Their pure form and easily absorbable consistency make them a top choice for those seeking natural alternatives to modern medicine. But what about pain? What is the best essential oil to use when needing pain relief? We’ve got your answer. 

The perfect essential oil for pain relief is a title that has a few candidates competing to win its top spot. We say that the number one best option has to go to (drum roll please!)... peppermint! The leaves of the peppermint plant have been used in various forms since ancient times to fight off pain, kill germs, and soothe irritation. Peppermint essential oil is created by pressing or steaming the leaves of the plant in order to produce the oil that captures its potent fragrance. 

Let’s discuss the benefits and properties of peppermint and why we think it’s the best essential oil for pain relief. We’ll also introduce some of the best methods for using it on your achy body. We’ll also discuss some of the other runner-ups for the best pain-relieving essential oil.  


There is a reason that most sore muscle creams and lotions will often have that well-known invigorating peppermint scent. Peppermint is a powerhouse when it comes to pain relief and it’s included in many topical products. Peppermint oil contains menthol, which is what gives it that amazing burning sensation when applied to sore or tense muscles. 

It is commonly known to have analgesic (a fancy way of saying “pain-relieving''), anti-inflammatory, and even antispasmodic properties to help calm muscles down and soothe them. 

Peppermint essential oil is commonly used for treating pain, especially daily aches like headaches and back aches. 

When applying any essential oil topically, you should use a carrier oil to prevent possible rashes or irritation. Since essential oils are so potent and pure, they can sometimes be overwhelming and irritating to the skin if applied directly to it. A carrier oil like coconut, jojoba, or olive oil will help to dilute the strong essential oil and protect your skin when it comes into contact with it. Remember to never apply essential oil to broken skin or an open wound.

Headaches and Back Pain

Daily aches and pains, such as headaches and backaches, can be so common that it’s understandable why many people seek a natural solution. Who wants to have to take pills every day? There has to be a better way. For years, essential oils have been used as natural pain relievers because of their purity, versatility, and effectiveness. 

Mix a few drops of peppermint essential oil with your choice of carrier oil and dab it onto your temples to relieve headache pain. You can also place the oil mix inside of a roller for easy application on your back, neck, temples, and anywhere else you may feel achy. Keep a roller on your nightstand and one in your purse for pain relief on the go!

Methods for Using Essential Oils To Relieve Pain

There are so many methods of application for peppermint oil and other pain-relieving essential oils, how will you decide which to use? Here are a few methods to choose from when using peppermint oil to relieve your pain. Try and see which ones work the best for you!

Oil Rollers and Lotions

As discussed, oil rollers and lotions that are infused with peppermint are going to be a great choice for travel-friendly pain relief. Make your own concoctions or snag a pre-made therapeutic-grade roller.

Add to Your Bath

Adding just a few drops (remember—it’s potent!) to a warm bath is an excellent way to relax the tension in your body. A bath bomb is an even more efficient way to get the essential oils and all of their skin nourishing benefits into your tub. Plus, they’re just so darn fun! Grab one infused with peppermint for an invigorating rush of pain relief.

If there’s no time for a bath, get your peppermint essential oil in soap form and take it with you into the shower. Lather it up and rub it all over to get that tingling sensation and help ease your aches and pains.

Massage and Aromatherapy

It’s common to find massage therapists incorporating essential oils like peppermint, lavender, and eucalyptus into their services. Essential oils applied through massage offer the physical benefits from the massage along with the added bonus of aromatherapy! The lovely scents of the oils will fill the room as the masseuse works their magic on your sore muscles, offering both physical and mental stress relief (we’re getting relaxed just thinking about it).  

Other Great Oils for Pain Relief

Peppermint might get most of the attention, but there are quite a few other essential oils worth mentioning when it comes to relieving pain. Let’s discuss some other natural oils that are known to help with inflammation and other painful concerns. 


When you take one sniff of wintergreen, you’ll immediately think of breath mints and over-the-counter topical creams made for tense muscles. It’s a popular ingredient in many products for its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. It is famous for its counterirritation ability which helps relieve pain by giving your skin an invigorating burning sensation (similar to peppermint). 

Wintergreen and peppermint essential oil play nicely together and are a dynamic duo found in many natural pain-relieving products. Plus, they both smell amazing! Use products that contain both of these easily absorbed essential oils for the ultimate relaxation and pain-relieving experience.


Lavandin is a type of essential oil that was formed as a hybrid of two types of lavender plants. It boasts the same properties that lavender is known for, but in an even stronger form. Both lavandin and lavender are widely known to be soothing and calming. 

Lavandin is an excellent choice when selecting essential oils for pain relief because of its potency! Use it by itself or in combination with peppermint and wintergreen for a blend packed with relief that smells amazing.  


Rosemary can be good for joint pain and blood circulation. It is an herb similar to peppermint and is considered by some to have the same sort of “spicy” characteristic without the mint scent. It is also reportedly good at lowering levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, which can cause discomfort and physical symptoms of stress.


Marjoram is a flowering plant that is used to create marjoram essential oil. Marjoram is known for having nerve-calming and sedative properties. It is also reportedly good for easing menstrual cramps and muscle spasms. Marjoram makes for an excellent addition to our list of pain-fighting essential oils. 


A pain-relieving favorite is eucalyptus oil, commonly found in spa treatments and bath products. It is especially good for bath soaks and bath bombs due to its soothing and calming properties. Eucalyptus is a great oil for adding into muscle rubs, especially if combined with peppermint and wintergreen for a refreshing blend of mints and spa-like scents. 


This oil has been used since ancient times due to its skin healing and rejuvenating benefits. It helps with pain and inflammation, but can also promote cellular health with skin-improving properties. Frankincense makes a great addition to any pain-relieving oil bend with its earthy scent that helps balance out its mintier counterparts.

Clary Sage

Another essential oil worth mentioning is clary sage. Clary sage is often added to pain-relieving and tranquil essential oil blends. It can reportedly help with reducing swelling, soothing irritation, and acting as an anti-inflammatory. It has antiseptic qualities and is said to promote healing in the skin as well.  

In Summary 

These essential oils may be helpful in alleviating physical pain when applied topically but can also be used through aromatherapy to relieve mental stress as well. Not all pain is physical! Keep in mind that your mind and body are closely linked. 

Try using some of these essential oils on your aching muscles, but also diffuse them in the air to relax and create the ultimate zen atmosphere for relieving stress of all kinds. Use a combination of the above essential oils for some serious pain relief, both mentally and physically.

Essential oils offer a natural alternative when it comes to pain relief. There are a few options when choosing which essential oil will work the best for you. All of the oils we mentioned have been used for centuries for their healing and soothing abilities. 

Peppermint, wintergreen, and many more can be used individually or combined to form pain relieving blends. Remember to always use a carrier oil if applying oils directly or simply use products that are infused with them to get a truly relaxing experience. 


18 Essential Oils for Sore Muscles: Pain Relief, Tension, and Swelling | Healthline

Peppermint Oil | NCCIH

Wintergreen | Purdue

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