You could supplement your treatment of GOUT with essential oils. There are several essential oils that have effective anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. This list can help you choose from a list of different essential oils that can provide relief from a gout attack.
Frankincense Essential Oil
Frankincense has a long history of being used in traditional ceremonies for its calming aroma. Unlike other essential oils that are derived from herbs, flowers, or fruit, frankincense is extracted from the resin of the boswellia tree. Apart from using it as perfume and incense, for thousands of years, it has been used in Asia and Africa for its therapeutic properties and even finds mention in ayurveda. When researchers tested the effects of boswellic acids extracted from frankincense on artificially induced edemas (inflammation) in rats, they found that it has an anti-inflammatory effect, especially on gout caused sodium urate crystals. Frankincense has proved to be helpful in providing relief in other forms of arthritis too. This makes it a potent natural remedy for gout.
Rosemary Essential Oil
The common kitchen herb that you use to flavour your stuffed roasts is also a source of relief from gout. Native to the Mediterranean and parts of Asia, rosemary has been used by ancient Greeks and Romans to add flavour to dishes and in wedding ceremonies. Europeans have also used rosemary as a cure for arthritis. Modern researchers found that essential oil of rosemary not only has anti-inflammatory properties but is also an antinociceptive. This means it can block the pain signals received by your brain, thus acting as a natural painkiller.
Basil Essential Oil
Basil has been used in India for thousands of years as a medicinal herb. However, you might be more familiar with its use as a culinary herb used in Italian cuisine. Basil belongs to the mint family, comes in many varieties, and has several health benefits. Gout causes joint inflammation which can lead to a severe burning sensation. Research has shown that basil has anti-inflammatory properties which can help relieve inflammation and swelling.
Thyme Essential Oil
Thyme is an evergreen herb that has been used in cooking for its flavour and as medicine by many ancient cultures including Europe and Egypt. Because of its aroma, the Greeks even used it as incense in their temples. It has several compounds like ursolic and oleanolic acids that exhibit anti-inflammatory properties and flavonoids that act as antioxidants. Thyme extracts have also shown to inhibit nitric oxide, a molecule that can cause an increase in inflammation.
Geranium is one of the more popular natural essential oils that are widely used to makes soaps, lotions, and perfumes. Because they are highly aromatic, geraniums are used in several cosmetic products. However, they also possess medicinal properties that can be helpful if you’re suffering from gout. The use of geranium in folk medicine prompted a study which found that this fragrant herb also has an anti-inflammatory effect. If you’re looking for a gout relief remedy that can also soothe you with its aroma, use geranium essential oil.
Ginger Essential Oil
Ginger has been used in traditional Indian and Chinese medicine for centuries. In Ayurveda, ginger is used to detox the body as part of the treatment for curing rheumatoid arthritis. Ginger is also commonly used as a culinary ingredient in Indian cuisine for its strong flavour. When researchers prescribed ginger to patients with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, 75% of the patients said they found varying degrees of relief from pain and swelling. Ginger has also been known to help with heartburn, indigestion, nausea, diarrhoea and motion sickness.
Wintergreen Essential Oil
While you may not realize it, many foods like chewing gums, mints, and candies that have a minty taste use wintergreen as a flavouring agent. It is also used in dental hygiene products like mouthwash and toothpaste. Tea made with wintergreen leaves has been used in Native American folk medicine as a cure for rheumatic symptoms. In 2014, when scientists ran experiments to find what compounds could be responsible for the cure, they found phenolic compounds that had an anti-inflammatory effect.
Chamomile Essential Oil
The word Chamomile refers to a range of different daisy-like plants that belong to the Asteraceae family. It has been used as a herb for thousands of years by the ancient Egyptians, Romans, and Greeks to treat a variety of ailments. Research on chamomile extracts has shown that it has many flavonoid compounds like Apigenin, quercetin and luteolin that have anti-inflammatory properties. Other experiments have also found that chamomile can be a good analgesic, which means it can effectively reduce pain. This makes chamomile essential oil a great option if you’re looking to find relief from gout.
Fennel Essential Oil
Fennel has been used widely to cure digestive, endocrine, reproductive, and respiratory ailments. This is because fennel has several compounds bioactive such as flavonoids, phenolic compounds, fatty acids, and amino acids. Research has shown that these compounds give it pharmacological properties such as antimicrobial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and antinociceptive properties.13 Targeted research done on the anti-inflammatory properties of fennel has also confirmed its ability to reduce inflammation.
Turmeric Essential Oil
There is a reason why everyone is raving about turmeric latte or golden milk. From acne to cancer, turmeric has several medicinal benefits that the world is only now beginning to discover. One of the first mentions of the use of turmeric as medicine is found in the ayurveda. The ancient Indian medical texts recommend the use of turmeric for several conditions such as skin diseases, swelling, anemia, wounds, and ulcers. Experiments conducted to test the curative properties of turmeric have found that it has anti-inflammatory effects which can help in gout relief. Another reason to use turmeric essential oil is because of its analgesic effects which has been confirmed by researchers.
How To Use Essential Oils For Gout
Essential oils are concentrated compounds that are extracted from plants usually through a process of distillation. These compounds are volatile and have to be used carefully. One basic rule of thumb is to dilute them using a carrier oil before application. Some of the carrier oils that you can use include oilve oil, sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, coconut oil, and grapeseed oil. If you are looking to use the above essential oils to gain relief from gout, here are the different ways you can do it.
This is the most simple and easiest way of applying an essential oil. You will need the essential oil of your choice and a bottle of carrier oil. Use a ceramic or glass bowl to mix 4-6 drops of essential oil with 1 tablespoon of carrier oil. Blend the oils well and apply it on the affected joint. Gently massage the oils into your skin. Do this 2-3 times a day. All the oils mentioned in this list can be applied using this technique.
Hot Towel Compress
This technique works well if gout has struck your toe joint. Start by soaking your feet in a basin filled with cold water for about 15 minutes. Pat it dry with a clean towel. Mix 3-6 drops of essential oil with 1 tablespoon of carrier oil and massage it over the affected area. You could choose from basil, fennel, or geranium. Wrap a soaked hot towel over the joint and keep it for 2 minutes. Repeat this 2-3 times daily.
Epsom Salt Bath
You can also turn your bath into a gout treatment routine. This technique may not be as effective as directly treating the affected area but it can have a relaxing effect. Add 6-8 drop of essential oil and a handful of Epsom salt to your bath water. Mix well and soak in the bath water for 30 minutes. This can be done daily for about 2 weeks using geranium or frankincense oils for their pleasant aroma.
Precautions When Using Essential Oils
- If you’re pregnant or under medication, talk to you doctor before using essential oil remedies for gout.
- Essential oils have to used after blending them with a carrier oil so that they do not harm your skin.
- For blending oils, always use a bowl made with non-reactive material like glass or ceramic. Avoid using plastic or metal bowls.
- While many articles and books recommend experimenting with different oil blends, it is advisable to consult with a certified aromatherapist to help find a blend that works best for you.
- If you are trying a new oil, do a patch test first to check for any allergic reactions.
- Always keep essential oils away from from the reach of infants and children.
A gout attack can last from one to two weeks and can cause severe bouts of pain. Apart from taking medication, it’s also important to eat the right food and make lifestyle changes so that you can avoid a second attack. Regular blood tests to check uric acid levels can also help you avert the risk of gout. While essential oils cannot guarantee a complete cure, they can definitely help you find relief and take you on the road to faster recovery.