Cramps can occur due to a variety of reasons. These could be due to wrong posture, dehydration, intense physical activity, or playing a sport.
When they do occur, they can be quite painful and reduce our mobility. Enter, essential oils. Here are a few that are quite effective in treating muscle cramps.
1. Lavender Oil
Apart from its known use in relieving anxiety, lavender oil is also very effective for pains originating in the bones and muscles. Specifically, its use has been demonstrated in the treatment of lower back pain. So if you ever suffer from a lower back cramp, mix some lavender and carrier oils and apply gently to the affected area.1
2. Marjoram Oil
Marjoram oil is so effective that it is used to relieve pains even in postoperative patients. It is an excellent anti-analgesic. A massage with this oil is known to help relieve the most severe of pains. It can be mixed in a 1:2 ratio of marjoram oil and carrier oil for maximum benefit.2
3. Clary Sage
This may be one of the harder oils to find and you may have to scout for it. However, clary sage like marjoram is an excellent analgesic. It is useful for the treatment of chronic pains and cramps that have some trouble disappearing. It can also be used in a 1:2 ration.3
4. Wintergreen Oil
Perhaps the most widely known oil treatment for gout is also excellent for other kinds of pains such as muscle cramps. Wintergreen oil is almost as powerful as steroid medication in treating painful conditions.
However, it is a very strong oil and must always be diluted according to package directions before use. It is also recommended that pregnant women and children not use this oil.4
5. Peppermint Oil
Peppermint is known for its excellent gastric aiding properties. Curiously, when applied externally, it can treat spasms and cramps in the stomach begin, especially those that originate due to internal troubles such as menstrual pain and severe gastritis. Peppermint oil is safe to use for children, but only as an external application.5
6. Fennel Oil
Fennel oil is so effective against internal cramps, it finds a place in almost every medication used to treat colic pain in infants. We must warn you however that the undiluted oil must never be used on children, young or old. Fennel oil extracts are also useful in treating menstrual cramps.6
7. Ginger Oil
Ginger oil has a ton of benefits being a great anti-inflammatory and a powerful antispasmodic making it ideal for joint pains and other inflammations. Muscle spasms and cramps can be very irritating, but rubbing ginger oil on the affected area can reduce pain by a great extent.
Having a warming effect to it coupled with the analgesic properties associated with it soreness and other issues like rheumatism can be effectively healed.7
8. Roman Chamomile Oil
Roman chamomile oil has been known to reduce the effect of not just muscle spasms and cramps but also hay fever, inflammation, menstrual disorders, insomnia, ulcers, wounds, and also hemorrhoids. Having a very powerful antispasmodic property besides its other benefits, it can effectively treat muscle cramps and spasms.
The oil can be rubbed on the affected area of pain, relieving joint pain as well.8
So there you go! These are some of the essential oils that have shown promise in treating cramps of all kinds. There’s reason to believe that it is sometimes the fragrance of the oil itself that helps alleviate the pain. Whatever the case be, when used based on instructions, these oils can help you feel better.
|↑1||Yip, Y. B., and S. H. M. Tse. “The effectiveness of relaxation acupoint stimulation and acupressure with aromatic lavender essential oil for non-specific low back pain in Hong Kong: a randomised controlled trial.” Complementary therapies in medicine 12, no. 1 (2004): 28-37.|
|↑2, ↑3||Ou, Ming‐Chiu, Tsung‐Fu Hsu, Andrew C. Lai, Yu‐Ting Lin, and Chia‐Ching Lin. “Pain relief assessment by aromatic essential oil massage on outpatients with primary dysmenorrhea: A randomized, double‐blind clinical trial.” Journal of obstetrics and gynecology research 38, no. 5 (2012): 817-822.|
|↑4||Laudadio, Charles, and Matthew Davis. “Cardiac glycosides for treating muscle pain and spasm.” U.S. Patent Application 10/454,065, filed June 4, 2003.|
|↑5||Papathanasopoulos, A., Alessandra Rotondo, Pieter Janssen, Werend Boesmans, Ricard Farre, Pieter Vanden Berghe, and Jan Tack. “Effect of acute peppermint oil administration on gastric sensorimotor function and nutrient tolerance in health.” Neurogastroenterology & Motility 25, no. 4 (2013).|
|↑6||Namavar Jahromi, B., A. Tartifizadeh, and S. Khabnadideh. “Comparison of fennel and mefenamic acid for the treatment of primary dysmenorrhea.” International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics 80, no. 2 (2003): 153-157.|
|↑7||Bode, A. M., and Z. Dong. “Chapter 7: The Amazing and Mighty Ginger.” Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects 804 (2011).|
|↑8||Srivastava, Janmejai K., Eswar Shankar, and Sanjay Gupta. “Chamomile: a herbal medicine of the past with a bright future.” Molecular medicine reports 3, no. 6 (2010): 895-901.|