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Do essential oils really work?

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More research is needed to know how helpful essential oils really are. Here’s what some studies found:

Black cumin. Older people rubbed black cumin oil into their achy knees 3 times a day for 3 weeks. They felt better than the group that only took acetaminophen.

Eucalyptus. People who breathed in eucalyptus oil had less pain and lower blood pressure after total knee replacement.

Frankincense and myrrh. When used together, these oils eased joint inflammation in rats with arthritis. Experts are looking into how this might help with conditions like rheumatoid arthritis.

Ginger. A group of people with ongoing knee problems reported less pain and stiffness a month after a massage with ginger oil. The group that only got a massage did not. They also showed better physical function overall.

Lavender. A massage with lavender oil helped ease musculoskeletal pain and knee pain from osteoarthritis.

Lemongrass. A small group of people with rheumatoid arthritis felt a little less pain after using lemongrass oil for 30 days. Experts think the plant chemical citral is anti-inflammatory.

SOURCES:

Cleveland Clinic: “How Aromatherapy Can Help Ease Your Pain.”

Journal of Food Science and Technology : “Health-promoting value and food applications of black cumin essential oil: an overview.”

Pain Research and Treatment : “The Effectiveness of Aromatherapy in Reducing Pain: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.”

National Cancer Institute: “Aromatherapy With Essential Oils -- Patient Version.”

Phytotherapy Research : “Topical dermal application of essential oils attenuates the severity of adjuvant arthritis in Lewis rats.”

Complimentary Therapies in Clinical Practice : “Investigation of the effect of black cumin oil on pain in osteoarthritis geriatric individuals,” “Effect of aromatherapy massage with lavender essential oil on pain in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee: A randomized controlled clinical trial.” 

Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine : “Effect of Eucalyptus Oil Inhalation on Pain and Inflammatory Responses after Total Knee Replacement: A randomized Clinical Trial,” “The Influence of Carrier Oils on the Antimicrobial Activity and Cytotoxicity of Essential Oils.” 

Scientific Reports : “Frankincense and myrrh suppress inflammation via regulation of the metabolic profiling and the MAPK signaling pathway.”

Molecules : “Seeing the Unseen of the Combination of Two Natural Resins, Frankincense and Myrrh: Changes in Chemical Constituents and Pharmacological Activities.”

International Journal of Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork. : “Efficacy, Safety and Tolerability of Aroma Massage with Lavender Essential Oil: An Overview

Japan Journal of Nursing Science : “Effects of aromatherapy massage on pain, functional state, and quality of life in an elderly individual with knee osteoarthritis.”

International Journal of Molecular Sciences : “Analgesic-Like Activity of essential Oil Constituents: An Update.”

Electronic Physician : “Effect of Topical Application of Nigella Sativa Oil and Oral Acetaminophen on Pain in elderly with Knee Osteoarthritis: A Crossover Clinical Trial.”

Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research: “.” Effect of Lemongrass Oil on Rheumatoid Arthritis

Arthritis Foundation: “Aromatherapy for Arthritis Relief.”

The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center: “How and why to use essential oils.”

Mayo Clinic: “Why aromatherapy is showing up in hospital surgical units.”

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on May 12, 2020

SOURCES:

Cleveland Clinic: “How Aromatherapy Can Help Ease Your Pain.”

Journal of Food Science and Technology : “Health-promoting value and food applications of black cumin essential oil: an overview.”

Pain Research and Treatment : “The Effectiveness of Aromatherapy in Reducing Pain: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.”

National Cancer Institute: “Aromatherapy With Essential Oils -- Patient Version.”

Phytotherapy Research : “Topical dermal application of essential oils attenuates the severity of adjuvant arthritis in Lewis rats.”

Complimentary Therapies in Clinical Practice : “Investigation of the effect of black cumin oil on pain in osteoarthritis geriatric individuals,” “Effect of aromatherapy massage with lavender essential oil on pain in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee: A randomized controlled clinical trial.” 

Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine : “Effect of Eucalyptus Oil Inhalation on Pain and Inflammatory Responses after Total Knee Replacement: A randomized Clinical Trial,” “The Influence of Carrier Oils on the Antimicrobial Activity and Cytotoxicity of Essential Oils.” 

Scientific Reports : “Frankincense and myrrh suppress inflammation via regulation of the metabolic profiling and the MAPK signaling pathway.”

Molecules : “Seeing the Unseen of the Combination of Two Natural Resins, Frankincense and Myrrh: Changes in Chemical Constituents and Pharmacological Activities.”

International Journal of Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork. : “Efficacy, Safety and Tolerability of Aroma Massage with Lavender Essential Oil: An Overview

Japan Journal of Nursing Science : “Effects of aromatherapy massage on pain, functional state, and quality of life in an elderly individual with knee osteoarthritis.”

International Journal of Molecular Sciences : “Analgesic-Like Activity of essential Oil Constituents: An Update.”

Electronic Physician : “Effect of Topical Application of Nigella Sativa Oil and Oral Acetaminophen on Pain in elderly with Knee Osteoarthritis: A Crossover Clinical Trial.”

Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research: “.” Effect of Lemongrass Oil on Rheumatoid Arthritis

Arthritis Foundation: “Aromatherapy for Arthritis Relief.”

The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center: “How and why to use essential oils.”

Mayo Clinic: “Why aromatherapy is showing up in hospital surgical units.”

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on May 12, 2020

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