By: Tibor Racz, MD
If you suffer from fibromyalgia, you know that finding any pain relief is so crucial. Natural treatments are even better–allowing for pain relief without the added side effects of procedures or medication. Essential oils for fibromyalgia pain promise to help aches, clear your head, and reduce fatigue. Here’s 21 of our favorites.
Why should you use essential oils for fibromyalgia pain?
Fibromyalgia is a pain condition that causes chronic pain, typically along specific tender points on the body. Fibromyalgia symptoms can also include:
- Depression or anxiety
- Sleep disturbances
- Cognitive dysfunction, often called “fibro fog”
- Cold or heat intolerance
- Muscle spasms
- Restless leg syndrome
Unfortunately, for the five million people who suffer from fibromyalgia, there’s currently no cure. Diagnostic criteria have only recently been introduced, and the diagnosis process can take years for some patients. That means there’s likely many more people who suffer from fibromyalgia in the U.S. Some organizations estimate that close to ten million people suffer from this condition.
Because of this, it’s important to incorporate holistic, natural treatments in your overall pain management plan, both before and after you’re diagnosed. Essential oils for fibromyalgia can help temper symptoms before you get a diagnosis. And since your pain treatment should incorporate multiple types of treatments, essential oils offer a safer complementary therapy to use alongside any doctor-prescribed treatments.
As always, talk to your doctor before trying these or any other fibromyalgia treatments.
21 of the best essentials oils for fibromyalgia pain
Fibromyalgia is a set of shared symptoms: pain, cognitive issues, sleep problems, and fatigue. To that end, we’ve divided these essential oils for fibromyalgia according to the symptoms they address. Many will provide multiple benefits, of course.
Essential oils for muscular pain
When you suffer from fibromyalgia, reducing your muscular pain is one of your top priorities. Get these essential oils into your life with a light massage or sprinkled in a hot bath.
1. Peppermint oil for fibromyalgia
Peppermint oil is one of the best essential oils for fibromyalgia, hands-down. It reduces pain, and the fresh scent can help clear fibro fog and fatigue. Peppermint oil is an:
- Antispasmodic, which is helpful for those with muscle spasms or cramps
- Analgesic, which can help with sleep
- Anti-inflammatory, which can help reduce aches and pains
Other benefits of peppermint oil may include improving memory, boosting nervous system health, and reducing congestion.
2. Helichrysum oil for fibromyalgia
If you’ve never heard of helichrysum oil, you’re not alone. MauldinFamily writes that:
“Helichrysum essential oil is steam distilled from the flowers of the plant. It carries a sweet, earthy, green floral aroma. The word helichrysum is named after the golden yellow flowers of the plant, and comes from the Greek words helios meaning sun and chrysos meaning gold. The common name, immortelle, also comes from the flowers, because they are long lasting blossoms that do not wither easily.”
It also happens to be one of the most popular essential oils for fibromyalgia pain, promising to relieve muscle pain and tension. It’s an anti-inflammatory, and has anti-oxidant properties. Recent research indicates that helichrysum oil decreases pain by reducing swelling and inflammation, while also improving circulation.
3. Black pepper
Essential Oil Sanctuary writes that black pepper is “one of the best oils for muscular aches and pains.” It can:
- Reduce pain
- Warm muscles
- Improve circulation
- Reduce stiffness
This is a strong oil, so use it sparingly and never with direct skin contact.
Another highly-recommended oil from Essential Oil Sanctuary is juniper. They note that:
“It helps to stimulate the mind as well as ease muscle spasms and joint/muscle pain. Juniper has a natural muscle relaxing quality and a ‘hyper-tensive’ nerve calming quality when applied topically.”
Some people with fibromyalgia suffer from dizziness and nausea. Ginger is one of the best essential oils for reducing nausea. However, its benefits don’t stop there. Ginger is also known for healing pain, reducing muscle spasms, and lowering inflammation.
Use this oil to bust muscle aches and soreness. Think Oily writes: “Eucalyptus oil is one of the best oils for blood circulation and supply, and contributes to flushing out toxins from the body.”
Essential oils for chronic fatigue
Fatigue and fibromyalgia go hand-in-hand too often. Try these essential oils on your pillow at night, in a diffuser, in a warm bath, or during a relaxing massage.
When it comes to essential oils, lavender is a true power player. For fibromyalgia sufferers, Healthy Focus writes that lavender oil can:
“Lavender oil helps to treat two main symptoms of fibromyalgia; pain and anxiety. This analgesic oil help to increase blood circulation, reduce inflammation, as well as soothe frazzled nerves. Lavender also helps to soothe other symptoms associated with fibromyalgia, such as headaches, migraines, nausea, and depression.”
So lavender can help reduce pain (check), improve mood (check), and as everyone knows, it can also aid with sleep issues. This essential oil promises to tackle the most prevalent fibromyalgia symptoms.
8. Roman chamomile
Roman chamomile is a great all-purpose essential oil. Enjoy Natural Health writes that:
“This essential oil is great for relaxation and stress relief. It helps you calm your mind and body, relax, and stay positive during a severe fibromyalgia attack. In addition, it calms muscle spasms and takes gentle care of irritated skin. Because it is a nerve sedative and has antispasmodic effects, you can use chamomile oil to help relieve the symptoms of fibromyalgia.”
Use this essential oil before bed to help improve sleep and reduce tomorrow’s fatigue.
Fibromyalgia News Today reports that jasmine can help you find a more peaceful sleep. It works as both an antispasmodic, if you suffer from restless leg syndrome, and a sedative. Jasmine is also a good disinfectant and has some anti-depressant qualities.
Marjoram essential oil may help reduce headache pain, provide more peaceful sleep, and reduce stress and anxiety, Massage Today reports. On their blog, they also provide a DIY blend that combines sweet marjoram with Roman chamomile, mandarin, and rose.
Roses smell beautiful, of course, but rose essential oil can help reduce insomnia and help you get a more restful sleep.
Health blogger, Jess Wilmington, recommends neroli for reducing fibromyalgia stress and anxiety. Neroli combines slight citrus and floral aromas. It’s been suggested that neroli can reduce:
- Blood pressure
- Cortisol levels
- Muscle spasms
Essential oils for fibro fog and other cognitive issues
Finally, one of the worst symptoms of fibromyalgia is the constant fibro fog and mood changes. These essential oils promise to help improve memory and cognition, while others boost mood.
13. Clary sage
Clary sage is one of the most highly-recommended essential oils for improving mood, reducing depression, and soothing anxiety.
Ugh, fibro fog. Thankfully rosemary is your friend. It’s been shown to improve memory by boosting nerve growth factor and supporting the healing of neurological tissue and brain functioning. And, for fibromyalgia sufferers, it can also relieve muscle aches and soothe nausea.
Cypress oils can reduce fatigue and stress. But, its real benefit is as an anti-spasmodic. Since nine out of ten fibromyalgia sufferers are women, cypress oil can specifically be used to reduce menstrual cramps and hot flashes.
This little-known oil can help reduce feelings of depression, improve nervous system disorders, and calm inflammation, reports Essential Oil Benefits.
This oil is slightly floral and slightly sweet, redolent of neroli and lavender. Use bergamot to help heal depression and reduce stress. It can also help with nerve pain, one of the sources of fibromyalgia pain.
Organic Facts writes that grapefruit essential oil:
“Has stimulating effects on both the body and the mind. It stimulates the brain by making it active and gives new direction to thoughts as well as stimulates endocrinal glands and promotes proper secretion of hormones and enzymes, thereby keeping your body’s entire metabolism in proper order. It also stimulates the nervous system and makes you more active and alert.”
19. Ylang Ylang
Ylang ylang oil can help treat high blood pressure and promote relaxation. It can also improve libido and overall mood. Plus, it smells great too!
Vetiver oil has been used in traditional medicine in Asia and West Africa for thousands of years. This oil can:
- Boost energy levels
- Cool the body
- Soothe anxiety
Recent research also shows that vetiver may help with ADHD symptoms, libido, and insomnia.
Not just for cooking, basil essential oil can also reduce nausea. When used as aromatherapy, it can also treat nervous tension, fatigue, melancholy, and depression. This oil also reduces pain from headaches, and can provide mental strength and clarity.
Essential oil recipes for fibromyalgia, to try and buy!
Sometimes you’ll want to use a specific essential oil for your symptoms. Ginger for nausea, or lavender for sleeping, for instance. But other times, essential oil recipes for fibromyalgia can help you bring multiple benefits into one application.
For example, many fibromyalgia sufferers swear by the doTERRA fibromyalgia buster, AromaTOUCH. It combines some of the best essential oils for fibromyalgia pain, including cypress, peppermint, marjoram, basil, grapefruit, and lavender. Other patients also love doTERRA’s Deep Blue blend.
Aveda’s Stress-Fix concentrate is a convenient roll-on oil that you can throw in your bag for any time stress hits. It combines pure lavender, lavandin, and clary sage. Another essential oil provider, Amrita Aromatherapy, creates Anxiety-Free and Deep Rest blends that are perfect for fibro patients.
You can also make your own fibromyalgia essential oils recipes. Try this “fibromyalgia buster” recipe from Rose Haven Cottage Health.
Another great DIY essential oil recipe for fibromyalgia is over on Dr. Eric Z’s blog. This recipe combines bergamot, camphor, lemon, peppermint, rosemary, and a carrier oil. This one is specifically useful for a muscle rub to reduce aches and pains.
Find even more essential oil recipes for fibromyalgia over on Pinterest!
So, what are the best essential oils for fibromyalgia?
Based on their ability to treat a number of common fibromyalgia symptoms, we think these five essential oils are truly the best for fibromyalgia patients:
- Peppermint for pain and cognitive issues
- Helichrysum for muscular pain
- Rosemary for fibro fog and nausea
- Clary sage for mood
- Lavender for sleep issues and pain
However, what works best for you will depend on your most common symptoms. And, always talk to your doctor before trying these or any other essential oils. Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding should avoid their use as well.
How do you use essential oils?
Essential oils for fibromyalgia pain can be applied topically, used as aromatherapy, or mixed with food. The most common ways to use essential oils is in a bath or during a massage. They can also be:
- Diffused in the air
- Used in a warm or cold compress
- Added to tea
- Rubbed into pressure points on the body
When applied to your skin, always use a carrier oil. Some oils can cause skin irritation or rash when applied directly. This is especially true for citrus and peppermint oils. The best carrier oils include almond oil, jojoba oil, or fractionated coconut oil. Fractionated coconut is a favorite for massage, since it’s clear, won’t oxidize, and penetrates easily into the skin. For topical applications, do a small patch test first to ensure you’re not allergic to the oil.
Web Essential Oils provides an essential oil recipe for massage that includes peppermint, lavender, marjoram, and jasmine. If you do use these essential oils for massage, make sure to control the intensity and pressure of the massage so you’re not in pain the next day.
Baths are also a great way to combine warm water therapy with essential oils for fibromyalgia relief. Christy Tomlinson, a fibromyalgia sufferer, talks about how she adds these oils for fibromyalgia into her baths. She writes that it makes a “HUGE” difference in reducing pain. As noted above, you should avoid direct contact with the skin which can occur when these oils float on the top of the water. To avoid this, dilute these essential oils in a carrier oil before adding to the bath, or add to a cup of bath salts and mix.
Finally, always use high-quality oils. Good oil won’t be cheap, but a little bit will go a long way. We provide some more tips for finding the best essential oils in our post on headaches.
Finding fibromyalgia relief
While they can’t remove your pain completely, complementary therapies are always a helpful addition to any fibromyalgia treatment plan. When used with conventional therapies like chiropractic care, physical therapy, or injections, they can go a long way towards reducing pain and helping you get your life back.
Find a pain doctor in your area by clicking the link below. They can help you confirm a diagnosis of fibromyalgia and then talk about treatment options that could work for you.