Working with essential oils for nerve pain can be tricky. My advice is to start slow and work up as nerves really are sensitive. It’s like eating ice with an exposed nerve or receded gum line.
You have to be aware of several factors so you can properly assess and formulate a helpful blend using essential oils for nerve pain, without overstimulating the pain.
- What is their sensitivity level?
- Where is the pain?
- How long have they had the pain?
- What is their pain level on a scale of 1-10?
- Current tissue state? Hot or cold? Wet or Dry? Tense or atrophied?
Knowing all this can lead you to choosing essentials oils that not only contain the right therapeutic properties, but also help move you in the right direction of relief. For example, if someone has a hot, wet and tense issue going on, a heating, mucolytic essential oil can exasperate the pain, rather than calm it down.
Case Study Assessment
Let’s look at a specific nerve pain issue, to help you understand how to apply this process in a real life situation. We will walk through the assessment, Blend research and formulation of a blend for various nerve pain ailments.
A woman was experiencing joint pain in her hip area and requested a custom pain relief blend. A 2.5% dilution ratio was made that brought her much relief. She also suffers from complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS or reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome), an unrelated issue. This is a condition with high levels of nerve pain and impulses that are sent to and spasm at the affected area. This woman’s CRPS is in her middle toe. She was experiencing some pain there, so she used her custom aromatherapy hip cream on that area. Instead of calming the pain, it almost immediately starting hurting even more and triggered increased nerve pain. Why was this? How can a pain relief blend made for one area, not work on another?
When there is neurological pain, sometimes, over stimulating oil or a strong stimulating blend can ignite that nerve which causes more pain/sensation. For example, I was creating a gout blend for my husband. I made it weak, and kept making it stronger, until he told me it was too strong (he is often my guinea pig, lol). We knew we hit the essential oil blend threshold when the pain started increasing instead of decreasing. This let me know when we reached potency for the custom blend. Similar to taking herbs until bowel tolerance (i.e. vitamin C and magnesium).
Typically camphoraceous oils can cause this response as it causes an increased tingling sensation, which make it feel like a neuropathic pain. In a blend with clary sage, bay laurel and basil, these are very strong and potent nervines that provide nerve repair properties.
My assumption with the woman who had increased CRPS pain in her toe after using a hip pain relief blend, is that her blend was more potent than her body (toe CRPS) could handle at that time. Although a great hip relief blend, it needs to be diluted more to match her sensitivity level, and tissue state. Since she is sensitive, decreasing the hip relief blend ratio by 50% could be a great place to start. then, see if that same formula can bring relief, just in a more diluted manner. As her nerves repair, she may be able to handle a stronger blend.
An added layer of analysis, would be assess and cross-reference the site of the pain. In this instance, it is the right, middle toe. In traditional Chinese Medicine analysis and acupuncture, this is associated with the eyes and coldness. Therefore any remedies that are cooling can trigger nerve sensitivity like we’ve discussed. Having the woman explore on a deeper level, any issues she is having with eyes and vision, can lend further insight to you as an aromatherapist and custom blend, as to which essential oils might be more specific to help her. You want to look at all angles – physical, mental and emotional inter-relations, so you can make a well-rounded, result-driven blend that matches her purpose.
8 Powerful Nervine & Neuroprotective Essential Oils
This list of essential oils for nerve pain is not a complete list of nervine and neuroprotective essential oils. These are however my favorites, and the ones I see time and again that demonstrate the strong power and potency.
- Sweet Basil, Ocimum basilicum and Holy Basil, Ocimum sanctum
- Bay Laurel, Laurus nobilis
- Clary Sage, Salvia sclarea
- Copaiba, Copaifera reticulata
- Helichrysum, Helichrysum italicum
- Marjoram, Origanum marjorana
- Melissa, Melissa officinalis
- St. John’s Wort, Hypericum perforatum
Nerve Pain Relief (sensitive to cold, dry and tense)
In order to formulate a blend, we need to look at essential oils that are warming (but not too warming), bring in moisture (wet) and to relax the tension. A 1% dilution ratio would be a great place to start. If you needed it stronger, you could double this recipe for a 2% dilution ratio.
- 1 ounce Arnica oil
- 3 drops Cinnamon essential oil
- 3 drops Helichrysum essential oil
- 2 drops Bay Laurel essential oil
- 2 drop St. John’s Wort essential oil
Combine ingredients in a dark glass bottle. Label and store in a cool area, away from sunlight and artificial light. Use 3-6 times daily, and as needed to nerve pain relief.
Make sure you cross reference any safety precautions and contraindications to “aromatherapy responsibly”.
JennScents Product to alleviate nerve pain:
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