Q&A: Essential oils for pain management

Q&AWendy N. writes:
Hi Robert, I trust this finds you well. Can you direct me to any research that discusses the use of essential oils & aromatherapy in pain management please? I am currently doing some training at an aged and palliative care facility and this is one of the topics they wish me to cover. Thanks and warmest regards
Wendy 🙂

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Hi Wendy, well the simplest thing to do is to go HERE,
and this is probably more than you want, but I don’t have an alternative, simple answer at this point. In general, I’m puzzled that many oils have analgesic effects in animal studies, but they don’t seem to have much effect when used clinically. Well, I’m sure some do, and there are many possibilities, such as valerian or spikenard. Turmeric or myrrh might be good for pain with inflammation. One of the most important things is too use the right amount of oil (5-10%?) and in the right excipient (gel?). That’s my 2 cents anyway.
Robert

By | 2011-06-23T08:05:21+00:00 June 23rd, 2011|Aromatherapy / Research, Q & A|Comments Off on Q&A: Essential oils for pain management

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  1. Marcia Elston June 23, 2011 at 8:41 am

    Hi Robert and Wendy,
    I have used black pepper (Piper nigrum), Plai (Zingiber cassumunar)Sweet Marjoram (Origanum majorana)and Helichrysum (Helichrysum italicum) in combination for pain.

  2. Kathleen O'Connell June 23, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    Hi Robert and all,

    What’s worked best for me is equal parts Geranium and Ginger, diluted in gel, lotion, oil oir bathwater.

  3. Marcia Elston June 24, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    Hi again, Wendy,
    Your question was, of course, specifically for research. Do you know Laraine Pounds? She is a aromatherapist/RN with education and experience using essential oils in palliative care. She would be a good resource for the kind of research you are looking for. You can reach her through her website http://www.resourcesforlivingwell.com/

  4. Wendy Norman July 23, 2011 at 11:41 pm

    Hi Marcia
    Thank you for your response. No I haven’t heard of Laraine Pounds, but it sounds like her material will be just what I’m looking for!

    I do a bit of Aromatherapy training in healthcare facilities and the RNs in particular, like to have scientific facts and figures to quote.I will follow up your suggestion.

    Perhaps it will also prove helpful for an upcoming presentation I’m doing for The Australian Traditional Medicine Ass on Aromatic treatments in Arthritis.

    Thanks again
    Wendy

  5. Vikki Wilesmith July 31, 2011 at 7:16 pm

    Hi Wendy and Marcia.
    Great to hear that someone is getting support and assistance to work with aromatherapy in the aged care sector. I have been working in aged care for 13 years, in diversional therapy and physio aide, addressing pain and palliative work. I have tried several times to get up and running an aromatherpy program in the areas of pain, sleep, skin integrity and behaviour management. I completed Cert IV in both aromatherapy and massage in 2008 with TAFE NSW and have become disheartened. It seems unless you are an RN in age care you stuggle to be heard. I would love to study more and increase my qualifications in Aromatherapy, but am at a loss as to which direction to take or who to further my studies with. I would be interested in your forthcoming presentation on Aromatic treatments in Arthritis, (so how can i enroll). I will also contact “resources for living well”. Wendy i wish you luck there is such a great need for a hoslistic approach to caring for our elderly in the aged care sector.

    Best wishes
    Vikki

  6. Helen Walker June 4, 2014 at 7:00 am

    Hi ladies
    I had success last year when trekking in Nepal – very sore knees and aching muscles – with a blend of kunzea, Australian blue cypress and Australian sandalwood. There doesn’t seem to be much research into our Australian essential oils so I decided to be my own the lab rat.

    Cheers
    Helen

  7. Julie Primmer June 4, 2014 at 3:58 pm

    Helen, Kunzea is a great oil for pain. There is more about it and other Australian oils in Mark Webb’s book Bush Sense.

  8. Julie Primmer June 4, 2014 at 4:06 pm

    Vikki Wilesmith, I was like you, nursing in Aged Care and permitted to do some aromatherapy as long as it was in my own time or between other duties. Some Div. 1’s were accepting some not. I retired from nursing 18 months ago, but I now work as an aromatherapist one day per fortnight at the local Bupa facility. They actually approached me when I was there visiting relations! One of the staff whom I knew, asked if I was still doing aromatherapy as they had been discussing having it there. Management is very supportive but it is difficult getting through to some staff about the importance of regular use. Don’t give up.

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