Joint discomfort is a hard thing to live with. I had a little taste of it in my mid-twenties when I struggled with a very angry wrist that was irritated by repetitive motion. The good news is with a little education, topical application of aromatherapy products can support your body in relieving inflammation, spasmodic throbbing and achy bones.
Your Base Is Everything
Really, it is. The base of your product, or the carrier if you’re not using a salve/balm, is going to be the key ingredient to the effectiveness of your essential oil combination. We will discuss this more in a bit, but understand that essential oils only penetrate so far into the dermis. In order to support deeper layers like the muscles and bones, carrier oils need to be studied and combined effectively to draw the essential oils down into the deeper tissues. For muscle depth penetration, grapeseed, avocado, olive oil, sweet almond, most of the common carrier/base oils used in dilution will be effective enough. When your need is joint or skeletal support, we need to find the carrier/base oils that will penetrate the deepest as well as those who, by themselves, have strong properties like “anti-inflammatory” that we are looking to use.
*Mini Soap Box: Coconut oil isn’t for everything. It’s a great oil. I use it in about 75% of my cooking. I use it in my deodorants. I do not eat spoonfuls of it or use it for diluting essential oils. It does have some great qualities, but educate yourself about other oils for aromatherapy use. You’ll be so happy you found other oils to explore and partner with!
Let’s cover some carrier/base oils that are in the deep penetration category:
Kombo Butter: I learned about this incredible butter while in aromatherapy school. It is a dark red-ish brown and has a notable aroma on it’s own. High in fatty acids (about 75%) Kombo butter is most widely known as an incredibly potent source of myristoleic acid. It is a deep penetrating carrier that is my must have for joint and muscle support.
Avocado Oil: More deeply penetrating that other common carrier oils, avocado is also one of my family’s must haves. It is super nourishing on the skin and since it is made from the meat of the avocado (the green part!) it is nut-free!
Black Seed Oil: Another deep penetrating oil, Black Seed Oil is a little less common and more pricy than Avocado. It doesn’t have a greasy residue after application, despite it being incredibly nourishing for the skin.
Jojoba Oil: High on the list for anti-flammation perks, Jojoba Oil is great for massage keeping the skin supple and nourished. I use it in many of my muscle and joint blends.
Here are some amazing resources for studying more about the amazing benefits that carrier/base oils have to offer:
Liquid Sunshine this book is a hard to find resource but is incredible!
Essentials of Supporting Muscle & Joint Discomfort
Essential oils by nature only make it so far through the skin layers and some, like tea tree, have such insignificant penetration capabilities that they need to be combined with deeper penetrating oils. Tea Tree for example, needs an oil high in limonene (lemon, lime, yuzu, etc.) to be pulled through the dermis into the muscular tissue. To compound this particular example, you must be very careful, if you decided on lemon for example, that the lemon essential oil is steam distilled and not cold pressed so that your dermal application of this combination wouldn’t give you a phototoxic reaction if exposed to the sun. There are a lot of considerations when creating DIY applications!
Overall, for most of my clients and even my own family, I’ve found the correct combinations of essential oils (with a well-chosen carrier/base) to be highly supportive of muscular and joint discomfort. Some essential oils that are helpful are Black Pepper, Ginger, Marjoram, Fragonia, Peppermint, Clary Sage, Turmeric, German Chamomile, Blue Tansy, Spruce, Copaiba, Frankincense, Helichrysum, Juniper Berry, Spearmint. There are others, but this is a great selection of essential oils that support your body during inflammation, spasmodic, achy or mild/moderate discomfort.
Two Scentsable Health products that use many of these oils and carrier/base oils are Good Game and Restore & Relieve. Good Game is the perfect massage oil blend for post sport activity or work outs. It is a liquid so it is easy to apply and can be a great option when going to a licensed massage therapist for deep tissue work too. Restore & Relieve is incredible joint support. Some of my clients swear by this stuff! It is a salve, so a little more effort to apply and will leave a brown-ish residue (due to the Kombo butter) on your skin that washes away easily.
Since shortly after our Restore & Relieve reformulation last year, we had even more requests for a growing pain salve to help support young bodies as they stretch and grow at night. Well, I’m happy to announce that we now have Growin’ Up Salve! This salve is very similar to Restore & Relieve, but with a dilution percentage and essential oil blend specifically to support young skeletal systems during the growing years! Look at what some of our testers had to say about the success they had with their kiddos!
As a family that strives for a natural approach to all things in life, we were excited to find the Growin’ up salve from Scentsable health. It smells really refreshing, we use it for my 6 year olds nightly growing pains and within about 10 minutes or less of application my Son feels relief, he’s able to relax and get a good nights rest. Something we were unable to fully achieve before the Salve. He calls it his “magic lotion” we are thankful for such a top notch product!– Hannah H.
The aroma was mild enough that it doesn’t bother my nose, but enough that it seemed to help sooth my son. He’s 2.5 and growing. The salve helped alleviate some of his discomfort he had during this last growth spurt. I would purchase this again in the future!– Danielle L.
We’ve only had “Growin’ Up” for a few days, but have already seen results and love it! My daughter is 4.5 and has been suffering w cramping legs intermittently for the past two years! We have tried so many products but this one is the first that she asks to be applied!! The balm is a solid at room temp but melts in your hands and quickly absorbs when rubbed into skin. While it does contain a blend of essential oils – German chamomile, marjoram, lavender turmeric, and Fragonia- it is not overwhelming and is just a pleasant, relaxing scent. Another thing that I love about this salve is that it is totally kid safe and I didn’t have to worry about my daughter feeling any “burning or tingling” sensations as so many other natural treatments for growing pains can cause. Thank you Scentsable Health- will definitely be back for another jar when we run out!– Beth L.