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Essential oils are a very effective tool in medicine in fighting pain, improving depression and boosting your energy levels. Can these essential oils also be effective at improving symptoms associated with chronic diseases like fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a common disease in society and patients may start suspecting it if they notice they have chronic pain, unrelenting fatigue, and noticeable mood changes [1]. These are just a few of the many complaints that patients may have when first diagnosed with the disease and treatment options can be as frustrating. Only a few monotherapies like Savella and pregabalin exist that can effectively target the vast array of symptoms we can expect and bring fibromyalgia pain relief. Supplements for fibromyalgia exist on the market that can help patients find additional relief. These can range for compounds to help fight pain and sleepless nights like melatonin and 5-HTP, using drugs like NADH to boost energy levels and even using fish oils like omega-3 to reduce inflammation. As we have seen in other topics like alternative treatment options for an underactive thyroid, it is possible to use essential oils in order to help fight conditions like pain and chronic fatigue. In this article, I will discuss which 3 essential oils for fibromyalgia pain relief that you should consider. 

Lavender 

Lavender is a substance that has a lot of useful medical applications. Not only can we use it to help patients relax, it can be used to treat pain from insect bites, burns and other discomforts [2]. It also has a role regulating our central nervous system, autonomic nervous system, and mood responses; all which are in disarray once you begin to have fibromyalgia symptoms. 

In one study, 20 volunteers were asked to inhale lavender oil extract and the physiological response was measured. Parameters like blood pressure, breathing rate, skin temperature, and mood were analyzed. At the conclusion of the study, it was determined that those who had inhaled the lavender oil extract has significantly lower blood pressures, heart rates, and skin temperatures. Participants also subjectively noted that they felt more refreshed after sleeping and more active the following day with lavender oil extract permeating throughout the room as they slept. [3]

Another study attempted to identify if lavender's effects on the central nervous system were also significant. The central nervous system is crucial to help humans function and any irregularities along the pathway can lead to fatigue and depression. It was determined that lavender is able to effectively down-regulate NMDA receptors and block serotonin transport receptors. Both of these are believed to be responsible for blocking serotonin and dopamine, two compounds that are reduced when patients feel depressed. As you can see, lavender actually makes a significant physiological difference so you will truly feel better. [4]

Peppermint Oil Extract 

The next easily obtainable essential oil for fibromyalgia pain relief comes in the form of peppermint oil. This is definitely one to consider to add to your arsenal of supplements for fibromyalgia.  Peppermint is a crucial oil for fibromyalgia pain relief because it has a role on both muscular pain as well as increasing stamina. 

In one study, 20 athletes were given 500 milliliters of water mixed with 0.05 milliliters of peppermint oil extract (around 1 drop) and the effects were measured after 10 days. At the end of this period, it was obvious that peppermint caused a significant improvement in aspects such as energy levels, time to exhaustion, work level, and power. [5] As you may remember from a previous article, aerobic exercise is one of the staples of non-pharmacological therapy to combat your fibromyalgia. If peppermint oil will be able to help you feel more energetic, you will be able to exercise your symptoms away. 

Lavender oil is also very potent when it comes to chronic muscle treatment. In fibromyalgia, patients will complain of continuous muscle aches and pains that can be severe during flare-ups. When used as an aromatherapeutic agent, lavender is able to consistently help patients find pain relief. In a meta-analysis looking at multiple conditions with elements of chronic pain, it was found that in over 1,000 patients, aromatherapy with lavender was extremely beneficial as a treatment option for reducing pain. [6]

Capsicum 

For those of you who do not like spicy foods, you may not have heard of this next essential oil, but it is one that you may want to commit to memory due to its therapeutic effects for your fibromyalgia symptoms. Capsicum extract is the reason peppers and other spicy foods have that hot punch to your taste buds. Foods highest in this oil are red peppers [7].

Although going to the store and buying the hottest peppers you can find may help with your fibromyalgia pain, for those apprehensive about consuming such spicy foods, fear not because you can also buy topical creams to reach the same point. In one study, 281 patients suffering from chronic pain conditions were given topical cream containing 0.05 percent capsicum. Patients who used this cream had a 26 percent reduction in pain sensation compared to the control group. Researchers concluded that capsicum would be a beneficial and well-tolerated therapy for any long-term pain syndrome, like fibromyalgia. [8]

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