Gout got you down? Essential oils can help you get back on your feet
Gout affects up to 5% of the population, depending where you live.
But you don’t have to let gout get the better of you. Pain, inflammation, swelling and reduced joint mobility are not something you have to suffer through.
Did you know that essential oils can be used to soothe the symptoms of gout? Essential oils combined with your preferred carrier oil to create a gentle, natural therapy that promotes gout pain relief.
Let us help you get started on your journey to deal with gout and let nature’s healing properties get to work on your joints.
- What is gout and what causes it?
- What essential oil is good for gout?
- Using essential oil for gout treatment
- Topical application
- Foot soak
- Hot towel treatment
- The best essential oil blend recipe for gout
- Gout Be Gone
- Scientific findings
- Antioxidative and anti-inflammatory effects of ginger
- Lemongrass for lessening gout attacks
- Anti-inflammatory effects of clove essential oil
- Rosemary essential oil anti-inflammatory & pain relief
- Frankincense anti-inflammatory effects
- Get rid of gout the natural way
What is gout and what causes it?
Gout is a type of inflammatory arthritis that is caused by a build-up of uric acid in the joints. Most people who suffer from gout experience the condition in the joints of their big toes, but gout can also affect the ankles, knees, hips, shoulders, elbows and any other joints in the body too.
Uric acid is formed when the body processes purines – natural compounds that are found in your body but that can also be ingested by eating specific foods. Purines are abundant in foods like organ meats (including liver and kidneys), red meat such as beef and venison, seafood like tuna, sardines and scallops, and alcohol such as beer and red wine. Drinks that have been sweetened with fructose can also lead to an excess of uric acid in the body. Treatments for gout include a combination of medications and dietary limitations.
When too much uric acid builds up in the body, it starts to accumulate and crystallise in the joints, creating painful sensations, inflammation and redness as these sharp crystals irritate and damage the tissues around them. Gout attacks or ‘flares’ can vary in severity, but in more extreme cases, sufferers may battle to walk, exercise or use their joints as they normally would.
Gout occurs most often in men, as women tend to have lower levels of uric acid in their systems up until menopause. Men may also develop gout earlier in life, generally between the ages of 30 and 50, while women may only develop signs of the condition after they have been through menopause, so after the age of 50 in most cases.
Many men and women with gout find that essential oils can complement their existing gout treatments, and now you can too.
What essential oil is good for gout?
There are actually several essential oils that you can use for gout treatment. While each oil has its own unique properties, they all potentially reduce pain, swelling and inflammation, all of which are symptoms of this uncomfortable condition.
Disclaimer: Remember to speak to your healthcare provider if you plan to use essential oils while pregnant, breastfeeding, taking any gout medication or if you have other medical conditions.
Ginger is well known for its potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, which may be able to reduce the swelling and pain associated with acute gout attacks. Ginger extract also shows promise in being able to reduce uric acid levels in the body and lower the risk of future flares.
Use ginger essential oil regularly in the areas of your body that suffer from gout flare-ups and you may benefit from the relief that this plant provides.
With its fresh scent and antioxidant, antiseptic, antidepressant, astringent, nervine and sedative properties, lemongrass essential oil certainly packs a punch! If you’re suffering from gout, using this fragrant oil could help reduce your systemic uric acid levels.
The herb has long been used in folk medicine to reduce inflammation and pain, and its antibacterial and antimicrobial properties could reduce the risk of secondary infection too.
Clove essential oil is widely renowned for its analgesic and inflammation-relieving properties. It is used to relieve muscle pain and toothaches, reduce inflammation in tissues, and has antibacterial and antifungal properties.
The pleasant numbing sensation that clove essential oil creates may assist in providing temporary relief from the pain associated with gout attacks.
Not only does rosemary essential oil boast a beautiful, herbaceous scent, but it may also provide some relief from gout symptoms.
This essential oil has potent anti-inflammatory properties and can act as an antinociceptive, a chemical compound that can block pain signals before they arrive at your brain, thereby acting as an effective natural painkiller.
Frankincense oil has been used in folk medicine for centuries and is created by extracting the volatile oils from the resin of the Boswellia tree.
Boswellic acid – a compound included in frankincense essential oil – has strong anti-inflammatory effects, even on the sodium urate crystals that cause gout. Frankincense is widely used as an alternative therapy to address arthritis and other inflammatory joint conditions as well.
Using essential oil for gout treatment
There are a few different ways to use essential oil for gout successfully, as long as you follow the golden rule of always diluting your oils sufficiently in a carrier oil if you’re going to let them come into contact with skin. There are several different carrier oils to choose from, and some popular options include jojoba oil, grape seed, rose hip and sweet almond oil.
Read on to find out how you can use essential oils for gout treatment.
The simplest way to use essential oils for gout treatment is to apply them topically. As essential oils are lipid-soluble substances they penetrate the skin with ease and are rapidly absorbed. Can it offer immediate gout pain relief? Maybe not as fast as you’d like, but it will certainly help!
You can add a few drops of essential oil to a skin cream or body lotion and apply it to the areas you’re experiencing pain.
For a deeper topical application, you can massage essential oils into the affected areas. Mix 4-6 drops of essential oil per tablespoon of carrier oil before gently rubbing this mixture into the affected joints. You can do this up to three times a day to help relieve your symptoms.
If your feet and toes have been affected by gout, a foot soak can provide welcome relief. Fill one basin with cool water and another with warm water, and then add 5-6 drops of essential oil to each basin. Soak your feet in the warm water basin first for at least 10 minutes, and then switch over to the cool water basin for another 10 minutes. After this, discard the water and gently massage any affected areas of your feet before patting them dry with a clean towel.
Hot towel treatment
A hot towel treatment is another effective intervention for pain and swelling. Soak your feet, hands or other affected joints in a basin of cool water for at least 10 minutes before drying them. Combine 3-6 drops of your preferred essential oil with a tablespoon of carrier oil and massage it into any affected areas. Next, soak a towel in hot (but not scalding) water and wrap it around the affected joint, holding it in place for two minutes. Repeat this process up to 3 times a day.
Put a few drops of the essential oils for gout treatment that you prefer into your diffuser and breathe in the powerful properties as they fill the room with a wonderful aroma.
You can do this while relaxing on your bed or on the couch, or you can even sleep with your diffuser on so that the oils get to work while you’re getting your rest. This can help reduce your stress and give you a better night's sleep, both of which can reduce inflammation in the body.
An aromatherapy inhaler makes it easy to breathe in essential oils even if you’re out and about. If you’re suffering from the symptoms of gout, you can pop an inhaler in your bag and take it with you for relief on the go. Inhalers also have the added benefit of not risking you accidentally touching your sensitive nose skin to pure essential oils in a bottle as the aromatherapy mix is already diluted.
The best essential oil blend recipe for gout
Essential oil blends combine the powerful properties of different oils in one to create a targeted mix that offers the best of everything.
Here is our favourite essential oil blend recipe for gout treatment.
Gout Be Gone
Combine 3 drops each of lemongrass, clove, rosemary, frankincense and ginger essential oils with 50 ml of your preferred carrier oil. You can use 12-15 drops of any one oil alone, or combine 6-7 drops of each of two of your preferred oils mentioned above for a simpler formula. Carrier oils like jojoba and grapeseed oil are lighter and will absorb more easily into the skin, while fractionated coconut oil and almond oil are richer and more nourishing for those with dry skin.
Once you have combined your essential oils and carrier oil together, pour the mixture into a clean 50 ml glass bottle and shake well before use. Pour a teaspoon or more of this mixture into your hands, warm it by rubbing them together, and then massage the oil gently into any affected areas up to three times per day.
For centuries, civilisations have used essential oils for the relief of pain, inflammation and multiple other purposes. The Ancient Egyptians and Greeks used them, and they’ve remained a mainstay in traditional medicine since then. In more recent times, scientists have delved deeper into the potential of essential oils, and scientific-backed research has confirmed many of the ancient beliefs as true.
The following findings all highlight the potential that essential oils have as a gout treatment.
Antioxidative and anti-inflammatory effects of ginger
Research from 2013 notes that -shogaol, a compound found specifically in ginger root, has potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects that can be used as a “curative agent” for rheumatic diseases of the joints, including gout.
Lemongrass for lessening gout attacks
A 2012 study published in International Food Research Journal found that lemongrass essential oil can inhibit the actions of xanthine oxidase in the human body, thus lessening the symptoms and the risk of future onsets of gout attacks. The study recommended using essential oil extracted specifically from the stalks of lemongrass plants for the best effects.
Anti-inflammatory effects of clove essential oil
A paper published in BMC Complementary Therapies and Medicine found that clove essential oil in nanogel form showed strong anti-nociceptive and anti-inflammatory effects in trials, making the oil an effective analgesic treatment for alleviating inflammation and pain.
Rosemary essential oil anti-inflammatory & pain relief
Research in the Journal of Medicinal Food tested the effects of rosemary essential oil on carrageenan-induced paw oedema and inflammation in rats. The researchers concluded that rosemary oil exhibits strong anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects in rat models, suggesting that the oil could also be used effectively to treat painful inflammatory conditions like gout in humans.
Frankincense anti-inflammatory effects
Studies from 1996 have shown that boswellic acid, a key constituent of frankincense essential oil, shows strong anti-inflammatory effects in animal models, specifically in cases of polyarthritis and sodium urate gouty arthritis.
Get rid of gout the natural way
If gout is giving you sore joints and your feet, knees or hips hurt, Volant’s all-natural, 100% pure organic essential oils are an excellent way to ease the aches.
Our quality diffusers and essential oils are packed full of potent healing properties that can boost your health and well-being. Whether you opt for massage, hot towel treatments or a foot soak, natural gout pain relief is just a few drops away.
With Volant, waving goodbye to gout pain just got easier!