7 Best Essential Oils for Gout Treatment | Pain Care

7 Best Essential Oils for Gout Treatment

Looking for natural gout treatment?

Essential oils can help to treat gout pain to a certain extent. These oils provides soothing effects and relieve pain.

The essential oil is one of the most prominent natural fragrances extracted from a certain group of the plant, but the popularity of the essential oil is not only due to their strong aromatic odor but also due to their therapeutic benefits.

If you think that these therapeutic benefits are all traditional, then you must know that there are several medical and alternative medical journals which have already published different research-based pieces of evidence on analgesic and anti-inflammatory effect of essential oil

Hence, we must not worry about the efficacy of the essential oil benefits in different ailments, including gout.

Gout is one of the most common painful joint symptom associated with inflammation of the affected joint. However, it is important to know what pathophysiological condition causes gout.

The basic etiology of the gout is hyperuricemia, which means the level of uric acid in the blood is more than the normal limit.

The excess amount of uric acid in blood-serum form monosodium urate monohydrate crystals, which are deposited in the joint space and activates inflammatory mediators on that site and causes joint inflammation, pain, and deformity. [1]

What are the Common Causes of Gout?

The human cells and some dietary constituents are made up with purines.

The metabolic product of the purine-based substance produces uric acid, which is normally excreted through the kidney. [2]

Some individuals have a high level of serum uric acid level due to overproduction or improper kidney functioning. Therefore, the excess uric acid accumulated in the joint space, which causes gout.

Usually, other morbidities like hypertension, obesity, kidney disease, diabetes, cardiovascular disease are often associated with gout. [1]

Certain protein-rich foods like excess animal protein intake and regular overloading of alcohol also increase the risk of gout incidence. [3]

Top 7 Essential Oils That Can Combat the Gout

There are different essential oils marketed for treating joint pain and inflammation.

Here are 7 best essential oils for gout treatment and their mechanism of action backed by scientific research.

Name

Our Ratings


Birch Essential Oil

Wintergreen Oil

Capsaicin Oil

Peppermint Oil

Oil of Willow Bark

Unkaria Oil

Frankincense Oil

Birch Essential Oil

Birch essential oil is a rich source of Betulin.

Birch Leaves

Betulin has made up of three chemically active hydroxyl group structures. The structural modification through chemical reaction can form different bioactive constituents.

Betulinic acid is one of them, which is formed by the oxidation reaction of a primary hydroxyl group of Betulin.

The anti-inflammatory property of betulin is well studied through HPLC, spectroscopy, and NMR. This essential oil is extracted from the bark of Birch tree (Betula populifolia).

However, other plants under Betula species also contains Betulinic acid. Betulinic acid has multiple therapeutic benefits. The anti-inflammatory property of this constituents made ideal for gout inflammation.

A research study conducted to check the potentiality of the anti-inflammatory effect of Birch essential oil demonstrated that Betulinic acid and triterpenes composition, including lupeol have a potent anti-inflammatory effect. These active constituents can inhibit Cyclooxygenase or Lipoxygenases enzymes and potentially inhibits inflammatory condition. [4]

Wintergreen Oil

Wintergreen oil, which is obtained from the plant scientifically known as Gaultheria procumbens.

Wintergreen Cherries

Evidence-based research publications already mentioned about the analgesic properties of wintergreen oil. [5]

In addition, the topical application of this oil provide great pain relief. This analgesic property of Wintergreen oil is obtained due to the presence of methyl salicylate, which is one of the key phytochemicals present in wintergreen oil.

US FDA also allowed to market Wintergreen oil made topical preparation as OTC selling. [6]

Capsaicin Oil

Capsicum annum is a common chili pepper cultivated worldwide. However, America is native place of this plant. Capsaicin oil is derived from this plant source.

Capsaicin

The active constituent, capsaicin is present in capsicum annum is almost 12 percent of its total phytochemical composition.

This essential oil is specifically useful for gout due to its anti-nociceptive effect. The application of this oil at the pain site can block the sensory nerves and pain stimulus unable to sanitize them. Thus, this increase pain threshold.

In addition, it also produces anesthetic effect. Thus, capsaicin oil is an effective treatment for painful gout. It has been also found that capsaicin oil has an inhibitory effect on NF-kB and thus it also reduces inflammation.

But concentrated capsaicin oil application on skin provide burning sensation, thus it is specifically combined with other essential oil preparation. [7]

Peppermint Oil

An increased uric acid concentration in the blood and accumulation in the joint causes gout.

Peppermint leaves

Research studies showed that decreased blood circulation in the lower limb is one of the etiology of increased accumulation of uric acid. [8]

Peppermint oil can improve blood circulation, thus the application of Peppermint oil in the lower limb can improve blood circulation and prevent uric acid accumulation. [9]

It has also been found that it can reduce pain symptom and is a better option than other conventional analgesic medications. [5]

Another study report provides the detailed mechanism of peppermint oil as an anti-inflammatory agent.

The study author described that peppermint oil follows three mechanisms of actions for reduction of inflammation, which include:

  • Prostaglandin (PGE4) synthesis is reduced by applying peppermint oil.
  • Peppermint oil inhibits Leukotriene B4 and IL-1beta activity, which are responsible for acute inflammation.
  • Peppermint oil can block Arachidonic acid pathway by blocking cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase enzymatic activities. [10]

Oil of Willow Bark

The essential oil is collected from white willow tree bark, which is scientifically known as Salix alba.

Willow Bark

This oil is a well established herbal therapeutic ingredient of different complementary medicinal products.

Willow bark oil is a very successful pain reducing agent due to its strong antioxidant property. In TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) system, willow bark oil is used as an analgesic medicine.

Willow bark oil provides the very quick anti-inflammatory effect, thus the application of this oil readily smooth the gout symptom. [11]

In addition, researchers considered that hyperuricemic condition associated in gout increase the oxidative stress and induces multiple co-morbidities, including cardiac problem. [1]

The strong antioxidant property of Willow bark oil can reduce the oxidative stress generated due to hyperuricemia and assists to peruse natural healing and prevent further complications.

Uncaria Oil

The essential oil extracted from cat’s claw plant belongs to Uncaria species.

Cats Claws

The collected essential oil from Uncaria Hook plant is a rich source of phytochemical constituents including (E)-cinnamaldehyde, α-copaene, methyl eugenol, δ-cadinene, and curcumene. [12]

Combination of these constituents provide great anti-inflammatory property and can reduce pain symptom.

The anti-inflammatory effect of this oil is obtained due to inhibition of TNF-α synthesis by blocking the activity of NF-kB. [7]

Frankincense Oil

Frankincense is a gum resin collected from Boswellia species plant, which is a thick concentrated oil that possess several therapeutic properties including analgesic, anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic properties.

Frankincense & Myrrh

The oil collected from Frankincense can inhibit the production of leukotriene by blocking the activity of 5- lipoxygenase enzyme in white blood cells.

Thus, the inflammation-related degenerative condition in joint produce due to gout or other joint disorder can be controlled by applying Frankincense oil. [7]

The analgesic property of Frankincense oil is tested in California University and reported that 99 percent patient with joint pain related problem get benefitted by Frankincense oil treatment within one week time period.

Experts from Somalia also identified some potential analgesic phytochemicals in Frankincense oil Frankincense oil and expected has a great benefits for gout patients. [13] Therefore, not only folk medicine, scientific medicine 

How to Use Essential Oils for Gout?

In this section, we discuss some best essential oil application methods for gout are as follows:

Hot compression method

At home, hot compression method can be applied by using a towel, which is also named as hot towel compression technique.

Applying Warm Compress on Leg

The hot compression technique is not a new technique applied for pain relief, but adding essential oil in foot bathing provides added benefits.

Because the volatile nature of essential oil get vaporized in warm temperature and easily penetrate into the blood vessels of the lower limb and followed several mechanisms of actions to relieve gout-related pain and inflammation.

Requirements:

Hand towel - 2, selected essential oil/oils, carrier oil, hot water filled the bucket.

Directions:

  1. Before starting the therapy, wash the affected area with cold water and wipe with a dry towel. The cold water also increases the blood circulation at the affected area.
  2. Take 3 to 6 drops of selected essential oil/ essential oil blend and mix it with a carrier oil. Then apply them in the affected part with gentle massage.
  3. Take a small bucket full of hot water and soak the towel in it and then rinse. Then cover the pain affected area with the towel. But do not tightly wrap a towel around the area.
  4. Hold the condition, till the towel become cool down.
  5. Repeat the therapy for 2 to 3 times a day.

Foot Bath

Here we follow alternate hot and cold foot bath for getting a best symptomatic relief of gout in addition with essential oil/ oils blend.

The Best Foot Bath

Requirements:

Milk - 1 tablespoon, selected essential oil/oils blend, carrier oil, warm water tub and cold water tub.

Directions:

  1. Mix selected essential oil/oils blend and carrier oil with milk.
  2. Then add an equal amount of this oil and milk mixture to both warm and cold water tub.
  3. Immerse your leg on the warm water tub for 10 to 15 minutes till the warm water temperature lowers down.
  4. Then immerse the leg on the cold water tub for 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. During immersing the foot in alternative temperature tub, gradually massage the oil droplets that appear in your leg skin.
  6. Repeat the therapy for 2 to 3 time a day

In this process, adding of milk with essential oil blend help to penetrate the oil into the skin. 

Massage Therapy

Wintergreen essential oil or Uncaria oil massage therapy is good for pain relief.

Foot Massage

It is recommended that 3 times a day massage with Wintergreen essential oil provides an effective result.

However, experts always recommend that blending of essential oil preparation or combination therapy of essential oil mixture provide more effective result than applying single essential oil.

Here is some essential oil blend recipe for gout:

Recipe 1:
Take 10 drops of Frankincense oil,8 drops of Birch essential oil and 8 drops of peppermint essential oil in an airtight dark colored bottle.

Then put some olive oil as a carrier oil. Then gently role bottle in the palm for proper blending.

Recipe 2:
Take 6 drops of capsaicin oil, 6 drops of willow bark oil and 5 drops of peppermint essential oil in an airtight dark colored bottle.

Then put some olive oil as a carrier oil and gently role bottle in the palm for proper blending.

The essential oil preparation should be packed in an airtight dark colored bottle to prevent easy escape and light protection. Volatile nature and reaction with sun rays can reduce the potentiality of essential oil therapeutic value. [14] 

Limitation of Using Essential Oil for Gout

The essential oil is safe to use, but some limitation is associated with essential oil application.

Therefore we need to follow precautionary measure during essential oil therapy for gout to overcome the limitations:

  • Direct application of essential oil may cause burning sensation of the skin, therefore, always blend with a carrier oil.
  • Skin patch test needed to avoid an allergic reaction.
  • The essential oils in this article are safe for external application.

However, clinical tests are not adequately performed, so it is always better not to use essential oil therapy for children pregnant and lactating mother.

The essential oil bottle should keep out of reach of the children, as oral intake can cause different digestive symptoms like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea etc.

Prefer to select authentic essential oil brand from the genuine supplier, because the adulterated product may not provide an effective result.

Bottom Line

Gout is a chronic condition that arises due to a metabolic disorder. It is always advised not to stop regular medication which is prescribed by your physician to control gout.​


Although, the essential oil therapy is a complimentary therapeutic management, which helps to improve the pain and inflammatory condition associated with gout.


It is also recommended that before you select your essential oil consult with a medical practitioner for the best result.

Share following infographic to spread the word!

Essential Oils for Gout Treatment

References+

Dr. Nita Sharma Das
 

Dr. Nita is a freelance medical writer with an experience of more than 14 years in Indian healthcare industry with a strong niche in Nutraceutical. As per academia, she is a Doctor of Naturopathy and did her PhD in Alternative Medicine.

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