oils to reduce back pain

With our current lifestyle, back pain and back ache are very common. It is mostly related to the spinal column. Spinal column is the houses of spinal cord, a main part of the central nervous system and it is the primary channel for exchanging information between peripheral nervous system and the brain. Back pain symptoms may vary from mild to severe. Severe back pain can make our day to day life very difficult. To overcome chronic or severe pain, many may choose stronger medicines and sleeping pills.

The spine is one of the most essential parts of our body and it should be taken care of well. Nature has given the best solution for every human problem. Natural oils are the best alternative solution for chronic back pain.

Natural oils to reduce back pain

Lavender essential oil

This is the most popular oil for back pain. It contains anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and analgesic properties that is great for backaches. Lavender oil provides powerful calming and relaxing benefits.

Method of making lavender essential oil

  1. Take fresh or dried lavender sprigs.
  2. Cut the springs of lavender into smaller pieces.
  3. Allow it to dry (if you are using fresh lavender)
  4. Crush and place it in a jar.
  5. Pour coconut oil over the crushed lavender.
  6. Allow it to steep for a week.
  7. Strain and store this in a dark colored glass bottle.

home remedies to treat minor cuts and wounds

How to use

You can either massage with the lavender oil or go for a lavender bath.

Note: Never use lavender oil in undiluted form. Always mix with water or with some good quality vegetable or carrier oil.

Lavender Bath
  • Add 6 to 8 drops of lavender oil in a tub of water.
  • Add Epsom salts or a cup of milk.
  • This helps to disperse the oil in the water.
  • Take a relaxing bath and lie on your back for sometime.

This is one of the best remedies to get relief from back ache.

Lavender massage
  • Take 5 drops of lavender.
  • Add this to 10 ml vegetable oil.
  • Mix it well.
  • Apply it on your back and gently massage for 5 minutes. (If you find it difficult to massage yourself, seek the help of someone. Do not strain and aggravate the pain)

While massaging, the oil will be absorbed quickly in the blood stream thus assisting the body and the brain in turn to relax the tight and sore muscles.

Rosemary oil

Rosemary is another great remedy for back pain. The oil contains beta-caryophyllene which helps in alleviating pain. It also has antispasmodic and analgesic properties that supports in relieving back pain. This oild also improves blood circulation.

Method of making rosemary oil
  1. Take a handful of rosemary leaves.
  2. Finely chop the leaves.
  3. Put these in a glass jar.
  4. Pour olive oil over the leaves.
  5. Shake a little and store in a place away from sunlight for 2 weeks.
  6. Strain the oil after 2 weeks.
  7. Store it in a jar or container.
How to use
  • Take 2 drops each of rosemary oil and peppermint oil.
  • Take 1 teaspoon coconut oil.
  • Mix them together.
  • Rub gently on sore muscle and nerves. Never rub vigorously as you might cause unwanted starin and aggravate the condition.

Note: Rosemary oil is not recommended for breastfeeding and pregnant women.

Peppermint oil

Peppermint essential oil is an easily available option for back ache. It contains anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties that act as a natural pain killer and a muscle relaxant. The main ingredient of peppermint which is menthol has therapeutic benefits.

A study shows that peppermint oil applied topically has pain relief benefits associated with Fibromyalgia and Myofascial pain syndrome.

Method of making peppermint oil at home
  1. Take 30 – 40 leaves of mint. (a few sprigs)
  2. Wash the leaves with cold water and sun dry them.
  3. Using a grinding stone or mortar, crush the peppermint leaves gently, so that oil is released from the leaves.
  4. Do not over crush the leaves.
  5. Place the leaves in a jar.
  6. Pour carrier oil on the leaves.
  7. Cover the leaves with oil.
  8. Shake the jar well.
  9. Place the jar in a warm place, out of direct sunlight.
  10. After 24 hours, strain the oil using a cheese cloth.
  11. Remove all the peppermint leaves and grind fresh peppermint leaves into the same infused oil.
  12. Store this for another 24 hours.
  13. Repeat the same process for 2 to 3 days until the oil reaches the desired strength
  14. Finally strain all peppermint leaves from the oil to keep the oil from spoiling.
Photo by Serge Bertasius Photography – Freedigitalphotos.net
How to use peppermint oil

Peppermint oil bath

  1. Fill warm water in a bathing tub.
  2. Add 2 drops of peppermint oil.
  3. Add 4 drops of geranium and 4 drops of lavender oil.
  4. Lay back and relax.

This is very good remedy to ease the muscles and reduce pain. The oil is absorbed through the skin and relaxes the muscles quickly.

Peppermint oil massage

  1. Take 10 drops of peppermint essential oil.
  2. Add with one ounce of carrier oil.
  3. Mix it well.
  4. Apply this mixture on the affected area.
  5. Massage gently for a few minutes.

Pregnant women should not use peppermint oil as for some, the scent may create premature contraction and induce labor. Also keep away from babies as it is too strong for their fragile bodies.

Eucalyptus oil

Eucalyptus oil is considered a potent natural remedy to treat nerve pain, back pain, sprain, strains and muscular pains and aches. It has muscle soothing and relaxing capacity.

Method of making eucalyptus oil


  • ½ cup olive oil
  • Fresh eucalyptus
  • One jar


  1. Take fresh eucalyptus leaves.
  2. Crush the leaves and fill in a jar.
  3. Pour olive oil into the jar.
  4. Cover all the leaves by oil.
  5. Close the jar and shake well.
  6. Leave it for 2 days by shaking every 2 hours.
  7. After 2 days strain the oil and keep it in a container.
How to use eucalyptus oil

Oil massage:

  • Take 20 drops of eucalyptus oil.
  • Mix with 1 cup of jojoba oil.
  • Apply it on your back and gently massage.
  • First time user may feel little discomfort while skin absorbs the oil
  • Due to its anti-inflammatory property, one may feel itchy and hot. But it will subside in a bit.
  • Massage twice a day.


Castor oil

Castor oil is extracted from castor seeds. It has many medicinal properties and once applied on the skin, it has the ability to penetrate deeper than other essential oils. So it gives quick relief from pain. (It contains an unusual fatty acid called ricinoleic acid that works well on acne.)

How to apply castor oil for back pain

  1. Take a piece of cloth.
  2. Soak it in castor oil.
  3. Lie down and place the soaked cloth on your back/area of pain.
  4. Place a hot water bag over the cloth for 15 to 20 minutes.
  5. Leave the oil overnight.

Repeat this regularly until you get permanent relief from pain.

Sesame oil

Sesame oil massage is a natural technique to relieve body pain. This oil relaxes the muscles, skin and provides a soothing touch. Sesame oil massage on scalp and body keeps the skin and scalp nourished, and free from bacterial and fungal infections. This oil is loaded with antioxidant, fatty acids and vitamin E that gives a cooling and relaxing effect and relieves pain. Warm sesame oil massage is good for back pain.

Sesame oil massage

  1.  Take a cup of sesame oil.
  2. Place this in hot water to make it a little warm.
  3. Pour some warm oil into your palm.
  4. Gently massage.
  5. Leave it for an hour.
  6. Take a hot water shower.

A mixture of sesame oil and garlic also do wonders for relieving back pain.

Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/sumitramedia/5331400977/


  • 10 cloves of garlic
  • 4 to 5 teaspoons sesame oil


  1. Fry garlic in sesame oil until garlic turns brown.
  2. Switch off.
  3. Strain the oil and store in a container.
  4. Rub the oil on your back and leave it for 3 hours.
  5. Take a warm bath.

Repeat the process daily to get permanent relief.

Kayathirumeni or thennamarakudi oil

Kayathirumeni oil is a multipurpose herbal oil. It is applied externally for various purposes like body pain, wounds, cuts, fracture, muscle cramp and sprains.

Method of using

  1. Take 2 teaspoons of kayathirumeni oil.
  2. Heat the oil till it becomes warm..
  3. Apply on the affected area.
  4. Leave it for an hour.
  5. Take a warm shower.

Chamomile essential oil

Chamomile oil is also has anti-inflammatory, and anti-spasmodic properties that make them ideal for reducing back pain. Two types of chamomile oils are available. For severe and acute pain in the muscles, joints and bones German chamomile is best to treat. For slight and normal pain Roman chamomile can be applied.

All homemade oils will stay fresh for only about 2 months. Use the oil within 2 months to reap its benefits.

Kalaivani Selvaraj, MBA, got her Master’s degree in Human Resources. Due to her interest in natural healing, she pursued studies in the field of alternative medicine and is certified in Aromatherapy by Isla Verde Spa Training Academy. Ms. Kalaivani Selvaraj is also certified by Stanford University School of Medicine in Introduction to Food and Health.