My friend Celeste was paying a fortune for her arthritis pain medication when she learned about essential oils. Her first introduction was from a network marketing consultant who gave her a tiny roll-on bottle of a very expensive blend. It worked well, but on her fixed income, she couldn’t afford to use it regularly. She knew of my experience with essential oils, so she called.

I was able to get her the pain relief she needed for about one-third the price of the expensive network marketing blend with absolutely no loss in quality or effectiveness. If anything, according to Celeste, my more affordable oil blends work better for her.

She learned that there are many essential oils that help with arthritis pain and inflammation-both single oils and there are blends. Some are spicy and hot bringing circulation to sore areas for warmth and healing. Others are cooling and calming for taking down inflammation. And there are oils that practically work miracles for taking the pain away.

I told her that while blends of oils are typically a bit more expensive than single oils, they’re a more affordable route for her because purchasing a lot of single oils at once and using them separately or blending them might be just too expensive for her all at once. Blends have highly targeted and very expensive ingredients that make all the difference in effectiveness. And you don’t have to buy a whole bottle of the expensive oil to get the amazing effect of that single costly ingredient. In essential oils, less is often more.

Blends can target one specific use or combine the benefits of all the features you want. A pain blend, for example, contains the emergency analgesic oils that take the pain down instantly-oils like birch, peppermint, and clove. The anti-inflammatory blend may not act as quickly but it works deeper for more long-lasting results. Anti-inflammatory ingredients might include myrrh, helichrysum, eucalyptus, fir, lemongrass, spruce, and wintergreen. Other more expensive trace ingredients may be part of the recipe.

You can, of course, purchase single oils and create your own blends. A pain blend might use equal parts of helichrysum, birch or wintergreen, peppermint and clove. An anti-inflammation blend might use triple the amount of helichrysum in the pain blend then add equal amounts of black pepper, juniper, hyssop, eucalyptus, lemongrass, myrrh, or spruce. You don’t have to use them all. Just pick four or five.

Here’s how you’ll use rotate between these two types of blends. For intense, urgent pain, use the fast-acting pain blend first. On a small area, apply a drop neat (undiluted) and gently spread it around. For a larger area, mix ten drops in about a teaspoon of mixing oil and gently massage the area.

An exceptionally strong anti-inflammation is like a burning fire. Even the mildest oils can sometimes be too strong. If too much is used, they can actually add to the inflammation. Calm them with a mixing oil or a cool damp compress.

If you find that the oils are too hot for you, use this method with the anti-inflammation blend to cool and calm. Create a suspension of your anti-inflammation blend in cold water-4 to 5 drops to 1/4 cup of water. Shake the mixture well and soak a piece of gauze or flannel to create a compress. Apply cling film over it to keep the aromatic moisture in contact with the skin. Apply an ice pack to enhance its cooling effect.

Apart from the times of extreme pain, try to keep the inflammation under control by applying the stronger pain blend in the morning and then turn to a soothing anti-inflammatory blend in the afternoon, in the evening, and before bed.

Celeste writes that she can’t make it through the day without her two blends. She has a regular shipment going out to her well ahead of the urgent need. The other thing she reports is that over time with the restorative nature of the therapeutic essential oils, the pain seems to be easing overall.

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