By Gaye Levy
Contributing Writer for Wake Up World
Once you move beyond the basic, everyday essential oils that we all know and love, it becomes time to explore some of the oils that solve specific ailments. In my own exploration of essential oils, a specific ailment high on my list was relief from muscle and joint pain.
The oil of choice? Birch essential oil. Not only is Birch effective against common, everyday aches and pains, but it is outstanding (if not superior) in providing relief from arthritis joint pain and those deep, spasmodic cramps that only seem to visit in the dead of night.
What is Birch Oil?
Not surprisingly, Birch essential oil comes from the bark of birch trees. Sometimes referred to as Sweet Birch Oil, its scientific name is Betula Lenta. What makes it special is that 100% pure Birch essential oil contains both salicylic acid and methyl salicylate. Both have a cortisone-like quality that reduces discomfort in the muscles, bones, and joints and in addition, are recognized as germicides and bactericides in the world of modern medicine.
Whereas Birch essential oil is an effective anti-spasmodic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, disinfectant, astringent, and diuretic, it really shines in its use to combat muscle and joint pain. Bar none, Birch is the oil I recommend to relieve the pain of arthritis, tendonitis, gout, and severe muscle cramping.
Pure, unadulterated birch oil, while not rare, can be difficult to find. That said, it is not an expensive oil relatively speaking.
How to Use Birch Oil for Arthritis, Muscle and Joint Pain
In my own household, we use Birch essential oil blended synergistically with both Geranium and Lemongrass oils. We came up with this formula by trial and error and although it uses other oils, we still fondly refer to it as “The Birch”.
We use “The Birch” in two ways: as a topical, roller-ball application diluted with fractionated coconut oil, and also as a heavy duty pain-relieving salve. According to Shelly, who is also known as the Survival Husband, the back-to-back use of both the roller ball and the salve, morning and night, has made the arthritis in his hands bearable, “with minimal discomfort”.
Here are my two easy “arthritis busting” recipes. That is what I call them although, of course, they are used for other aches and pains as well.
Arthritis Busting Roller Ball Formula
Add the oils to a 5ml roller ball bottle. Top with enough fractionated coconut oil (FCO) to fill the bottle If you are using a 10ml roller ball bottle, just fill half way. (I find that the 10ml size is more common.)
Arthritis Busting Salve
30 drops Birch Essential Oil
30 drops Geranium Essential Oil
30 drops Lemongrass Essential Oil
A Word of Caution
Birch essential oil is a strong oil and if used undiluted, may cause irritation. In addition, Birch should be avoided by those who use blood thinners, have epilepsy, or women who may be pregnant.
If you do use blood thinners, I suggest substituting the Birch essential oil with additional drops of Lemongrass oil. While not quite as effective as Birch, Lemongrass EO is an amazing pain reliever in its own right. It is also a very inexpensive oil.
The Final Word
As I have mentioned, we call our arthritis-busting formulas, “The Birch”. In reality, the title of this article could have been “Using Essential Oils for Joint and Muscle Pain”. Still, with Birch essential oil being a key component, I wanted to introduce the oil to you along with some of its beneficial properties so that you can explore more uses on your own.
Personally, I love using all three of the oils in “The Birch” and even though I do not have arthritis myself, I find the formula useful for breaking down those knots of stress that appear on my neck and on my shoulders. And for cramping hands and toes? Nothing beats “The Birch”.
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
Further articles by Gaye Levy:
- Using Nature’s Remedies for Health and Wellness
- 20 All Purpose Remedies Using Essential Oils
- The Powerful Healing Qualities of Rosemary Essential Oil
- 15 Alternative Uses for Honey
- Vermiculture: How To Build A Worm Bin the Cheap and Easy Way
- Spices for the Survival Pantry
- 21 Home Remedies for a Toothache Emergency
- The Miracle of Tea Tree Oil: 80 Amazing Uses for Survival
- 26 Five-Minute Prepping Projects
- 10 Simple Steps Toward Self-Sufficiency
- Creating a Healing Garden: 9 Healing Herbs You Can Grow Yourself
About the author:
Gaye Levy, also known as the Survival Woman, grew up and attended school in the Greater Seattle area. After spending many years as an executive in the software industry, she started a specialized accounting practice offering contract CFO work to emerging high tech and service industries. She has now abandoned city life and has moved to a serenely beautiful rural area on an island in NW Washington State.
Gaye lives and teaches the principles of a sustainable and self-reliant lifestyle through her website at BackdoorSurvival.com. At Backdoor Survival, she speaks her mind and delivers her message of prepping with optimism and grace, regardless of the uncertain times and mayhem swirling around us. You can find Gaye through her website Backdoor Survival.com, plus Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
If you have not done so already, please be sure to like Gaye’s ‘Survival Woman’ Facebook page, which is updated every time there is a new article, news byte, or free giveaway. In addition, when you sign up to receive Gaye’s email updates you will receive a free, downloadable copy of her e-book The Emergency Food Buyer’s Guide.