I love essential oils — but I wanted to find the BEST essential oil for sore muscles and muscle aches. It’s really hard to tell if an essential oil is working, but with sore muscles — if you compare sides, you CAN tell a difference. So, today I am comparing Deep Blue from DoTerra, Soothe from JadeBloom, Pain Free and True Blue from Rocky Mountain Oils and Muscle Aid from Plant Therapy.
Essential Oils for Muscle Soreness
Availability of Therapeutic Essential Oils
I initially bought DoTerra, and I liked them, including their Deep Blue oil — I felt like it worked great for sore muscles. However, since I don’t live in Utah, shipping was annoying. Then, I stopped being a distributor (after they tried to take my blog down) I still wanted oils, but I wasn’t a fan of theirs.
I had friends who were distributors, but calling them and then coming to me with each sale.
I just wasn’t into it.
MLM just isn’t my thing.
SO, I started hunting other places. I looked on Amazon — and I had heard that Plant Therapy was great — so I started there.
Then, I found JadeBloom and Rocky Mountain Oils.
I just thought this would be a good test for all of the following essential oils. I hope you enjoy the results. Feel free to ask questions in the comments.
How I tested the benefits of essential oils for pain relief
So, on days that I was sore, I’d just add some to each side, test them side by side on my body for muscular pain.
I am sure it goes without saying that how these things worked on me doesn’t mean they will work for you. Just because something did or DID NOT work for me, it might work for you. If you had other experiences, I’d love to hear about them in the comments (no MLM selling in the comments — I will delete, FYI). Also make sure that you test small drops of oil that you try for allergic reactions or side effects. Make sure you speak with your healthcare provider if you have a medical condition or medical treatment that may be made worse by using natural oils.
Doterra Essential oil for muscle pain relief & soreness
I used their Deep Blue and really liked it.
Be SURE not to get it too close to mucous membranes (aka, your privates and any other “holes”). My husband may have learned that the hard way.
I knew it worked well, so it was sort of my “standard”.
Rocky Mountain Essential oil for muscle pain & soreness
Rocky Mountain has a few that are for muscle pain and soreness. The two I tried were:
Pain Ease: This one said it was for tight muscles after a workout.
I like the smell of this one — more citrus-y and lemongrass-y.
I have also started using this before work as my feet tend to ache. I find this oil to be best for achy muscles vs muscle soreness (feels more nerve pain vs muscle soreness).
True Blue: I am sure this is created to mimic Doterra’s name to help customers find something similar.
It is, in fact blue. It feels very similar to Deep Blue when you put it on.
Both oils worked really well with aching muscles. And actually, with my trials, I actually liked the True Blue better than Deep Blue. AND, for just painfully sore muscles (vs workout pain) I found Pain Ease to be awesome. I was a big fan.
That all being said. I got some oils from them last time that seemed “off” — they smelled funny and were very thick. I feel like their quality control isn’t great.
JadeBloom Essential oil for muscle pain & soreness
JadeBloom oils are actually quite a bit cheaper than either Rocky Mountain or Doterra.
I was a bit concerned about a “you get what you pay for” philosophy — but thought I’d try them.
I bought their Soothe Oil.
and honestly guys — I thought this was RIGHT on par with Doterra’s for a similar soothing affect for muscle tension. I felt like Rocky Mountain came out on top most frequently, but one day Soothe beat all of them (I did this test maybe 20 times).
So, yeah — good stuff!
Plant Therapy Essential oil for muscle pain & soreness
I bought a few oils from Plant Therapy — and I was kind of feeling like they weren’t that helpful (although their seasonal oil smells great in a diffuser). I bought their Muscle Aid and honestly, I didn’t notice ANY change when I used it. I even tried it alone as a single oil, without a carrier oil. Nada. Just didn’t do anything.
Just me though. Anyone had plant therapy work well?
Best Essential Oils for Muscle Pain
These pain relief oils are all somewhat similar — and they are all blends. Which means it’s a mix of several oils.
The following oils similar in these blends:
- Blue Tansy
That means you could mix up an essential oil blend on your own if you had all these separate oils. I have purchased dropper bottles and roller bottles before — and you can easily mix your own.
A lot of people find one thing works VERY well on their sore muscles — so you could also try these different oils and see how they do.
Ways to save money on essential oils
I had always used the pure essential oils at full strength prior to this testing — but honestly, for things like muscle soreness, where it’s a larger area I am actually having more luck mixing them in roll-on bottles for a mess-free application.
I was kind of afraid of them before — but it’s actually really easy.
Just make SURE you get a roller bottle set with a little “key” with all the circles etc. in it.
For best results, I usually do about 2/3 of a carrier oil (usually fractionated coconut oil — make sure you get fractionated because regular coconut oil will go to a solid in the cold), and then fill it close to the top with drops of essential oils.
By doing this, you can spread the oil out and save a LOT of money.
I’ve actually been making more and more roller bottles.
** BTW, when I made the roller bottles for this experiment, each one had the same amount of carrier oil, and the same # of drops of the essential oil — to keep things as fair as possible.
Different ways to use essential oils for muscle soreness
- Warm bath
- Roll-on before/after an intense workout
- Dilute them and use them with massage therapy
- Infuse them (check to make sure they are safe to infuse before doing that)
**Many of these oils can burn if you apply them directly to the skin (also they’re just to potent, so the best option is to save your money and dilute them).
I don’t know that I’d put muscle oils in a bath — just because you REALLY don’t want them on mucus membranes.
Personally, I’d do a hot bath with epsom salts and then put the blend of essential oils on after I got out. 🙂
Essential Oils for Muscle Pain after Workouts
So, to sum it all up — for me — the oils I liked went like this:
- True Blue from Rocky Mountain — GREAT for sore muscles from a work-out Regular price $35 for 15ml
- Deep Blue from Doterra Regular Price $43 for 5 ml
- Pain Ease from Rocky Mountain — I found this better on “pain” vs soreness, but could just be me. 🙂 Regular Price $20 for 15 ml
- Soothe from JadeBloom — a great oil, at a great price! Regular Price $10 for 10 ml (it has it listed MUCH higher on their site, but I’ve never seen oils priced at their regular price with JadeBloom)
Honestly, I’d buy any of them again. Although, for the price of Doterra, it’s just too much when other ones are just as good.
When applying them to muscle knots, it can also help you (or a friend) rub the affected area, and heat can help also!
Price per ounce for pain relieving essential oils
Here’s a little break-down for you:
- True Blue $2.33 per ml
- Deep Blue $8.60 per ml
- Pain Ease $1.33 per ml
- Soothe $1 per ml
- Muscle Aid fro Plant Therapy $1.11 per ml
So, there is a pretty large range when you price them per ML. BTW, 5 ML’s a teaspoon, so they’re pretty pricey no matter how you look at it!
Also, FYI — an ml is the same as a cc. 🙂
Essential Oils for pain and inflammation
For ME, if it’s actual pain, I’ve had better luck with the Pain Ease. I had some joint pain, likely from a small injury at work — and Pain Ease helped a lot, but the other ones didn’t do a whole lot.
I also found more luck if I put the oils on directly after a hard workout, vs waiting until I was sore.
I was able to eliminate soreness almost entirely.
Essential oils for neck & back pain
I have some lower back pain that is due to some alignment issues with my hips after having kids. I would have some sore muscle relief with the oils — I tried all of them, but it was temporary and it would come back.
How long for pain relief with essential oils
I would apply either in the evening before bed, or in the morning when I woke up. I usually wouldn’t see much of a change until 1-2 hours later when I applied in the AM.
You aren’t going to get super quick pain relief with these, and that’s something to be aware of.
But it will help a lot.
And they are more long-term than Tylenol or Advil (and since Advil is so hard on my stomach, I much prefer these!).
My husband has a lot of shoulder, extending to his neck pain — and Pain Ease helped a lot with that!
Essential oils for sciatica
Honestly, I haven’t ever found an oil that helps this type of pain.
I would recommend stretching and yoga more, and using a pillow between your knees at night.
Sciatic nerve pain is due to NERVES, vs muscle soreness. So, you might want to look for an oil that is specific for nerve pain. I haven’t tried that.
Although, I get, what feels like nerve pain after work — and Pain Ease really helped with that.
If you liked this post sign up for my family health newsletter & get my favorite essential oil blend:
Jan Guenthner says
I am wondering if Pain Ease might be tolerable for Lupas Erythem (not sure spelled that right.My daughter, age 36 is with this condition. Any members out there with Lupas? Her type is systhemic and I believe the most common type She uses all hypoallergenic products. She does well but has joint pain in bed. They have a good bed and will get sleep pad from me for Christmas.. She is a teacher with kids aged 18mos, 4 and and 8. She does a Paleo gluten free diet. He skin looks fine. She will ask her doctor next visit but wanted to field this question.
Hilary Erickson says
Ooo, I’m not sure. I would love to know what the doctor says!