Top 10 Best Essential Oils for Sciatica & How to Take Them

essential oils for sciatica pain

The painful sensations associated with sciatica are likely to become progressive if the affection is not treated right away. With time, some mild and manageable pains can become debilitating and will interfere with all kinds of daily activities, meaning your movements will be severely restricted.

There are many interventions that can ameliorate the pains and treat sciatica, but many of them involve taking drugs and even steroid injections. In the most severe cases, sciatica may only be treated with surgery. Of course, such cases are quite rare because people seek help due to pain.

Most doctors will prescribe painkillers, but also a bunch of lifestyle changes to ameliorate sciatica and give the sciatic nerve time to recover. Over the past years, essential oils for sciatica pain have gained lots of notoriety due to their numerous advantages.

The treatment and prevention of sciatica begin with proper self-care. Such treatments are not pharmacological and they are not invasive. The point is to prevent the potential flareups associated with the affection, but also to improve the nerve.

Most lifestyle changes imply looking after yourself. But at the same time, there are particular exercises you will have to do. Heat and ice therapy are also included, not to mention the right diet, posture correcting devices and yoga.

Essential oils come with more benefits and handling sciatica is one of them. Aromatherapy can help your body relax and ameliorate the pain. The best part about them? They are not invasive and will not cause any side effects. All in all, here are the most popular essential oils for sciatica pain and their benefits.

Essential oils for sciatica

1. Eucalyptus

When it comes to eucalyptus essential oil, opt for something that is 100% natural and pure. The oil is excellent in treating nerve and muscular pains. Its effects are warm, but it also provides a soothing experience. Its analgesic properties are not to be overlooked either, not to mention its work against inflammation.

With all these advantages, eucalyptus is one of the most popular options out there. It is the optimal oil to target the pains associated with sciatica, as well as the leg spasms. Even if the symptoms are mild and still manageable, eucalyptus oil will boost the circulation throughout the body by increasing the flow of therapeutic cells.

2. Peppermint

Peppermint essential oil is quite common and easy to find in any store out there. It is highly recommended for a plethora of different affections. For example, it can treat headaches and migraines. On the other hand, it will also ameliorate muscular pains, as well as painful sensations targeting your joints.

Peppermint oil has a refreshing aroma, but it is also uplifting. Opt for something that is 100% natural. Double check the ingredients as well and make sure there are no additives or chemicals – instead, you want natural ingredients with pain relieving properties. A few drops in your essential oil diffuser will work wonders in no time.

3. Wintergreen

Wintergreen essential oil may not be as common as other essential oils for sciatica pain, but it is totally worth a try due to its high effectiveness. The oil is rich in methyl salicylate. The same component is actually the active substance in aspirin, only it is not enhanced with various chemicals and preservatives, but 100% natural.

Wintergreen essential oil tends to be more helpful for those who also face leg spasms. Sciatica can cause such effects if left untreated for long periods of time. Its main role is to clear the irritation, but also the compression of the nerve. Other than that, it will help for most nerve related pains too, such as headaches or arthritis.

Wintergreen essential oil
Wintergreen essential oil

4. Ginger

Ginger essential oil is worth some attention too. Just like the wintergreen oil, it is not extremely popular, but you can still find it without too much hassle. Most importantly, the oil is rich in sesquiterpene. The respective compound makes ginger essential oil an excellent anti-inflammatory and spasmodic option, but it also gives it analgesic capabilities.

Ginger essential oil is more common in treating pains associated with arthritis or other similar affections. Given its benefits, it works wonders against sciatica pains too. However, unlike other oils, this one works better if mixed with more oils. It is compatible with most essential oils out there and can seriously enhance their effects.

5. Lavender

Lavender essential oil can be found everywhere and represents one of the most common options for pain relief. It has incredible properties and it can help with a series of other problems too. For example, its antimicrobial capabilities make it suitable for certain infections, while the anti-inflammatory effects are great against sciatica and other pains – headaches, muscular tension, spasms, joint paints, arthritis and so on.

Not only can this oil ameliorate the pains associated with sciatica, but it will also help you relax. Lavender essential oils are often used to reduce stress and help people relax. Since stress is a common sciatica trigger, it will also prevent potential flare-ups. If you believe sciatica flares up because of anxiety and stress, this oil will make them history.

6. Rosemary

Rosemary is more common in your kitchen. You probably have it in a cupboard, but did you know that it makes one of the best essential oils for sciatica pain? From many points of view, rosemary and lavender have similar effects, at least when it comes to treating painful sensations – and sciatic pains make no exception.

Rosemary essential oil is known for its analgesic effects. It also has therapeutic effects to relieve multiple types of pain. Sure, it will most likely make you imagine chicken and spices or herbs, but then, the essential oil has a natural aroma that will not let you down. Furthermore, it is refreshing and natural, so it will help you relax too.

Rosemary essential oil
Rosemary essential oil

7. Helichrysum

Helichrysum essential oil is far behind other options when it comes to popularity. It is, however, believed to be one of the fastest pain relievers out there. It is more efficient than other essential oils and more importantly, it acts super-fast – definitely a plus when the sciatic pain becomes excruciating and affects your daily life.

All in all, helichrysum essential oil has effects against inflammation, spasms and pains. It has analgesic capabilities and it is slightly sedative – therefore, it may not be a good idea to take it before going to work. It boosts the natural cell regeneration process, which will help the sciatic nerve heal faster and become stronger.

Given all these benefits, it is easy to tell why helichrysum essential oil is a bit more expensive than other alternatives in this list. Most people do prefer it though because of its numerous benefits and fast acting solution. When applied correctly, helichrysum oil can provide pain relief within a few minutes only – rather than hours or days.

8. Lemongrass

Lemongrass essential oil is most commonly used for its properties against fungal infections. However, further studies have revealed the fact that it is just as useful against different types of inflammation. As a direct consequence, less inflammation will reduce the pains associated with sciatica as well, so it is worth a try.

9. Chamomile

There are more chamomile essential oils out there and while they all have calming and soothing properties, the truth is not all of them can be that good against sciatic pain. Most people drink chamomile when they are sick. But then, essential oils have more properties and can reduce inflammation and spasms too. Roman and German chamomile are your best options. However, forget about this oil if you suffer from ragweed allergy.

10. Sandalwood

Finally, sandalwood essential oil is also known for having anti-inflammatory capabilities. Its effects are similar to what certain OTC medications can bring in. However, the oil is natural and will not cause any side effects.

How to take essential oils for sciatica pain

1. Topical applications

massage the affected area with essential oils, but make sure they are diluted first. Mix up to six drops of essential oil with about six teaspoons of a carrier oil. Olive oil is the most common one. Test a small patch and if you cannot see any irritations within the next 24 hours, you are free to move on with the treatment.

2. Inhalations

Inhaling essential oils is another common way to take advantage of their properties. A few drops in a diffuser will work wonders. Place the diffusers in your room or perhaps your office.

3. Baths

An oil infused bath will have your skin absorb the oil and alleviate the sciatic pain. There are no risks, apart from feeling oily when done – be careful not to slip.


Bottom line, these are some of the most popular essential oils for sciatica pain. There are a few good options out there – affordable and easy to find in commerce too. Some of them will relieve the pain within hours, while others may take days – it also depends on how severe the affection is.​

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