You may be looking beyond medications and lifestyle changes to find relief from your psoriatic arthritis (PsA) symptoms. Joint inflammation, pain, and your overall mood may be addressed with complementary therapy, such as essential oils. They can be used as aromatherapy or you can apply them to your skin.

There’s still a lack of definitive research on the benefits of essential oils specifically for PsA. But many studies show how these oils can relieve symptoms you may experience.

You may want to try one or several essential oils to relieve PsA symptoms. The following essential oils may help with one or more symptoms of the condition.

1. Lavender

Lavender is a powerhouse in the essential oil world. Not only is it considered to have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving qualities, but it can also boost your mood and reduce anxiety. These are all symptoms you may experience with PsA.

2. Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus is known for having many medical benefits, including treating colds and respiratory infections. It can also be effective for pain relief and reducing inflammation.

In a 2003 study, researchers tested various eucalyptus essential oils on rats, and found that they offered pain relief and decreased inflammation.

3. Turmeric

Turmeric is linked to its ability to calm and prevent inflammation in the body. Turmeric comes in many forms. You may consider using the spice in your cooking or taking it as a supplement, but it’s also available as an essential oil.

4. Ginger

Ginger essential oil may also help with inflammation. In a 2016 study looking at rheumatoid arthritis, another condition that causes swelling in the joints, ginger essential oil prevented chronic joint inflammation.

5. Cinnamon

A 2008 study examined the use of indigenous cinnamon essential oil on inflammation. The study concluded that cinnamon essential oil is effective in its anti-inflammatory activities and therefore should be considered for use in natural health products.

6. Bergamot

Bergamot is another essential oil that has the potential to impact your mood and reduce inflammation and pain.

As an added benefit, bergamot’s citrus scent is pleasant. Keep in mind that citrus oils can cause photosensitivity, so cover your skin if you use it topically and plan to head outside.

Before you consider using essential oils to manage PsA symptoms, it’s important to understand what they are.

Essential oils are derived from a variety of plants found all over the world. They are distilled from these plants and bottled in highly concentrated amounts. Therefore, you should dilute the essential oils before using them, especially on your skin.

Essential oils are a type of complementary medicine. This is when you use essential oils to help with PsA symptoms in tandem with conventional treatments. Other forms of complementary therapy include yoga, meditation, and mindfulness.

There are some uncertainties when you use essential oils to help with PsA symptoms, so you should proceed with caution when trying them.

Keep in mind that:

  • Essential oils are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, so the products available for purchase are not quality controlled.
  • There are no medical standards for how to use essential oils because there isn’t a lot of research on their effectiveness for PsA and other conditions.
  • They may cause a reaction on your skin or in your body.
  • They could interfere with medications you’re taking for your PsA or other conditions.

There are many ways you can use essential oils. You can breathe in the essential oils through aromatherapy, or apply them topically when diluted with an appropriate carrier oil. You shouldn’t ingest essential oils.

Some ways to safely use essential oils include:

  • inhaling for a few seconds directly from the essential oils bottle
  • mixing in lotions, bath salts, or other body products and using them as directed
  • diluting with carrier oils (scentless oils like fractionated coconut or grapeseed oil) and rubbing or massaging into the body
  • dispensing in a diffuser filled with water and inhaling the air
  • adding to a few cups of water, dipping a cotton washcloth into the mixture, and applying to your body

Take care when applying essential oils directly to any open skin areas (cracks or cuts) as that may cause irritation or infection. In most cases, you’ll just need a few drops of essential oils per use.

Certain essential oils may be able to help you target your PsA symptoms. For example, you may want to focus on reducing joint inflammation and pain or improving your mental health.

There is a lack of research directly linking PsA to using essential oils, but several studies exist that discuss PsA symptoms and how they can be reduced with the use of essential oils.

There are also essential oils linked to helping treat psoriasis symptoms. You may be interested in treating those symptoms as well if you have both psoriasis and PsA. Some essential oils that may be effective for psoriasis include chamomile, tea tree, rose, and lavender.

Managing your PsA symptoms may require complementary medicine in addition to traditional treatments. Essential oils are one option that may improve your physical symptoms and elevate your mood.

Talk to your doctor before you begin to use essential oils to ensure that they are safe to use. You don’t want to put yourself at risk or have them interfere with any medications you take for your PsA.