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The Top 20 Essential Oils to Relieve Pain and Inflammation (Research Based)

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The Top 20 Essential Oils to Relieve Pain and Inflammation (Research Based)

Essential oils have been used for centuries to relieve pain and inflammation. Many essential oils have similar, and sometimes more effective, pain-relieving properties than many pharmaceutical analgesics.

There are many benefits to using essential oils to get relief from pain and inflammation. For example, essential oils have fewer side effects than many modern drugs and they also help to soothe your mind and make you feel more relaxed. So, essential oils play an important role in pain management and in treating many inflammatory conditions.

If you suffer from chronic pain associated with arthritis, lower back pain, migraines, fibromyalgia, nerve pain or sciatica, then essential oils are excellent home remedies to treat the pain.


For example, lavender essential oil has both a calming effect on the mind and helps to relieve pain in inflamed joints. Also lavender is a great oil to relieve headaches as well as treating back pain and symptoms of fibromyalgia. Chamomile essential oil helps to reduce inflammation and can be massaged into painful joints in the case of arthritis or relieve stomach cramps.

At the end of the article, you will find out how to use essential oils for pain relief and also some precautions that you should take. First of all, let’s look at the best essential oils for getting rid of pain and inflammation.

Best Essential Oils to Treat Pain and Inflammation

1.    Chamomile oil to reduce inflammation and pain

Chamomile oil is a great essential oil with analgesic properties which can soothe the pain in inflamed joints and muscles. The calming effect of chamomile can also help get relief from headaches, sore muscles and nerve pain like sciatica and slipped discs. Chamomile also has a soothing effect on the digestive system and can help to relieve pain caused by excess gas and stomach cramping.

A review of the medicinal properties of chamomile found that the plant contains flavonoids which have anti-inflammatory properties. These inflammation-reducing compounds easily penetrate the skin’s surface to reduce inflammation. The review also found that chamomile is effective in treating digestive disorders and relaxing the muscles in the intestines.1

Among the ailments that chamomile oil act as an effective pain reliever are: rheumatic pain, muscle spasms, hemorrhoids, stomach ulcers, mouth ulcers, eczema, back pain, and stomach cramps.

To use chamomile oil for pain relief, add a few drops of the essential oil to a carrier oil, such as coconut oil, olive oil or sweet almond oil and massage the sore muscle or the painful joint. You can also add a few drops of chamomile essential oil to your diffuser. Inhale the therapeutic vapors deeply for around 15 minutes until your headache or migraine pain has eased or gone away completely.

2.    Lavender oil for pain relief

lavender essential oil for pain and inflammation

Lavender is undoubtedly one of the most popular and well-known essential oils for pain relief. Natural treatments using lavender have been used for centuries to relieve migraines and headaches. Lavender contains compounds that act as a mild sedative which reduces stress and anxiety. So, lavender essential oil can help get rid of tension headaches at the source. Lavender is also one of the best essential oils for muscle pain.

A study in 2015 found that lavender oil also contains anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. In clinical trials, the researchers found that applying lavender oil topically for pain relief was just as effective as some pharmaceutical anti-inflammatories and analgesics.2

Another study published in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that applying lavender oil or inhaling it has a pain-relieving effect. For example, massaging lavender oil helps to relieve menstrual cramps when massaged into the abdominal area. Inhaling lavender also had a morphine-like effect in patients recovering from surgery. The study also found that lavender was effective in reducing migraine pain and relieving lower back pain and neck pain.3


To use lavender oil for pain relief, add a few drops of lavender essential oil to your diffuser. Inhale the therapeutic vapors deeply for around 15 minutes until your headache or migraine pain has eased or gone away completely.

Alternatively, rub 1 to 2 drops of lavender essential oil into the palms of your hands. Cup them over your nose and take 4-6 deep and slow breaths to fight acute migraine. Another thing you can do is add 2 to 4 drops of lavender oil on a cotton ball and secure in a zip lock bag to take with you. This will allow you to inhale lavender for headache relief as you go about your daily activities.

Unlike other essential oils which should be mixed with a carrier oil before using on the skin, lavender oil is mild enough to be placed directly on small areas of the skin without being diluted. However if you have a sensitive skin, or use lavender oil on a larger area of your skin, it is best to dilute it.

3.    Sweet marjoram has anti-inflammatory properties

Sweet marjoram essential oil has sedative and anti-inflammatory properties to relieve various types of pain. Doctors from WebMD report that marjoram oil is used to alleviate headaches, migraines, neuralgia (nerve pain), stomach cramps and other intestinal disorders.4

One study showed that marjoram oil can be useful in getting rid of chronic neck pain. In the study, a combination of 4 essential oils was used: marjoram, black pepper, lavender, and peppermint. The essential oil remedy was rubbed into the painful area daily for 4 weeks. The patients using the remedy showed significant improvement when compared to the other group using the placebo cream.5

Marjoram is also a good essential oil to relieve toothache if you place a drop or two directly on and around the sore tooth. If you find it too potent, mix the sweet marjoram oil with a half teaspoon of olive oil and use a cotton ball or your finger to access the painful tooth.

4.    Eucalyptus essential oil

Eucalyptus essential oil is a powerful pain reliever to help get rid of nerve-related pain and the discomfort caused by blocked sinuses. Even a small amount of eucalyptus oil is enough to relieve headaches, arthritis, muscle and joint pains. The pain-reducing properties of eucalyptus essential oil are due to the anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial compounds in the oil.

A clinical trial into using eucalyptus essential oil for pain relief found that inhaling eucalyptus oil can help to relieve post-surgery pain. In the trial, researchers found that patients who received eucalyptus oil after surgery experienced less pain and lower blood pressure levels.6

If you have sinus pain because of a cold, flu, or other respiratory infections, the University of Maryland recommends inhaling eucalyptus essential oil to help unblock sinuses and relieve the pain. They also report that ointments containing eucalyptus oil are effective for treating joint and muscle pain.7

5.    Peppermint essential oil

essential oils for pain and inflammation

The antispasmodic properties of peppermint essential oil make it a great natural remedy to treat arthritis and intestinal problems. As well as helping to relieve arthritic pain, peppermint oil is also antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and kills off fungal infections. Peppermint essential oil, like eucalyptus oil, is a natural decongestant and can help to relieve painful blocked sinuses.

Peppermint essential oil is refreshing and cooling and contains a significant amount of menthol. Amongst its many uses, menthol is known to help relax and ease tension headaches and muscular aches and pains.

A study in Germany found that peppermint oil is just as effective as paracetamol when used to treat tension headaches. People who suffered from regular tension headaches applied peppermint oil to their forehead and temples every 15 minutes. The study showed that peppermint oil can help to relieve regular headaches without the side effects of frequently taking pain-killers.8

Peppermint essential oil also has an antispasmodic effect when ingested. Enteric-coated peppermint oil capsules relieve intestinal pain associated with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). One study reported that “peppermint oil is a safe and effective short-term treatment for IBS.”9


6.    Rosemary essential oil

The analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties of rosemary oil make this a great essential oil for chronic pain relief. The University of Maryland reports that rosemary can also help to improve blood circulation (which is important in pain management) and relieve muscle pain and spasms.10 In fact, rosemary essential oil has been approved by the German government for use in pain relief.

A study into the effectiveness of rosemary oil to reduce pain and inflammation was shown to boost the effect of popular pain relief medications. The study found that rosemary oil can be used topically as a painkiller on its own or it can be used together with analgesic drugs to help improve their effectiveness.11   

7.    Thyme

If you suffer from backache, muscles pains, or inflammation in joints, then thyme essential oil can help to provide you needed relief from acute or chronic pain. The anti-inflammatory properties of thyme essential oil easily penetrate the surface of the skin to reduce pain.

A study published in the Journal of Lipid Research found that a compound in thyme called carvacrol suppresses COX-2, an enzyme connected with inflammation. Many non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) also work to suppress COX-2 to kill off the pain. The researchers reported that the analgesic and inflammation-reducing properties of thyme oil have a use in the treatment of many diseases.12

Other studies have shown that the antispasmodic effect of thyme essential oil help reduce menstrual cramps and is as effective as ibuprofen.13  

8.    Clary sage

Clary sage (Salvia sclarea) is an essential oil to relieve the pain of muscle cramps and menstrual pain. The analgesic effect of clary sage is due to molecules in the oil that have pain-relief properties.

The website reported on a study involving women who experienced higher than average menstrual pain. A massage oil using a combination of lavender, clary sage, and rose oil was massaged daily to the abdominal area. After one or 2 days, the women reported a significant reduction in painful menstrual symptoms.14

The journal Phytotherapy Research found that salvia species extracts also have a calming effect on your mind as well as analgesic and muscle relaxant properties.15

Clary sage essential oil can also help to get relief from pain associated with abdominal cramping.

9.    Sandalwood

Sandalwood is an essential oil to fight inflammation and joint pain. The essential oil of sandalwood also helps to relax muscles and prevent muscle spasms.

Another way that sandalwood helps to manage pain is by sedating the nervous system. A study in the journal Planta Medica found that inhaling sandalwood essential oil has a relaxing effect and reduces the production of adrenaline.16 Another study found that sandalwood oil has an anti-inflammatory effect similar to that of ibuprofen and other NSAIDs.17

Sandalwood essential oil can be mixed with a carrier oil to make a pain-killing ointment for sore muscles, knee pain, and rheumatic conditions. Or, you can add a few drops to your diffuser to inhale to get relief from headaches, migraines, anxiety, and stress.

10. Juniper

Massaging juniper essential oil is an excellent way to relieve stiffness and pain associated with arthritis, rheumatism, and gout. Doctors at WebMD report that people take juniper oil to numb pain and treat painful muscles and joints.18

The website says that there are many ways you can use juniper essential oil to relieve pain. You can add some to a bath and soak in it to relieve muscle pain. Or you can get rid of the painful symptoms of gout and rheumatoid arthritis by applying a juniper berry compress on the painful joint. Of course, you can also mix juniper oil with a carrier oil to make a natural pain-relieving ointment.19

11. Ginger

Ginger essential oil can alleviate joint pain and ease muscle stiffness. The anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties of ginger are due to a compound called gingerol. Ginger oil is effective for pain relief when massaged into sore joints or painful muscles.

A review of the therapeutic properties of ginger found that it’s a natural remedy for rheumatoid arthritis, menstrual cramps, joint inflammation, and osteoarthritis. The review also found that ginger has a similar pain-relieving effect as NSAIDs like ibuprofen.20


12. Frankincense

Another essential oil which has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties is frankincense essential oil. Frankincense also reduces muscle tension by helping you to relax and reduce stress.

Frankincense oil can be combined with a carrier oil to rub into joints for effective pain relief. The Journal of Ethnopharmacology in 2016 published a study showing how frankincense has pain-reducing qualities. The oil works to block COX-2 (an enzyme connected with inflammation) and “exhibits significant anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects.”21

13. Yarrow

Yarrow is a medicinal herb and its essential oil helps to relieve intestinal cramping and rheumatic pain. Teas made from yarrow contain properties that reduce inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract and can treat abdominal pain. The oil can also be used topically on inflamed joints to increase movement and reduce symptoms of arthritis and rheumatic pain.

The DARU Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences reported that yarrow is also useful in treating painful conditions like gout, eczema, dermatitis, rosacea, and other inflammatory skin conditions.22

14. Wintergreen

Use wintergreen essential oil to treat chronic lower back pain, muscles aches, and ease stiff joints. Wintergreen has been used for centuries for pain management and has pain-relieving properties similar to aspirin.

The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that wintergreen can provide amazing pain relief from lower back pain. The researchers found that massage oil with 2.5% wintergreen oil had the same effect as 325 mg aspirin when massaged into the lower back.23 The benefit of using wintergreen essential oil as a pain killer is that it is a safe treatment with no harmful side effects.

15. Vetiver

Vetiver is a little-known medicinal plant that isn’t widely known in Western countries. The soothing effect of vetiver essential oil calms all sorts of inflammation and is particularly good at providing relief from inflammation in both the circulatory and nervous system. It brings relief to general aches and pains, especially for rheumatism, arthritis and muscular pain and headache.

Doctors from WebMD say that vetiver oil is used topically for relieving stress, joint pain, and muscle pain.24

16. Helichrysum

Helichrysum essential oil is a powerful pain reliever that can also help to repair damaged skin. Helichrysum essential oil is anti-inflammatory and analgesic and can help manage many chronic pain conditions as well as nerve pain. You can also apply helichrysum oil directly to an injury to reduce muscle pain and prevent bruising.

The Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology found that the pain-relieving power of helichrysum works in 3 ways. Helichrysum reduces inflammatory enzymes, kills off free radicals, and reduces swelling.25

You can also apply helichrysum essential oil as an after-sun treatment to get relief from sunburn pain and prevent further skin damage.

Application of helichrysum can be done by using a few drops mixed with a carrier oil and massaging it into the painful area.

17. Black pepper oil

The oil extracted from black pepper can be used to relieve muscle aches and pains. The potent essential oil helps to increase blood circulation to the painful area, reduce inflammation, and is also antibacterial.

Black pepper essential oil can help eliminate neck pain and shoulder aches. It has been used together with marjoram, lavender, and peppermint oil to treat recurrent pain in the neck and shoulder areas.5

18. Lemongrass

The refreshing scent of lemongrass essential oil not only helps to boost your mood, but it can reduce the symptoms of inflammatory painful conditions like arthritis and rheumatism. You can also use the healing power of lemongrass essential oil for sore muscles.

The journal Molecular and Cell Biology of Lipids found that lemongrass inhibits inflammatory responses in the body. It does this similar to thyme and frankincense essential oils by blocking the COX-2 enzyme.26

19. Rose geranium

Rose geranium essential oil can help to relieve knee pain, muscle aches, and back pain. You can also use rose geranium essential oil to get pain relief from shingles and other nerve-related painful conditions.

A study from 2013 found that rose geranium essential oil can be a good and safer alternative to many anti-inflammatory drugs. The results of the study were that rose geranium has a similar effect to some anti-arthritis and anti-rheumatic drugs. It also reduces inflammatory responses in the skin, and is a great essential oil for neuralgia.27


20. Bergamot

Bergamot essential oil is usually associated with Earl Gray tea. However, you can use bergamot essential oil to relieve headaches and reduce stress-related anxiety.

A study into the calming effect of bergamot found that, when inhaled, it released certain hormones which reduce the sensitivity of your nerves to pain.28

So, if you have a headache, sprain or other types of pain for which you would usually take analgesic pain killers, then try rubbing some bergamot essential oil mixed with a carrier oil on the affected area.

Precautions When Using Essential Oils

Essentials oils are very potent and powerful. Therefore, generally, you should never apply them directly to the skin and they should always be diluted in a carrier oil.

In general, you should use up to 4 drops of essential oils for every tablespoon of carrier oil. You can mix different essential oils together as long as you keep to these proportions.

Also you should not use essential oils on pregnant women and young children unless directed otherwise by a certified aromatherapist or another medical professional.

How to Use Essential Oils for Pain Relief

There are many essential oils that provide relief from pain and inflammation. Some essential oils act as analgesics, which mean that they relieve pain. Other essential oils reduce inflammation and are excellent for treating pain associated with rheumatic and arthritic conditions. Many essential oils also help to relax muscles and calm the nerves under the skin. While you can use any of the above mentioned essential oils for pain relief on their own, it is also beneficial to blend some of them together for an even greater effect.

To make massage oil to apply essential oils for topical pain relief, you can dilute them in a carrier oil such as coconut oil, jojoba oil, olive oil, sweet almond oil or castor oil. Here are the benefits of using some of these carrier oils for pain and inflammation relief:

  • Coconut oil has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties and can help to reduce pain and skin inflammation.29 It also helps the healing properties of essential oils to penetrate the skin deeper.
  • Jojoba oil is very close to sebum – the oily substance produced by the skin to protect it. Jojoba oil also helps to combat inflammation and keep your skin healthy.30 Studies have shown that jojoba oil also helps the skin to absorb topical drugs.31
  • Extra virgin olive oil helps to reduce pain and inflammatory responses in the skin.32
  • Castor oil has anti-inflammatory properties. A study into the effect of ricinoleic acid in inflammation also discovered that it has properties similar to those found in capsaicin – a known natural pain relief remedy33. Capsaicin reduces pain by decreasing a chemical in the body which sends pain signals to the brain34.

More Ways to Use Essential Oils for Pain Relief and Inflammation

For headache – Blend 4 drops of essential oil with one tablespoon of a carrier oil and apply a small amount of the mixture to the temples and massage gently. Make sure to stay away from the eyes. Headache can also be relieved by inhaling the oil: sprinkle a few drops of the oil onto a cloth or tissue, or use an aromatherapy diffuser or vaporizer.

For sinus pain – Inhaling essential oils is a very simple way of alleviating sinus pain. Boil some water, pour it in a large bowl and add a few drops of the chosen essential oils. Put a towel over your head and lean over the steamy bowl to inhale the fragrance-full vapors. Do this for about 10 minutes, after which you can reheat the water and repeat.

Bath soak – Good to soothe tired, aching muscles, relieve arthritis and rheumatism. Put a few drops of essential oil in a hot bath (you can also add 1-2 cups of Epsom salt to enhance the effect). It’s a good idea to mix the essential oil drops in a small amount of carrier oil first and then add to the bath.

Massage oil for larger areas – Use about 10-12 drops of essential oil per 1 ounce (30 ml) of carrier oil and massage this oil blend into any painful body part.

Hot or cold compress – To make hot compress to relieve sore muscles or joint pain take about a pint of hot water, as warm as you can comfortably tolerate, and add a few drops of your selected essential oil to it. Soak a small towel and squeeze the excess water. Then place it over the painful area. Some people find that alternating between hot and cold compress helps to alleviate their pain. A cold compress is made exactly the same as the hot compress, but ice or refrigerated water is used instead of the hot water, and the compress is replaced when it has heated up to body temperature.

If you are interested to learn more about essential oils you can find useful information in my e-book Magical Aromatherapy. This e-book will help you to discover the power of essential oils and the most effective ways to use them.

If you are interested to make your own oils to relieve pain, read my other articles:

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  12. J Lipid Res. Jan 2010; 51:132-139.
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126 Responses to The Top 20 Essential Oils to Relieve Pain and Inflammation (Research Based)

  1. Rajinder Kaur says:

    Am raj am just want to know that my bro in law have problem last 4 5 month he have pain problem. He always complain he feel pain from left buttocks to knee sometime he can’t walk properly can u help me which home remedy or whatever he have to use plz

    Tx raj

    • Jenny says:

      Hi Raj, I think the best option would be to consult with a medical practitioner to first find the source of the pain and to make sure it’s not something more serious.

    • Denise Hofstra says:

      Hi Raj, I have these same kinds of pain. Mine stemmed from lumbar , sacrum issues. I agree about having it seen by a practitioner.

    • Nikki says:

      Hi Raj, your brother should consider see a chiropractor for this pain if possible. In the meantime, he could use ginger essential oil diluted with a carrier oil for pain. Tumeric is very good for inflamation – take it through adding it to meals or through pills. But he should see a chiropractor soon.

    • sher a says:

      hi raj seems like pretty common problem in sub continent, my father had the same problem the fever is called Arqun nisa, He used to do exercise and lie on flat hard board bed very thin mattress on it.. we consulted doctors from sub continent to New zealand america, but exercise was only cute.

    • Stevie Cornell says:

      Hi Raj, Sounds to me as though your brother in law has has a pinched sciatic nerve. Perhaps he should see a chiropracter? JMO. You are kind to post for him here. I hope he finds relief asap via whichever mode he chooses.

    • lisa says:

      Sounds like u have sciactica. Which is nerve pain/pinching. Probably stems from a bulging disc or ruptured disc on your certebraes somewhere. I have the same problem. It is dibilitating. Go see an orthapedic dr.

      • Mitzi says:

        sounds like sciatica to me too….I have been suffering with sciatica for around 8 has been super painful. About 3 weeks ago I started using Frankincense on the bottom of my feel…..the pain is not gone, but it is not anything like it was. it hurt so much I wanted to cry. The most painful thing I have experienced 2nd only to child birth.

        • Frances says:

          There is a piece of equipment you can get on QVC called Lo Back Trax. You should look at it! It is excellent for any back pain. It can be used in conjunction with the oils.

        • Madeleine Spence says:

          Hello Mitzi, My nickname is Mitzi and I also have sciatica problems. What a coincidence.

    • Rochelle Ferriell says:

      I had that pain. A friend in Australia told me his Dr had him sit on a fairly hard chair with a golf ball in the indentation about 1/4 up from where is leg and buttox met and about 1/4 of the way in from the separation. The exact spot is hard to describe, as we are all built different, but you can find it by experimenting. There is a spot on your butt cheek that is about two fingers wide/square and when you press hard it will have an ache if you are suffering from sciatica. This helped me after using the method for several weeks. It feels good, not uncomfortable, so it is easy to continue.

      • Monica says:

        You are absolutely right it is a sciatic never condition you can do it with a golfball or you can go to a chiropractor or find a good massage therapist that is experienced and knows how to find that indent in your bum so that they can use their thumb and the harder they push to find that spot we’re the nerve is trapped, that’s what it is a trapped nerve and it hurts and you had better be able to take the pain because it hurts, but take the pain because you will be dancing with joy after you you get up and the sciatica pain is gone..

    • Denise says:

      He should google the exercises for relief of sciatic pain and do them 2-3 times a day. Simple stretch exercises that yu hold for 10 seconds each stretch. It has helped me significantly

    • Deb says:

      Sounds like the ciotic nerve is punched but yes see a dr…i have ciotica stretching helps and ice packs

    • Kristen says:

      That is most definitely sciatic nerve pain. I have had this and it’s horrible! I couldn’t even vacuum a rug without crying.

  2. Nico Redelinghuys says:

    What about sinus pain? Sinus headaches are not the same as other headaches and sinus sufferers are better off staying away from floral EO such as lavender… but what else to use?

  3. Jeanette says:

    Do you have a natur a l remedy for diabetic macular edema?

    • Jenny says:

      Hi Jeanette, I am not familiar with this issue. I apologize I cannot be of any help.

    • Chanel says:

      Check out the book titled: The Master Cleanser with Special Needs and Problems, by Stanley Burroughs for a salt method to relieve edema.

  4. Shonnie says:

    Hi, do you have a hard copy of your book Magical Aromatherapy? I love your posts and find them very helpful. I would like to order the book but prefer a hard copy.

    Thank you

  5. Aditya says:

    Where can I buy these from ? Pls let me know .

    • Jenny says:

      You can buy essential oils from your local health store or online from places like Amazon, Mountain rose herbs (, vitscost (, Young Living essential oils (, doterra ( or

    • Susan Bergacker says:

      Purchase pure grade essential oils such as Young living from a representative that has you order directly from the company. That is the only way to guarantee pure undiluted untampered essential oils. If you are interested, go to official website. You could order under my member # 1864879.

      • Bj says:

        I ordered some young living oil from amazon and it was horrible. Came with no directions or info. It stunk badly but was for putting on skin for pain.

        Even with a carrier oil it inflamed the skin and underlying tissues that were already inflamed. When I complained, they had excuses not an offer to refund my order.

        It was called Pan Away. It stunk so badly I had to wash it off, and wash everything that touched it, sheets etc… Horrible experience

        • NR says:

          Pan Away is wonderful. I had unbearable pain when I would lay down to go to sleep at night. With this awesome oil, I was able to relax after a short period of time and fall asleep. I use it full strength. Awesome stuff!

        • Diane says:

          Bj: NEVER order Young Living Essential Oils from Amazon. It is against our contract to sell on Amazon.
          I have heard that you can order the lids in bulk, then people dilute the oils with who knows what.
          ONLY order directly through Young Living, or from a YL Independent Distributor that you know.

          • Rebecca says:

            I agree with that also. Other excellent oils are Ameo essential oils. They are Clinical grade oils. I would never go thru amazon for oils though.

    • Chi says:

  6. Meredith says:

    Could Shea butter ever be used as a carrier?

  7. Vivekanand says:

    Hi Jenny. Do you have any specific solutions for allergies to cold and dust which cause a running nose?

  8. Hafizi Abbas M says:

    I have pain at the last bone of the backbone -doctor suggested for Physiotherapy which also done as per the 6 weeks course but still the pain is there -I have been told to do some exercise and water therapy everyday which i am doing but still the pain is always there-

    • Jenny says:

      You may want to consider visiting a chiropractor to see what he/she can suggest. Go to the best chiropractor you can find with a lot of experience and recommendations.

    • Michelle says:

      Message therapy could help as well go to a clinic or check with local chiropractors for treatment of specific areas.

      Spa massage may be effective so long as it is not a chain the therapist there tend to burn out due to the nature of the business.

  9. sunita says:

    Hi. I hv back pain. L4 and L5. I am doing my exercises regularly. Still pain is not diminishing. What can I do.

    • Jenny says:

      Hi Sunita, have you tried to go to a chiropractor? read more about it in my article “How to Relieve Back Pain and Muscle Tension Naturally” –

    • American says:

      Sounds like a possibility that you may have sciatic. The pain can stem across your L4L5 in to your buttocks and run down to your foot. This can stop you in your tracks. I am recovering from a second surgery and my pain management is through essential oils. They do work. I’m a walking testimony. You must follow directions in mixing them and write down your directions and the order in which you mix. Sometimes I take black pepper EO and put it right on my sciatica or add extra drops of Ginger to help.

    • Joy Richardson says:

      I have the same problem and go to water aerobics twice a week and it really helps. Also found a new therapeutic essential oil from Young Living called COPAIBA and mixed with a small amount of coconut oil. It was amazing!! Within 30 minutes I felt relief from the pain. It ts awesome!!

  10. Raquel says:

    Where can we buy sweet marjoram?

    • Jenny says:

      Generally speaking, essential oils can be bought in herbal/nature stores, or online from places like Amazon or Mountain Rose Herbs.

  11. Janet says:

    If you see a chiropractor, give it a reasonable amount of time. If it doesn’t get much better see a doctor. I thought I had sciatica when I first started seeing a chiropractor. I finally went to an orthopedic. I had a herniated disc. I tried everything. I did physical therapy, two different chiropractors, acupuncture and saw a neurosurgeon. I spent thousands. I finally saw a surgeon that recommended surgery. What he found was a mess! He said it was all splintered. No chiropractor could fix that. He didn’t have to take all of the disc (thankfully). Try everything else first but just don’t suffer for four years like I did.

  12. Sharon says:

    I have diabetic neuropathy in my feet and am currently on medication. Can you recommend a treatment as the burning sensation will not stop when I go to bed. I have recently started a regimen of multi complex B but so far am not feeling the relief effects, but I am continuing anyway as I know it takes time. I had started this before but ran out of the vitamins and had to source another place, so I have been taking them for about 3 weeks now.

    • Jenny says:

      Hi Sharon, I don’t have enough knowledge to recommend treatment for this condition, but you can have a look at several suggestions from trusted websites and discuss these suggestions with your doctor:
      1. Alternative medicine suggested by Mayo Clinic –
      2. WebMD website – (pages 2-4) –
      3. Dr. Whitaker –

    • Tanya says:

      Geranium Oil
      Clinical studies have shown that using the essential oils of geranium and clove topically can temporarily decrease neuropathy pain. One research trial compared three strengths of geranium oil (100%, 50%, and 10%) with a mineral oil placebo and Zostrix, a capsaicin ointment. Subjects with post-herpetic neuralgia and moderate or greater pain were recruited. The patients completed pain assessments at times 0, 2, 5, 10, 15, 20, 30, 45, and 60 minutes following medication.


      Treatment with geranium oil produced a highly significant reduction in pain (p £ 0.002) compared to treatment with the placebo.
      The reduction in pain produced by geranium oil appears to increase as its concentration increases (p £ 0.003). The observed increase is roughly linear, but a formal dose-response function cannot be defined because of the subjective nature of pain intensity.
      These conclusions were true both for spontaneous pain and for evoked pain.
      The response of an individual patient to treatment with geranium oil was similar for spontaneous pain and evoked pain (p £ .008): those who experienced relief with one kind of pain also experienced relief with the other.

      The trial demonstrates that patients with neuralgia experience less spontaneous pain when treated with 100% and 50% geranium oil than when treated with a placebo, p £ 0.002. The averaged pain relief across all evaluated patients increased with increasing dosage of geranium oil, p £ 0.003. The same conclusions hold for the evoked pain (allodynia), p £ 0.0002.
      Approximately one third of the patients had major relief, with little or no pain remaining; another third had some relief, such as reduction from severe to moderate pain; and the remaining third did not experience any benefit from geranium oil. There were no significant adverse events from the use of geranium oil. Only four patients of 30 had any adverse reactions, all mild, which were either a transient rash that resolved within the hour, or a burning sensation in the eyes that resolved within minutes.
      Generally, users of geranium oil have reported that relief is experienced within
      5 minutes and lasts for between 45 minutes and 6 hours, depending on the type and severity of the neuropathy

    • Stevie Cornell says:

      Sharon, I don’t know much about the required herbs etc, I’m relying on Jenny for that! But Diabetic Neuropathy is a VERY serious condition (I am an RN and a Midwife and I have Type 2 Diabetes). Basically, it means that the low blood supply to your feet is playing havoc with your nerves now, but that will stop and numbness is next. At least you still have some blood supply! Herbs, poultices, foot baths, reflexology to improve blood flow ~~ anyone? suggestions?

      • Chi says:

        Rosemary essential oil increases blood flow

      • Filibert Sigivald says:

        I see this discussion is several years old; however, research has shown that the colorful plant pigments like the blue-blacks, blues, purples, reds, oranges, yellows, and green, have a beneficial effect on the circulatory system, blood pressure, and inflammation. Whatever else you do, add lots of different colors to your diet. Plant’s pigments are their defense against environmental conditions, disease pressure, pests, damage, etc., and they have activity within the human body. Also you might research a diet which doesn’t require the pancreas to make vast amounts of insulin.

    • Mary Ann says:

      Hi Sharon,
      Check out the youtube video at
      titled “neuropathy , diabetes cure in 1 day – cost 4 cents/day” by Michael Weir (6.42 mintues long). It isn’t actually a cure, but a way to eliminate the symptoms. I found it interesting and worth a try!

  13. Debbie gordon says:

    I use one drop each of lemon, lavender, and frankincense to a little bit of jojoba oil for amazing results to my face. No more chemicals!

  14. Elena says:

    I have seen a lot of people recommending that people see chiropractors for their pain. I recommend a Doctor of Osteopathy. A good D.O. will apply chiropractic principles along with a full history and assessment of the body structure and will treat the patient hands on with manipulation OMM which is much different than a chiro. Improving blood flow to tissues and lymphatic systems. Correcting rib and spine displacements and Neuro-Prolotherapy for inflamed nerves which accounts for a lot of body pain in general. This is just a little of what they can do. If you live in Michigan and need an excellent D.O. look up Dr. Mitchell A. Cohn. D.O. on – He saved me from having surgery (which the MD’s said was my only option) on my shoulders. 80% torn glenoid labrum tendon and torn rotator cuff. I am full functional now. No chronic pain. No more pain meds. Prolotherapy (glucose/procaine solution) shots. Healed!

  15. laura says:

    Hi im laura and im 34 im just about to be diagnosed with ME/cfs i have alot of pain all over my body especially in my arms and legs due to PEM which in short stands for Postexercise Muscle Soreness this can seriously depend on what ive done the day before? Pain and the fatigue are about the same i need help..
    I use lavender and eucalyptus with epsom salts once or twice a week what else can i use ? I also use arnica

    • Jenny says:

      Hi Laura, I have heard that Helichrysum essential oil (no. 16 in my list) is especially effective for pain relief, so you may want to try it as well. Beside arnica, you may want to try comfrey ointment which has wide uses including relieving pain. As for general fatigue, you may want to refer to my article about CFS here.

    • Beverly says:

      HI Laura, a fantastic immediate pain reliever is a blend of essential oils and carrier oil of choice. The three oils are Plai, Laurel and Vetiver. It smells amazing and laurel and plai work together cooling the muscles and joints. The vetiver is an extra add-on as a safe oil to use but you can use any third pain reliever of choice like rosemary, ylang ylang, geranium, etc. I use the blend on work colleagues, a friend who has arthritis, rheumatism and ME. I use it whenever my hips play up and on my shoulders. I have used it for headaches on colleagues as well by massaging it in. My daughter who suffers with sinusitis rubs it on her nose and cheeks and she gets relief too. The proportions are: 30mls of carrier oil, 9 drops of laurel, 15 drops of plai, 6 drops vetiver or oil of choice. Believe me everyone this preparation really works.

  16. Sara R says:

    It would have been helpful to use the genus and species in this post since certain species are more therapeutic than others. Good essential oil companies put the genus and species on the bottle.

  17. Deb N says:

    Hi, I am trying to research pain relief for my niece. She has Crohn’s disease and is in immense pain internally in her stomach but also in her joints. she has inflammation and Crohn’s sores. She is followed by Mayo doctors and is allergic to most pain meds. I read your list and saw that you recommend mixing up to three oils. Can you recommend some combinations that have been good for others? Also would putting these oil in a diffuser help as well as topical application? Thanks in advance for your suggestions.

    • Jenny says:

      Hi Deb, I would probably try helichrysum and peppermint – dilute 3 -5 drops of oils in 1-2 tablespoons of carrier oil (such as olive, coconut or jojoba). Massage this mixture on the lower abdomen. I’ve seen another essential oil that was used by people who suffer from IBS – it is called Copaiba which is used to reduce pain and inflammation anywhere on the body, and even inside it (2 drops in a capsule). I’ve also seen several references of DiGise (blend of several essential oils that can be ingested or applied topically) – read more in Crohn’s forum. Using EO in a diffuser is more suitable to relieve stress and anxiety or to purify the air. For pain and digestion issues it’s best to apply it topically or in some cases ingest it in very small quantities (EOs are generally recognized as unsafe to ingest but there are few exceptions. Some EOs are food grade and can be ingested internally in a capsule in very small amount).

  18. kenya says:

    I have heel spur and would like to try an oil that will help with the pain. I’ve had 3 cortisone injections right through the bone and the left foot still gives me problems. Please advise.

  19. Laura says:

    can you use almond oil and lavender instead of carrier oil?

  20. Tammy says:

    I walk 10 to 15 miles a night at work on hard cement floors, it is more of a faced pace brisk walk I have to do for 10 hours. At the end of the night my ankles and feet are swollen and hurt so bad I’m in tears. Usually they are still hurting the next day when I have to start work again. Is there an oil to stop the pain?

    • Jenny says:

      There is no specific oil I can recommend from the list but probably helichrysum is the strongest. But you may need to experiment or blend several oils to find what brings you the most relief. You can also add a few drops of the oil to an Epsom salt foot bath (add ½ cup of Epsom salt to a large bowl) and soak your feet for about 20 minutes.

  21. EO RN says:

    As a RN who has worked with hundreds of patients with chronic pain and inflammation, i concur with Jenny on the various essential oils to treat pain. The problem we have with most alternative treatments is that we do not know how such natural substances can react with other medications that people are taking. So i guess we should consult with out Doctors before using such. I also see a trend that people are more informed now than ever before and have realized that medications do not fix everything. Sometimes i think old is gold and i love my Frankincense oils in attempts to reduce inflammation. I have used that without any problem.

    • Bj says:

      I respect your profession and it would be an ideal to consult a physician on an essential oil but I find that many doctors do not understand alternative pain relief and have sometimes gotten blank looks when I have asked about alternative ways to deal with any issue that might come up

      Many doctors will not even give you the name of a good shoe for a high arch. It took me years to learn to just use my own judgement or call my pharmacy for med info, and cross my fingers on that one

      Telling someone to consult a doctor on alternative therapies is really saying they don’t want to answer the question so why bother. As a med professional you should already know this

  22. Madhur says:

    You have stated all the oils correctly.

    Among all of these oils, I prefer to use peppermint essential oil to apply over painful body part by diluting with jojoba oil. Actually i had got muscle spasms during my workout, then my physiotherapist has suggested this natural cure to me. But, you will not believe sometimes finding natural essential oil can become a daunting task. Then, one of my friends has recommended me to this online store

    One more thing I would like to tell you. Never ever use peppermint oil over body without dilution as it may cause a burning sensation.

  23. sylvia says:

    I’ve recently been diagnosed with fibromyalgia and I’m looking for alternatives for pain I’m new at this but willing to try anything. What oils would you recommend?

    • Jenny says:

      Hi Sylvia, there is no specific oil I can recommend from the list but I have heard that Helichrysum essential oil (no. 16 in my list) is especially effective for pain relief, but you may need to experiment or blend several oils (such as peppermint, wintergreen, or lavender) to find what brings you the most relief. Every person is different and it’s hard to know what will work best for each person.

    • Edie says:

      I also have fibromyalgia and have found that emu oil capsules have really helped, along with magnesium citrate and topical essential oils for breakthrough pain

  24. Jason says:

    Am searching for the best possible oils for relief of the pain that Lyme disease does to someone, she already has put together a mixture or two, am just looking for more, and really any information or anyone’s personal discovery of pain relief would be appreciated…

  25. Bobby says:

    Hello All,

    I have tried some of these Essential Oils with my knee pain and I found that the only one that seemed to work well for me was Lavender. I have a bad sciatic nerve that is acting up now in my lower back and runs down my leg as well. I see on this list above that Eucalyptus is good for nerve pain has anyone tried this oil for nerve pain before? Any suggestions would be grateful..

    Thanks for the great information on Essential Oils great read..


  26. Dianna says:


    Could you please give a recommendation to treat Morton’s Neuroma?

    Thank you

    • Jenny says:

      Hi Dianna, I don’t have a personal knowledge about this condition (I’m not a doctor), but I’ve found one reference that suggested using 35% Helichyrsum, 25% Rosemary, 20% Basil and 20% Lavender + carrier oil. I’ve seen another reference that used a blend of Wintergreen, Helichrysum, Clove, and Peppermint with carrier oil. As you can see, it’s hard to find a formula that works for everybody, but I would include in the blend Helichrysum, Wintergreen and peppermint. Essential oils are not a magic solution for all painful conditions, and in some cases they may not help, but it worth a try.

  27. Margo Collins says:

    I am looking for an essential oil blend that would relieve nerve and muscle pain in the leg due to a traumatic injury. Is there a blend where I can use juniper Berry Oil and Peppermint oil together?

  28. Kim Davis says:

    Jenny, what can I do to treat heel pain? I do not have heel spurs. Any suggestions?

    • Jenny says:

      Hi Kim, I have an article about Natural Remedies for Plantar Fasciitis (Jogger’s Heel). I’m not sure if that’s what you have, but you can try the suggestion there including at-home physical therapy. As for essential oils, I can’t recommend specific blend but you can experiment with Helichrysum EO which is specifically good for pain relief, as well as adding other oils from the list. Sometimes the pain is so strong that EOs will not help as they are not a magic solution. In this case please seek medical advice.

  29. Raye Landry says:

    I wake up in the middle of the night with hip pain on my left side. I have tried sleeping on my right and it does the same thing. The pain is so sharp it wakes me up. Please anyone have any ideas. I am starting to collect and use essential oils.

  30. MK says:

    This description of your pain sounds exactly what my doctor called bursitis. It was so severe I had to have cortisone injections and had to completely stop excercising for several weeks. Am learning about essential oils to help any future issues.

  31. Cathy Tucker says:

    you have 16 different oils for fibromyalgia pain,do I put all these oils together or that is the ones that are good to use,i use frankincence,,and lavender,and peppermint I have a lot of pain in my lower back and in my shoulders,,i get shots some times when the pain is so bad I can’t stand it,but the oils sure do help,,and I get my oils from amazon they are cheaper than some of the other places, one more thing my feet ,,,,,my feet looked like well terrible ,,now since I started using the oils my feet look like a humans feet,i use almond oil with my oils……….and my nerves well I am a different person,,my son said what are you doing mama,,,he said that I sounded like a different person,,,,i just thought I would let you know how the oils have helped me

    • Zibby says:

      I realize I’m a bit late coming to this post but I felt I had to comment in response to C. Tucker. As a Fibromyalgia sufferer since 1994 I can attest to how debilitating the pain and fatigue can be, since it’s altered my life significantly with several major traumas to my body since my diagnosis (another child, 2 auto accidents caused by drunk drivers, 4 months of chemotherapy from breast cancer, 5 surgeries to treat it, and recently a cholecystectomy – a gallbladder surgery) all which have exacerbated and worsened the severity with each “trauma” to my body. Currently I’m taking OxyContin 3X/day but it doesn’t always work. I tried 2 creams for pain relief that actually work, out of just about every pain ointment or lotion I’ve tried that’s available over the counter!
      Both creams are made up of primarily essential oils BUT, one oil that is in both is ARNICA extract. It’s often used successfully, by athletes for muscle injuries. In the 22 yrs I’ve had Fibromyalgia – these 2 creams have really worked. One is called Penetrex, the other is called “Back to Normal”. They’re both very effective but cost $20-$25, respectively. I’m now planning on making my own cream and many of the EO’s in the OP’s list ARE ingredients in both creams. As a former RN (unable to currently work because of the Fibro) I have researched pain management for years and find that using essential oils for pain relief , well it’s been around since the beginning of mankind and they are a wonderful, effective alternative or adjunct therapy to pills. Anyhow, sorry for the rant but I wanted to offer some knowledge about using Arnica as well. I’ll be creating my own cream using almost ALL of the EO’s in the list above and will follow up after I try my own pain specific recipe. Oh yeah, I don’t recall if it’s included in the 16 but, Sandalwood oil is also in one of the 2 creams I bought and use. I researched that one too and it does have its use for pain relief (it’s not cheap though….about $25 for 10ml bottle) Hope some of this info helps and THANK YOU to the author. Your compiled list has been a great resource!!

  32. Gina says:

    Is the essential oils safe for children with juvenille R Arthritis and juvenille Lupus

  33. Mary creel says:

    I’ve suff with migraines for 20 yrs. now my migraines are chronic daily migraines and chronic fatigue syndrome. what oils are good for severe pain and inflammation

  34. Gary Smith says:

    What would be good for severe carpal tunnel? I might add that I also have panic disorder an I’m afraid to take almost anything.

    • Jenny says:

      Choose essential oil with strong analgesic properties, such as wintergreen or helichrysum. Then choose EO to increase blood circulation, such as rosemary or peppermint. Then choose EO with anti-inflammatory properties, such as lavender or chamomile. Lavender and chamomile are also good for relaxation so may help with the panic disorder. For each ounce (30 g) of carrier oil add about 10-12 drops of EO, and gently massage the area. Remember that you also need to find out what causes you to overuse your wrist and that you need to give rest to the area to speed up recovery.

  35. Liz says:

    I am curious as to why this article doesn’t add Melaleuca (Tea Tree Oil) as a powerful anit-inflammatory? It should be on the list in the top five, IMO.

    • Jenny says:

      Hi Liz, tea tree oil can be added to the list. This is not a closed list and there are other EOs that can be added. The reason that tea tree oil was not listed here is that it’s prime use is for its antiseptic properties and application on the skin for infections such as fungal or bacterial infections rather than relieving pain due to internal inflammation.

  36. Anita says:

    I would like to know if I can blend the rosemary, peppermint, and eucalyptus for muscle pain in shoulders? If so how much of each to use for a rub with olive oil?

    • Jenny says:

      Yes, you can blend them. The usual recommendation is around 12 drops of essential oil/s for one ounce (30 ml) of carrier oil (such as olive/coconut/jojoba oil). In this case you can mix 4 drops each of rosemary, peppermint and eucalyptus.

  37. Zibby says:

    Hi there! Thanks so much for compiling this list. It will be extremely helpful as I mix my own batch of pain cream since I regularly use a $20 2oz jar which I go through like my Bath and Body Works hand soap! I use A LOT! Being that all of these are indicated for use as pain relievers, what would you recommend as far as which ones to use the higher concentration of, say as ingredients are listed in labels in order of high to low concentration? I know I plan to use more of the Arnica, Lavender, Frankincense and Sandalwood but, after that I don’t know if I should use equal amounts of all of them or lesser amounts of some? And, I chose to purchase Sweet Almond Oil for my carrier oil but only because I picked it up at a good price. Do you suggest one carrier over another? And any suggestions for using one butter over another, such as Shea or Cocoa butter? Thanks in advance!

    • Jenny says:

      Hi Zibby, I will start from the easier question about sweet almond oil. Sweet almond oil is one of the most versatile skin care oils available. It has many benefits which I’ve covered in my article on How to Use Sweet Almond Oil for a Great Hair, Skin and Health. It is a very good choice as a carrier oil, and while there are other good carrier oils, such as rosehip, jojoba, avocado and more, it comes to a personal preference and price. The other question as per which oils to use in higher concentration in the total mix is difficult to answer. I can’t recommend specific EOs to mix in higher amounts as I don’t have a personal experience or research I could refer to. I have heard that Helichrysum essential oil is especially effective for pain relief, but you may need to experiment or blend several oils to find what brings you the most relief. Every person is different and it’s hard to know what will work best for each person. I apologize I cannot be more specific.

  38. Ruth Evenden says:

    which essential oils should I avoid because I am on Xarelto (blood thinner) and have high blood pressure (controlled by meds) and have AF (atrial fibrillation, also controlled by meds)?

  39. Kristi Q says:

    Hi! I’m having a horrible time with pain and fatigue from fibromyalgia. Any EO suggestions? Thanks!

  40. Elaine says:

    What oils would you recommend for Rosacea?

  41. Pam says:

    What oil(s)/blends do you use for autoimmune modulation and inflammation? Specifically Sjogrens Syndrome, small fiber peripheral neuropathy and restless legs syndrome

  42. Shelly Currier says:

    Thank you for the great info! I just bought a diffuser but I was wondering what would be the best way to apply essential oils for Nerve pain and inflammation?

  43. Rael says:

    Hi, my name is Rael, my daughter have been suffering severe abdominal pains during her menses, what can she use to cure such pains?

  44. Polly Stokes says:

    I have plantar fasciitis and wonder which essential oils are best to massage my heel.

  45. James Arthur Blunt says:

    Good day,
    My wife had an operation and suffered a blood clot in her foot due to the doctors putting a drip in her groin. They cleared the clot but she has been left with either nerve or tissue damage resulting in extreme loss of feeling and pain in the foot. Her doctors have prescribed medication for both nerve and tissue damage, but for nine months there has been no improvement. Time to try an alternative, can you help?

    • Jenny Hills, Medical Writer and Researcher says:

      Hi James, unfortunately I don’t have knowledge to give specific advice regarding the loss of feeling (I’m not a doctor). Nerve damage can take a long time to heal, and in some cases the damage can be permanent. As for the pain, you can try a blend of essential oil, but I don’t know if it helps in such condition, but it worth a try. Some people use capsaicin cream, made from hot chili peppers (can be bought in pharmacies), that causes an uncomfortable burning sensation when initially applied. Some find the burning sensation to be intolerable, but those who continue using it for weeks often report improvement in nerve pain. Best to go back to a neurologist to further assess the nerve damage. I really hope the damage is temporary and that your wife will fully recover.

  46. Deb Casey says:


    You list chamomile as an essential oil for pain, but do not list which chamomile….Roman, German…. They are different. Which chamomile are you referring to?

    Thank you,
    Deb Casey
    Edgewood, NM

    • Jenny Hills, Nutritionist and Medical Writer says:

      Hi Deb, I’ve checked the review mentioned in the article regarding chamomile oil and I saw that it does not distinguish between the two types when talking about the anti-inflammatory effect (while for some other ailments, for example colic or anxiety, it had differentiated between the 2 common types). While their chemical properties are not exactly the same, I can only imagine that they both have similar effect in the case of reducing inflammation.

  47. Cindy says:

    Which is better for pain, inflammation, arthritis? Narayani, coconut or jasmine oil?

    • Jenny Hills, Nutritionist and Medical Writer says:

      Hi Cindy, I’m not familiar with narayani. Coconut oil is a carrier oil whereas jasmine oil is an essential oil, so you can add a few drops of jasmine essential oil to a tablespoon of coconut oil and apply to the affected area.

  48. Enrique Pasion says:

    I have been a sinus pain sufferer since I was young and usually take tablets and pills to ease the pain.

    This article made me realize that topical solutions using essential oils may be another alternative to my sinus headaches. All the oils I’ve known are eucalyptus and coconut oils and wasn’t aware essential oils can also ease headaches.

    Thank you for enlightening me!

  49. patricia g tamlyn says:

    would like to buy some a few of the oil’s for my pain tell me how to make this possible.

    • Jenny Hills, Nutritionist and Medical Writer says:

      Hi Patricia, essential oils can be found in health stores or online. Some essential oils can be found in pharmacies or large supermarkets.

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