Sciatica is irritation of the sciatic nerve that runs down the back and side of the hips
and thighs. The sciatic nerves are the largest in the body and can produce quite a bit of
pain when they become agitated, damaged, pinched, or condensed. Symptoms can vary
depending on the exact location of the irritation, but can include sharp pains, coupled with
or followed by, a numbness and loss of strength in the lower back, hip, or leg all the way
down to the foot.
Peppermint oil (mentha arvensis) has wonderful anti-inflammatory properties that, when
used on a regular basis, can help to combat inflammation in the body. Since sciatica is
very inclusive of inflammation (both in cause and symptoms), peppermint oil can provide
effective relief to this painful condition. Additionally, when peppermint oil is inhaled and
absorbed, it passes the blood-brain barrier in the body and this increases the transmission
of oxygen and other nutrients to the brain and the rest of the body. This can also help to
reduce both the pain and inflammation caused by sciatica.
First thing in the morning, wake your senses by adding 1-3 drops of peppermint essential
oil to your shower.
Place 5-10 drops of peppermint oil in 1 tablespoon of carrier oil (almond and coconut oil
work great here) and massage over the affected area. Follow with a warm compress and
repeat 2-3 times throughout the day.
Peppermint oil can also be applied (1-2 drops) behind the ears, on the back of the neck, and
behind the knees.
Apply on feet in the morning. This can be done using 3-5 drops of undiluted peppermint
oil, or mixing 5 drops with a teaspoon of carrier oil (such as almond or jojoba). Cover with
socks. By applying in the morning, the oil can absorb into skin and blood throughout the
course of the day, providing continuous and gentle internal benefits.
Place 3-5 drops (undiluted or diluted) on the base of the neck. This will allow for both easy
absorption and inhalation to maximize benefits.
Add 10-20 drops of peppermint oil to a warm bath, soaking for 20-30 minutes.
This information is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to prescribe,
treat, prevent, or diagnose any disease or condition. As always, before you begin any
sort of regimen using essential oils, please consult with your physician, naturopath, or
aromatherapist before doing so. The use of oils can be very empowering and effective
in the treatment of a variety of ailments. However, use your own discretion; the medical
community is there to help us when oils can't.