The 5 Best Essential Oils for Foot Pain

It is often only once you put your feet up that the pain and discomfort kick in. You have been on your feet all day without giving it a second thought. Now that you want to relax, your feet cannot. It does not matter if they are sore, achy, painful, tense, swollen, or throbbing, you cannot relax until you have taken care of them. Essential oils may be just what you need.

What Are Essential Oils?

Essential oils are concentrated substances which usually come from plants. They behave and act like an oil, but their concentration makes them potent in both how they smell and how they work (the smell will be the same as the plant it originated from). Essential oils are often used in aromatherapy and can treat health concerns by aroma alone. When applied to the skin they can also help to lower your heart rate and blood pressure [1].

Are Essential Oils Safe?

As with most things, moderation is key. Essential oils are concentrated, so you should not ingest them without consulting a medical professional first. Some oils will be harmless, while others could do you some damage. It really depends on the oil you are using. Essential oils should always be diluted when applying them to your skin. You can dilute them with water or vegetable oil.

Here's a video explaining the dangers of essential oils if not used correctly.

The 5 Best Essential Oils for Achy Feet

Yes, there are a few oils which can help relieve achy feet. You can opt to use them alone or combine them depending on what you need them for. Here are our top 5:

1. Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint gives a calming and cooling sensation. Imagine the taste of peppermint in your mouth and translate that to a feel on your feet. Peppermint is also great for fighting inflammation [2]. When applied to your feet, it can help to alleviate swelling. Peppermint oil also smells great and leaves your feet smelling fresh.

2. Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Eucalyptus works in a similar way to peppermint oil. It cools and calms your feet which providing relief from inflammation. Eucalyptus is an analgesic which means that it can numb areas to give temporary relief from pain [3]. This is another oil which smells great.

3. Rosemary Essential Oil
When using rosemary oil, you will want to focus more on your joints (though this oil is still great for treating muscle pain). People who have arthritis find benefit in applying rosemary oil to their joints [4]. A great oil to use in conjunction with the calming properties of peppermint or eucalyptus.

4. Thyme Oil
Thyme oil, as you may expect, comes from the herb thyme. Thyme oil is great for giving your immune system a boost. Like rosemary oil, it is excellent for treating arthritis, and also works to combat muscle cramps [5]. An added benefit of this oil is that the aroma is a mood-booster.

5. Lavender essential oil
Lavender oil is one of the most calming oils which you can use. It is a great oil for treating joint and muscle pain. Where this oil comes into its own is in treating skin conditions. It is also the oil which gives the most powerful pain relief [6]. Like thyme oil, this oil will also boost your mood through its aroma.

How to Make a Soothing Essential Oil Foot Bath at Home

If you want to treat your feet with essential oil, it makes sense to create a bath to soothe them in. The warmth of the water, combined with the healing properties of one (or all) of the above oils, will do wonders for your feet. A foot bath is easy to make at home.

  • 1
    Fill a large container with warm water. (Or use a foot spa massager – we have reviewed the 5 best).
  • 2
    Add Epsom salts.
  • 3
    Add 10 drops of your preferred oil.
  • 4
    Soak your feet for 20 minutes.
Foot Bath

Essential Oils for Topical Relief

If you do not want to go to the trouble of making a bath for your feet, you can apply the oil directly. Use a carrier oil of your choice (such as olive oil, coconut oil, or jojoba oil) and mix in 3-4 drops of your chosen oil. Massage the oil into your feet whenever you feel pain or discomfort (or as often as you wish).

Essential Oil Sugar Scrub

Massaging oil into your feet is great, but if you want to go the extra mile, you can make your own scrub. Take half a cup of raw sugar and half a cup of your chosen carrier oil. Add in 10 drops of your chosen essential oil. Mix thoroughly and then use the mix to scrub your feet. The oil will get into your skin and do its job, while the sugar will exfoliate and scrub your skin. Scrub for 5-10 minutes and then rinse off and dry. This mix is especially great for dry skin, blisters, cracked skin, and any other skin ailments.


All you need is a few essential oils to make swollen and achy feet a thing of the past. The thing we love about using a foot bath or scrub is that you get the feeling of a professional spa in the comfort of your own home. We do recommend that you check the bottle before purchasing the oil. You only want to buy 100% essential oil. You do not want only the scent which will not treat your achy feet. If you find any discomfort from using the oil, stop immediately and consult a medical professional.

Elena Curtis
 

Elena graduated from the Chicago School of Massage Therapy Clinic, and since her graduation in 2008, she's honed her style that consists of Eastern and Western massage techniques. When she's not working with patients, Elena spends her time reading and enjoying nature.

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