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Birch Essential Oil for Arthritis, Muscle and Joint Pain

Avatar for Gaye Levy Gaye Levy  |  Updated: November 24, 2020
Birch Essential Oil for Arthritis, Muscle and Joint Pain

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Once you move beyond the basic, everyday essential oils that we all know and love, it becomes time to explore some of the more esoteric oils that solve specific ailments.  In my own exploration of essential oils, a specific ailment high on my list was relief from muscle and joint pain.

The oil of choice?  Birch essential oil for arthritis and other aches and pains of the muscles and joints is perfect!

Not only is Birch effective against common, everyday aches and pains, but it is superior if not outstanding in providing relief from arthritis joint pain and those deep, spasmodic cramps that only seem to visit in the dead of night.

Birch Essential Oil for Arthritis, Muscle and Joint Pain ||

What is Birch Oil?

Not surprisingly, Birch essential oil comes from the bark of birch trees.  The scientific name is Betula Lenta and sometimes the oil is referred to as Sweet Birch Oil.

Pure, unadulterated birch oil, while not rare, can be difficult to find. That said, it is not an expensive oil relatively speaking.  What makes it special is that 100% pure Birch essential oil contains both salicylic acid and methyl salicylate.  Both have a cortisone-like quality that reduces discomfort in the muscles, bones, and joints and in addition, are recognized as germicides and bactericides in the world of medicine.

Whereas Birch essential oil is an effective anti-spasmodic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, disinfectant, astringent, and diuretic, it really shines in its use to combat muscle and joint pain.  Bar none, Birch is the oil you want to use to relieve the pain of arthritis, tendonitis, gout, and severe muscle cramping.

How to Use Birch Oil to Fight Arthritis, Muscle and Joint Pain

In my own household, we use Birch essential oil blended synergistically with both Geranium and Lemongrass oils.  We came up with this formula by trial and error and although it uses other oils, we still fondly refer to it as “The Birch”.

We use “The Birch” in two ways: as a topical, roller-ball application diluted with fractionated coconut oil, and also as a heavy duty pain-relieving salve. According to Shelly, who is also known as the Survival Husband, the back to back use of both the roller ball and the salve, morning and night, has made the arthritis in his hands bearable.

Here is what he has to say:

“Before using the essential oils Gaye made up for me, I has so much arthritis pain in my right hand that at times my hand was non-functional.  After using the EO blends morning and night for five months, my arthritis pain has almost disappeared.

I can ride my Harley  play golf, do my chores, and simply get through the day with minimal discomfort.”

Replicating the formula I made for Shelly is easy.  Here are my two “arthritis busting” recipes.  That is what I call them although, of course, they are used for other aches and pains as well.

Arthritis Busting Roller Ball Formula

6 drops Birch Essential Oil
6 drops Geranium Essential Oil
6 drops Lemongrass Essential Oil

Add the oils to a 5ml roller ball bottle.  Top with enough fractionated coconut oil (FCO) to fill the bottle.  If you are using a 10ml roller ball bottle, just fill half way.  (I find that the 10ml size is more common.)

Arthritis Busting Salve

30 drops Birch Essential Oil
30 drops Geranium Essential Oil
30 drops Lemongrass Essential Oil

Add the oils to a 1 ounce jar (I use both these and these).  Top with either Plain “Simple” Salve or DIY Miracle Healing Salve and mix well with a small stick (I use a coffee stir stick).  Use twice daily or as needed.

A Word of Caution

Birch essential oil is a strong oil and if used undiluted, may cause irritation.  In addition, Birch should be avoided by those who use blood thinners, have epilepsy, or women who may be pregnant.

If you do use blood thinners, I suggest substituting the birch essential oil with additional drops of lemongrass oil. While not quite as effective as Birch, Lemongrass EO is an amazing pain reliever in it’s own right.  It is also a very inexpensive oil.

About Essential Oils

After a significant amount of research, for health, first-aid, and wellness purposes I use essential oils from Spark Naturals.  There are a lot reasons, the most important being their commitment to both quality and value.  I am satisfied that the raw materials used in Spark Naturals products are tested and authenticated to be of pharmaceutical grade purity.

If you decide to make a purchase from Spark Naturals, please know that you will enjoy a 10% discount on your order when you use the code BACKDOORSURVIVAL at checkout. (Note:  I do receive a small commission on your purchase and for that I extremely appreciative.)

The Final Word

As I have mentioned, we call our Arthritis Busting formulas, “The Birch”.  In reality, the title of this article could have been “Using Essential Oils for Joint and Muscle Pain”. Still, with Birch essential oil being a key component, I wanted to introduce the oil to you along with some of its beneficial properties so that you can explore more uses on your own.

Personally, I love using all three of the oils in “The Birch” and even though I do not have arthritis myself, I find the formula useful for breaking down those knots of stress that appear on my neck and on my shoulders.  And for cramping hands and toes?  Nothing beats “The Birch” aka the Arthritis Busting formula.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

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Below you will find  the items related to today’s article.

Spark Naturals:  Here are the oils used in the arthritis-busting formulas.  What can I say?  They work!

Birch Essential Oil
Lemongrass Essential Oil
Geranium Essential Oil

NOW Foods Essential Oils : I use essential oils from Spark Naturals.  For healing purposes, I feel they are superior.  On the other hand, NOW Foods has decent essential oils at a  budget price.

Aromatherapy Glass Roll On Bottles, Frost Cobalt Blue-Set of 6: You are going to want some of these for your oils.  I put essential oils (singly or in combination) in a roller ball with a bit of fractionated coconut oil and use it to apply EOs topically.  I have never had a leak with these and keep returned to purchase more.

White Plastic Jar with Lid 1 Oz (10 per bag): I love the size if these compact jars. They are really inexpensive and shipping in free.  But, as much as I love these, I love these glass jars better!

Coconut (Fractionated) Carrier Oil:  Once you start using coconut oil, you will be hooked.  This is the liquid form of Coconut Oil, also referred to as FCO.  I have been very satisfied with this brand as well as the FCO from Spark Naturals.

Glass Droppers, Pack of 6: I bought a package of these and loved them.  When I went to re-order, I accidentally ordered plastic instead glass droppers.  Learn from my mistake.  The price is the same go get the glass ones.

Help support Backdoor Survival. Purchases earn a small commission and for that I thank you!


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56 Responses to “Birch Essential Oil for Arthritis, Muscle and Joint Pain”

  1. Hi ,you had great feedback on your very informative article…I enjoyed it, was researching to use white birch oil with a combination of lavender and blue chamomile in an attempt to treat my husbands rosacea….can you help me with quantities please…I will probably use almond oil as a carrier..thank you

  2. Hi Gaye,
    I just have a few questions. In your Birch oil,
    can I substitute jojoba oil for Olive oil? Im
    allergic to lemongrass, is there another EO
    I could use instead?
    I can’t wait to try your recipes….

  3. Hi Gaye,
    I have been looking EVERYWHERE for a site like this. Amazing job!
    I have a question about the lemongrass eo in this recipe. Since it is a photosensitive oil, is there another oil that can be subbed for use on hands? My mom has severe arthritis in her hands, but is outside often. Maybe marjoram oil? Or would that make this salve too “hot”?
    Any help would be appreciated.
    Also, I plan to experiment with this and adding chamomile for my dad’s leg pain and restless leg syndrome at night.
    Thanks again,
    jean in the midwest

  4. Hi Gaye,

    Is there a difference between Geranium EO and Rose Geranium EO in ‘the Birch’ formula? I am looking to use the one with the highest anti inflammatory properties. Thanks.

  5. Hi Gaye, I am about to make my first batch of the Birch but am not sure how much beeswax to use. In your recipe it states Tbl beeswax, what exactly does this mean. I have yellow beeswax pellets which are quite tiny so there must be a different measurement of volume needed. Thank you.

  6. Hi Gaye-
    Since wintergreen EO is also very high in methyl salicylate, could it be used in place of birch? Just wondering if you think it would have the same/similar effects (affects?) as birch. Thank you!

    • I wish I could respond definitively but since I have not tried it, I don’t know. It would make sense, however. I may try that when I whip up the next batch. In the meantime, if you try it, be sure to respond back and let us know.

  7. Quick question, I have mild, very controlled epilepsy. What is the concern with birch oil and epilepsy? Should I not use it for myself or apply the salve on someone else? (my Mom has bursitis in her shoulders and I wanted to be able to put it on her each day)

    • Since I am not a healthcare professional, I am hesitant to say that yes, you should be fine. Instead, try doubling up on the Lemongrass and perhaps adding some Frankincense to the blend as a booster (perhaps 5 drops).

  8. Hi Gaye, I made ‘The Birch’ for the first time. Since it a heavy duty salve, how long should I wait between applications. Would there be any restriction as to how many days in a row I could use it?

    • Thank you, thank you, thank you…I applied ‘the Birch’ yesterday afternoon once and didn’t notice any immediate relief. HOWEVER, this morning felt so much better. The twinge is still there and so I too see the need for the 2x/day application. Thank you ever so much for providing help to those who wish to stay away from the chemical counter for pain relief. May God continue to bless you!

  9. I have been using Birch Essential Oil with Almond Oil on both knees for about 2 years now. I lather it on every evening and rest pain-free. I purchase/use oils from They are excellent, high quality, and lower in price.

  10. ….PS, when I make things like this, I use Beeswax in an amount that solidifies, and put it in empty deodorant containers I get from amazon. Pain free, mess free!!

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