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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.

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

  1. Did you find that the natural salicylic Acid in bark oil dried out the skin — or did the coconut oil combat it? Also, did you consider using organic Castor oil in this recipe (either half-half the coconut oil, or replacing it)? Castor oil has natural anti-inflammatory properties that far outweigh coconut oil, it also absorbs into the skin far deeper than coconut oil does. If they are using for pain and arthritis, the anti-inflammatory benefits may increase with an adjustment in these oils. Great articles! Thanks!

  2. Hi, thank you for this great article. I’m very new to this and have a question about the rollerball. Do I apply it directly to the affected area, or to a certain pressure point, such as the bottom of feet? I apologize if this is a silly question, but I just want to make sure I get it right. My mom suffers from arthritis and I am looking forward to making this for her. Thank you so much!

  3. I have tried it without Rosemary but not without Geranium. No harm in trying. If you are not getting the results you like, you can add it later.

    BTW, for some, Rosemary supposedly can raise blood pressure. Because it is calming, for me it has had the opposite effect. My guess is that for me, the calming and anxiety relieving qualities of Rosemary, won over.

  4. I was just curious if the geranium oil could be omitted? Don’t have this on hand at the moment.
    Thanks ☺

  5. Hi Gaye, Thanks for all your wonderful recipes and information on essential oils. I am just starting out on this exciting new journey and know absolutely nothing about essential oils so your articles are very helpful. I have noticed that many “recipes” call for 10, 20 even 30 drops of one or more essential oils. I have arthritis in my fingers and hands, and doubt that I would be able to control my fingers to dispense so many drops. Is there any way I could translate this to 1/4 tsp. or something similar that is easy for me to measure?

    • As a general rule of thumb, 100 drops = 1 teaspoon. From there, you can work backwards. So, as an example, 30 drops would be about 1/3 teaspoon.

      This is not an exact science because droppers can vary as does the “thickness” of the oil itself. A few drops one way or another will not make a lot of difference. Often, less is more.

      Hope this helps!

  6. Hi Gaye, Thanks for all your wonderful info.
    all the ingredients have arrived and I plan to make The Birch today but I only have 4oz jars. I also plan to make the Plain Ole Salve in the 4oz jars. my question is: would I have to use 30drops x 4 then (120 drops of each)?

    • Theoretically, yes. That said, there is no reason you cannot make a smaller amount and simply not fill the jar. My suggestion is to make the Plain Ole Salve, measure out an ounce, and then mix up a normal batch of The Birch using the smaller amount. That will give you a starting point in the event you want to make some adjustments to the next batch.

      Simple Salve (aka Plain Ole Salve) is pretty benign so it can be re-melted as needed. I typically will take some out of my larger jar and melt what I need in a smaller container. I use the microwave for this. I dab my finger into the Simple Salve to make sure it is not overly hot before adding my oils.

      Good luck with The Birch. I have received dozens of emails telling me it is working for many Backdoor Survival readers.

  7. New to essential oils. I tried your blend for Arthritis Busting Roller Ball Formula. I took a hard fall back in Feb. broke my upper arm in three places between shoulder and elbow. Surgery and plates and screws I’m back together. Muscle pain oh yes. This blend works well for me. Thank You!

    • Gaye, just a follow up. I have been using your Arthritis Busting Roller Ball Formula now for weeks. It works quickly much faster than pills and has allowed me to get off the narcotics and OTC pain meds. Now the rebuilding of atrophied muscles has started in therapy and home exercises. Both bring pain and then I’ll rub in the oil blend to make it go away. I just wanted to say thanks for doing what you do with this site from a very happy reader. Thank You!

  8. Gaye, thank you so much for your site and information. I just made your Miracle Salve and love it. Do you add the birch, lemongrass and geranium oils to the salve with the other oils in it or just the blend of beeswax, olive and coconut oils? I guess what I’m asking is does you birch have just the 3 oils in it or a combo of 6 Essential Oils?

    • I use just the 3 oils. I have an article on making “Plain Ole’ Salve” which is simple the coconut oil, olive oil and beeswax. More and more, I use a dab for making my own blends. I use it so much I plan to re-introduce it as “BDS Simple Salve”. The nice thing about it is than I can re-melt a small portion and add my oils as needed.

      Here is a link: //

  9. Also wanted to double check its 30 drops of each for a 1 oz jar. It seems like a lot when the miracle salve is 5 drops each for a 2oz container.

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