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Comforting Essential Oils for Trigger Finger

Comforting Essential Oils for Trigger Finger

Do you have a trigger finger causing you trouble?  Do you have heat, stiffness, or persistent pain? Then consistently using essential oils for your trigger finger will help you to find relief.

Despite being named trigger finger, the affected finger may not be just your first or pointer finger, trigger finger can affect any finger on either hand or even multiple fingers at once.

Often you will notice that your symptoms are worse first thing in the morning or if you are grasping an object for long periods of time or forcefully.

The goal of using essential oils for the trigger finger is to help ease the pain and reduce the inflammation so that you can regain your mobility.

Essential oils are a method of achieving this without the full body effects of taking medication by mouth.

Essential Oils for Trigger Finger

essential oils assortment on ray

Essential oils are powerful plant essences. They are extracted from very special, and sometimes common medicinal herbs.

Typically the process used to extract the plant essence is a steam distillation or mechanical press technique. The resulting essences are highly concentrated versions of the plant’s medicinal properties and can be used for all sorts of healing, in this case physically, from throbbing elbows to an unstable sprained ankle.

My Recommended Oils

Trigger finger is simply pain and inflammation in the base joint of any finger on your hand. Here are a few essential oils that will help:

1. Wintergreen

This essential oil helps to reduce both the pain and inflammation with a trigger finger.

Apply Wintergreen topically to the affected finger. Use caution, as you don’t want to get Wintergreen in your eye, it will burn.

The active molecule in wintergreen essential oil is closely related to over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications. 

This is such a great oil. I use even use it for ailments such as Baker’s Cysts. It offers such great relief.

2. Basil Essential Oil

Basil oil is steam distilled from basil leaves. This isn’t the same kind you make pesto out of! Basil has a restorative energy and can assist in restoring the function of your trigger finger. It also works to inhibit the proteins that cause pain and inflammation. 

3. Cypress

Cypress essential oil helps to reduce the swelling associated with trigger finger. Do you have a swollen bump or lump at the base of your finger? Cypress can help bring that swelling down. It’s also antispasmodic, meaning it can reduce the stiffness and pain in your finger.

4. Ginger

Ginger essential oil brings the heat to make the stiffness melt away from your trigger finger. Stiffness is a common theme with trigger fingers and can prevent you from utilizing your fingers. 

5. Frankincense

Frankincense essential oil is popular for many ailments, but it can take inflammation down faster than you can snap your fingers! Frankincense is an oil made from distilling the gum or resin of the Frankincense tree. This is great for any inflammation but particularly useful in the target inflammation of trigger finger. 

How to Use Essential Oils to Help Trigger Finger


Keep in mind that essential oils are very strong. This makes them powerful healing tools, but also means there is a healthy amount of respect needed to use them safely.

It’s critical for you to understand that you must respect the oils. Especially when we are talking about a trigger finger, because there is an increased possibility of getting the oils in your eyes.

Why is this?

Well, as we all know we unconsciously touch our faces and can inadvertently or even purposely rub our eyes. You don’t want even a miniscule of EO getting into your eyes.

Getting essential oils in your eyes because they are all over your fingertips can cause severe and permanent damage, so again, I caution you.

If you do get oil in your eyes or some other delicate area that causes burning – flush with olive oil or coconut oil, water will enhance the pain.

It’s also important that you pay attention to a little science lesson here. There are some people on the internet that will tell you to ingest essential oils orally or put a few drops in a cup of water.

That is a big no-no.

Essential oils are hydrophobic, if you think back to 7th grade science, you will remember that hydrophobic means doesn’t mix with water.

Oil and water don’t mix nor does essential oils and water. It’s dangerous to ingest essential oils, so don’t do it without proper care from a clinical aromatherapist.

Finally know that the most effective way to use essential oils for trigger finger is topically meaning on the skin – the same as using essential oils on a sprained ankle or other joint or tendon issue. You will also have an aromatic effect with this as well.

bottles of essential oil with fresh wintergreen leaves

How to Apply?

Again, the most effective way to treat your trigger finger with essential oils is topically on the skin.

The first step is to select your oils – you can choose one oil or pair them up.

Make your selection by checking with symptoms you need the most help with. You will notice that many of these oils help with the same or similar aspects of trigger finger, so go with the one you are most drawn to if the symptoms don’t allow you much division in choice.

Here are a few suggested pairings for maximum results:

Wintergreen and Frankincense

This is the strongest possible combination for pain and inflammation.

Wintergreen, Frankincense, and Ginger

Again, strongest possible combination for pain and inflammation, and the addition of ginger will help to warm the joint to ease stiffness too.

Frankincense and Basil

There is most often an energetic component when something goes haywire in your human suit. Add Basil for a powerful physical and energetic assist.

Cypress and Ginger

These two combined will help best if you have the swollen knots or lumps that are sometimes associated with trigger finger. It will provide a fair amount of pain relief and reduction in swelling.

Application Methods for Trigger Finger Relief

Essential Oil Massage

Oil in a bowl before soaking

Before you begin, safety is key! Dilute your essential oils appropriately with a nice plant-based carrier oil. Grapeseed oil works beautifully for this, but any plant-based kitchen oil will work just fine too.

Place 1 tablespoon of olive oil (or plant-based oil of your choice) into a small glass bowl. Select your oil(s) from above and drop 2-4 drops of each oil or 4-6 drops total into the tablespoon of olive oil.

Swirl the bowl lightly so that the oils mix. Then dip your fingers of your opposite hand into the oil. Massage the oil into your base knuckles on your affected hand to help relieve the pain, swelling, and stiffness of the trigger finger.

It’s best to use a circular or figure 8 motion to activate the oil properties and quickly release the inflammation.

You can also hold firm pressure on tender areas for 30 seconds each, remember to breathe.

Massage works great for ailments like this and even deeper tissues like a torn rotator cuff injury.

Cold or Warm Compress

Using a warm compress for trigger finger treatment

Recall that water can increase the sensation of essential oils. So when working with a compress, make sure you have a plant-based oil nearby in case of skin irritation.

Compresses alone can help relieve the pain, inflammation, and swelling of trigger finger on their own. But once we add essential oils, we give the compresses superpowers. You can choose to work with a single oil or one of the trigger finger piercing noted above.

Here’s how:

  1. Scoop a tablespoon of Epsom salt or Himalayan salt into a small glass bowl.
  2. Add 2-4 drops of each oil you choose, for a total of 4-6 drops to the salt, and stir it around a bit.
  3. Fill your sink or bowl with hot or cold water. Hot water for pain, cold water for inflammation. Generally, you want to work on the inflammation and the pain will take care of itself.
  4. Pour your salt into the water and stir to dissolve.
  5. Place an old towel in the bowl and submerge it.
  6. Gently wring out the towel and apply it to your hand where the pain and swelling is occurring.
  7. Leave the towel on for about 15 min. You can store it in an airtight container and use the same towel multiple times.

Aromatic Uses

With the trigger finger uses for essential oils, your topical application of choice will be supercharged with an aromatic component automatically.

Simply by your ability to smell the oils you are using on your fingers, your limbic system will send the message to your brain to switch off pain centers.

You can enhance this property by cupping your hands and focusing on inhaling the essential oils that are applied to your fingers.

It only takes 3-4 good deep belly breaths to get the effect of the oils.

You can choose to work with one or more of these methods to help ease the symptoms of your trigger finger.

A wonderful benefit here is your dry nose will love the essential oils you breathe in as well!

Essential oils for trigger fingers are a natural way to reduce the pain, swelling, and inflammation so that you can return to your daily activities.

With the help of essential oils you can start to see improvements much faster and with fewer side effects than conventional treatments. They can also be complementary to your conventional treatments.

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