7 Effective Essential Oils for Bunions Pain (with Recipe)

Feet are probably the most used but neglected parts of our body. We are on our feet during most of the day. But when it comes to foot care we give little or zero attention.

Unhygienic practices, wearing incorrect footwear, etc. may leave you with severe deformities of the feet in the long run. One such painful feet deformity is bunions. [1]

This feet deformity is very prevalent and 23-35% of the adult population suffer from painful bunions. In this article, you’ll learn all about this feet disorder and how to use essential oils as an effective remedy. [1]

Inside this article:

  • What is a bunion?
  • Why use essential oils for bunions?
  • Essential oil treatment for bunions- 8 home remedies
  • Essential oil massage blend for bunions pain and swellings

What Is a Bunion?


Bunion or hallux valgus is a deformity of the big toe. The term bunion loosely translates from the Greek word ‘turnip.’ Indeed, a bunion leaves your with a bony bump or swelling at the joint base where the big toe links with the rest of your feet. [2]

The enlarged edge of the big toe sticks out like a turnip and causes you much pain and discomfort.

The metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joints connect the base of your feet (metatarsal bones) to the proximal bones of your toes (phalanx bones). [1]

A bunion is an abnormality or inflammation of this MTP joint of the big toe (hallux) wherein the joint bulges outward or is stretched out of place. [2]

Thus, the big toe awkwardly faces inward, and the bony swelling forms an unusual angle at the joint that is greater than 14.5°. This strange shape of the feet is technically diagnosed as hallux valgus or bunion. [3]

Both men and women may suffer from bunions. However, women are at a higher risk of this feet deformity. It is because women footwear such as high heels is more constricting to the feet.

They squeeze and prevent the blood flow to the toes for a prolonged period. Hence, the toes have little range of regular motion and form a tender fluid-filled sac or bursa. [3]

Even men who wear tight-fitting shoes and are on the feet most of the time may pressurize the toes and develop this scar tissue, swelling and abnormal positioning of the feet. [2]

Bunions grow gradually and slowly. It may start with redness, swelling, and puffiness on the edge of the big toe joint. Before long you may experience increasing pain while walking, standing up, exercising, etc. as the bony bump or bunions stick out of your feet. [1]

Related: White Spots on Toenails: Causes and Top 10 Home remedies

Some of the other reasons responsible for bunions:[4]

  • If your shoes happen to be tight-fitting resulting your ankles and toes to turn inside without enough space.
  • A wrong or poor way of physical exercise and running that affects your feet.
  • Overusing the feet in case you are an athlete, dancer, etc.
  • Some injuries to the feet, toes, and ankles.
  • If you are a patient with autoimmune and inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, rheumatoid, lupus or polio; you may develop bunions because of bone spurs, or joint tissue scars.
  • You may develop bunions genetically if the condition runs in your family. Adolescents are more prone to suffer from bunions genetically.

As the bunions gradually enlarge on your feet, your regular movements become harder and painful experience. It is advisable that you seek professional help the sooner you detect the signs of bunions on your feet. [4]

Bunions surgery is unnecessary to trouble, and according to a report around 35% bunions patients were unsatisfied with the process post-surgery. [5]

However, some home remedies including using essential oils can help you prevent the feet deformity efficiently and at the earliest.

Essential oils are great natural remedies when it comes to treating the pain and swellings of bunions. [5]

Related: 10 Essential Oils for Athlete’s Foot + (How to Use Them)

Why Use Essential Oils?


 essential oils for bunionsEssential or aromatic oils are volatile compounds that we can derive naturally from different plants. They originate from the distillation of different parts of an individual plant such as the seeds, leaves, stems, flowers, roots and any other parts of a plant. [6]

These aromatic essences of different plants are full of therapeutic benefits for both physical and mental wellness.

People have been using essential oils from the ancient times for hundreds of home remedies.   Essential oils are also famous for aromatherapy, household cleaning, and in cosmetic industries for their heavenly aromas.  [6]

The medicinal values of essential oils come from their potent anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, analgesic, antifungal, anti-anxiety, and antioxidant properties. All these therapeutic compounds are effective for reducing the pain and swellings of bunions. [7]

Essential oils are effective in improving blood circulation, calming the pain, and inhibit the inflammations of the scar tissue of bunions. Thus, Essential oils are the best bet for curing hallux valgus or bunions. [6]

1.Chamomile Blue Oil

German chamomile essential oil is also known as Chamomile blue or Matricaria recutica.

This warm and sweet-scented essential oil has a blue color because of the azulene compound inherent in it. The herbal oil originates from the yellow tubular flowers of the chamomile plants through the steam distillation process. [8]

The blossoms possess a lovely apple- aroma. Chamomile plants are native to Western Asia and Europe and belong to Asteraceae plant family.

In the medieval time, the Europeans symbolized chamomile with the omnipotence of Egyptian god Ra. It was also one of the nine sacred herbs for the Anglo Saxons.

People have been using chamomile oil for various wellness purposes. The oil can relieve anxiety, stress, and pain during childbirth. [8]

The therapeutic values of German chamomile oil come from its potent analgesic, anti-inflammatory, nervine, sedative, cooling, and anti-spasmodic properties. The oil is superb for topical use or massage to relieve the pain and swelling of bunions. [8]

Related: 14 Health Benefits of Chamomile Tea (Backed by Science)

2. Marjoram Sweet Oil

The warm and spicy flavored Marjoram sweet oil or Origanum marjorana originates from Egypt. The oil comes through a steam distillation process from the flowers and leaves of the divine marjoram plant. [9]

Marjoram oil has a calming effect on both your body and mind. Marjoram was an essential plant for the Egyptians and Greeks.

Because they thought that the sacred plant could provide longevity, good luck, and peace. Moreover, the plant was a crucial ingredient in producing beer before the introduction of hops.

Marjoram oil is a rich store of anti-convulsing, anti-inflammatory, immune-stimulant, antioxidant, analgesic, and antibacterial properties. [9]

The herbal oil is a great pain relieving agent. The painkiller and anti-inflammatory components of the oil can lower the pain of bunions, menstrual cramps, bruises, spasms, etc. [9]

3. Lavender Oil

Lavender essential oil or Lavendula officinalis is one of the most versatile essential oils. The floral scented aromatic oil originates from the lavender flowers through steam distillation. [10]

Lavender belongs to the mint family of Lamiaceae. The therapeutic plant is native to Eastern and Western Europe, Africa, and Mediterranean region. [10]

People have been using lavender oil along with dried or fresh lavender flowers for various medicinal purposes for thousands of years.  [11]

In the ancient times, the oil was famous as an insect repellent, and the Romans used it to dress wounds.

The rejuvenating oil contains a long list therapeutic oil compounds such as analgesic, antioxidant, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, etc. Lavender oil is the safest essential oils to be used topically. It can soothe the swellings and pains of bunions in no time. [11]

Related: 5 Ways to Use Lavender Oil for Hair Problems

4. Lemon Oil

The fresh and citrusy aroma of lemon essential oil is rejuvenating. Lemon has always been a favorite choice for the natural source of vitamin C, minerals, and astringent, and antiseptic properties. [12]

Lemon oil comes from the peels of lemon or lime through cold pressing. In the ancient times, the lemon was a fundamental ingredient that the soldiers and mariners carried with them while in wars and sea voyages.

Lemon oil is a purifying and cooling agent that can soothe and relieve inflammations. The analgesic and blood regulating properties of lemon oil can help you alleviate bunions symptoms. [12]

Related: 10 Ways Lemon Oil Can Benefit your Health

5. Peppermint Oil

The peppermint plant is a combination of spearmint and watermint plants. The medicinal use of peppermint oil goes back to 1600’s in curing headaches, hair disorders, nausea, sore throat, indigestion and muscle cramps. [13]

Peppermint essential oil of Mentha piperita is famous for its revitalizing minty aroma. The herbal oil originates from the flower tops of the peppermint plants through steam distillation. This herbal oil has an energizing effect to relieve the joint and muscles pains and swellings.

The high menthol content in peppermint oil makes it one of the most effective home remedies for bunions pains. The oil is blessed with potent anti-inflammatory, analgesic and cooling effects. [13]

Thus, the strong aroma and therapeutic components can penetrate deep into the skin and relieve all sorts of pain and discomfort caused by bunions.

Related: 12 Uses and Health Benefits of Peppermint Oil

6. Rosemary Oil

Rosemary essential oil or Rosmarinus officinalis has a stimulating and re-energizing effects on tired feet, joints, and muscles. The herbal oil originates from the rosemary flowering plant of Lamiaceae plant family. [14]

Rosemary oil has a woody and fresh herbal scent. It is rich in analgesic, anti-rheumatic, anti-inflammatory, expectorant, anti-anxiety, and immune–stimulant properties.

Hence, the oil has a host of medicinal uses such as relieving liver and gallbladder problems, skin disorders, dry scalp, muscle and joint pains, and bunions pains and swellings.  [14]

Related: 13 Health Benefits and Uses of Rosemary Oil (Backed by Evidence)

7. Wintergreen Oil

Wintergreen essential oil or Gaultheria procumbens is a traditional home remedy in North America. The strong minty flavored essential oil comes from the leaves of the wintergreen plants belonging to Ericaceae family.  [15]

Along with a host of anti-inflammatory, Anti-arthritic, Anti-rheumatic, and energizing properties the oil contains a potent analgesic compound called Methyl Salicylate. This chemical component in wintergreen oil is especially effective against all forms of aches and pains, fatigue, and muscle tensions. [15]

As a superb pain reliever wintergreen oil can inhibit the pains and swellings of bunions at the earliest.

8. Eucalyptus Oil

Eucalyptus essential oil or Eucalyptus globulus is a traditional remedy for cold, flu, fever, muscles pains, etc. the woody and herbaceous scented essential oil comes from the steam distillation of the sickle-shaped leaves of the eucalyptus tree. [16]

This essential oil is highly effective in reducing joint pains such as bunions. Hence, athletes use eucalyptus oil as a pre-sport rub for stimulating and pain relieving effects.

The strong anti-inflammatory, anti-rheumatic, and analgesic components of eucalyptus oil can be the best home remedy for bunions joint pains and neuralgia. [16]

How to Use Essential Oils?


how to use essential oils for bunionsThe most effective way that you can use essential oils is a gentle massage. It is advisable that you create a bunions massage blend by combining several essential oils and diluting them with a carrier oil. [17]

You can also resort to a footbath using essential oils to treat your feet deformity.

Here are two of the best massage blends for dissolving the swellings and pains of bunions.

1.Bunion Massage Blend

What You’ll Need:

  • 10 drops of German chamomile oil
  • 10 drops of eucalyptus oil
  • 10 drops of lemon oil
  • 10 drops of sweet marjoram oil
  • 8 drops of wintergreen oil
  • ½ cup of coconut oil
  • 1 glass dropper bottle
  • 1 small funnel

Recommended Directions:

  • Pour coconut oil into the dropper bottle through a funnel.
  • Now add all the essential oils to the carrier oil one by one.
  • Lid the bottle and shake thoroughly so that all the oils mix well.
  • Now, you can apply a teaspoon of the oil blend onto the affected area; the big toe and the swollen bunions. Massage gently for 15 minutes.
  • Repeat the process twice daily, preferably before you go to bed.

2. Foot Bath for Swollen Bunions

What You’ll Need:

  • Foot soak tub
  • Warm water (as per requirement)
  • ½ cup of Epsom salt
  • 10 drops of wintergreen oil
  • 10 drops of lavender oil

Recommended Directions:

  • Fill the foot soaking tub with mildly warm water.
  • Now dilute Epsom salt in the water.
  • Add the essential oils to the solution one by one.
  • Now, dip your feet in the soothing solution for 15-20 minutes.
  • You can repeat the treatment thrice daily to relieve pain and swellings of bunions.

Bottom Line


Bunions are not a severe medical condition. However, they can generate a lot of pain and discomforts in your everyday life.

The feet deformity isn’t a pleasant thing for your overall beauty as well. Using essential oils is a time-tested natural remedy for this awkward condition.

Let us know how you progress with the home remedies for bunions we have discussed above. Write your feedback and queries in the comment section.

Read More: 12 Sure Ways to Get Rid of Bunions Using Home Remedies