Bell’s Palsy can be a frightening and stressful condition, characterized by a drooping on one side of the face. Though it is a rare condition, the visible impact it can have on one’s appearance has made it particularly notorious. In 2017, actress Angelina Jolie famously came out about her struggle with Bell’s Palsy.
In most cases, Bell’s Palsy resolves itself with time. But if you or someone you know is suffering from it, any amount of time can feel like an eternity.
While hard science might be lacking, there is a growing chorus of people with Bell’s Palsy finding relief from some of its more extreme symptoms by using essential oils.
What is Bell’s Palsy?
Bell’s Palsy is also known as “acute peripheral palsy of unknown cause.” Symptoms vary from one person to the next, but the telltale sign is visible droopiness on one side of the face.
This happens due to damage or inflammation to the nerves that control your facial muscles. As a result of this partial facial paralysis, many people experience pain in the jaw and ears, issues with vision and dry eyes, and headaches.
Everyone experiences it differently and to different degrees but it is generally a temporary condition. Most will recover after about six months. Unfortunately some will experience complications for the rest of their lives.
The cause of Bell’s Palsy is still generally unknown. It has been been observed in patients recovering from viral infections such as the mumps or influenza, but there are many more cases with for whom the condition became manifest with no explanation.
How Can Essential Oils Help with Bell’s Palsy?
Bell’s Palsy results in a variety of painful and uncomfortable symptoms that essential oils may help resolve. We have not yet found conclusive medical data that supports the use of essential oils in treating Bell’s Palsy.
That said, essential oils have been used for centuries as a home remedy for the treatment of many of Bell’s Palsy’s most uncomfortable symptoms:
- Facial pain
- Tension or feeling ‘heavy’ in the face
- Eye lubrication issues including excessive tears or dry eyes
- Drooling or excessive saliva
- Pain around the ear and jaw
- Sensitivity to sound
Essential oils can help regenerate nerves, enabling muscles to rebuild strength on the path toward resuming normal function. They’ve also been shown to help restore the body’s functions to the extent that someone can function well enough to go about one’s daily routine.
Most medical professionals agree that time and stress relief are the main thing needed to recover from Bell’s Palsy. But essential oils may provide much needed comfort while the nerves and muscles in your face have time to heal.
3 Essential Oils for Bell’s Palsy
The most important thing while suffering from Bell’s palsy is comfort and nerve regeneration. Whether you need help eliminating headaches, calming your nerves to relax your muscles, or calming your nerves so you can relax at night, these essential oils have benefited a wide variety of people suffering from such ailments.
Rocky Mountain Oils’ Nerve Support is one of our favorite blends for calming irritation in the nerves and promoting relaxation. It is distilled from Basil, Peppermint, Marjoram, and (importantly) Helichrysum Italicum. It can be diffused or rubbed into the skin, even without a carrier oil.
Medical professionals will tell you that relaxation is the best medicine for treating Bell’s Palsy. Rocky Mountain Oils is one of our favorite EO brands, and their Nerve Support blend never fails at promoting exactly that: relaxation.
It includes oils that help you relax and may relieve pain. Its nerve support oils include Basil, Peppermint, Helichrysum Italicum, and Marjoram mixed with fractionated coconut oil so you can rub it right on the area that hurts.
It can be rubbed directly onto sore areas or diffused into the room in your favorite diffuser to help relax the mind and body.
We love Plant Therapy for its rigorous testing process and high-quality ingredients. And this essential oil is no exception. Helichrysum Italicum is often called "the curry plant" for its strong scent. It can help relieve pain and redness from skin irritation. But it is best known as a mood relaxer. Its pungent scent softens angry feelings, relieves anxiety, and lessens emotional pain.
Helichrysum Italicum relaxes the mind and body, which is essential when dealing with Bell’s Palsy. We recommend diffusing it into your room or wearing it in a diffuser necklace to take advantage of its calming properties.
Helichrysum Italicum also has anti-inflammatory properties to promote healing which can be a great way to relieve the pain often associated with Bell’s Palsy.
doTERRA is a popular brand with a dedicated following in the aromatherapy space. We love their pure scents, but their respiratory blend, Breathe, stands out from the pack. It has a refreshing aroma guaranteed to clear your sinuses. Breathe is distilled from high-quality ingredients like Peppermint, Lemon, Eucalyptus, and other refreshing sources.
If you think your Bell’s Palsy was associated with a respiratory infection or another breathing issue, doTERRA’s Breathe Respiratory Blend may help you breathe easier. doTERRA Breathe can be inhaled directly from the bottle, applied to the chest or the bottom of your feet along with fractionated coconut oil or another carrier oil, or diffused in your favorite diffuser.
doTERRA Breathe contains Peppermint, Lemon, Laurel Leaf, Cardamom, Ravensara, Melaleuca, and Eucalyptus oils. Each of the oils may help clear your airways and help you sleep at night when feeling congested or having breathing issues. If it’s too strong for you to wear on your body, you can diffuse it next to your bed at night.
Essential oils can be great additions to your arsenal of at-home remedies for managing the symptoms of Bell’s Palsy.
While essential oils have been used for thousands of years, there is still very little research on their effectiveness in relieving medical conditions. This is no less true when it comes to Bell’s Palsy. Remember to consult your doctor about using any home remedies including essential oils before trying them out.
As difficult as it might be, the most important way to manage Bell’s Palsy is to relax and give your nerves the time and space they need to heal. It’s a trying time to deal with a painful and numb face, but it may not last forever if you take care of yourself and use essential oils to help enhance your rest.