Family wellness, Recipes

Homemade muscle rub

I have recently started working out again after my pregnancy and was looking for a good pain relief cream option. I scoured and searched for the ideal product, but found that many of the commercial-grade creams contained unwanted ingredients such as methylparaban and Polysorbate 80. 

I am working hard to become more conscious of not only the ingredients in the foods we eat, but also those that could be absorbed through our skin. So I deduced that my best option would be another attempt at DIY and came up with my homemade muscle rub.

I knew there were essential oil recipes for muscle pain, so after a bit of research, I have chosen these oils based upon their pain relieving and healing properties. I use a bacterial resistent plant-based oil with beeswax in order to facilitate a balm consistency that would have a longer shelf life without the added preservatives. This rub will provide a warming sensation after being worked into the skin. 

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Benefits of homemade muscle rub

The skin is our largest organ and a very pourous one. According to the American Public Health Association, the rate of skin absorption of solvents is underestimated, and takes in an average of 64% of a substance it is exposed to. For this reason it is important to pay attention to what chemicals are inside the creams we apply topically, especially when seeking a natural health approach to living.

  • Hemp seed oil- Hemp seed oil comes from the cannabis plant but does not contain THC, the compound which makes the plant psychoactive. Hemp has extremely high nutritional properties by containing all of the essential amino acids and essential fatty acids necessary for human life. The wide range of benefits acheived from introducing this oil to your system includes reducing inflammation and pain (source).
  • Cayenne extract- According to Dr. Axe, “Cayenne has very powerful pain-relieving properties when applied to the skin. It reduces the amount of substance P, a chemical that carries pain messages to the brain. When there is less substance P, the pain messages no longer reach the brain and you feel relief.” 
  • Ginger root oil- Ginger oil is effective against relieving both short term and long term pain when massaged into the skin topically (source).  The anti-inflammatory properties in this oil can be attributed to the presence of a substance named zingibain. It also has a spicy smell, which makes this balm have an awakening sensation to the mind.
  • Cardamom oil- helps the body to dispel toxins by increasing circulation to the skin and promoting diuresis. Cardamom has anti-spasmodic properties thus reducing pain from muscle spasms (source). It also has a really great smell and warming effect which provides pain relief for sore muscles.
Homemade muscle rub

Muscle Rub Recipe

This recipe is extremely easy and fun to make. You will need to following ingredients to make this in the regular strength formula. This formula is safe for adults. Please continue to scroll down for the recipe that is safe for pregnancy and children.

Method

Homemade muscle rub recipe

Using a double boiler or heat-safe glass bowl and small pot, fill water to be about an inch and a half thickness and bring to boil. Combine 1/2 cup of coconut oil with 1/4 cup of beeswax in the glass bowl, and use double boiler method to melt. The coconut oil melts quickly but It will take about 6 minutes for the beeswax to melt and combine evenly with the coconut oil. Stir often. When fully melted, remove the glass bowl from the boiling pot with oven mitts and place on a warming rack.

homemade muscle rub

Add 30 drops of each essential oil and cayenne extract, and 1/2 tsp of hemp oil to the bowl, stirring in between each new addition to combine. Pour into 8 ounce round tin for storage. Keep in mind that this balm will melt if left out in the heat. It is best stored inside the fridge for up to 3 months.

homemade muscle balm
Homemade muscle rub

Homemade muscle balm for pregnancy and kids

There are very specific circumstances where the safety of even essential oils should be questioned. This is the case for pregnant women as there is concern for the ability of these powerful oils to cross the placental barrier. Here is an excerpt from the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy:

“Due to the lack of clear information regarding the toxicity of essential oils during pregnancy, it would be best to adhere to general safety guidelines. According to Tisserand and Balacs, the following essential oils should not be used during pregnancy: wormwood, rue, oak moss, Lavandula stoechas, camphor, parsley seed, sage, and hyssop.”

Hemp oil is perfectly safe for pregnancy. Even Dr. Oz recommends adding hemp protein to a pregnant women’s diet due to the complete protein and the essential fats it contains.

The following recipe contains a dilution that is appropriate for a pregnant woman or a child. As a disclaimer, although it is unlikely that a diluted exposure to essential oil would cause harm, it is best to avoid all essential oils during the first trimester of pregnancy. There is not enough research to prove a complete margin of safety, without a doubt. 

 

(Disclaimer, do not use essential oils on children younger than 3 months of age).

Method

Using a double boiler or heat-safe glass bowl and small pot, fill water to be about an inch and a half thickness and bring to boil. Combine 1/2 cup of coconut oil with 1/4 cup of beeswax in the glass bowl, and use double boiler method to melt. The coconut oil melts quickly but It will take about 6 minutes for the beeswax to melt and combine evenly with the coconut oil. Stir often. When fully melted, remove the glass bowl from the boiling pot with oven mitts and place on a warming rack.

Add 15 drops of each essential oil and cayenne extract, and 1/4 tsp of hemp oil to the bowl, stirring in between each new addition to combine. Pour into 8 ounce round tin for storage. Keep in mind that this balm will melt if left out in the heat. It is best stored at room temperature for a month or inside the fridge for up to 3 months. You will need to take it out before use to let it warm up if you store it in the fridge

How to use this balm

The best way to use the muscle rub is as a massage oil. The friction helps to penetrate the healing properties deeper into the tissue. It can also be applied after a hot shower when the pours are open as a lotion.

I have used this balm on my husband. He is the type of man to work out for a few hours a day, as his job requires him to be ready and in the best of shape. His honest opinion…”It felt relaxing and stimulating to the point where I felt relief. It was not overwhelming like a chemically-induced suppression of symptoms.” 

If you are feeling muscle tension, it is best to use multiple natural modalities to relieve pain. These include hydration, rest, proper nutrition, trigger point release, stretching, and movements for joint mobility. Epsom Salt baths also do wonders for muscle tension and are safe for pregnancy. 

Please feel free to comment and share if you tried the recipe!

Cheers,

The Cheeky Mommy

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