Treating Overworked Muscles with Essential Oils

Summer seems to be prime time for sore muscles.  There’s just a lot more running biking, hiking, camping, weeding, mowing, swimming, walking, digging, building, hoisting — you name it — going on than normal.  Finishing off the day with a few beers you may feel fine, until you wake up the next morning stiff and achey.  And if you haven’t been working out quite as hard before summer, you can be hit with some especially sore muscles.

Rest is, of course, the main cure, but aromatherapy has a lot to offer in the way of sore muscle relief.  These aromatherapy remedies are called ‘pleasure remedies’ because they are effective at treating sore muscles, but are also wonderfully relaxing, soothing and fragrant.  (Try getting all that from a bottle of ibuprofen.)

Since excessive use of muscles causes muscle fatigue, soreness, stiffness, tension, and aches and pains, we want to use essential oils that are analgesic (pain-relieving), anti-inflammatory, and antispasmadic (preventing and easing spasms and cramps).   Additionally, many oils  improve circulation, helping to speed healing.

Pain relieving oils: Eucalyptus, German Chamomile, Lavender, Juniper, Rosemary, Peppermint, Cajeput, Sweet Marjoram, and Thyme.

Anti-inflammatory oils: German Chamomile, Helichrysum, Lavender, and Peppermint.

Antispasmodic oils: Lavender, Rosemary, Juniper, Peppermint, Cypress.

It’s important to rest, and drink lots of fluids (and in more severe cases, maybe even use some ice for spot treatment).  But the following 2 remedies can bring wonderful relief.

  • Warm-Hot Bath with essential oils.  Add 10 drops of essential oils to some Epson Salt; add to bath just before getting in, stir to disperse.  Soak for 20-30 minutes.  Rest afterwards.  Use for 3 consecutive days.  (Beautanical’s Recovery Bath Salts use a therapeutic blend of analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-spasmadic oils mixed with Epsom and Dead Sea Salts.)
  • Massage oil with essential oils.  Mix 24 drops of essential oil (a combination of the essential oils listed above) with 1 oz. vegetable oil.  This is a concentrated oil for treating small areas.  Massage into muscles up to 4 times a day as needed for soreness and stiffness.  Works really well after the bath!
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