Make This DIY Muscle Soothing Rub At Home With Just 4 Ingredients

Olive and coconut oil, beeswax, and essential oils are all it takes to make this all natural muscle soothing salve.

April 24, 2017
DIY muscle salve in mason jar
Stephanie Eckelkamp

Why is it that every spring we forget that we can't just jump right back into the old warm-weather workout routine? That's what I asked myself last weekend, after logging 20,000 steps (and numerous blisters) on a hike when I should have cut myself off miles earlier.

Afterward, my feet were aching and I felt muscles that hadn't been active since last October—and I knew that stretching could only alleviate the pain to a point. With no Bengay or Icy Hot in my medicine cabinet, I did a little research and discovered that I could whip up my own muscle soothing salve with ingredients I already had: olive oil, coconut oil, beeswax, and essential oils.

The olive and coconut oil allow the mixture to smoothly blend into skin, the essential oils provide pain relief, and the beeswax helps everything stick (and not just rub off on your clothes).

For this particular blend, I chose 2 warming and 2 cooling essential oils. Clove and black pepper are warming, while peppermint and eucalyptus are cooling—providing a similar sensation to those OTC muscle rubs. (There are a number of other warming and cooling oils you can use, like camphor and cinnamon, so do your research if the ones in this recipe aren't in your collection.) All 4 oils also have proven anti-inflammatory properties.

Here's the simple step-by-step process on how to make it.   

(See how easy it is to grow your own remedies for joint pain, heartburn, cold symptoms, and 30+ other ailments with Rodale's Grow It Heal It!)

DIY muscle salve ingredients
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What you'll need

¼ cup virgin coconut oil
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons beeswax pellets
Warming and cooling essential oils (clove, eucalyptus, peppermint, black pepper)
1 4-ounce mason jar
Small saucepan
Wooden skewer or chopstick, for stirring

oil and beeswax for muscle salve
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Step 1: Combine oils and beeswax

First, add your coconut oil, olive oil, and beeswax to the mason jar (it will be very full). 

muscle salve ingredients in water bath
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Step 2: Place in a warm water bath

Place the mason jar in a small saucepan filled with enough water to reach 3/4 up the side of the jar. Set burner to medium-low and wait for ingredients to melt, stirring periodically with a wooden skewer or chopstick. 

Related: How To Make Homemade Coconut Oil Lip Balm

adding essential oils to DIY muscle salve
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Step 3: Add essential oils

One your oils and wax are completely melted, carefully remove the mason jar from the sauce pan and place on a heat-safe surface or cutting board. Then add 40 drops of clove essential oil, 40 drops of eucalyptus essential oil, 20 drops of peppermint essential oil, and 20 drops of black pepper essential oil; stirring well with your wooden skewer or chopstick. (Here are 5 essential oils you should always have in your medicine cabinet.)

The quantity of warming and cooling essential oils in this salve should provide a subtle soothing, tingling sensation for sore muscles and joints. 

Related: The Do's And Don'ts Of Healing Sore Muscles

DIY muscle salve in mason jar
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Step 4: Allow to set

Set aside your jar in a cool dry place for 12 hours to fully set. The end product will be smooth and creamy, and easily rub into skin. Use it as needed on sore muscles and joints, and tired feet, but never near open wounds, eyes, or mucous membranes. This will be a relatively potent mixture, so be sure to wash your hands after application. Keep out of reach of pets and kiddos, too.

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