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!)