Pulled a muscle while lifting a heavy box or after switching to a new routine at the gym? There are endless ways in which you can overexert your body and end up with sore muscles. You may reach for an ibuprofen pill, but sometimes even such painkillers won’t cut it. All they might do is leave you with an upset stomach to add to your misery.

If you’ve been there and done that, it’s time to explore some safer and natural ways to beat the pain. One of them is to use a homemade salve for sore muscles. While there are plenty of balms and salves you can buy, they are often laden with petrochemicals and aren’t a very healthy choice.

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On the other hand, our Mother Earth provides us with several herbs and spices that work as good as any NSAID (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug) like ibuprofen or aspirin to give you quick relief from pain and inflammation. Moreover, instead of just dealing with the symptom, they ensure holistic healing of your body.

Learn how to make DIY homemade salve for sore muscles
Learn how to make DIY homemade salve for sore muscles

Here are the top 2 powerful DIY salve recipes for sore muscles and pain relief.

Caution: Since these homemade salves contain strong ingredients, do not use them on children. Also, if a salve irritates your skin too much, wash it off with soap and water. Do not use the salves on broken skin.

Method 1: Cayenne & Ginger Salve

This powerful duo can form an excellent homemade salve for sore muscles and joint pain.

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Cayenne pepper contains an active compound called capsaicin comes with a whole host of health benefits and effectively blocks the body’s pain signals from reaching the brain. Ginger contains antioxidants called gingerols that impart anti-inflammatory properties to help your muscles heal. It also works as an antispasmodic to relieve muscle cramps and soothe stiff muscles, making this homemade cream one of the top 2 powerful DIY salve recipes for sore muscles and pain relief.

This salve recipe also uses coconut oil, olive oil and shea butter that moisturize the skin and assists in the absorption of the pain-relieving ingredients into your skin. There is also a blend of essential oils that have numbing and analgesic properties to provide quick relief and get rid of sore muscles.

Things you’ll need:

Things needed to make DIY homemade salve for sore muscles with cayenne and ginger

  • Extra-virgin coconut oil (assists absorption into the skin) – 2 tablespoons
  • Olive oil (moisturizes skin) – 1 tablespoon
  • Cayenne pepper powder (blocks pain) – ¼ teaspoon
  • Ginger powder (antispasmodic) – ½ teaspoon
  • Beeswax (salve texture) – ½ tablespoon
  • Shea butter (moisturizes skin) – 2 tablespoons
  • Eucalyptus essential oil (analgesic) – 4 or 5 drops
  • Peppermint essential oil (provides cooling sensation) – 4 or 5 drops
  • Camphor essential oil (boosts blood circulation) – 4 or 5 drops
  • Clove essential oil (provides numbing sensation) – 4 or 5 drops

Step 1. Combine the coconut and olive oil & heat them in the microwave

Mix coconut and olive oil; heat the blend in a microwave to make DIY homemade salve for sore muscles
Mix coconut and olive oil; heat the blend in a microwave
  • Pour 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin coconut oil into a microwave-safe glass bowl.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
  • Microwave the oils on high for 1 to 2 minutes.

Step 2. Add the ginger and cayenne pepper powder

MIx in ginger and cayenne pepper powder to the heated oil blend to make DIY homemade salve for sore muscles
MIx in ginger and cayenne pepper powder to the heated oil blend
  • Add ½ teaspoon of ginger powder to the oil blend.
  • Add ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper powder.
  • Mix the ingredients well and set it aside in a warm corner to let the spices infuse into the oils.

Step 3. Heat the other ingredients in a double boiler

Melt and blend beeswax and shea butter in a double boiler to make DIY homemade salve for sore muscles
Melt and blend beeswax and shea butter in a double boiler
  • Assemble a makeshift double boiler.
  • Drop ½ a tablespoon of beeswax into the heat-safe glass bowl.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of shea butter.
  • Let the ingredients melt and blend over medium heat.

Step 4. Add the oil and spice blend to the double boiler

Blend in the oil and spice mix as well to make DIY homemade salve for sore muscles
Blend in the oil and spice mix as well
  • Spread a cheesecloth over a strainer, then strain the oil and spice blend prepared in Steps 1 and 2 into the double boiler.
  • Stir until all the ingredients are blended well.
  • Once done, remove the glass bowl from the heat and set it aside to cool down.

Step 5. Add the essential oils

Add the essential oils to to make DIY homemade salve for sore muscles
Add 4 or 5 drops each of eucalyptus, peppermint, camphor, and clove essential oils once the mixture cools down
  • Once the mixture has cooled down a bit, add 4 or 5 drops each of eucalyptus, peppermint, camphor, and clove essential oils.

Step 6. Stir well, put the salve in a jar & use as needed

Mix thoroughly and transfer to a jar to make DIY homemade salve for sore muscles
Mix thoroughly and transfer to a jar; use as and when required to treat your sore muscles
  • Stir the mixture one more time to blend in the essential oils.
  • Pour the liquid into a small, airtight glass container and put the lid on.
  • Allow the liquid to solidify completely before using your homemade salve.
  • To use, rub a small quantity of salve between your palms to melt the oils. Apply it to the sore muscles and massage using circular motions to help it absorb into the skin.

This DIY sore muscle salve will stay good for 4 to 5 months when stored in a dark and cool place.

Store DIY homemade salve for sore muscles in a cool and dark place
Store DIY homemade salve for sore muscles in a cool and dark place

Method 2: Salve with Essential Oils

Essential oils have various therapeutic benefits. When used in a pain-relieving salve, these volatile oils penetrate deep into the tissues and bring down the inflammation and ease the pain. Their aroma also helps relieve stress and calm both your mind and body.

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While the choices are endless, we narrowed it down to the best seven essential oils that have superior antispasmodic and analgesic properties. This salve also uses coconut oil that will dilute the essential oils to make them safe for topical application. It will also ensure better absorption into the skin. The beeswax in this recipe provides the waxy salve texture, which is why this is one of the top 2 powerful DIY salve recipes for sore muscles and pain relief.

If you don’t have the specified essential oils, you can use dried herbs to infuse the carrier oil.

Things you’ll need:

Things needed to make DIY homemade salve for sore muscles with essential oils

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  • Extra-virgin coconut oil (carrier oil) – 4 tablespoons
  • Beeswax (salve texture) – ½ tablespoon
  • Rosemary essential oil (improves blood circulation) – 3 or 4 drops
  • Eucalyptus essential oil (analgesic) – 3 or 4 drops
  • Peppermint essential oil (eases muscle tension) – 3 or 4 drops
  • Ginger essential oil (analgesic) – 1 or 2 drops
  • Lavender essential oil (improves blood circulation) – 3 or 4 drops
  • Cinnamon essential oil (boosts blood circulation) – 3 or 4 drops
  • Camphor essential oil (provides cooling sensation) – 3 or 4 drops

Step 1. Melt the beeswax and coconut oil in a double boiler

Melt and blend beeswax and coconut oil in a double boiler to make DIY homemade salve for sore muscles
Melt and blend beeswax and coconut oil in a double boiler
  • Assemble a makeshift double boiler.
  • Put ½ a tablespoon of beeswax into the bowl of the double boiler.
  • Add 4 tablespoons of extra-virgin coconut oil.
  • Let the ingredients melt and blend over medium heat.
  • Once done, remove the bowl from the double boiler and let it cool down for 1 to 2 minutes.

Step 2. Add the essential oils

Add eucalyptus, peppermint, and rosemary essential oils to make DIY homemade salve for sore muscles
Add 3 to 4 drops each of eucalyptus, peppermint, and rosemary essential oils to the oil blend
  • Once the mixture has cooled down a bit, squirt 3 or 4 drops each of eucalyptus, peppermint, rosemary, and lavender essential oils to it.
Put in ginger, camphor, and cinnamon essential oils as well to make DIY homemade salve for sore muscles
Put in ginger, camphor, and cinnamon essential oils as well
  • Add 1 or 2 drops of ginger essential oil.
  • Finish by adding 3 or 4 drops each of cinnamon and camphor essential oils.

Step 3. Mix well, put the DIY salve in a jar & use as needed

Blend thoroughly and transfer to a jar for storage and use
Blend thoroughly and transfer to a jar for storage and use
  • Stir well to thoroughly blend all the ingredients.
  • Pour the oil blend into an airtight glass jar, and allow it to solidify completely.
  • Use it like a regular pain-relieving balm to soothe your sore muscles and joints.
Let the blend solidify to make DIY homemade salve for sore muscles
Once the blend solidifies it is ready; use it to get relief from sore muscles

Tips

  • To prevent sore muscles, do some stretching and warm-up exercises before undertaking any strenuous physical activity.
  • Using a cold compress on sore muscles can help speed up healing. You can learn how to make a cold compress at home here.
  • You can also unwind in an Epsom salt bath. The salt is rich in magnesium and will help relax your muscles as well as prevent muscle spasms.
  • Be careful not to bring your hands close to your eyes, mouth or nose after touching the salve. The strong essential oils can reach your mucous membranes and cause irritation. Always wash your hands after using the homemade salve for sore muscles.
  • Make sure that you let the heated ingredients cool off a bit before adding the essential oils. Essential oils are highly volatile and the heat can change their chemical composition.
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