DIY Sore Muscle Salve

DIY Sore Muscle Salve

DIY Sore Muscle Salve

I’ve been meaning to make my own DIY salve for sore muscles for quite some time. However, life gets busy and whatnot, so I kept putting it off. It’s one of those things where you KNOW you will need it someday, but since it’s not an immediate need, the chore keeps getting put off over and over again. Very recently, a friend of mine needed something for sore muscles. Suddenly, I knew I had a reason to finally make a double batch of sore muscle salve. Huzzah! This Sore Muscle Salve contains both warming and cooling medicinal products, so it will feel kinda like ‘icy hot’ products.

My particular salve contains only a few of the herbs and essential oils that are helpful for sore muscles, pain, and/or inflammation. Someday, hopefully I will make up a nice list for you of the natural remedies for sore muscles. For now, this recipe will have to do!

This recipe DOES take a bit more time than a normal DIY project. That’s because first you have to make a decoction, which is done to extract the medicinal benefits from the roots of plants. A decoction is done through a slow simmer, and to make it really strong, it’s best to simmer on the stove a few times and let it sit overnight before using.

sore muscle ingredients

Ingredients for Sore Muscle Salve:

  • Cayenne Pepper: Sadly, my Spice Series doesn’t have (published) information on the medicinal benefits of Cayenne Pepper yet, so I found this great article for you instead. Cayenne Pepper is not only an anti-inflammatory, it is also great for joint, nerve, and muscle pains when it is applied topically. I used freshly ground homegrown cayenne peppers to make sure that it was as fresh and organic as possible. Learn here how you can grow your own cayenne peppers.
  • Ginger Root Powder: Ginger has wonderful anti-inflammatory properties which can be helpful for sore muscles. It can also help with circulation.  Learn more about the medicinal benefits of Ginger here.
  • Comfrey Root (optional): According to Rosemary Gladstar, comfrey “facilitates and activates the healing of damaged tissue. It is one of the best herbs for treating torn ligaments, strains, bruises, and any injury to the bones or joints.” [Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health, pg. 325]. Since I had Comfrey Root in the home for my DIY Herbal Hair Rinses, I added it to my sore muscle salve this time. 
  • Calendula-Infused Oil (optional): Calendula is a wonderful herb for the skin. You can learn how to grow your own calendula here. It is an anti-inflammatory herb and is a wonderful healing herb for bruises and other skin ailments. Since I made my own homemade calendula oil this year, I added some to my sore muscle salve. Learn how to make your own calendula-infused oil here.
  • Essential Oils (optional): Since this post is my way of recording my ingredients, I am mentioning the exact amounts of essential oils that I used for the recipe. However, you do not have to add essential oils to this sore muscle salve. Also, even though I will be mentioning a specific brand’s blends, I am not saying that this company is the only good one out there. Here are my opinions on Essential Oil Companies. There are many great essential oils for sore muscles. Generic ones for sore muscles include: peppermint, wintergreen, and clove. These are my favorite essential oils to use.


How to make a Sore Muscle Salve:


**1/2 cup olive oil

**1/2 cup coconut oil

**1 tbsp. cayenne pepper

**1 tbsp. ginger powder

**1 tbsp. comfrey root (optional)

**2 tbsp. calendula-infused oil (optional)

**3.5 tbsp. beeswax (here’s my favorite)

**Essentials Oils (optional):  5 drops Valor (or Self Esteem from Plant Therapy), 15-20 drops Wintergreen, 15-20 drops Aroma Siez (or Muscle Aid from Plant Therapy), 15-20 drops Peppermint, 15 drops PanAway (or Rapid Relief from Plant Therapy)


1.Place the 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/2 cup coconut oil, 1 tbsp. cayenne pepper, 1 tbsp. ginger powder, 1 tbsp. comfrey root, and 2 tbsp. calendula oil in a double boiler. I use a glass measuring cup inside a saucepan of water. Gently and slowly bring to a simmer. Once the decoction is warm, turn the oven off and leave it on the stovetop. 

2. Allow the decoction to slowly cool, for about 30-60 minutes. Repeat the process: gently and slowly bring the decoction to a simmer again. Then, turn off the stove and let it sit. You can either use it now, OR let it sit on the stove overnight. I highly recommend letting the oil sit overnight.


3. The next day, slowly and gently warm up the oil again (my house is cold, so the coconut oil had hardened a bit). You don’t want it hot, just warmed up a bit. Cover a mesh strainer with a double layer of cheesecloth over a mixing bowl. Pour your oil into the cheesecloth. After it strains through, gather up your cheesecloth and squeeze out every last beautiful drop of that medicinal oil. Don’t let it go to waste! 


4. Place your now-strained decoction oil back into your double boiler. Add 3.5 tbsp. of beeswax. If you prefer a softer salve, add only 3 tbsp. If you like it rather hard, add 4 tbsp. Bring your decoction and beeswax to a gentle simmer in the double boiler. Stir often until the beeswax is completely melted.

5. Remove from the heat to a heat pad. Add your (optional) essential oils. Stir well and pour into your pretty glass containers (like these). Let it cool completely before using. When you are ready to use it, test it on a small area of skin to make sure it is not “too hot” for you and to check to see if it causes you a rash or skin irritations. 


**Store your Sore Muscle Salve in a dark and cool place for up to 1 year. I store mine in the dark cupboard in my bathroom. If your house is often pretty warm, you might want to store this in your refrigerator. 

**My favorite place to buy good-quality oils and herbs for DIY salves and remedies is Mountain Rose Herbs. Check them out!

**I am not a doctor, so use at your own risk. Also, you shouldn’t use this is you are pregnant or a little kid or sick/weak or whatnot. Again, check with a doctor or research it first!

What is your favorite remedy for sore muscles?

DIY Sore Muscle Salve #naturalremedies #herbs #salves

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  1. Hi Chris I just came across this DIY sore muscle salve and am so excited to make it. I have been into essential oil medicine for a couple years now, love having medicine on hand to treat ourselves, family, friends and now I’m getting into infusing my own oils, always excited to find new recipes. Love how you have all the specific measurements, brands, links to the herbs, jars, essential oils .. very helpful b/c I was wondering about that beautiful jar you had in the picture lol. Thank you for sharing this great info on homesteading, DIY medicine, cooking, growing your own herbs. You inspired me to grow my own calendula! Look forward to reading more of your blog and DIY recipes. Much respect Christy 🤙🌺

    1. Thank you so much for the kind words! I appreciate it so much. :) The jar was one of the Ball mason jars, one of the 8 oz half pint jar options. It’s been harder to find these lately, but you might find them online somewhere.

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