When your back is out of whack and sore, it’s hard to enjoy anything. There’s always the fear of worsening the pain, whether you are sleeping, walking, sitting down, or reaching for a cup on a high shelf. The muscles in your back can easily become sore and there’s no better way to remedy sore, strained, or overworked muscles than by applying an herbal salve that reduces pain.
Making salves is fairly simple, and it is the perfect entry point for anyone interested in creating natural skin care products or remedies. You can make one salve in 30 minutes, about the time it takes to cook a meal. In theory, you could make one salve and dinner at the same time! A salve is worth nothing if you aren’t using top quality ingredients, though. You have to choose ingredients based on what you are attempting to remedy. That’s why the salve in this article contains the following ingredients.
Cayenne pepper is commonly used in cooking, but it has been incorporated into skin care products for its ability to assist with pain relief. The active ingredient, capsaicin, is extracted and included in ointments or creams because it works to stop muscle and joint pain. How does it do this? It tricks or confuses pain transmitters, desensitizing local nerves and decreasing pain in certain conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and osteoarthritis.
St. John’s Wort
St. John’s wort has commonly been used to boost mood, but new research has taken a closer look at how the anti-inflammatory properties benefit sore muscles. Many herbalists turn to St. John’s wort to help soothe muscle pain, especially sciatica or atrophy of nervous tissue.
A study that was published in The Journal of Pain revealed that a daily dose of ginger can relieve exercise-induced muscle pain. This study examined muscle pain after subjects consumed one to two ginger capsules daily, but ginger can also relieve muscle pain when applied topically. It works to increase warmth and blood flow in the area where it is applied.
Cayenne Ginger Salve
- 4 tablespoons St. John’s wort oil
- 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon ginger powder
- 2 tablespoons organic Shea butter
- 2 tablespoons organic beeswax
- 20 drops rosemary essential oil
- 20 drops peppermint essential oil
- Place the St. John’s wort oil into a heat-safe glass measuring cup and spoon the cayenne and ginger powders into a cloth tea bag. Seal the tea bag and place it in the oil.
- Create a double boiler by filling a saucepan with about two inches of water and placing the heat-safe measuring cup in the saucepan. Once the water begins to boil, reduce to low heat and simmer for 30 minutes, gently stirring the tea bag in the oil occasionally.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat after 30 minutes and take out the glass measuring cup. Allow the mixture to come to room temperature before removing the tea bag. Discard the tea bag and place the measuring cup back in the saucepan with water over medium heat.
- Add the Shea butter and beeswax and simmer until melted. Remove from heat and slowly stir in the essential oils.
- Once the mixture has cooled slightly, pour into little one-ounce tin containers and allow the mixture to firm up before screwing on the lid.
- Store in a cool, dry place and massage on sore joints or muscles when you experience pain.
- Make sure to thoroughly wash your hands after application because you don’t want to accidentally touch your eyes with cayenne pepper on your fingers.