Homemade Herbal Remedies for Sore Muscles

When winter's unending labors weigh heavy upon your shoulders, you might want to try some of these organic, homemade herbal remedies for sore muscles.


| November/December 1982



078-190-01

Homemade balms are easy to prepare herbal remedies for sore muscles . . . and will save you a bit of money, too.


ILLUSTRATION: MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF

When fighting against winter's workload try these homemade herbal remedies for sore muscles. 

There's not much anyone can do to lessen the workload that comes with these busy, chilly months . . . but I can tell you about a few treatments that'll help you relax your fatigued body and perhaps make tomorrow's chores seem just a bit easier.

When muscles tighten (as they do when they're overworked), they hamper the circulatory system, thereby preventing nutrients from reaching the muscle cells in adequate quantities. Moreover, lactic acid builds up in the stressed tissue, causing soreness. It makes sense, then, that the first step toward bringing some vitality back into your aching frame is to get the blood pumping to those undernourished cells again by using these homemade herbal remedies for sore muscles.

As most folks know, heat causes blood vessels to enlarge, thus encouraging circulation. However, as anyone who had, labored on a hot afternoon will likely attest, excessive heat can cause a feeling of sluggishness . . . so be careful not to overdo this type of "cure". In coping with minor muscle pain, for example, two or three applications of heat a day should be more than adequate. (If swelling accompanies the soreness, though, your muscle may be torn or sprained . . . and in such a case the area should be elevated to encourage draining, and cold compresses should be used to reduce the inflammation. Keep in mind that the following remedies are for sore—not swollen—muscles.)

You'll find that heating pads—the usual means of applying soothing warmth to aching limbs—come in various styles. I prefer strip (as opposed to the more traditional rectangular) warmers, because the scarf-like shape is ideal for wrapping around a sore area. Some brands even come equipped with an insert that can be moistened and safely attached to the heating unit, and this feature provides penetrating wet heat.

Balms and ointments are also popular means of applying heat to sore muscles. And, since the main ingredient in the various commercial products (Ben-Gay, Absorbine, Tiger Balm) is wintergreen oil, homemade balms are easy to prepare herbal remedies for sore muscles . . . and will save you a bit of money, too.





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