We’ve all felt some sort of muscle soreness in our lives, can we agree on that? Maybe its mild from a hard workout, or worse from a day of doing work that strained your back—either way, it can be really uncomfortable or painful.
Instead of reaching for medication, especially if sore muscles are a common occurance for you, I highly recommend trying essential oils.
I did this a while back when I had pulled a muscle in my back after gardening all afternoon. My first thought, was wow, I’m getting old, haha! And, my next thought, was what do I do about this?! No matter which way I stood, laid or sat, my back was killing me.
I’m not someone who likes to opt for medication unless it’s a dire situation, and I’d heard from a friend that essential oils can be really beneficial. I already love using essential oils to support our health and in my DIY face serums, so I thought I’d give it a try!
Turns out, it’s like a natural version of Icy Hot! It worked wonders in soothing my pain and I felt totally okay about applying it multiple times knowing it was non-toxic and will rarely have side effects.
It worked so well that I ended up making a small little roller of a pain-melting combination (shared it below!) which was really helpful for my lower back pain during pregnancy.
If you have essential oils on hand, definitely give this a try, and if not, you can get most of these at reasonable prices and they’ll last a lot longer than stuff you could buy at the store anyway.
Here are some of the best essential oils for sore muscles, and make sure to scroll down to the bottom to know how to safely use them as well.
Essential Oils For Sore Muscles
I buy all of my essential oils from Young Living because I know they are therapeutic grade and high-quality. You don’t have to be a member of Young Living to purchase them, but it is cheaper if you join as a member.
I’ve also shared some links below from other brands I’ve used in the past and also trust!
Panaway Essential Oil Blend
This oil came in my Young Living Starter Kit and smells, well, like Icy Hot! At first, I remember thinking, “when am I ever going to use this?” Then I gardened all day, strained my back and was like, “ah ha!”
I mixed this with some sweet almond oil because I had it sitting around and it’s been a great combination. When I make it again, I’ll probably mix it with fractionated coconut oil instead of sweet almond oil, but either one does the trick.
Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender oil has anti-inflammatory and analgesic (relieves pain) properties, which makes it an excellent choice for sore muscles. Plus, it’s one that you might already have on hand. I know that lavender is easily the most-used oil in our house—I love diffusing it to keep me calm and relaxed and we use it on our wool laundry balls because it smells so nice!
I also learned that it can also be used to sooth menstrual cramps during that time of the month. Such a good, clean-living hack!
Eucalyptus essential oil has anti-inflammatory properties that can help to reduce inflammation. I also happen to love the calming, spa-vibe scent this oil gives off!
Another way to use this one is to simply take a hot bath with epson salts and a few drops of essential oil for pain relief and some serious relaxation!
Peppermint Essential Oil
If you don’t have Panaway, peppermint is a great stand in. It has a lot of the same benefits, but is easier to come by. It contains menthol which is really soothing for sore muscles and easing muscle tension. It’s also an antispasmodic according to this article, which can be great for twitchy muscles!
Roman Chamomile Oil
Another great for pain relief for sore muscles, back pain and even arthritis according to this article. It also has a ton of other amazing benefits to help things like digestion, sleep (it’s such a good calming one!), and healing wounds.
Rosemary Essential Oil
According to this article, rosemary oil can help increase circulation, relieve pain and reduce joint inflammation! It’s also a great stress reliever which for me, always helps naturally ease pain.
This is another great one to keep on hand because it’s such a great woodsy scent.
Lemongrass Essential Oil
I used to diffuse this one every morning because it has such a bright, awakening scent! I need to bring that practice back! In terms of helping sore muscles, it’s a great one too—it can aid in improving circulation, blood flow and has anti-inflammatory properties.
Black Pepper Essential Oil
This oil is known for reducing aches and pains and detoxifying your body according to this article. This was news to me, but I’m definitely interested in trying it out now!
How to Use Essential Oils for Sore Muscles
Dilute with a Carrier Oil
Essential oils are made from the volatile chemical compounds of the plant they came from. Some essential oils can be directly applied to skin, but others shouldn’t be. It’s always better to be safe, plus, some of these are so strong that it’s important to dilute them!
A good rule of thumb for diluting is to mix 1 drop of essential oil with every teaspoon of carrier oil.
You can use fractionated coconut oil, or for more of a balmy consistency, use regular coconut oil. Here’s a quick list of some good carrier oils:
- jojoba oil
- sweet almond oil
- apricot kernel oil
- grapeseed oil
- avocado oil
- hemp oil
- coconut oil or fractionated coconut oil
There’s many more, but these are some that I see being used most often and some of the ones that I use frequently!
How to Apply
My personal favorite way to apply this is to make it in a roller. That way you can simply roll the mixture on your aches and pains.
You can also make it in a small amber-colored bottle. Put a few drops in your hand and massage oil into the affected area to relieve muscle tension.
Lastly, draw a hot bath and add several drops of one of these essential oils, plus some epsom salts if you want. Epsom salt can also help detox your muscles and reduce muscle pain.
Next time you have sore muscles, give some of these natural remedies a try!