This quick and easy Juniper Muscle Rub works great for massaging into a local area of overworked or stiff muscles. The juniper plant has long been used to help with muscle and joint pain, and has shown in vivo pain reducing and anti-inflammatory activity. More studies are warranted.
Lavender and peppermint have shown in both human and animal studies to help reduce pain and inflammation.
Juniper Muscle Rub Ingredients
- 1/2 cups of sweet almond oil
- 30 drops of juniper berry essential oil
- 15 drops of lavender essential oil
- 15 drops of peppermint essential oil
Juniper Muscle Rub Instructions
Blend ingredients. Then, store in a sealed container. Adults, rub about a tablespoon on one local area for muscle pain. Consult a Doctor for possible contra-indications. Discontinue use if any irritation occurs.
Additional Ingredients to Enhance this Muscle Rub Recipe
- 1/4 ounce of menthol crystals
- 1/4 ounce of oil or alcohol infused arnica
- 1/4 ounce of oil or alcohol infused magnesium
Note: Arnica or magnesium infused in an oil with mix better with other carrier oils than if you use alcohol infused arnica or magnesium. If you use alcohol infusions, mix this recipe in a high powered mixer or blender.
Juniper Muscle Rub – Salve Recipe
Salves offer a nice thick consistency for rubbing onto muscles. This recipe takes a little more time than the one listed above, but is still quite easy to make. You just need a double boiler and a some bee’s wax and shea butter added to the first recipe to make this muscle salve. Here is a Basic Salve Recipe.
- 2 cups of sweet almond oil
- 2 Tbsp of bee’s wax
- 2 Tbsp of shea butter
- 60 drops of juniper berry essential oil (about 3 mL)
- 30 drops of lavender essential oil (about 1.5 mL)
- 30 drops of peppermint essential oil (about 1.5 mL)
In a double boiler, add all ingredients except the essential oil. Next, melt everything down, remove from heat, then add the essential oil. Immediately pour into glass jars. Then, allow to cool / harden. Once completely cool, cover with a lid.
Adults, rub about a tablespoon on one local area for muscle pain. Consult a Doctor for possible contra-indications. Discontinue use if any irritation occurs.
Juniper Muscle Rub Research
- Acupressure using lavender, rosemary, and peppermint was more effective than just acupressure alone in relieving shoulder pain in stroke patients. From: Shin, B. C., & Lee, M. S. (2007). Effects of aromatherapy acupressure on hemiplegic shoulder pain and motor power in stroke patients: a pilot study.
- Topical application of menthol on humans affects nociceptors to reduce pain. From: Wasner, G., Schattschneider, J., Binder, A., & Baron, R. (2004). Topical menthol—a human model for cold pain by activation and sensitization of C nociceptors.
- Topical application of peppermint essential oil reduced neuralgic pain. From: Davies, S. J., Harding, L. M., & Baranowski, A. P. (2002). A novel treatment of postherpetic neuralgia using peppermint oil.
- Menthol showed potential as a topical analgesic. From: Green, B. G., & McAuliffe, B. L. (2000). Menthol desensitization of capsaicin irritation: evidence of a short-term anti-nociceptive effect.
- Menthol improved the analgesic efficacy of tetracaine gel, likely in related to enhanced percutaneous permeation. From: Liu, Y., Ye, X., Feng, X., Zhou, G., Rong, Z., Fang, C., & Chen, H. (2005). Menthol facilitates the skin analgesic effect of tetracaine gel.
- Lavender aromatherapy may be a useful conjunctive treatment of pain for post-cesarean women. From: Hadi, N., & Hanid, A. A. (2011). Lavender essence for post-cesarean pain.
- Lavender odor reduced pain intensity during dressing changes of wounds in humans. From: Kane, F. M., Brodie, E. E., Coull, A., Coyne, L., Howd, A., Milne, A., … & Robbins, R. (2004). The analgesic effect of odour and music upon dressing change.
- Lavender oil was effective in reducing perineal discomfort following episiotomy. From: Sheikhan, F., Jahdi, F., Khoei, E. M., Shamsalizadeh, N., Sheikhan, M., & Haghani, H. (2012). Episiotomy pain relief: Use of Lavender oil essence in primiparous Iranian women.
- Acupressure with aromatic lavender oil reduced neck pain. From: Yip, Y. B., & Tse, S. H. M. (2006). An experimental study on the effectiveness of acupressure with aromatic lavender essential oil for sub-acute, non-specific neck pain in Hong Kong. Complementary therapies in clinical practice, 12(1), 18-26.
- Lavender aromatherapy reduced the demand for opioids after surgery. From: Kim, J. T., Ren, C. J., Fielding, G. A., Pitti, A., Kasumi, T., Wajda, M., … & Bekker, A. (2007). Treatment with lavender aromatherapy in the post-anesthesia care unit reduces opioid requirements of morbidly obese patients undergoing laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding.
- J. oxycedrus and J. communis displayed remarkable anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive activities in a mouse paw. From: Akkol, E. K., Güvenç, A., & Yesilada, E. (2009). A comparative study on the antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory activities of five Juniperus taxa.
- Juniper extract reduced rat paw edema. From: Mascolo, N., Capasso, F., Menghini, A., & Fasulo, M. P. (1987). Biological screening of Italian medicinal plants for anti‐inflammatory activity.
- Extracts of wild juniper showed genoprotective, antioxidant, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties in vitro. From: Fierascu, I., Ungureanu, C., Avramescu, S. M., Cimpeanu, C., Georgescu, M. I., Fierascu, R. C., … & Dinu-Pirvu, C. E. (2018). Genoprotective, antioxidant, antifungal and anti-inflammatory evaluation of hydroalcoholic extract of wild-growing Juniperus communis L.(Cupressaceae) native to Romanian southern sub-Carpathian hills.
- Spasmolytic activity of peppermint, sage, and rosemary were assessed. From: Taddei, I., Giachetti, D., Taddei, E., Mantovani, P., & Bianchi, E. (1988). Spasmolytic activity of peppermint, sage and rosemary essences and their major constituents.
- Essential oil of L. angustifolia, linalyl acetate and linalol had a local anaesthetic effect in rats. From: Ghelardini, C., Galeotti, N., Salvatore, G., & Mazzanti, G. (1999). Local anaesthetic activity of the essential oil of Lavandula angustifolia.
By: Kathy Sadowski, MS in Aromatherapy, RA (ARC) NAHA and AIA Professional Member, LMT