A rubefacient helps get the blood flowing, and warms the tissue. It includes herbs like ginger, juniper, pine, clove, and rosemary. This Ginger Juniper Rubefacient Rub Recipe is especially good for tired and aching legs and feet. Personally, I have applied this recipe on my calves with friction for about 30 seconds, and I am amazed at the amount of heat it creates!
Ginger Juniper Rubefacient Rub Ingredients
1/4 cup of thick carrier oil such as castor, wheat germ, coconut, or olive oil
1/4 cup of light carrier oil such as grapeseed, jojoba, or sweet almond oil
1 Tbsp of beeswax
1 Tbsp of shea butter
30 drops of ginger root essential oil
30 drops of juniper berry essential oil
10 drops of black pepper essential oil
1/8 ounce of lanolin (optional)
Ginger Juniper Rubefacient Rub Instructions
In a double boiler, add all ingredients except the essential oils. Then, melt everything down at a low heat. Remove from heat, then add the essential oil or herb oil. Immediately pour into glass or metal jars. Allow to cool / harden and then cover. Finally, label the date and ingredients on the jar.
Salves should last as long as the expiration date of the ingredients used as long as cross contamination and exposure to oxygen does not occur. This can be up to one year.
I have also used pine essential oil when I have been out of juniper berry, and it combines nicely with the ginger and black pepper as well. Further, rosemary can be a substitute for the juniper berry.
Directions for Use
Adults, apply about a teaspoon or two to the legs and feet and massage. Avoid with young children and during pregnancy and breast feeding. Discontinue use if irritation occurs.
Or, try this very quick recipe if you don’t feel like waiting for wax to melt…
Ginger Juniper Rubefacient Research
Arthritis patients experienced relief of pain and swelling with the use of ginger extract. From: Srivastava, K. C., & Mustafa, T. (1992). Ginger (Zingiber officinale) in rheumatism and musculoskeletal disorders. Medical hypotheses, 39(4), 342-348.
In a randomized trial with 90 patients, an aromatherapy massage with lavender essential oil reduced pain in knee osteoarthritis. From: Nasiri, A., Mahmodi, M. A., & Nobakht, Z. (2016). Effect of aromatherapy massage with lavender essential oil on pain in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee: a randomized controlled clinical trial. Complementary therapies in clinical practice, 25, 75-80.
Gingerol possessed analgesic and anti-inflammatory activities in paw edema. From: Young, H. Y., Luo, Y. L., Cheng, H. Y., Hsieh, W. C., Liao, J. C., & Peng, W. H. (2005). Analgesic and anti-inflammatory activities of -gingerol. Journal of ethnopharmacology, 96(1), 207-210.
Induced arthritic inflammation was reduced with the gingerol constituent of ginger essential oil in rats. From: Funk, J. L., Frye, J. B., Oyarzo, J. N., Chen, J., Zhang, H., & Timmermann, B. N. (2016). Anti-inflammatory effects of the essential oils of ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe) in experimental rheumatoid arthritis. PharmaNutrition, 4(3), 123-131.
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. Journal of ethnopharmacology, 125(2), 330-336.
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. Phytotherapy research, 1(1), 28-31.
Myrcene induced antinociception in mice. From: Rao, V. S. N., Menezes, A. M. S., & Viana, G. S. B. (1990). Effect of myrcene on nociception in mice. Journal of pharmacy and pharmacology, 42(12), 877-878.
In the morning a man walks with his whole body; in the evening, only with his legs.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
Article By: Kathy Sadowski, MS in Aromatherapy, Registered Aromatherapist (ARC), NAHA and AIA Professional Member, LMT
This categorized compilation of research articles does not necessarily imply that there are adequate results to demonstrate safe and/or effective human use. These statements are not meant to diagnose, treat, or cure any diseases. The information at this page has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Consult a Doctor before using herbs and essential oils if you have medical conditions, are taking medications, or have questions.