I experience chronic headaches on a daily basis. 30% of the time I would say they are migraines, with the other 70% being tension-type headaches. Oh how I loathe them. I can’t, nor do I want, to take NSAID’s (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, like Advil or Aspirin) every day. I’ve been there and the long and short term side-effects and rebound headaches were just as bad as what I was dealing with in the first place. This led me to exploring different natural headache remedies that I could use as much as I needed to without suffering more for it. This particular muscle rub is geared towards those nasty tension headaches that come from tight shoulders and tense necks. I have found that applying it particularly when I am at the computer around mid-day tends to work the best at staving off the otherwise inevitable ache that would start to creep up on me.
Ingredients: Peppermint essential oil, Clove essential oil, Ginger essential oil, Wintergreen essential oil, coconut/jojoba/shea nut /grapeseed oil.
Why Wintergreen essential oil: Wintergreen essential oil is incredible powerful when it comes to relieving pain. It contains a substance called methyl salicylate, which is now synthesized and used in OTC pain killers. The concentration of methyl salicylate is so high that 5 ml (1 teaspoon) of wintergreen oil is the equivalent of roughly 21 adult aspirin tablets. It helps with painful inflammation of muscles and joints as well. Note that if you are taking any sort of blood-thinning medications wintergreen should be avoided.
Why Peppermint essential oil: Peppermint essential oil rapidly helps to locally block pain where it is applied. At first it will creates a cooling sensation, which then tends to get warmer. Both the heat and the coolness can help relax sore muscles in their own ways, while the refreshing smell can help clear a pain-clouded mind.
Why Clove essential oil: Used as a topical analgesic (pain-killer) clove oil is best known for its role in the history of dental care and relieving toothaches, but works a peach for sore muscles as well. Eugenol, the component mainly responsible for killing the pain, is readily absorbed through skin. It’s pretty potent, so there is no need to go totally overboard with the clove.
Ginger essential oil: Ginger creates a lovely warming sensation that can help relax and un-knot tight muscles. It also reduces the production of cytokines, which are substances that regulate the immune system and are linked to inflammation and the pain associated with it.
Note: Like the Roots Balm for headaches, this can be made into more of a salve if you prefer that to the oils. Just melt 1 or 2 tablespoons of grated beeswax with your carrier oil in a double boiler and then turn off the heat and quickly mix in the essential oils (before the beeswax sets) and store in a little tin.
You will need…
-9 drops of peppermint essential oil
-5 drops of clove essential oil
-9 drops of wintergreen essential oil
-6 drops of ginger essential oil
-3-4 teaspoons of the carrier oil of your choice (coconut, grapeseed, jojoba, or shea nut)
-A dark blue or amber glass container
Blend the oils together with 3-4 teaspoons of your desired carrier oil (it’s important to dilute the oils so they don’t irritate your skin) and store in a dark container, if possible, to maintain its integrity. Keep your blend in a cool, dark, place out of direct light for up to 1 year.
I got these little roll-on bottles since I need the relief on a frequent enough basis, and they just make the application a lot easier, but putting some on your fingertips and rubbing it in works just as well. Apply as needed throughout the day to shoulders, back of your neck, and a smidge on your temples if need be.
By Claire GoodallClaire is a lover of life, the natural world, and wild blueberries. On the weekend you can find her fiddling in the garden, playing with her dogs, and enjoying the great outdoors with her horse. Claire is very open-minded, ask her anything :) Meet Claire
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