Suffering from tight, sore muscles? Stubborn knots can hang around for months if they aren’t properly treated, says naturopath Mark Stengler, N.D., author of the book, The Natural Physician’s Healing Therapies. His advice: Three times each week, soak in a warm tub scented with 10 drops of peppermint oil. The warm water will relax your muscles, while the peppermint oil will naturally soothe your nerves — a combo that can ease muscle cramping 25 percent more effectively than over-the-counter painkillers, and cut the frequency of future flare-ups in half, says Stengler.
Juniper essential oil has many uses, but the ones most relevant to pain relief are its antispasmodic and antirheumatic properties. Applied in a cream or lotion, juniper will help reduce muscle spasms, as well as the muscle and joint aches and pains associated with arthritis, fibromyalgia, and similar illnesses. Juniper also strengthens the nerves, and may also be helpful in neuropathic pain with regular use. Because juniper also has stimulant properties, it should be used early in the day, and not near bedtime as it could interfere with the ability to fall asleep.
Rosemary oil is helpful for headaches as well as for muscle and joint pain. It is also used to enhance mental alertness, concentration, and memory; and has an antidepressant effect as well. It blends well with lavender, chamomile, peppermint, and clary sage; but should not be used by pregnant or breast-feeding women.