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sore muscle rub

How to Make Sore Muscle Rub with Essential Oils Plus Pain Salve Recipes

Learn how to make a sore muscle rub using herbs and essential oils as a natural remedy for pain. Discover several of my best pain relief salve recipes that you can make at home including several essential oil blends you can try. This collection of recipes for pain relief are formulated using basic ingredients that are easy to source and don’t require a preservative. So, they’re perfect to make at home!

sore muscle rub

Sore Muscle Rub with Essential Oils

I have fibromyalgia, so I’ve made a lot of warming muscle rub recipes. Although my fibro is mostly under control with my diet, supplements and lifestyle choices, there are times that I need a pain relief balm to use. There are several herbs and essential oils that offer natural pain relief for sore muscles. Not only are they suitable for fibromyalgia, but they also work for arthritis and overworked muscles. Following I share the best herbs and essential oils for pain relief. So, you can easily adapt any of my pain relief salve recipes for your needs.

What Is the Best Thing to Rub on Sore Muscles?

When your muscles are sore, there are several different products that you can use to get relief. Making a sore muscle rub with menthol, herbs or essential oils that can help to provide quick relief for sore or tight muscles.

Although you’ll still need to rest and take care of your body, an easy homemade muscle rub can help your muscles feel better quickly. The warming ingredients help to soothe and relax stiff or achy joints, so you can contend with less pain and function better.

best herbs for sore muscles

Best Herbs for Sore Muscles

There are several herbs that you can use to make a warming muscle rub. You shouldn’t use all of these herbs in a single recipe, but you can combine two or three of these herbs to make a pain relief balm. To use herbs when formulating a pain relief cream or salve, you do need to infuse the herbs in the carrier oil you’ve chosen for the recipe first. (You can learn how to make an herbal infused oil here.)

  • Ginger root is often used for pain relief. It’s warming and is said to reduce inflammation.
  • Lavender flowers are calming, so they can help lower stress levels when you are in pain. However, they can also help soothe minor pain when applied topically.
  • Peppermint leaf can be used topically to relax tense muscles. It can also soothe and reduce pain.
  • Pine needles aren’t often used in pain relief salve recipes, but they should be. They can help reduce inflammation.
  • Marjoram can relieve minor aches and pains. It’s said to have minor analgesic properties.
  • Arnica flowers work by boosting circulation to promote healing. (Just keep in mind arnica should not be applied to broken skin.)
  • Turmeric root is a natural anti-inflammatory.
  • Black peppercorns reduce inflammation and may also assist in reducing pain. Like ginger and cayenne, this spice also has warming properties.
  • Cayenne is said to work by blocking pain signals. You can infuse dried cayenne powder or purchase cayenne extract (tinctures) and oils.

best essential oils for pain relief

Best Essential Oils for Pain Relief

There are several different essential oils that you can use for an easy homemade muscle rub. You can use one oil or combine two or more to create a custom blend. Try one of the following popular essential oils:

How Do You Mix Essential Oils for Pain?

When I make a pain relief balm, I use a blend of essential oils. I like to mix my essential oil blends in small 5 mLor 10 mL amber glass bottles so that it’s ready to use when I need it. Essential oils have to be diluted in a carrier oil before they can be applied to the skin. Using them in a sore muscle rub dilutes them so they are safe to use topically.

Generally, you want to dilute your essential oils to 2 percent for everyday use. However, you can use up to a 10 percent dilution for pain relief salve recipes if they are used for targeted concerns. If you use a higher percentage of oils, then you should only use them on small parts of the body and only for one or two days at a time.

If you plan to use your easy homemade muscle rub daily or on several different areas, then I recommend using a 2 or 5 percent dilution.

pain relief essential oil blends

Pain Relief Essential Oil Blends

Whether you are creating a massage oil for pain relief or making a warming sore muscle rub, essential oils are an easy addition to recipes homemade pain relief creams, salves and balms. here are some essential oils blends for pain relief that you can make to use in your sore muscle balm recipes:

warming muscle rub

How Do You Make a Sore Muscle Rub?

To make an easy homemade muscle rub, you will need a few basic ingredients. Generally, a salve or balm is made with a liquid carrier oil and beeswax. The ratio of the liquid to hard wax determines how hard the final product will be. (For a basic salve, you typically use 3 parts beeswax to 1 part carrier oil. However, you can add butters or increase the amount of the carrier oil slightly for a salve with a softer, balm-like texture.)

You can also add essential oils for sore muscles by using one of the blends above. If you want to use herbs, you can infuse the herbs in a carrier oil to get the benefits of the herbs without adding dried herbs to your sore muscle rub, which can create a mess.

You’ll also need a container. The consistency of your final product will determine which container you need. Personally, I like to use a firmer recipe and use a push up style tube. However, you can also use a small metal tin or amber glass jar and create a softer salve that is easier to apply.

How to Make Sore Muscle Rub without Beeswax

You can make a DIY muscle rub without beeswax in one of two ways. You can either you can formulate your own pain relief salve using plant based wax, such as candelilla or carnauba wax, or you can substitute beeswax in an existing recipe with a vegan wax.

in order to make a sore muscle rub without beeswax from an existing recipe, you first need to determine how much vegan wax you need to substitute with beeswax. This requires some math calculations.

First determine the percentage of difference in the melting point from one wax to the other. If the wax you have chosen to use in place of the beeswax has a higher melting point than the beeswax, then you would decrease the amount of wax you are substituting by that percentage. If the wax has a lower melting point than the beeswax, then you need to increase the amount of wax in the pain relief balm or salve by that percentage. (A percentage calculator comes in really handy for this task.)

how to make sore muscle rub recipe

Warming Sore Muscle Rub Recipe

This easy sore muscle rub is a simple 4-ingredient recipe. It only requires a carrier oil, beeswax and two essential oils. I chose to use meadowfoam seed oil as the carrier oil for this pain relief balm as it is suitable for all skin types and won’t clog pores. However, you may substitute the meadowfoam seed oil with another carrier oil if desired. You can also substitute the essential oils in this recipe with a different essential oil blend for pain if desired.

Sore Muscle Rub Ingredients

These are the ingredients you need to make an easy sore muscle rub with essential oils:

  • Beeswax: The bulk of this pain relief consists of beeswax. When mixed with oils or butters, this ingredient helps to form a protective barrier for skin. In turn, the essential oils are better able to go to work and get the job done. I use pastilles as they are easier to work with.
  • Meadowfoam Seed Oil: Honestly you can use just about any carrier oil for this recipe. However, I’m a big fan of meadowfoam seed oil. It’s emollient without being greasy, and great as a natural moisturizer. It’s also suitable for all skin types.
  • Ginger Essential Oil: One of my favorite essential oils for pain relief, this product gently warms skin to help relax tight muscles.
  • Amyris Essential Oil: This essential oil also has emollient properties which are well suited for massage. Not only does it smell amazing, but it can also help to ease muscle tension. And, like lavender, it can help to promote rest and relaxation. (Learn more about amyris essential oil benefits here.)

How to Make Sore Muscle Balm with Essential Oils

To make this sore muscle balm with essential oils, follow these steps:

  1. Use a digital kitchen scale to weigh out the beeswax and meadowfoam seed oil. Combine the ingredients in a double boiler.
  2. Heat the beeswax and oil until the beeswax has fully melted. Remove from heat.
  3. Add the ginger and amyris essential oil to the pain salve base using a glass dropper or graduated transfer pipette. Stir to combine.
  4. Pour the sore muscle balm into a glass jar or salve tin. Allow to cool.
  5. Once the mixture cools and has fully solidified, screw the lid onto the container.

How to Use Pain Relief Balm

To use this pain relief salve for sore muscles, massage the sore muscle balm onto affected area until absorbed. Reapply as needed.

Yield: About 4 oz.

Sore Muscle Rub with Essential Oils

ginger muscle rub recipe with essential oils

This easy DIY sore muscle rub is a simple 4-ingredient recipe. Made with warming ginger essential oil and amyris, this homemade pain relief salve helps to soothe sore muscles and ease away pain.

Active Time 5 minutes
Additional Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Difficulty Easy


  • 3 oz. beeswax
  • 1.1 oz. meadowfoam seed oil
  • 36 drops ginger essential oil
  • 12 drops amyris essential oil


  • 4 oz. salve jar
  • double boiler
  • digital scale
  • pipette or dropper
  • utensil, for stirring


  1. Use a digital scale to weigh out the beeswax and meadowfoam seed oil. Combine the ingredients in a double boiler.
  2. Heat the beeswax and oil until the beeswax has fully melted. Remove from heat.
  3. Add the ginger and amyris essential oil to the pain salve base using a dropper or graduated transfer pipette. Stir to combine.
  4. Pour the sore muscle balm into a glass jar or salve tin. Allow to cool.
  5. Once the mixture cools and has fully solidified, screw the lid onto the container.


To use this pain relief salve for sore muscles, massage the sore muscle balm onto affected area until absorbed. Reapply as needed.

warming muscle rub recipe for natural pain relief

More Sore Muscle Rub Recipes for Pain Relief

If you like my easy sore muscle rub recipe, then be sure try these other recipes for pain relief salves, balms and muscle rubs to soothe sore muscles:

natural pain relief salve recipe

Natural Pain Relief Salve Recipe

This natural pain relief salve recipe with arnica and ginger essential oil is made with just four simple ingredients. So whether you’re short on money or simply need a quick and painless DIY, then this natural pain remedy was created just for you.

Formulated to relieve inflammation and soothe pain, this homemade salve combines the medicinal skin care properties of arnica flowers with the warming sensation of ginger essential oil. So, it not only helps with bumps and bruises, but it’s also able to target muscle pain, arthritis, sprains and carpal tunnel. Learn to make it now.

warming sore muscle rub recipe

Chili & Chocolate Warming Sore Muscle Rub Recipe

This warming sore muscle salve recipe with essential oils is great for stiff muscles, aches and pains. Formulated to work well when used in conjunction with body massage and works great for everyday pain relief to soothe body aches. This DIY sore muscle rub has a wonderful chili and chocolate fragrance derived from essential oils for natural relief without that medicinal smell. Get the recipe to make yours.

warming ginger salve for sore muscles

Ginger Salve Recipe for Sore Muscles

My warming ginger salve recipe for sore muscles was probably the first pain relief balm I ever made. I infused ginger powder, black peppercorns and peppermint leaves in a carrier oil for the base. Then mixed with beeswax and ginger essential oil. This muscle rub is perfect if you want a warming salve to soothe tight muscles, but are extra sensitive to capsicum (from cayenne.) Check it out.

arnica pain relief salve

Arnica Pain Relief Salve Recipe

Whether you suffer from pain due to occasional bumps, bruises and sore muscles or as a result of chronic conditions such as arthritis or carpal tunnel, this arnica pain relief salve recipe is the perfect natural remedy for muscle pain and inflammation!

I also used baobab oil for this recipe for its natural anti-inflammatory properties and fast absorption rate. While the addition of fresh ginger essential oil and chili seed essential oil  gently warm skin to soothe overworked muscles. Discover this wonderfully scented DIY now.

cayenne pain salve diy

Chocolate Lavender Sore Muscle Rub with Cayenne

This chocolate and lavender scented cayenne pain relief salve recipe with essential oils provides natural relief from arthritis pain and sore muscles. Not only is it effective at relieving pain symptoms, it smells amazing! Discover how to make a natural pain relief salve using the best essential oils for pain with this easy DIY. Learn to make it here.

healing hand salve with warming essential oils for pain

Healing Salve Recipe with Warming Essential Oils

Cold weather can bring misery with it as we age, whether from arthritis or chronic pain. This is in addition to dry, chapped skin. This healing salve recipe for hands tackles both of these symptoms to help offer both dry skin relief and pain relief in a single product.

Discover how this DIY healing hand salve hydrates and protects skin with all natural ingredients, including a simple blend of warming essential oils to help improve circulation and reduce inflammation. Get the recipe.

homemade pain relief cream

Homemade Pain Relief Cream

This homemade pain relief cream with magnesium is another great natural remedy for pain relief. This magnesium body butter recipe can offer relief from restless leg syndrome, nerve pain, sore muscles and more. The natural benefits of this body butter aside, I also love the way this homemade magnesium body butter recipe smells. It’s made with roasted cocoa butter for a rich chocolate like fragrance with  essential oils that naturally compliment that scent.  Give this DIY a try!

pain relief cream with arnica and magnesium

Magnesium & Arnica Pain Relief Balm

Just because a pain balm soothes pain, doesn’t mean it has to smell like! Another great recipe for pain relief that smells more like your favorite moisturizer, this homemade magnesium and arnica body butter recipe is scented with a delightful lavender and orange fragrance. Well suited for everyday aches, pains and bruises, this pain relief balm is a wonderful home remedy for sore muscles. Learn to make it here.

Prefer a massage oil instead? Check out my easy 3-ingredient recipe for making a pain relief massage oil. Or learn how to make a magnesium oil sleep spray to promote sleep, soothe pain, and calm restless legs.

For more health and wellness ideas and home remedies, be sure to follow Soap Deli News blog. You can find me on Facebook, TwitterPinterest, and Instagram. Or subscribe to my newsletter.


  • Cathy Callan

    November 4, 2021 at 9:53 am

    Love this site such great ideas !!

    1. Rebecca D. Dillon

      November 4, 2021 at 6:07 pm

      Thank you so much!

  • PotatoVsPumpkin

    December 21, 2021 at 9:52 am

    Thanks for sharing, it’s really nice to make a little bit and store it at home.

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