Moth and Toad Apothecary

Herbalism, self-sufficiency, and low-waste living

Muscle and Joint Pain Salve

This is a recipe I made and tested, and have found great results with! I had other people give it a go as well, and I feel comfortable sharing it as an option for you all to try! I chose herbs that have been used to treat inflammation and pain in muscles and joints, and used sweet almond oil as a carrier oil due to its light feel and ability to sink into the skin. Let me know if you try it out, too, and tell me how it goes! If you make any changes I’d love to hear about them!

I will note that I do not use fresh herbs for this recipe, but if that’s what you have on hand, it is possible to use them. Just make sure you watch your infusion for any signs of mold or bacterial growth!

What you’ll need:

  • 0.5 oz Nettle
  • 0.5 oz Marjoram
  • 0.5 oz Cinnamon or Sweet Cinnamon Chips
  • 0.5 oz Comfrey
  • 0.5 oz Arnica
  • 1 oz whole cloves
  • 24 oz sweet almond oil (or another light carrier oil such as argan, jojoba, or sunflower oil)
  • 20 drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil
  • 20 drops Rosemary Essential Oil
  • 6 oz Calendula-infused Coconut Oil
  • 5 oz Shea Butter
  • 2 oz Beeswax (shaved, pellets, etc)

Infuse these herbs together in almond oil, or another light carrier oil like jojoba, argan, or sunflower oil:

  • .5 oz Nettle 
  • .5 oz Marjoram 
  • .5 oz cinnamon or cinnamon sweet chips 
  • 1 oz clove 
  • .5 oz comfrey 
  • .5 oz Arnica*
  • 3 oz. Arrowroot Powder

*omit if using daily or more than once a week regularly. It can be sensitizing on skin when used frequently over time 

Cover with 24 oz. of your chosen carrier oil and allow to infuse for 3-4 weeks. It is approximately 7 oz. of oil per one ounce of herbs. This is more potent than the usual method I use of 1 ounce herbs to 10 oz. of oil because it will be further diluted with coconut oil and shea butter base. I do not recommend using the oil straight on your skin to avoid sensitization.

You may need to store this in multiple jars! This is totally fine. Just keep in mind that the less air in the jar, the better. You can add vitamin e oil to act as an extra antioxidant to prevent some spoilage if desired. 

After your infusion is ready to go, mix in 20 drops of eucalyptus oil and 20 drops of rosemary essential oil. Alternatively, you can add these two elements as .5 oz of each and 7 ounces of your carrier oil to the infusion at the start of your process. I didn’t have either on hand, so I used my essential oils instead, and it turned out lovely! Just be sure to adjust the hard oils to ensure a good texture in the end.

In a separate glass bowl, add 6 oz. of calendula infused coconut oil, 5 oz. of shea butter, and 2 oz. of beeswax. Use a double boiler to begin melting, and add in your infusion after it is mostly melted, with only the beeswax left to melt down. 

A user in an herbalist group I’m a part of recommended magnesium-rich arrowroot powder to cut down on greasiness and also add in another muscle-soothing element. I thought this was an awesome idea and I do think it makes a difference! I ended up melting down half my batch and adding some in, and I do like it better. After your solution is melted completely, begin slowly pouring it in and mix as you do so. 

Divide into small jars and allow to cool. Apply as needed to sore muscles and joints! It should stay good for 6 months to a year without preservatives added, but I do recommend checking it every once in a while for any undesirable mold growth. Store in a cool, dark, dry area when not in use. Apply like icy-hot in areas where muscles and joints are causing discomfort. Due to the nature of herbs and their potential to be irritants on some skin, make sure you patch test your salve before using it. Try not to use it too often, as arnica, one of the herbs in this salve, can be irritating after repeated frequent use.

Be smart, stay safe, and as always, feel free to let me know what you think in the comments. Bye!

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