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How To Use Essential Oils For Muscles To Relieve Soreness, Cramps, and More

Massage Using Essential Oils for Muscles

Let's look at ways to use essential oils for muscles to help relieve tension, soreness, cramps, and more. For recipes for rubs similar to Tiger Balm, see Muscle Pain Relief Rubs.

Achy, Sore Muscles

To help relieve sore, stiff muscles, add the following to a hot bath and soak for at least 20 minutes:

  • 2 cups Epsom salt
  • 3 drops lavender essential oil
  • 5 drops juniper essential oil
  • 6 drops rosemary essential oil

For a massage to relieve muscle aches and pains caused by strenuous activity, add up to 8 drops of one of the following essential oils to 4 teaspoons of carrier oil:

  • Eucalyptus
  • German chamomile
  • Ginger
  • Juniper
  • Lavender
  • Marjoram
  • Rosemary

You can use the following blend suggested by Advanced Aromatherapy to massage tense muscles or specifically to relieve muscle cramps: 

  • 20 drops cypress essential oil
  • 20 drops tarragon essential oil
  • 20 drops thyme (thujanol chemotype) essential oil
  • 40 drops marjoram essential oil
  • 4 tablespoons carrier oil

Essential Oils For Muscle Cramps

If you tend to get muscle cramps during exercise, Healing With Aromatherapy recommends massaging some of the following blend into your muscles before you exercise:

  • 7 drops black pepper essential oil
  • 6 drops rosemary essential oil
  • 5 drops juniper essential oil
  • 2 tablespoons arnica oil (Note: Buy one that does not already contain essential oils)

To relieve muscle cramps, Aromatherapy for Dummies suggests this blend:

  • 8 drops lavender essential oil
  • 4 drops marjoram essential oil
  • 6 drops German chamomile essential oil
  • 4 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 4 tablespoons carrier oil (an oil infused with St. John's wort or arnica works best)

Another essential oil blend for muscle cramps from Massage & Aromatherapy:

  • 3 drops lavender
  • 3 drops marjoram
  • 3 drops rosemary
  • 1 drop sandalwood
  • 3 tablespoons almond oil

Massage blend briskly into affected muscles.

Another blend of essential oils for muscles from Aromahead:

  • 9 drops bergamot
  • 4 drops Roman chamomile
  • 3 drops lavender
  • 2 drops sweet marjoram
  • 2 tablespoons unscented cream or jojoba oil

Massage some into the cramped area.

To use essential oils for leg cramps, try this muscle cramp blend:

  • 4 drops peppermint 
  • 4 drops marjoram 
  • 4 drops lavender
  • 2 tablespoons carrier oil

To relieve muscle soreness or pain after the initial cramping, Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art suggests this massage blend: 

  • 30 drops lavender 
  • 10 drops marjoram 
  • 5 drops frankincense 
  • 4 tablespoons carrier oil

Muscle cramps are often caused by mineral deficiency or imbalance. Are you getting enough calcium, magnesium, and potassium and not too much salt in your diet? If you tend to be tense, consider getting regular massage therapy or use other relaxation techniques.

Muscle Injuries

To help prevent swelling and bruising after a muscle injury, use this blend:

  • 10 drops helichrysum essential oil
  • 5 drops German chamomile essential oil
  • 2 tablespoons carrier oil.

Apply to injured area immediately after the injury and periodically for several days, if needed. (Don't use on open wounds.)

For muscle strains, use up to 8 drops of one of the following essential oils in 4 teaspoons of carrier oil:

  • Cypress
  • Frankincense
  • German or Roman chamomile
  • Juniper
  • Lavender
  • Marjoram
  • Rosemary

Energizing Leg Muscles

Make an energizing leg gel with this aromatherapy recipe from EcoBeauty: Scrubs, Rubs, Masks, and Bath Bombs

  • 3 to 4 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 1 tablespoon witch hazel
  • 1/2 cup aloe vera gel
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  1. Combine the witch hazel, aloe vera, and cornstarch in a double boiler.
  2. Cook on low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, until ingredients are blended.
  3. Remove the double boiler from heat and then stir the mixture.
  4. Let the mixture cool.
  5. Stir in the peppermint essential oil.
  6. Pour the mixture into a clean jar with a lid that fits tightly.
  7. Store the leg gel in a cool, dark, dry location. This gel will be good for three to four weeks.

I recommend Young Living essential oils.

Photo Credit: MorgueFile

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