PART 3. THE REMEDIES
JOINT & MUSCLE PAIN
You don’t have to be a pro athlete or gym rat to experience joint and muscle pain. In fact, the simple act of everyday living can lead to the minor injuries that lead to strain and discomfort. Time, rest, and simple home remedies can bring fast, effective relief. Try these alone or alongside other remedies and complementary therapies like massage or acupuncture. If your pain worsens or fails to improve, check in with your care provider.
YIELD: 8 OUNCES
STORAGE: GLASS JAR OR TIN
TIME: 48 HOURS FOR BREWING
Cayenne offers deep, penetrating heat that quickly eases joint and muscle pain. Be careful to keep this formula away from your eyes and wash hands thoroughly after preparing (use fresh lemon juice in a pinch).
½ cup cayenne pepper
7 ounces organic olive oil
1 ounce beeswax, grated
1.In a jar, combine the cayenne pepper and olive oil.
2.Cap the jar tightly and put it in a warm place for 48 hours.
3.Pour the oil through a fine sieve into a double boiler.
4.Add the grated beeswax and stir gently over low heat until the wax melts.
5.Cool the blend for 2 minutes.
6.Pour it into a jar or tin and cool completely before capping tightly.
7.Using your fingers, apply a thin layer to the affected area.
8.Use 2 to 3 times daily to stop pain. Store in a cool, dark place.
Cooling Mint Compress
YIELD: 1 TREATMENT
STORAGE: NOT RECOMMENDED
TIME: 20 MINUTES
That refreshing zing that peppermint gives your senses is the same effect it has on your circulation, triggering an increase in blood flow that stops pain and swelling. After applying the compress, elevate the injured area to bring further relief.
2 cups cold water
2 cups ice
½ teaspoon organic olive oil
5 drops peppermint essential oil
1.In a large bowl, combine the water and ice.
2.In the palm of your hand, combine the olive oil and peppermint essential oil.
3.Rub the oils onto the affected area.
4.Soak a soft cloth in the ice water and wring out the excess moisture.
5.Apply the cloth to the affected area, covering the oils.
6.Relax for 20 minutes or so, refreshing the cloth with more cold water.
7.Repeat 2 to 3 times daily.
YIELD: 1 PINT
STORAGE: DARK-COLORED BOTTLE OR JAR
TIME: 4 WEEKS
Soreness will retreat in the face of a quadruple threat from arnica, peppermint, cayenne, and goldenseal. Because this preparation takes several weeks to mature, it’s best to make it before you need it. If you regularly suffer from joint or muscle soreness, or have some intensive physical activity lined up, don’t delay in putting this together. The mixture lasts indefinitely when properly stored.
1 pint rubbing alcohol
4 tablespoons dried arnica flowers
4 tablespoons dried peppermint leaves
2 tablespoons goldenseal powder
1 tablespoon cayenne powder
1 teaspoon peppermint essential oil
1.In a 1-quart canning jar, combine the rubbing alcohol, arnica, peppermint leaves, goldenseal, and cayenne. Cap the jar tightly and shake well.
2.Place the jar in a warm area. Shake it once daily for a month.
3.When four weeks have passed, strain the liquid into a glass pitcher, discarding the herbs.
4.Add the peppermint essential oil and mix well.
5.Pour the finished liniment into a dark-colored glass bottle or jar (a sterilized wine bottle works well).
6.Apply to the affected area with a cotton pad and allow to air dry. Reapply as often as needed.