One of my favorite things about living up in the mountains of East Tennessee has to be my wood burning stove.
It not only keeps my family warm during the long, cold days of winter, but it brings a sense of peace to my often restless spirit. I’m not sure what it is, but as soon as I smell the scent of burning wood and feel the warmth radiating from the black walls of our stove, I instantly feel calm and secure.
This stress reliever would not be possible without my husband. I owe this little pleasure in life all to him. He bought our stove, installed it, starts every fire in it (sometimes with the help of our boys), and even splits all the wood for it.
Speaking of splitting wood—it’s hard work. It makes your hands sore, your back sore, and your feet sore. While my man no longer splits the wood we use by hand (as he now owns a wood splitter), he has done his fair share of ax-wielding for years.
Somewhere along the line, I made an herbal infused oil just for the man who works so hard to make me happy. I call this oil Deep Tissue Herbal Oil because it’s formulated to penetrate sore muscles deeply. It not only warms and relaxes the muscles, but it’s cooling to the skin at the same time. Used alongside a gentle massage, it’s a useful aid for soothing sore muscles.
Beyond sore muscles, I use this oil in several other ways. I use it similarly to the over-the-counter product Icy Hot. We like to use it for congestion as well as on sore throat muscles that are the result of a nagging cough. It can also be massaged into swollen lymph nodes to facilitate proper lymph flow, and it works wonderfully for tension headaches. I like to rub this into my temples (staying away from the eye area) or into the back of my neck and shoulder muscles when I feel a tension headache coming on.
This recipe is for adults only as some of the ingredients are not suited for children.
You can find kid-friendly herbal recipes for sore muscles, congestion, and headaches via the links below.
- Sore muscles – https://growingupherbal.com/sore-muscle-ointment/
- Congestion – https://growingupherbal.com/kid-friendly-vapor-rub/
- Headaches – https://growingupherbal.com/4-steps-to-natural-headache-relief-without-otc-pain-relievers/
What You Need To Know When Making This Recipe
I make this recipe using the folk method as it’s one of the simplest ways to use herbs. The folk method works great for things like herbal infused oils where amounts and dosage aren’t all that important.
When it comes to using the herbal ‘parts’ mentioned in the recipe, you can use whatever measuring device you’d like, depending on how much of this oil you’d like to make. I normally make 4 ounces of oil at a time, so I use teaspoons as my ‘part.’ If you’re making this oil and giving it to friends or family members as gifts, you’ll want to use a larger ‘part’… say a cup instead.
Now let’s talk about the oil portion of this recipe. I like to use olive oil for a few of reasons. First, it holds up to consistent low heat well. Next, it’s relatively cheap to buy. And lastly, it works well as a massage oil. With that said, you can use any carrier oil you prefer. When making this oil, you’ll only need enough carrier oil to cover your herbs. This amount of oil will result in a nice, strong oil. Just be sure that all of your herbs are thoroughly saturated with oil and that a small amount of oil covers the herbs.
Lastly, let’s talk about the essential oil. Because the amount of carrier oil (olive oil) can vary for this recipe, when it comes to using essential oils at the end of the recipe, the number of drops called for will be determined by how many ounces of infused oil you end up with after your herbs are strained out. I like to add enough essential oils to create a 1% dilution. Like I mentioned earlier, I usually make 4 ounces of oil, so that means I end up using 24 drops of essential oil in this recipe.
Deep Tissue Herbal Oil
- 2 parts dried arnica flowers
- 2 parts dried comfrey leaf
- 1 part dried Calendula flowers
- 1 part dried St. John’s wort
- ½ part dried ginger root (do not use fresh root)
- ½ part dried red pepper flakes (any crushed hot pepper will work)
- ⅛ part menthol crystals
- Extra virgin olive oil (enough to cover herbs)
- Wintergreen essential oil (Gaultheria procumbens) (sufficient to create a 1% dilution)
- Measure your herbs in a glass jar. Mix well to combine.
- Cover the herbs with oil.
- Heat over low heat for a minimum of 2 hours—three days would be even better.
- Strain herbs and compost them. Place infused herbal oil in a saucepan over low heat (double boilers are best) along with menthol crystals and stir oil until the crystals dissolve. Remove from heat and add in essential oils. Mix well.
- Bottle, label, and store.
It’s Not Complete Without A Massage
When using this Deep Tissue Herbal Oil for sore muscles or swollen lymph nodes, use it alongside a gentle massage for best results. This oil will work to increase circulation in the muscles and skin on its own, but pairing it with a massage will speed the process up and help soothe muscles all the more.
You can find easy to follow instructions on giving a massage here. I wrote this post with babies in mind, but the same steps work well for adults too.
If you decide to add this recipe to your natural medicine cabinet, I hope you enjoy it! I’m sure it will serve you well throughout the year.