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I love to use lotion bars as a simple way to moisturize and nourish my skin because they are easy to customize. This natural muscle pain relief version is one of my favorites. I grab it after a workout or whenever I’m feeling sore muscles.
Natural Muscle Pain Relief
Lately, I’ve been relying on high-intensity interval training (HIIT) to keep in shape. It’s a natural way to improve blood flow to the brain and stay healthy. Working out can come with some aches and pains, though.
Supplements like magnesium, anti-inflammatory turmeric, curcumin, and cherry juice can all help with muscle soreness. Maybe you’re not even dealing with aches and pains from working out, but just life in general.
According to the CDC, nearly a quarter of the U.S. population has arthritis, with joint pain from osteoarthritis being the most common. Fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis are also on the rise. While eating a healthy diet is key to managing chronic pain from these challenges, it’s also nice to get some quick relief in the meantime. A natural muscle pain relief lotion bar is a great way to do just that.
Over the Counter Pain Management
Anti-inflammatory drugs and NSAIDs, like ibuprofen, are increasingly popular as more people struggle with pain-related issues. In 2019, the pain reliever drug market was valued at well over 74 million and is expected to increase significantly each year. A lot of these drugs have unwanted side effects, and many people are looking for complementary therapies to use instead.
The conventional healthcare system doesn’t offer many solutions for pain management outside of pills and surgery. Thankfully there are plenty of home remedies for natural muscle pain relief to turn to.
Natural Muscle Relaxers
Muscles can get tight and stiff from overuse or injury and relaxing them is key. Muscle spasms are a common problem for all ages and range from annoying to downright painful. Taking an Epsom salt bath with some chamomile herb is a relaxing way to unwind and treat your muscles. Sometimes I’ll use a homemade heating pad or hot water bottle to soothe sore muscles.
Be sure to give yourself enough downtime to heal when needed, and nourish your body!
Natural Muscle Pain Relief Lotion Bars
This recipe is simple enough to make but oh so soothing. I don’t use it during pregnancy due to the potent essential oils, but it’s great at other times. I also make a diluted version by using half as much menthol and essential oil. According to essential oil skincare expert Tisserand, a .5% dilution of peppermint is safe for kids ages 3-6. I use a 1% dilution here, so cutting the essential oil in half will put it in that range. You could even cut it down to .25% and use only 10 drops of peppermint oil in the recipe if you prefer. The toned-down version is great for my kids when they get growing pains.
Here’s a breakdown of the active ingredients and why I chose them.
Menthol and Peppermint
Menthol is the main active ingredient in peppermint oil, and both have an analgesic (pain-relieving) effect. I’ve included both menthol and peppermint essential oil in this recipe, so you get the benefits of both. It’s perfect for neck pain, back pain, and even migraines.
Arnica is one natural remedy no mama should be without! Its anti-inflammatory properties are great for sprains and stiff muscles. You can make your own arnica-infused oil or buy it if you’re short on time. Here are instructions for how to make your own herb-infused oil.
Natural Muscle Pain Relief Lotion Bars
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- ⅓ cup shea butter can substitute cocoa butter or mango butter
- ⅓ cup beeswax pellets
- 1 tsp beeswax pellets
- 1 TBSP menthol crystals
- 40 drops peppermint essential oil 1% dilution rate
- 1 TBSP arnica oil
- Combine the coconut oil, shea butter, and beeswax in a quart-size glass mason jar, and carefully place this jar in a small saucepan of water on the stove.
- Turn the burner on, and bring water to a low simmer. Stir ingredients constantly until they are melted and smooth.
- Remove from heat. Stir in the menthol crystals and stir until dissolved.
- Add the essential oils and arnica oil (if using), and stir until well combined.
- Carefully pour the oil mixture into the molds of your choice. I used silicone molds, though any mold will work.
- Allow the lotion bars to cool completely before attempting to pop out of the molds. I put the bars in the fridge to speed up the cooling time.
How to Use:
Store in a cool or dry place for up to six months. I’ve even had some last as long as a year.
To use: Hold the natural muscle pain relief lotion bar in your hand and carefully rub it onto dry skin. The skin’s heat will transfer some of the lotion bar to the skin. I store my lotion bars on a small plate on my dresser and bathroom counter.
Don’t Want to Make Them?
If you want to use lotion bars but don’t have the time to make them for yourself, I found a great small business that sells them. MadeOn makes all kinds of lotion bars, soaps, natural baby products, and hair products that are up to my standards. They have agreed to give Wellness Mama readers a 15% discount on all orders with the code WELLNESSMAMA.
Sometimes accidents happen where we need to consider a pain relieving medicine. If there are broken bones or a significant injury and you are looking the a clean option, Genexa has a pain reliever that contains acetaminophen but without the junk and fillers.
This article was medically reviewed by Madiha Saeed, MD, a board certified family physician. As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.
Have you ever made lotion bars? What did you add to yours? Share below!
Discussion (126 Comments)
How many bars (using the mold you recommend) does this recipe make? I’m trying to figure out the cost of enough ingredients to fill all the sections of the mold (12 bars).
It makes about six, depending on how thick you pour them…
I absolutely love making lotion bars, and this sounds yummy! I recently made some with tea tree and peppermint. My husband, daughter, and friends all went gaga over them. Thanks so much for the post. Much love…
I have made lotion bars with coconut oil, shea butter, beeswax with essential oil. I found the bars would get hairy N dusty so the next batch I added more beeswax and put it in new deodorant containers. Works great. I have also made an anti bug balm using coconut, shea, grapeseed oil and citronella.
I do the same with the bug bomb but I also add geranium Mosquitoes don’t like that either. I also make soap with geranium and citronella. My husband is allergic to mosquitoes and a union laborer. They used to tear him up in the summer
Can something be substituted for the menthol crystals? And where would one find such a thing?
Eucalyptus oil can be subbed, and both are available by clicking on the links in the ingredients above…
Would you use 1 Tbsp Eucalyptus in place of menthol cyrstals, or another measurement? Thanks.
How many drops of eucalyptus oil should be used?
Please let us know how many drops of eucalyptus oil one should use to substitute for the menthol crystals (they are impossible to buy where I live in Europe…). Thanks Katie! I can’t wait to try making them 🙂
Ask any local pharmacy, they have it behind the counter &just costs pennies.
Can coconut oil have a friend that’s allergic.
I am allergic to practically everything from a reaction to formaldehyde. Coconut oil does not bother me.
In Magnesium Miracle I recall reading growing pains are actually a sign of magnesium difficency. I don’t own the book, so I can’t verify it…
Also can be a vitamin D deficiency.
Can I ask why you don’t use them while pregnant? Just curious what ingredient is not good for pregnancy (I use arnica oil for bruises & while not currently pregnant always good to have info about these things!).
Depending on the source, Peppermint, menthol and arnica are all counter-indicated during pregnancy (even topically) since they have the potential to cause contractions…
I had no idea, learned something new!
Jeffrey Von Stetten
why do you think those substances cause contractions?
Peppermint will not cause contractions, but it does effect milk production and supply.
And Peppermint can also turn a baby. So if the baby is breech you want to use Peppermint oil.
But if the babies not breach you want to avoid LOL
Andi Perullo de Ledesma
These look awesome!
how wonderful! I had an awful tension headache last night. this would have been heavenly!
Oooh, that sounds lovely. I’ve never ventured into making my own beauty products (besides rubbing oil all over my face!) My muscles could definitely use one of these right about now!