As a person who tends to hold her tension in her shoulders, I enjoy a good massage. Ok, I’d enjoy a massage no matter what. But who wouldn’t? And while there are several massage oils for sale, I prefer to make my own.
Not only do I like to personalize my massage oil with my favorite essential oils, but I like to infuse the oil with herbs that will help soothe those sore muscles and promote healing.
While there’s a vast number of herbs I could use, I prefer two – arnica and comfrey – for the sake of simplicity and because they make such a great team.
Arnica is an herb that’s often used for sprains, sore muscles and pain relief. It’s also great for bruising, so whenever you get a bruise, keep this oil in mind, because it will help it heal much faster.
Many natural salves you’ll find in stores for muscle pain will contain arnica because it’s so effective and infusing arnica in your massage oil will give it a nice therapeutic touch. If you want a separate arnica balm for everyday aches and pains, here’s a simple recipe.
Comfrey leaf is a staple in our home because it’s a great healer and pain reliever. Its mucilaginous property will give your massage oil an extra skin-soothing boost.
Each essential oil has its own set of therapeutic properties. This particular blend is great for relieving pain, stress and anxiety. (Tip: when you have a headache, rub a bit of this oil on your temples, forehead and the back of your neck for relief.)
Frankincense essential oil helps soothe stress and anxiety. It’s also recommended for back and joint pain, so be sure to add some if you can, whether your massage oil is just for relaxation or to help with pain.
Soothing for the skin and the nerves, lavender is the perfect addition for a relaxing massage oil. In addition to its calming and lifting effects on mood, lavender essential oil is also anti-inflammatory.
DIY Herb-Infused Massage Oil
- 1 ½ cups coconut oil or liquid massage oil, like jojoba or almond oil (I use coconut oil because it works so well for massage and doesn’t spill since it’s solid, but if you prefer a liquid oil or have a coconut allergy, these other two options work great as well) – (find high quality carrier oils here)
- ¼ cup dried arnica flowers (find organic arnica flowers here)
- ¼ cup dried comfrey leaf (find organic comfrey leaf here)
- 15 drops lavender essential oil (find pure lavender EO here)
- 10 drops frankincense essential oil (find pure frankincense EO here)
- Turn your oven on to 200°, then turn it off when it’s fully pre-heated. You want to steep your herbs in a warm environment without cooking them.
- Measure out your herbs and oil into an oven-safe dish, jar or bowl, mix them together and set them in your warmed oven. Let them steep for at least four hours (you may have to heat the coconut oil a bit if it solidifies at the end).
- Using a mesh strainer or cheesecloth, strain the infused oil into a glass jar that will allow you to easily dip out your massage oil (if using coconut oil), or a squeeze bottle if using liquid oil. Discard or compost the spent herbs.
- Add the essential oils to the mixture and stir to combine. Cap your jar and stick on a label so you know what’s in there. With a pretty label, this infused massage oil makes a great gift!
When using it for massage, start with a small amount – a couple teaspoons or one tablespoon. I find that a little goes a long way, especially with the coconut oil. The coconut oil also rubs in nicely so you don’t feel greasy.
What do you use for massage oil?