DIY Tired Muscle Salve with Arnica and St. John’s Wort

If you have tired muscles, Arnica and St. John's Wort are your best friends.

A simple salve is one of the best ways to apply these herbs topically. The salve can be further enhanced by adding comfrey or cayenne, depending on your needs.

Add comfrey for a gentler salve.

Opt for cayenne in you'd like to create a warming version.

Mountain Rose Herbs' Arnica and St. John’s Herbal Oil makes it super quick and easy to prepare this salve.

Arnica and St. John’s Herbal Oil is already infused and ready to go. You could easily dilute it with olive oil then just add beeswax for a very simple salve, but I'm going to show you how to add comfrey or cayenne to take it up a notch.

Arnica and St. John’s Herbal Oil is a beautiful reddish hue, mostly thanks to the St. John's Wort. IT also has a lovely lavender scent because of the addition of lavender essential oil.

This herbal oil blend could be applied to the skin directly, but also works well diluted with another carrier oil (use equal parts carrier oil and herbal oil). The diluted version is perfect for use as a relaxing massage oil.

I find turning into a salve works best for when I need to apply it to myself. I don't know about you, but getting massage oil on my own shoulder can be a little tricky (and messy)! Creating a salve makes it easier to apply and less messy too.

Caution: Arnica should not be used on broken or abraded skin. It is intended for external use only. Always perform a skin patch test before use.

Tired Muscle Salve Recipe

Ingredients

¼ cup (2 oz) Olive oil
¼ cup (2 oz) Arnica and St. John’s Herbal Oil
2 Tbsp. Beeswax

Optional:
2 Tbsp Comfrey leaf (for gentle salve)
OR
2-3 tsp. Cayenne powder (for warming salve)

Instructions

To make a simple salve, melt beeswax with olive oil and Arnica and St. John’s Herbal oil in a double-boiler. Pour into jars and let cool completely before closing with lid.

To give the salve a boost with comfrey or cayenne, follow these steps:

Infuse with comfrey:

Give this salve a gentle boost by infusing the olive oil with comfrey before mixing with the Arnica-St. John’s oil and beeswax.

Create an infused oil by placing 2 tablespoons comfrey leaf in a canning jar and pouring 2-ounces of olive oil over the top. Stir to blend.

Place jar in a heavy pot filled with an inch or two of water.

Warm over medium-low heat for about 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover and let sit for at least one hour. For a stronger infusion, rewarm and let steep for another hour. (You may infuse via another infusion method, if desired. The crockpot or cold-infusion method work well too.)

Once sufficiently infused, strain and discard the herbs.

Mix this comfrey infused oil with 2 ounces Arnica and St. John’s Herbal Oil and 2 Tablespoons beeswax. Melt in the top of a double boiler and pour into jars to cool.

Infuse with Cayenne:

The addition of cayenne will create a warming salve that brings a little heat to the muscles. 

To create a cayenne infusion add 2 teaspoons Cayenne powder to 2 ounces of olive oil (add this to a canning jar and use a makeshift double boiler or put the mixture in the top of a double boiler).

Warm over medium-low heat for about 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover and let sit for at least one hour.

For a stronger infusion, rewarm and let steep for another hour. Repeat this rewarming process for a number of hours if you desire a stronger infusion.

Once sufficiently infused, strain through a fine mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth. Discard the cayenne.

Mix this cayenne-infused oil with 2 ounces Arnica and St. John’s Herbal Oil and 2 Tablespoons beeswax. Melt in the top of a double boiler and pour into jars to cool.

Cautions:
If using cayenne, be sure to wash hands after application as the cayenne will burn your eyes if you forget and rub them!

Let cool completely before closing with lid. Be sure to label your salve.

Rub into tired muscles as needed.

Want a printable version of this recipe? Here you go:

Tired Muscle Salve with Arnica & St. John's Wort

Tired Muscle Salve with Arnica & St. John's Wort

Tools

  • Canning Jar
  • Pot
  • Fine mesh strainer
  • Cheesecloth

Instructions

To make a simple salve: melt beeswax with olive oil and Arnica and St. John’s Herbal oil in a double-boiler. Pour into jars and let cool completely before closing with lid.

To give the salve a boost with comfrey or cayenne, follow these steps:

Infuse with comfrey:

  1. Place 2 Tbsp comfrey leaf in a canning jar and pour 2-ounces of olive oil over the top. Stir to blend. 
  2. Place jar in a heavy pot filled with an inch or two of water. 
  3. Warm over medium-low heat for about 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover and let sit for at least one hour. For a stronger infusion, rewarm and let steep for another hour. (You may infuse via another infusion method, if desired. The crockpot or cold-infusion method work well too.)
  4. Once sufficiently infused, strain and discard the herbs. 
  5. Mix this comfrey infused oil with 2 ounces Arnica and St. John’s Herbal Oil and 2 Tablespoons beeswax. Melt in the top of a double boiler and pour into jars to cool. 

Infuse with Cayenne:

  1. Add 2 tsp Cayenne powder to 2 ounces of olive oil (add this to a canning jar and use a makeshift double boiler or put the mixture in the top of a double boiler). 
  2. Warm over medium-low heat for about 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover and let sit for at least one hour.
  3. For a stronger infusion, rewarm and let steep for another hour. Repeat this rewarming process for a number of hours if you desire a stronger infusion.  
  4. Once sufficiently infused, strain through a fine mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth. Discard the cayenne. 
  5. Mix this cayenne-infused oil with 2 ounces Arnica and St. John’s Herbal Oil and 2 Tablespoons beeswax. Melt in the top of a double boiler and pour into jars to cool.
  6. Let cool completely before closing with lid. Be sure to label your salve. Rub into tired muscles as needed. 

Stacy Karen

Stacy is a DIY obsessed, healthy living advocate. A preacher's wife and mom of three, she loves to encourage others to live a natural lifestyle.
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