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The Top 5 Essential Oil Blends for Soothing Sore Muscles

Posted on January 11 2016

If you’re following us on Instagram or Facebook, you might have seen a few pictures of a couple staff members jogging or at the gym.  A few of us made some New Year’s Resolutions, probably like many of you, to lose weight or to get back in shape. 

Making the resolution is the easy part.  Even going to the gym or for a run for the first time can be relatively easy!  The hardest part, at least for me?

My muscles the day after.

I made the terrible mistake of going to the gym a little too frequently my first week back, and as a result I was so sore I could barely walk or lift my hands above my head the week after! I quickly turned to my essential oil collection, and I’ll be sharing with you the best blends and tricks I used to get over my soreness, quickly.

essential oil tips for sore muscles

The first thing I did was add a few drops of Soothe to a few drops of fractionated coconut oil, and rubbed the mix into my skin around the sore muscles with firm, circular motions.  This had a very noticeable effect, especially right after the shower, and I even got compliments on how nice I smelled as a result! 

I repeated the soothe and coconut oil massage three times that first day that I was super sore, and twice a day for the days after.  I still use this mix on my feet after I go for a run – with the added side effect that it’s making my feet very nice and soft!  

Another trick I’ve learned from a friend who runs daily is to use Peppermint oil to help soothe sore muscles.  It’s extremely stimulating and refreshing, so if you feel like your muscles are burning after a workout or you’re feeling the burn the next day, peppermint is definitely an oil you should turn to.  

I use Peppermint for headaches as well as the natural insecticide mentioned in our earlier blog post, so I keep a subscription for it going.  It’s too useful for me to want to run out!

how to use essential oils for sore muscles

A non-essential oil tip that you may find helpful is that if your feet constantly ache after you run, or you find yourself getting shin splints or sore joints, you may need to take a look at your shoes!  Make sure that if you start a fitness plan that includes running that you invest in a quality pair of shoes, and maybe even inserts. 

Running should leave you tired and maybe a little sore, but you shouldn’t be in significant pain after each run.  

To help prevent muscle soreness, stretching after a run or a workout is highly recommended.  I like to diffuse oils while I do this (or while I practice yoga), and I’ll list below a few of the oils and the effects they can have while you stretch:

essential oil blends for muscle soreness

  • Frankincense: Stretching is a calming, gentle activity that helps loosen your joints and tendons. For that reason, I really love diffusing Frankincense, especially if I’m going to be practicing a gentle form of yoga as my stretching routine.   The anti-inflammatory properties of the oil, along with the mild sedative effect it can have, makes it great for cooling down and relaxing after a workout.
  • Lavender: Useful in so many ways, just one additional way is the anti-inflammatory and pain relieving benefits you get from using it. Mild enough to be used topically (especially if you don’t have the Soothe blend on hand), or you can diffuse it in combination with other essential oils, it’ll help keep your muscles from being too sore the next day.
  • Clarity Blend: After a workout, I can sometimes feel drained or worn out, so when I get home and go through some stretches, I’ll diffuse the Clarity blend as a pick-me-up if I still have more to do that day.  After a morning run or quick workout, it’s definitely a great blend that helps really get me going. 
  • Refresh Blend: This combines the benefits of Frankincense with refreshing fir needle and an oil known to reduce food cravings – grapefruit! It’s a wonderful and pleasant blend that really makes me feel happy and accomplished after a workout.
  • Renew Blend: This blend is my emergency, oh-no-I-overdid-it blend. The oils in this blend are warming, soothing, and powerfully healing.  I’ll diffuse a few drops while I stretch, and I really like to diffuse it after a long run or hard work out.  I’ll also mix it with a few drops of carrier oil and massage it into my muscles instead of the Soothe blend, especially if I’m not super sore.  It really feels like it helps me recover faster!  :)

If you suffer from joint pain after your workouts, there’s a blend that’s just wonderful for that.  The Move (joint pain) blend is full of oils that have historically been associated with pain relief and the elimination of toxins. 

Working out when you haven’t in a long time can bring on some soreness in areas you may not expect it, so this is great to have on hand!  Make sure to dilute it with a couple drops of a carrier oil, or you can add a few drops to a warm bath to soothe those joints.

best essential oils for muscle soreness

It’s important after any workout to stretch thoroughly and cool down.  Try to time yourself for at least a 10 minute stretch after you work out to be sure you’ve given your muscles enough time to cool down and stretch out some of that lactic acid that builds up during the workout. 

What are your preferred blends to help with muscle aches and soreness?  Share yours with us in the comments below, or on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook!

-Jen, your friendly essential oil enthusiast


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