Plants for Muscle Relaxation

Our bodies do a lot for us, from movement to holding tension and emotion. Through bathing and moisturizing, we can give our bodies, and specifically our muscles, tendons, and joints some love and release. 

Muscle Relaxer Bath
bath is perfect medicine after an arduous hike or other physical activity. The warm water stimulates blood flow, helping to ease stiffness and soreness in muscles and joints. For even more benefit, epsom salts add magnesium, which is absorbed through skin. Magnesium helps muscles to relax and while it’s a trace mineral, not having enough can be a cause for muscle spasms.

A common garden and tea herb, chamomile, is a powerful anti-inflammatory and mild anesthetic for muscular pain, specifically smooth muscles. Chamomile increases muscle relaxing amino acids such as glycine.

1c epsom salt
1T dried chamomile flowers (consider grinding up, so they won’t clog tub)
5 drops of chamomile essential oil
2 drops of lavender essential oil

Mix all together and store in an air-tight glass jar. Use a heaping scoop for your bath or to preference. Soak & enjoy.

Infused Oil or Salve for Sore Muscles
Arnica and St. Johns Wort are two abundant plants that grow in the PNW, as well as a powerhouse in relieving stiff and sore muscles.

Arnica is a well known and well studied go to for muscle pain, bruising, and general topical healing needs. By increasing blood flow, arnica helps to speed up healing. Note, arnica is to be used externally only, as it is toxic if ingested. This includes not apply to open skin.

Formulating st.john’s wort with arnica adds further anti-inflammatory properties. By helping to release heat from irritated tissue, swelling decreases so healing can occur. St John’s also relieves nerve pain, again making it a go to for relief from muscle overexertion. Related to its nerve pain affinity, it’s a great antiviral - helpful for healing scrapes and bruising, as well as, soothing specific to viruses that affect nerves (like herpes and shingles).

Dried arnica flowers
Dried st. john’s wort flowers
Almond or carrier oil of choice
Clean mason jar

Pack jar full of plant matter. Pour carrier oil overtop, leaving headspace where the rim starts. Secure lid and give jar a shake. Store in a warm, dark place (like above the fridge) for a month. Give a shake and check on every week, removing any water/moisture that occurs in head space as it will lead to spoilage.

When oil is done infusing, it’ll be a more golden orange. Strain out plant matter. Keep oil as is or heath and melt some beeswax to create a salve.

-- Written by our in house herb witch, Kaitlyn Rich!
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