If you are new to the essential oils world, you may know that people use essential oils because many of them smell good, right? Great! But that is just scratching the surface - I mean the very most exterior of the surface. Did you know, for example, that some essential oils can actually help to numb pain in sore muscles and joints? Wintergreen is a natural analgesic due to its high methyl salicylate content. Methyl salicylate is also one of the active ingredients used by the popular Icy Hot.
“Ok, but Icy Hot has a lot more in there, right?” Sure it does - go ahead and read the label next time you are in the store (you might not be able to pronounce most of the ingredients). “So... is there a more natural alternative?” Yes, and in fact there are many of them - check out my Essential Oils for Athletes and Performance page to learn about my go-to essential oils for athletic support. Used topically, essential oils can be extremely effective since they are easily absorbed into the system through the skin. Because they are lipophilic (mix well with oils), it is often recommended to use a carrier oil (ex. fractionated coconut oil) to help the essential oils penetrate more easily and to prevent the skin’s potential sensitivity to some undiluted oils.
One of my favorite blends that I’d like to expound upon is Deep Blue which I often liken to a natural Icy Hot alternative because you would use it in much of the same way, it’s tingly, and smells minty. However, Deep Blue is simply a balanced mixture of wintergreen, camphor, peppermint, ylang ylang, helichrysum, blue tansy, blue chamomile, and osmanthus essential oils so you know exactly what is in it and the function of each ingredient.
Pain relief: wintergreen, camphor, peppermint
Anti-inflammatory/soothing: ylang ylang, blue tansy, blue chamomile
Cellular repair: helichrysum, osmanthus
Here’s a bit about each constituent oil of Deep Blue:
Wintergreen - For centuries, the French have used wintergreen for various issues, from rheumatism to muscular pain to cramps and inflammation. This essential oil can be applied directly or diluted with a carrier oil to the area of pain.
Camphor - well known to topically reduce pain and relieve itching, this is a common ingredient in many over-the-counter analgesics
Peppermint - known to soothe, this essential oil provides cooling relief with a little tingle!
Ylang ylang - a floral, intoxicating scent, ylang ylang supports equilibrium and balance
Helichrysum - known to support circulatory functions and pain, this essential oil is a key ingredient!
Blue tansy - this herbaceous essential oil encourages relaxation
Blue chamomile - widely known for its calming and anti-inflammatory properties, this ingredient is essential for muscle and joint recovery
Osmanthus - a native herb of East Asia, this essential oil has long been used to bring comfort to the body and soothe sore muscles
How would I use this blend? A few of my favorite ways:
A soothing massage after a big workout or race
Rub a few drops into your shoulders after working at the computer all day
Rub into your lower back after a day of moving or heavy lifting
Rub into sore wrists after activity like tennis or even just too much mousing for those of us who double as desk jockeys!
Apply to sore knees, elbows, or other joints before or after exercising
Deep Blue is available in an essential oil blend which you can apply directly (for adults after testing for sensitivity) or diluted in your own lotion. Rather have an easier form? Try the pre-diluted rollerball, the pill form or - my favorite - the lotion. Want more info about application? Check out this short video.