Maker Monday: Muscle Rub + Make Your Own Muscle Balm at Home

Ever since we've developed a natural muscle rub to help soothe sore muscles, it's been a super HOT seller! Here is a little sneak peak into how we make this product.

We make our balm base which is a blend of organic sunflower oil, cocoa butter and candelilla wax (which we use to keep this product vegan!)

Menthol is one of the main ingredients in this product, giving it that cooling, soothing feeling. We also use this as our main ingredients in our Crack Stick lip balms!

Here is another important ingredient in this product: capsicum oleoresin. Capsaicin is the active ingredient in chili peppers which makes them hot. It is used topically to relieve muscle or joint pain because it causes a sensation of heat that activates certain nerve cells. You can see in the picture below how concentrated it is! It is a deep, rich reddish orange color and gives the final product a lovely color.

And here we have the finished product! It's a nice bright color now but will mellow out to a light pink/red as it cools and solidifies in the tin.

You can purchase our Muscle Rub here, or you can keep reading and make your own muscle balm at home!While our muscle rub has all the bells and whistles because we jam packed it with muscle soothing ingredients, our guide to at-home muscle balm will give you a good starting point to make your own if you are looking for a DIY project.

Lee's Guide to At-Home Muscle Balm
This recipe is going to be in a coconut oil base. If you keep the product in the fridge, you won't need any other thickeners because coconut oil solidifies at 76 degrees. You can choose to add cocoa butter, shea butter or beeswax to give it a thicker texture. We'll also be giving you some other suggestions for ingredients to add. You should add whatever you like and have available in your area! This isn't going to be a straight forward recipe - this is a guideline meant to be altered and explored to your liking.

Here is a list of some ingredients you can use and equipment you may need:
  • Base oils - coconut oil, shea butter, cocoa butter
  • Essential oils - peppermint, eucalyptus, clove, cinnamon, Thieves
  • Muscle aid - cayenne powder, ginger root powder
  • Texture enhancer - cornstarch, arrowroot powder 
  • Pyrex, double boiler, mixing bowl, hand blender
  • Measuring cups, measuring spoons
  • Cheesecloth
  • Storage jar - small jam jar, mason jar or baby food jar
  1. Start with about 1/4 cup of coconut oil. If you want a thicker product, you can add about 1 teaspoon of beeswax or candelilla wax OR 1-2 tablespoons of cocoa butter OR 2-4 tablespoons of shea butter. You can play around with these numbers and even combine different thickeners to get a product you love!  Heat your oil(s) in a Pyrex in 30 second bursts in the microwave. Stir between intervals until melted. You can use a double boiler if you prefer.
  2. Now we want to infuse your hot oil base with cayenne and/or ginger. Add 1 tablespoon of cayenne powder. If you want, you can additionally add 1-2 teaspoons of ground ginger root.
  3. Let the cayenne (and ginger if you've added it) infuse into the warm oil(s) for 1-2 hours. When the oils start to cool, gently reheat them to keep the mixture warm.  
  4. After your infusing time, give the oils a final heating. Pour your melted infused oil(s) through a few layers of cheesecloth into a mixing bowl.
  5. Now it's time to add your essential oils! Use any combination of the oils we've mentioned, or if you are knowledgeable in essential oil usage, choose your own! We suggest anywhere from 10-40 drops of essential oils depending on how strong you want your product to be. Add your essential oils and give the oils a mix.
  6. Optional: you can add 1-2 teaspoons of cornstarch or arrowroot powder to help reduce the oily feel of the final product.
  7. Now you should have a mixing bowl that contains infused coconut oil + any thickening oil(s) you have decided to use + essential oil(s) + cornstarch or arrowroot powder if you have decided to add it. At this point you can give it all a good mix and put it in a jar for storage.
  8. Optional: If you want a to give the product a little oomph, now it's time to turn it into a whipped muscle rub! When all the ingredients have cooled and thickened, whip the whole batch with a hand blender for 5-8 minutes until soft and creamy. Scoop the resulting product into your storage jar and enjoy!

If you've tried our Muscle Rub before, let us know in the comments how you like it!
Did you try your own DIY at home muscle balm, let use know in the comments how it turned out!

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