10 Essential Oils That Relieve Sore Muscles

Updated on May 6, 2020
Cynthia Hoover profile image

Cynthia is a homesteader who grows and harvests food for her family. Cynthia prefers using home remedies when she can.

Sore muscles can really effect our daily lives. Either from accidental strains or chronic sore muscles because of our occupations. There are many natural ways to get relief. Many essential oils are perfect for massaging sore muscles.

10 Essential Oils That Relieve Sore Muscles

  1. German Chamomile
  2. Eucalyptus
  3. Peppermint
  4. Rosemary
  5. Sandalwood
  6. Yarrow
  7. Clove
  8. Black Pepper
  9. Oregano
  10. Lavender

This list of oils will relieve pain and inflammation with a soothing effect so we can get back to the grind. I often find that during gardening season I have more sore muscles than any other season. Whatever your muscle pain issues, there is an oil or combination of oils for relief.

Did you know these 10 essential oils could relieve muscle pain?

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Never use oils 'neat' always dilute them. While some are generally considered harmless for topical use when neat (undiluted). It is best to dilute them to avoid any reactions. Some can burn and sting when applied full strength.

German chamomile can be made into a muscle rub to remedy sore muscles.
German chamomile can be made into a muscle rub to remedy sore muscles.

1. German Chamomile

To use German chamomile to relive muscle aches and pain you have a few options:

  • Compress
  • Lotion/Muscle Rub

Compress Instructions

  • Soak wash cloth in warm water.
  • Add 2-3 drops German Chamomile oil.
  • Apply to areas in need of relief.

German Chamomile Muscle Rub Recipe

  • 2 table spoons of carrier oil
  • 1-2 drops of German Chamomile oil
  • Mix ingredients well
  • Apply to effected areas as needed

2. Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus oil is a common ingredient in many pain revilers. You can find many available in the pharmacy section at your local market. If you prefer home remedies you can make your own at home with essential oils and carrier oils too.

Never use your oils 'neat' or undiluted. Instead to use eucalyptus for muscle pain dilute 10-12 drops in a carrier oil or even a lotion.

I find a carrier oil to be best that way it doesn't create any weird odors with any fragrances in pre-made lotions. Premium Nature Avocado oil works well for me in my home remedies and I use it frequently to dilute eucalyptus oil.
The two used together do not create any weird smells and I find they pair well for diluting.

Peppermint oil has a cooling sensation that helps relieve muscle pains.
Peppermint oil has a cooling sensation that helps relieve muscle pains.

3. Peppermint

Since peppermint oil has a cooling effect it makes an effective oil to use for muscle pain. It has a cooling effect that reminds me of some over the counter popular muscle creams.

But the good news is you can make a natural organic remedy at home, and it will cost you less too. Peppermint helps relieve muscle pain and can also calm any muscle spasms you may have too.

How to Make Peppermint Muscle Balm


  • 1 ounce of shea butter
  • 2 ounces of coconut oil
  • 35 drops peppermint oil


Warm coconut and shea butter until they melt. Do not over heat, we just need them to be liquid not boiled! Add essential oils, give a quick stir. Add to a container.
Having this muscle balm made ahead is really handy in a pinch.

Twisted ankle? Break out the rub, sore back and so on. I use small containers to store my various balms and salves I make in. Yes you can buy labels too but I find a sharpie works just as good and it's cheaper too. Having small containers on hand I can keep them in my purse, or my go bag for the kids sporting events.

4. Rosemary

Rosemary isn't just for using as an aromatic spice in recipes. It can be very beneficial for pain relief. Rosemary is a very effective choice and an has an easy preparation.

Mix 3-4 drops of rosemary oil to 2 tablespoons of your preferred carrier oil. Use as needed to relive tension and muscle aches.

5. Sandalwood

Sandalwood has a deep rich forest like fragrance that reminds you of the woods with sweet undertones. When using it for muscle pain I suggest using grape seed oil for dilution. Grape seed oil has a neutral scent so the sandalwood fragrance doesn't get muddied.

To dilute add 2-4 drops to 2 tablespoons grape seed oil. Apply to effected area. This particular essential oil is one my husband uses. Since it is a more masculine fragrance.

Via topical application or soaking in a bath yarrow oils is effective as a treatment for sore muscles.
Via topical application or soaking in a bath yarrow oils is effective as a treatment for sore muscles.

6. Yarrow

Yarrow is a natural anti inflammatory, working well for even muscle pain related to menstruation. There are several ways you can use this essential oil to relive pain.

Yarrow Topical Application Recipe

  • 1 ounce of carrier oil
  • 6 drops of Yarrow

Muscle Soak Bath Recipe

  • 1 cup of milk
  • 6-8 drops yarrow oil
  • Mix milk and oil together then add to bath and mix vigorously.

If you prefer not to use milk, you can mix with any carrier oil. Since oil and water don't mix as we all know. Mixing with milk will help to aid in dispersal. Alternatively you can add your essential oils to any bubble bath, or body wash products you have on hand to help aid in their dispersal for soaking.

7. Clove

Clove is an amazing essential oil, it has so many uses and benefits. It helps aid in circulation thus eliminating pain. You can add 3-4 drops to a warm damp wash rag and apply directly to the area.

You can create your own muscle rub with clove by diluting 4 drops to 2 tablespoons of coconut oil. Clove oil is also effective at soothing nerve pain too.

Black pepper oils is fantastic at treating aches and pains.
Black pepper oils is fantastic at treating aches and pains.

8. Black Pepper

Using Black Pepper oil is an amazing decision to help in decreasing muscle pressure. Most helpful in the relief of agony after a hard exercise has our muscles screaming. Black pepper oil has saved me many times after squat challenges left me limping around. But 'no pain no gain', right?

Black pepper oils core components create a warming sensation it does well when paired with the use of peppermint. The warm and cool combination rival that of many of the counter muscle creams.

Simply add 2-3 drops of black pepper oil to your carrier oil of choice and apply as needed.

9. Oregano

Oregano essential oil is extremely versatile and has many uses. Since it made the list-you guessed it muscle pain treatment! Massage a dilution of 2-3 drops oregano oil to 2 tablespoons of carrier into any aches, pains or sore muscles.

Oregano oil is even effective for join pain due to it's anti inflammatory properties. This is one particular oil I keep on hand at all times. As you can imagine as a writer I type a lot. As a result I often get pain and cramping in my hands.

When my hands are being particularly bothersome, I use some made ahead dilution. Massaging it into my hands, before you know it I am back to clanking away on the keyboard.

10. Lavender

To reap the benefits of the pain fighting properties of lavender oil add 12 drops of oil to 1 ounce of coconut oil. You can substitute your favorite carrier oil of course.

Massage into the areas that are troublesome. Lavender is perfect to use especially near bedtime. It has a calming effect and even if in pain it will help you drift off to sleep. Apply as needed massaging into the offending areas.

Lavender oil is said to reduce the pain associate with child birth. If you are dealing with stomach cramps associated with your menstruation, try lavender oil for some relief. I get particularly irritating and painful cramping and I often get relief aided by lavender essential oil. It helps to relieve the pain, and also helps me sleep even though I am most uncomfortable.

Don't be afraid to blend several essential oils to create your own special recipes for muscle pain relief.
Don't be afraid to blend several essential oils to create your own special recipes for muscle pain relief.

Blending Oils for Ultimate Muscle Pain Relief

You can blend these oils to create unique massage oils, or balms suited to you and your specific pain needs. These are basic recipes and uses for 10 essential oils that relieve muscle pain. I have made a blend of peppermint, black pepper, oregano, lavender and clove I am currently using.

Try using them individually, and then take the ones that work best for you and create your own multi oil recipe. Remember to dilute, and if making larger batches you will need to adjust the amount of carrier oils used for dispersal.
Do use caution, while many oils have a reputation for being harmless undiluted. You are better off to follow dilute protocols with all essential oils. What can work for someone at full strength may burn or sting the next person. To avoid any potential hazards make sure to dilute any oils properly that will come in contact with your skin.

Whatever you do make sure oils are natural and organic, don't be fooled by anything labeled as fragrance. Fragrance oils are not for remedy applications. Have any perfect blend worked out for your muscle aches and pains? Let us hear about it by leaving a comment!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2020 Cynthia Hoover


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    • Cynthia Hoover profile imageAUTHOR

      Cynthia Hoover 

      2 months ago from Newton, West Virginia

      Shauna L Bowling yes you can! Those oils you mention will be perfect for using as a carrier oil! I use coconut oil frequently, and its the same I use for cooking too!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      2 months ago from Central Florida

      Cynthia, rather than keep several types of carrier oils, I wonder if I can use what I already have on hand for cooking. For instance, I use organic grape seed oil for shallow frying and coconut oil for baking fish or chicken. Could I use either of those with all the oils you mention in this article?

    • Cynthia Hoover profile imageAUTHOR

      Cynthia Hoover 

      2 months ago from Newton, West Virginia

      Patricia Hood5, Thank you for the tip! I have issues with varicose veins so I will be giving those essential oils you mention a try!

    • Patricia Hood5 profile image

      Patricia Hood5 

      2 months ago

      Helichrysum oil is so good for muscle spasms (bonus it helps with spider veins) and Arnica oil is a must have if there is bruising or swelling present.

    • Cynthia Hoover profile imageAUTHOR

      Cynthia Hoover 

      3 months ago from Newton, West Virginia

      Stephie spearmint is another good option it has that cooling factor like peppermint oil to help relieve sore muscles.

    • profile image


      3 months ago

      My friend uses spearmint essential oil for her achey back!


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