Essential Oils for Muscle Soreness

Essential Oils for Muscle Soreness

February 14, 2019 16 By Paul

Hey again all you oil loving dudes out there… Today I am going to take you on a journey into the world of essential oils and muscle soreness. This has come about as – and it happens to us all – I am not getting any younger so I am attempting to keep myself a little on fitter in order to stop my midriff entering a room 10 minutes before I do. All jokes aside, my family history with heart disease, cholesterol and the like is horrendous so I need to do everything right. I watch my stress levels, diet and alcohol intake – poorly at this time of year admittedly – and try and exercise at least once a day.

The trouble is that I don’t recover from physical activity as well as I used to. And added to all of those previous pains I have from years and years of playing team sports, I need to manage my pre and post activity regime quite carefully. Don’t get me wrong, I am not a total invalid just yet I just need to be careful. I play indoor soccer, I swim, I lift weights and I do classes in our Pilates studios.

And in the interests of maintaining my chemical free lifestyle and journey with essential oils, I am going to take you through some of the ways that I use essential oils as part of my exercise activities.

What oils do I use?

For my daily needs, I use 3 oils:


PanAway is a mixture of Wintergreen, Helichrysum, Clove and Peppermint. This blend has been developed purely for this reason – Wintergreen is good for achy joints, Helichrysum and Peppermint for their anti-inflammatory properties and Clove as a pain reliever.


I have discussed Peppermint many times in the past in regards to its anti-inflammatory benefits and cooling effects. I actually use it in this case just to make the PanAway a little more cooling on my joints. Not sure it does anything more to enhance it, but I like the cooling, soothing goodness! Peppermint is however used in some popular ‘off the shelf’ sports liniments such as Goanna Oil so I have to assume it is adding something to the mix.


This is another oil I have discussed at length on this site. I suffer from muscle cramps, especially in my calves and quads and this oil soothes it nicely. Copaiba is often suggested as a good oil for post-workout cool down on the muscles.

And the good news is that all of these oils are found in the Premium Starter Kit.

YL Panaway Essential Oil Blend

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YL Peppermint Essential Oils

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YL Copaiba Essential Oil

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How do I use them?

I use them in a number of capacities on a daily basis. These include:

Indoor Soccer


  • 5 drops PanAway
  • 3 drops Peppermint
  • 2 tablespoons of Coconut Oil

I rub into the joints of my ankles about 30 minutes prior to playing and strap my ankles. I then repeat with this mixture on my ankle joints immediately after the game finishes.

Does It work?

Absolutely it does – I have been able to keep playing purely based on this concoction. I don’t normally rave about oils this much but it really really does work.

For more information, see my sore feet post for its comparison to Deep Heat.

Weights, Swimming, Pilates

I suffer from tendinitis in my shoulder which doesn’t really affect me when I do these activities but it does get reallyEssential oils for swimming stiff and painful at times once it cools down. I have the following mix for when this occurs:

10 drops PanAway

10ml Grapeseed oil

I rub it onto my shoulder when it stiffens or if it is sore.

Does It work?

In this case, it is definitely an instance of the essential oil mix providing relief without actually fixing anything but it does do some good for my shoulder. I have found that rubbing this, or my soccer mixture onto the shoulder before the activity really does not make much of a difference – that is taken care if via some good stretching and theraband exercises – but it certainly does provide some relief to the shoulder afterwards. I usually apply before bed.

Leg Cramps

I just rub Copaiba straight onto my cramping muscles

Does It work?

You are probably sick of reading this but this was my first foray into oils… I couldn’t, and still can’t to be honest, believe it works without the need for aspirin or paracetamol.

What other oils may work?

The three I have listed above are, as I have said, the ones that I use for my muscle and joint pain needs. If you don’t have them at hand, here are some others that are supposedly good for muscle cramps:


What is it? Wintergreen is a group of plants from the shrub genus Gaultheria. They contain an aromatic

YL Wintergreen Essential Oil

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compound, methyl salicylate which gives it its strong, minty aroma.

What does it do? Wintergreen leaf has been used for centuries to provide relief for joint aches and Arthritis as well as a number of non muscle related issues. Studies have shown that wintergreen oil has the ability to act like a natural analgesic (pain reducer) and is particularly good for dealing with joint pain.

Use: Mix 5 drops with a tablespoon of a good carrier oil and apply to the irritated joint or muscle (adjust drops to personal preference).

Verdict: Seeing as it is the main ingredient in PanAway, I would definitely recommend using this one if it is what you have in the oil cabinet. This oil is not part of the Premium Starter Kit.


What is it? Helichrysum is a genus of an estimated 600 species of flowering plants in the sunflower family. It is

YL Helichrysum Essential Oil

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found in Africa, Madagascar, Australasia and Eurasia. The oil is steam distilled from the flowers.

What does it do? This in another oil with ancient uses that now has some scientific backup in regards to its antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties.

Use: Mix 5 drops with a tablespoon of a good carrier oil and apply to the irritated joint or muscle (adjust drops to personal preference).

Verdict: Full disclosure – I do not have this oil – In fact I don’t even know what it smells like. I have included it here as it is included in PanAway, does pop up on all research to do with muscle soreness and has some scientific backing to it (this study did however highlight that some more research was required). This oil is not part of the Premium Starter Kit and, if I am being honest, a little expensive so maybe stick to the PanAway.


What is it? Marjoram is a perennial herb or undershrub with sweet pine and citrus flavours. Apart from essential

YL Marjoram Essential Oil

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oils, Marjoram is used extensively in cooking and herbal teas.

What does it do? Marjoram is predominantly a muscle relaxant making it good for rubbing onto anywhere that may be spasming, cramping or stinging (in the muscle only).

Use: Mix 5 drops with a tablespoon of a good carrier oil and apply to the irritated joint or muscle (adjust drops to personal preference).

Verdict: We use a blend of peppermint, lavender, and marjoram oil with grapeseed carrier on our son’s legs when he gets cramps – he suffers the same cramping as I do and Copaiba did not seem to work on him. This one however is not too bad for him. I could not find and real scientific evidence of its benefits to muscle relief although it is another that has ancient reporting for use in this manner. You could do worse than to try it if you have it. This oil is not part of the Premium Starter Kit.


What is it? Rosemary is a shrubby herb that smells amazing and is synonymous with a good roast lamb and curries.

YL Rosemary Essential Oil

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The oil is steam distilled from its leaves.

What does it do? Used predominantly in folk medicine as a pain reliever, initial studies are being undertaken to determine the full extent of this oil’s medical benefits.

Use: Mix 2 drops of rosemary, 2 drops of peppermint and 1 teaspoon of coconut oil and rub on sore muscles to increase circulation (via massage) and relieve pain.

Verdict: I have not used Rosemary for muscle pain but when I am feeling tired and foggy, I do inhale it to assist with fatigue. Before we continue however, some oils such as Lemon, Lime and Eucalyptus smell just as you imagine they should. Rosemary does not – it is bordering on smelling like it is ‘off’ and is certainly an acquired taste. It is not too bad if diluted with others in a manly diffuser recipe but not great on its own. This oil is not part of the Premium Starter Kit.


What is it? Eucalyptus trees – big trees mostly native to Australia that feed Koalas (well intoxicate them actually)

YL Eucalyptus Radiata Essential Oil

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and have a string distinctive aroma – especially within their oil.

What does it do? I recently wrote about Eucalyptus and its abilities as a soothing agent for the dreaded man-cold and noticed during that research its uses with muscle soreness and fatigue. It is often discussed as being both an anti-inflammatory and an analgesic so it helps to soothe both the inflammation and pain. As with Peppermint, it is used in many ‘off the shelf’ arthritis and sports medications such as Metsal and others.

Use: Mix 5 drops with a tablespoon of a good carrier oil and apply to the irritated joint or muscle (adjust drops to personal preference).

Verdict: I like Eucalyptus oil – being Australian I love the aroma. I have not used it for my sports remedies as I have been using Peppermint but I will give it a try once my current paste runs out so watch this space. This oil is not part of the Premium Starter Kit.


Of course it does… but seeing as I am sick of writing about Lavender in every… single… post. I am just going to tell you it apparently works for this as well and leave it at that!!


Well there it is, another very full post listing a number of oils that you can use, in this case, for muscle soreness. As usual, I give the lists so that you can have a look and see which you think is best for you, or to see if what you have is suitable. If you have any recipes you use yourself, or would like any further information, please do not hesitate to comment below.

Until next time.

Have fun


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