Essential Oils for Muscle Soreness. What men need after sport!

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 for muscle soreness, and what essential oils men need after sport for pain. 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 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 essential oils for muscle soreness do I use?

For my daily needs, I use 3 oils:

Panaway essential oil

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.

Peppermint essential oil

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.

Copaiba essential oil

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.

YL Panaway Essential Oil Blend
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YL Peppermint Essential Oils
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YL Copaiba Essential Oil
Click here to purchase

How do I use essential oils for muscle soreness?

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

Indoor Soccer


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 me.

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

Weights, Swimming, Pilates

Essential Oils for Muscle Soreness. What men need after sport! - swimmingI suffer from tendinitis in my shoulder. It doesn’t really affect me when I do these activities but it does get really 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. 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 compound, methyl salicylate which gives it its strong, minty aroma.

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

YL Helichrysum Essential Oil
Click here to purchase

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

Marjoram essential oil
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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. The oil is steam distilled from its leaves.

YL Rosemary Essential Oil
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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.

Read more: 11 Benefits and Uses of Rosemary Essential Oil


What is it? Eucalyptus trees! Big trees mostly native to Australia that feed Koalas (well intoxicate them actually) and have a string distinctive aroma, especially within their oil.

YL Eucalyptus Radiata Essential Oil
Click here to purchase

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!!

Read more: 13 Benefits and Uses of Lavender Essential Oil


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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My name is Paul and I live on the east coast of Australia with my wife and six year old son. I also have 19 and 23 year old daughters. I am an ex government and bank worker who took a bit of a sea change and opened my own business by the beach with my amazing wife. If you can do it, try it. You will never look back. You want to know more about me, read my About Me page

17 thoughts on “Essential Oils for Muscle Soreness. What men need after sport!”

  1. This article came in time. 

    I appreciate the poster of this article on the varieties of the oils mentioned which are good for solving muscular cramps and other body discomfort. L ately I have a cousin with muscle soreness and the panaway and peppermint can be recommended to him. Thank alot for posting this. 

  2. Thank you for this beautiful post about the various oils we can you to relieve pain and muscle soreness. I have heard about some of the oils you mentioned, I have heard about the panaway, rosemary, peppermint and copaiba. My grand mother usually prepare peppermint and mix it with coconut oil for me during harmattan season and it is very effective. I have noted other oils you mentioned in this article and I will try to purchase them for use. Thank you so much. 

  3. I can see, there are so many needs these oils can meet for us and to keep us feet after strenuous exercise or rigorous exercise. It feels good to have a muscle relaxant that helps you to stay feet when you are done with weight lifting and another important thing I like about some of the oil is it’s anti inflammatory property.

  4. I read the topic carefully. I have got so much information. It is oil branded sponsored topic . from few months I have been founding like this oil. It is so much need for myself. Because I am a sportsman. sometimes it needs me. I will buy the oil. And I think everybody takes the oil.

  5. Hi Paul,

    I love this product review as I love essential oils. My personal favorites are eucalyptus, rosemary and lavender. I am very simple or basic in the fragrance that I can tolerate as some fragrances triggers my migraine headaches. 

    It is very helpful to know your different concoctions for different activities that you do. And the inclusions of what part of the muscle area to apply them on are just so detailed. 

    You are right we are not getting any younger, so anything to help us feel and perform our activities better like using essential oils are a welcome treat.

    Thank you for this wonderful product review.


    • Thanks Nida

      And absolutely we need to be careful on what we use as some do have different reactions in different people.

      Thanks for stopping by


  6. Hi paul i read your whole article of essential oils for muscle soreness. we often pain in muscles, i think this oil can release us from this problem.They can use this regularly. You say that oil is not part of the premium starter kit. Its really amazing product for using.  

    Thanks for Sharing this.               

  7. These oils are definitely a great idea for athletes or anyone who have regular muscle soreness. I’ve recently started training for the half marathon for this coming April and I find that my legs and especially knee joints become really sore after a long run. I think these essential oils are a great idea and I would like to pick up a few little bottles to try rubbing it on my legs after a long run to see if it helps. Thanks for the great article.

  8. There are may thing use peppermint in the past like I use it for  my hairgrowth improvememt and to  prevent some hair loss. Also Peppermint oil has a freshened smell and tingly sensation on the skin and scalp. You can reap these benefits by adding the essential oil to your beauty products and so many other.and now I read in this article that it can be use for muscle soreness.i will like to try that too with other oil you listed in the article 

  9. It’s been a while I came across your blog. I’m a big fan. This post really important especially for his like myself who workout a lot. Ordinarily, I’d love to work out everyday but it’s always telling on my body. Woke up with a muscle pull just last week.

    Thankfully, I think I can easily pick up peppermint oil to use for my sore muscles.

    Thanks for Sharing Paul, much appreciated

  10. I wish I had all the information on essential oils in this one article when my partner was playing soccer professionally. He used to have a lot of muscle, ankle, shoulder and whatever pain you sports people have. He had to rely on a lot medical gels and creams to keep going until he couldn’t anymore. These oils could have been a more natural and better option for him. 

    I am definitely trying the copaiba oil for my own cramps. It’s becoming unbearable these days. Quick question though, can these oils be used on kids, as young as 4?

    • Hi Vapz, to be honest, I would be very careful about using with children.  We do use them on our 7 year old (he actaully loves them) and they are one of the things that started convincing me of their worth.  We have a blend of lavender, Frankincense and Cedarwood which seems to calm him – we rub it on his feet at night.  And if he is extra ‘ratty’ we drop a single drop of Frankincense on the croown of his head – it really calms him.  That however is the only time he uses them undilutted.

      That said, always test them in a tougher area first, such as the bottom of the feet – which is where they seem to work well anyway and avoid ‘hot’ oils such as clove, cinnamon, lemongrass and some citrus oils.  I would do some reasearch on what you are looking for and what is the most child safe options – I will write a post on this but am still researching.  Most reputable manufacturers will list the oils on their sites that children should avoid.  Oh, and this is my personal opinion.. I do not recommend that children ingest any oils internally – some do, I personally don’t.

      I hope this is helpful to you



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