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A liniment is typically used to reduce muscle pain and stiffness in the joints. They are often made with a base of rubbing alcohol, but occasionally include ingredients that thicken the liniment to a creamy or balmy consistency. No matter its viscosity, the key to getting the most out of a liniment is in the application. Liniments should be applied with firm friction in order for the herbal volatile oils to be thoroughly released and absorbed by the skin.
Making your own liniment is a simple process that requires no special tools or training. The best homemade liniment recipes are uncomplicated and require only a few ingredients. Always be certain to clearly label your liniments with a warning such as “Do Not Eat" as well as the name of the liniment itself. Test liniments cautiously before applying them to a large area. Some plant volatile oils can be irritating for children or people with sensitive skin.
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Bruise Diminishing Liniment
The inclusion of arnica and comfrey in this homemade liniment recipe will not only help reduce inflammation from acute injury, but will also relieve sore muscle pain. Information published by the University of Maryland Medical Center reports that calendula has anti-inflammatory agents and speeds wound healing. Use this liniment for acute injuries such as sprains, strains and injuries that do not include open wounds.
1 oz. dried arnica
1 oz. dried comfrey
½ oz. dried calendula
1 pint rubbing alcohol
Place the herbs into a clean jar with a tight fitting lid and pour in the rubbing alcohol. Stir the mixture well and apply the lid. Label the jar clearly. Allow the mixture to rest in a warm location out of direct sunlight for at least 4 weeks. To decant, place a layer of cheesecloth into a strainer and place the strainer over a bowl. Pour the liniment mixture into the strainer. Squeeze the cheesecloth to release all the liquid. Discard the used herbs. Funnel the liquid into a clean spray bottle for easiest application.
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Muscle Warming Liniment
This is a seriously hot liniment for those who enjoy the pain relieving benefits of capsaicin. The stimulating power of cayenne pepper and astringent qualities of myrrh will increase blood flow to sore muscles. Increased blood flow is said to help cleanse muscles of impurities such as lactic acid build-up.
½ oz. cayenne powder
½ oz. myrrh
1 pint rubbing alcohol
Place all the ingredients in a clean jar and mix well. Put a lid on the jar and label it clearly. Let the mixture rest for at least 4 weeks. Strain and decant following the same methods as above.
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A cooling liniment can be applied to relieve inflammation and invigorate tired, overworked muscles. After decanting this homemade liniment recipe, store it in the refrigerator for an even more refreshing boost.
1 oz. dried borage
1 oz. spearmint
1 oz. eucalyptus leaves or 10 drops of pure essential oil of eucalyptus
Follow the mixing and decanting directions as previously described.
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Herbs2000.com: Herbs - The Basics - http://www.herbs2000.com/h_menu/1_wisdom.htm
University of Maryland Medical Center: Herbs and Supplements for Bruising - http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/bruising-002414.htm
Herb Mentor: Herbal Liniment Recipe - http://herbmentor.com/articles/20080314
Wikipedia: Liniment - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liniment
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