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Herbal Liniment Recipe for Sore Muscles

written by: Diana Cooper • edited by: Leigh A. Zaykoski • updated: 4/23/2010

Find a herbal liniment recipe for sore muscles that work just as well as over-the-counter products. It's fun, easy, and rewarding to make your own!

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    Herbal Liniment

    Cayenne Pepper A liniment is a topical preparation that is applied to the skin to treat a number of problems, including sore muscles. Homemade herbal liniments are made with herbs and a base. The base is normally rubbing alcohol which quickly evaporates once applied to the skin, thus leaving the herbal properties to penetrate the skin.

    Below, you can find a herbal liniment recipe for sore muscles. If you do not wish to use the rubbing alcohol, you can replace it with a drinking alcohol (such as brandy, vodka, or gin) or with apple cider vinegar. Liniments are not to be used internally and they should be kept out of children's reach.

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    Recipe using powdered herbs:

    What you will need

    • rubbing alcohol
    • 1 ounce of echinacea
    • 1 ounce of myrrh
    • 1 ounce of goldenseal
    • 1/4 ounce of cayenne


    • Place your powdered herbs in a pint sized jar.
    • Pour the rubbing alcohol into the jar (leaving about a 2 inch margin above the herbs).
    • Stir well.
    • Put the lid on the jar.
    • Place the jar in a warm location.
    • After 4 weeks, strain the mixture. Squeeze it through a cheesecloth into a bowl. Squeeze out as much liquid as possible.
    • Transfer the liquid from the bowl into a dark bottle using a funnel.
    • Close tightly.
    • Label the bottle, including the date, ingredients, what it is for, and a warning "for internal use only".
    • Store in a cool place (away from direct sunlight).

    Recipe using fresh herbs:

    What you will need

    • rubbing alcohol
    • 5 ounces of comfrey leaf
    • 2 ounces of mullein leaf
    • 1 ounce of mint leaf


    • Place the herbs (all finely chopped) in a jar with a wide mouth and a well-fitting lid (like a 1 quart mason jar).
    • Pour the rubbing alcohol into the jar (just enough to cover the herbs).
    • Put the lid on the jar.
    • Place the jar in a dark location (like a cupboard) and let it sit for 1-4 weeks (twice a day, shake the jar vigorously).
    • When ready, strain the mixture. Discard the herbs and pour the liquid in a dark bottle.
    • Close the bottle, label, and store in a cool area away from sunlight.

    Using your herbal liniment recipe for sore muscles:

    Apply the liniment directly to the skin of the affected area and rub it in well.

    Besides treating sore muscles, you can also use your herbal liniment to help prevent sore muscles when you plan on exercising or doing heavy work. Just apply it to the major muscle groups beforehand.

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    Sources Used

    Rosemary Gladstar, Family Herbal: A Guide to Living Life with Energy, Health, and Vitality (2001)

    For those aching muscles:

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    Photo Credit

    Image courtesy of

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