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Homemade Muscle Rub

Homemade Muscle Rub - Dr. Axe

This homemade muscle rub really works! It penetrates deep into the muscles, bringing a soothing and relaxing sensation. Among the natural muscle relaxers I’ve used, this is one of my favorite remedies to use after I’ve done my BurstFIT workout.

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Homemade Muscle Rub

Total Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 30


  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup grated beeswax
  • 2 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 2 teaspoon ginger or turmeric powder (Note: While turmeric is an outstanding anti-inflammatory, be aware that it will cause some temporary skin discoloration)
  • 15 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 15 drops lavender essential oil
  • glass jar


  1. Pour all oils (except essential oils) in to a jar. Place a saucepan with 2 inches of water over medium low heat.
  2. Place jar in saucepan and allow contents to melt. Stir to combine. Add the cayenne and ginger/turmeric.
  3. Once combined, allow to cool slightly and then add in essential oils. Mix well.
  4. Pour mixture into metal tins or storage containers and allow to set.

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  1. Maggie on

    Rather than my making an assumption, would you clarify the directions, please? Did you mean to put the coconut oil, beeswax, cayenne powder and ginger or tumeric in the jar, ………..(then complete the rest of the steps)?

    • Kelsey on

      Hi Maggie,
      You want to put the coconut oil, and the beeswax in the saucepan first and let them begin to melt. (Slowly, don’t heat it too fast.) Once it’s mostly melted add in the cayenne and turmeric/ginger, and continue to mix, and remove from heat. The oils you wait to add until it’s slightly cooled, so that you don’t lose the healing properties from denaturing them under heat.

      I look forward to trying this recipe. I’ve used a similar one, and it feels great. Good luck!

  2. Nancy Gilbert on

    Thank you so much for doing the print version that is very important to me.
    I love all your blog, keep up the good work. ;)

  3. Lynn on

    Does this muscle rub tend to stain? I’ve always found turmeric to stain everything it comes in contact with so I was just wondering.

  4. Chelsea on

    I just made this and it is a lot darker than the picture. Are you supposed to strain out the spices? Mine has cayenne granules in it. I’m pretty sure this will stain.

    • Dr. Josh Axe on

      I did not strain out the spices. The color may vary from recipe to recipe depending on the brand and how much of spices used. As you can see in my picture, I did have some small granules of cayenne left visible. If you are worried about it staining, try putting it on and letting it soak in. Make sure you are using a small amount so it can be absorbed. Also, you can use less cayenne if you are worried about that specific aspect of it.

  5. Sonia Fuentes on

    Can I use this Homemade Muscle Rub for my daughter.who is is 9 years old , has cerebral palsy and seizure disorder ? I give her massage on her muscles to relax usually with only coconut oil I wonder if this will make her more relax.

  6. Jessica on

    Wanted to know the consistency is supposed to be grainy or if t was the type of bees wax that I used. Just the other day my family and I processed our own honey and I used the bees wax that we had left from that. Is the type of bees wax kind of touchy on this recipe or is it supposed to be a gritty texture?

    • Dr. Josh Axe on

      IT could be depending on the beeswax and how dissolved the turmeric is. It should still have a similar effect. You could try heating the beeswax longer to dissolve the clumps?

      • Jessica on

        Great, thanks for the reply! Here’s just a little FYI…I have been passing along your information since I first found your website beginning of this year, and just today I found out that my Aunt and cousin bought your Burstfit DVD’s. My cousin has been using them for about a week and she has already lost 7 lbs! So here’s a big thank you for helping turn my families health around!! :)

      • Angie Davidson on

        cocoa butter would be better…it’s a harder oil. Shea butter tends to make things greasy or grainy if you don’t have a good counterbalance. Otherwise, you could just add a slight bit more coconut oil, since it’s solid over 76 degrees.

  7. Shelly on

    I have a friend with bad arthritis. Has anyone said this will help? Or has anyone with bad arthritis tried this?

  8. Sarah lovett on

    i have arthritis almost every where and someone told me about peppermint oil. I begin to use it and OMG. It really work .i will work me up some of your rub tomorrow. Thanks !
    I use olives oil with it.

  9. Jagdish K on


    I have got stiff neck and still lower back with limited movements. Exercises give me bit of relief. The pain was there for many years and stiffness has come only few months back. 3 out of 4 doctors have said it is ankylosing spondylitis. Not sure though. Would like to know if the essential oils can be used as a treartment option for such cases and would like to know what mix you suggest.

    Would highly appreciate your response.

  10. Jagdish K on


    To add one more point, I have been told I have osteoarthritis in my last month checkup. This was diagnosed by a different doctor. So I am not sure if the symptoms are the same as Ankylosing Spondilytis. And how do I know which one i have. Eitherways I would love to get the essential oil treatment for my problem.

  11. Jagdish K on


    Please read as Osteoporosis instead of osteoarthritis . Regret the incovenience caused for posting many messages as i was excited in posting messages to make the message reach you faster.

  12. julie on

    First , I want to tell you how grateful I am to you for all the advice and recipes. May God Bless you !!!! I have tried the muscle rub and think it is spectacular. My question is, may I add Helichysum oil to this recipe without any problems? My daughter and sister have Fibromyalgia, and I would like to find a recipe to help them. Thank You in advance for your reply

  13. Lara on

    Hi, wondering if you have a suggestion to substitute for the coconut oil. Unfortunately my sister is quite allergic to it, both topically and orally. So many of these great homemade recipes use coconut oil as its main base.

  14. Kristie Fogarty on

    Could I use ginger and turmeric essential oil instead of the powder form? And if so, how much of it could I use in this recipe? Thanks!

  15. Pam on

    what do you think of the plexus drinks for weight loss/ getting off sugar products?
    I have fallen for gimmicks before, don’t want to fall for another one! Seems everyone I know now though is on plexus. Opinions?

  16. deb on

    Thx 4 sharing! May I knw if there is one for dry scales caused by Psoriasis? How abt for joint inflammation?
    Thx in advance!

  17. Deb Harris on

    I can’t use peppermint, or several other things such as menthol, eucalyptus or anything that causes heat. Would this work without peppermint? I findost commercial rubs have one of those ingredients so I figure it may not work without. Thanks

  18. Emryn on

    I love using essential oils usually use wintergreen for muscle pain. Curious what the turmeric, ginger and cayenne pepper do to help with muscle cramps? Can you explain the benefits of them in this rub or direct me to somewhere to read up more on it.?

  19. Davida Jones on

    Hello Dr. Axe,

    I have more than one autoimmune disease. I not only suffer from a fast progressive for of Rheumatoid Arthritis, I suffer from Fibromyalgia, I have Psoriasis, Hypothyroidism, and I suffer from Chronic Fatigue. I feel defeated on some days. Lately, I have had constant Flares. I am in so much pain and try to do what ever I can to ease it so that I can have some sort of quality to my life. My question is that I use my heating pad a lot on areas that are very intense. It does give me a little relief, but of course it is short lived. But I use Tiger Balm for my muscles. I never use the heating pad when I use the Tiger Balm. But I hve tried so many different products to help me, all of which have failed. But I have to say that Tiger Balm works pretty well and lasts a lot longer than the heating pad. What is your opinion on the use of the Tier Balm. I, for some reason cannot tolerate the smell of any shea butter, coconut products. The smell literally make me sick to my stomach. Is it ok to continue to use the Tiger Balm? Or do you have a different product to use that does not contain ingredients that make me ill?

    Thank You

    Davida Jones.

  20. Denise Ola on

    I am going to try this a couple of ways and add in some cypress oil to one and lemongrass oil to another to help with inflammation and pain!!!!

  21. Juliet on

    I recently reached out on support but the doctors website that was recommended were not in my locale. I was diagnose with a blood clot to my lungs. Is there any natural suggested reading to keep me informed. I’m going to discuss the possibility of coming out the Xarelto when I see my doctor on Tuesday and would like to know my options. I don’t like the side effects I’m getting and I’m not even on the meds for a week. Thanks

  22. Tonia Hart on

    Can this rub be used on a person with diabetic neuropathy? My husband suffers from this. His nerves in his legs feet and now hands are numb, tingling, sometimes burning feeling. His muscles seems to need to be massaged in order to get some relief. He takes Lyrica but still feels some pain.

  23. Brandy on

    Is Peppermint oil the same thing as Japanese Mint Oil?

    I have some Hagina Japanese Mint Oil from Canada. I have not been able to find Japanese Mint Oil in the USA. Just curious if maybe it is the same as Peppermint Oil… Thanks!

  24. Diane K. on

    I just found your site and was really happy to see the information on Frankincense and it’s benefits finally being published and further studied. It’s been a long time coming. I was wondering how much Wintergreen and Frankincense you would recommend adding to your arthritis rub recipe.

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