This herbal balm recipe offers relief from general aches and pains, arthritis, bursitis, and sore muscles.
I originally designed this Aches & Pains Balm specifically for my dad, who has bursitis and arthritis.
He’s worked hard his whole life – often so much that his hands would crack and bleed, so I wanted to make something to help ease his sore muscles and hands somewhat.
Over the years, it has become a family favorite and I try to keep some on hand at all times in my home!
About the Main Ingredients
Tei Fu Oil
The star of this recipe is Tei Fu Oil – it’s a blend of safflower oil, wintergreen oil, menthol, camphor, clove, eucalyptus and lavender essential oils.
I was first introduced to Tei Fu Oil at my local health food store, as a remedy for a migraine I was experiencing. (Massaged into tender pressure points, it worked very well!)
Check local health food stores when possible, but you can also buy Tei Fu Oil on Amazon.
If you can’t use Tei Fu Oil, try a blend of: 60 drops peppermint essential oil, plus 10 drops juniper berry (or cedarwood Himalayan or fir needle) essential oil, plus 8 drops rosemary essential oil.
Tamanu is a remarkable oil, for helping scars, sores, tough-to-treat skin conditions, and inflammation.
It has a strong nutty scent (it’s in the tree nut family) and a dark green color that adds a pretty green hue to products. A little bit goes a long way!
Arnica (Arnica montana) is an anti-inflammatory herb that’s excellent for bruising, sore muscles, arthritis, and pulled muscles. (Not for use on open wounds.)
Comfrey Root or Leaf
Comfrey (Symphytum officinale) helps bruises, pulled muscles, broken bones, and tiny nicks heal faster. It contains allantoin which stimulates skin growth and soothes and protects skin. (Not for use on deep, open, or puncture wounds.)
Some links on this site are affiliate links; I only recommend products I personally use and enjoy. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Step 1: Make the Infused Oil
Before you can make this balm, you first need to make an infused oil.
Ingredients you will need:
- 1 cup sunflower or sweet almond oil (or your favorite oil)
- 2 tablespoons dried arnica flowers
- 2 tablespoons dried comfrey root or leaves
- 1 tablespoon dried dandelion or purple dead nettle (OR more dried arnica flowers)
Add the dried herbs of your choice, plus the oil to a heatproof canning jar and infuse in one of the following ways:
For a quick infusion:
Set the uncovered jar down into a saucepan containing a few inches of water, forming a makeshift double boiler of sorts. Place the pan over a low burner and heat for around 2 or 3 hours. Don’t allow the water to evaporate out of the pan, and monitor the oil while it’s heating.
Remove from the heat and strain out enough oil for your recipe when needed. You can top off the jar with more oil and allow it to continue infusing the slow way until needed again.
For a slow infusion:
Instead of infusing over heat, put a lid on the jar and tuck it away in a cabinet or on a shelf and let it steep for at least 4 to 6 weeks, shaking occasionally as you remember to.
Shelf life and storage of infused oil:
Strain and store any remaining infused oil in a dark spot or cabinet out of direct sunlight and heat. Shelf life should be about 1+ year.
Step 2: Make The Balm
Now that you have an infused oil, you’re ready to make your balm!
Aches & Pains Balm Recipe
This balm is perfect for soothing over general aches, pains, arthritis, bursitis, and muscle soreness. Don’t apply to broken skin or wounds.
- 0.2 oz (1/2 tbsp) castor oil
- 0.2 oz (1/2 tbsp) tamanu oil
- 3.1 oz (1/3 cup + 1 1/2 tablespoon) strained herbal infused oil, from above
- 0.55 oz (1 1/2 tablespoon) beeswax pastilles
- 1/2 bottle (about 140 drops) Tei Fu Oil Blend
(Remember, if you don’t have Tei Fu Oil, try a blend of: 60 drops peppermint essential oil, plua 10 drops juniper berry (or cedarwood Himalayan or fir needle) essential oil, plus 8 drops rosemary essential oil.)
Directions to Make:
- Add the oils and beeswax to a heatproof canning jar or upcycled tin can.
- Set the heatproof jar in a small saucepan containing a few inches of water, forming a makeshift double boiler.
- Place the pan over a medium-low burner and heat until the beeswax is melted.
- Remove from heat, cool slightly, then stir in the Tei Fu Oil Blend.
- Pour into small tins or jars.
Yield: around 4 ounces of balm
Hopefully, a few of you can use this recipe, or one like it, to bless someone you love with a balm to help ease their aches and pains.
(P.S. But don’t forget to save some for yourself!)
Originally published August, 2012. Updated July, 2020.
Check with a qualified medical professional if you have any questions or concerns about use of this product or medical symptoms you may be having, especially if you are elderly, pregnant, nursing, or on any medication.
HERBAL SALVES & BALMS
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