Aches & Pains Balm Recipe

Aches & Pains Balm

I designed this Aches & Pains Balm specifically for my dad, who has bursitis and arthritis.

My dad is a fabulous man; he has worked hard his whole life – often so much that his hands would crack and bleed. He is unselfish and kind and is one of the most honest and true people you will ever meet. Who you see in public, who you see at church, is who he is at home. I think those are admirable and amazing traits and I wanted to make something to help ease his pain somewhat.

Since my original recipe is quite expensive to make, plus included ingredients to help another relative with a varicose vein issue (her doctor was impressed at how well it worked!), I’ve supplied a simpler, less costly version too.

The two most vital ingredients that should not be removed from the recipe are: arnica & comfrey infused oil and the Tei Fu Oil. (These days, I add dandelion and/or goldenrod flowers to the infused oil too.)

The Tei Fu essential oil blend was introduced to me several years ago by my naturopath. She placed a few drops on various pressure points on my back, neck and arms to eliminate a migraine I had. It’s wonderful stuff – great for many things. However, the little concentrated drops are rather strong and I wanted to turn it into a product that was easier to just rub on and go.


2 Oz Tin of Muscle & Joint Rub

Version 1 – Simpler Recipe

(I’ve also called this version Muscle & Joint Rub.)

Several of the infused oils needed for this recipe have to be prepared in advance. You can do the quick method (3 or 4 hours) or my favorite, the slow method (5 to 6 weeks.)

For details on infusing oils, see the post on making Violet Leaf Balm. I either gather my herbs locally or buy from Mountain Rose Herbs.

In a heatproof jar or upcycled tin can, weigh the infused oil and beeswax, using a kitchen scale (like this one). Add the castor and tamanu oil.

Set the heatproof jar in a small saucepan containing an inch or two of water. 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)


 Aches & Pains Balm

My Original Aches & Pains Balm Recipe

(This is the more expensive and complicated version that I use for family members with arthritis, bursitis with extras added for varicose vein relief.)

  • 0.5 ounces of Violet Leaf Infused Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Castor Oil
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Ginger Root Infused Oil
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Meadowfoam Seed Oil
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Tamanu Oil
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Rosehip Seed Oil
  • Enough Arnica Flower & Comfrey Leaf Infused Olive Oil to make 3.5 ounces oil total when combined with the other oils above.
  • 1/2 ounce beeswax
  • 20 drops of carrot seed essential oil (optional, for varicose veins, not pain relief)
  • 40 drops lavender essential oil (optional, for soothing scent)
  • several drops of Blue Chamomile Essential Oil (optional) (Where to buy)
  • 140 drops (about 1/2 bottle) of Tei Fu Essential Oil Blend (essential to the recipe) (Where to buy)

Add the first 6 oils in a glass, heat-proof pitcher or jar, then pour in enough arnica & comfrey leaf infused oil to weigh 3.5 ounces.

Weigh and add the beeswax to the jar as well. Set the jar in a pan of lightly simmering water until the beeswax melts.

Remove from heat and stir in the carrot seed essential oil, lavender essential oil, blue chamomile essential oil and Tei Fu Essential Oil Blend.

Pour into small jars or tins (I buy from Mountain Rose Herbs or Specialty Bottle) or a small jelly jar and cap immediately to ensure essential oils don’t evaporate out.

Let cool and use wherever/whenever you have aches, pains, bruises, varicose veins, headache, muscle strain, etc.

Hopefully, a few of you can use this recipe, or one like it, to bless someone you love with a balm to help ease a bit of their aches and pains. (P.S. But don’t forget to save some for yourself!)


Please note: Check with a qualified medical professional if you have any questions or concerns about use of this product, especially if you are elderly, pregnant, nursing or on any medication. While this site does its best to provide useful information for others, any reliance you place on such information is strictly at your own risk and not a substitute for medical, legal, or any other professional advice of any kind. 


If you enjoyed learning how to make this aches and pains balm, subscribe to my newsletter and get my best herbal projects, soap ideas, and DIY body care recipes sent straight to your inbox, two to four times a month. (No spam ever, unsubscribe at any time!)

You may also like:

Black Drawing Salve | Dandelion Salve | Lotion for Leg Cramps

Drawing Salve   Dandelion Salve Recipe   Homemade Lotion or Cream for Leg Cramps and Growing Pains


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Jan Berry is a writer, herbalist, soapmaker, and bestselling author of The Big Book of Homemade Products, Simple & Natural Soapmaking, and Easy Homemade Melt & Pour Soaps. She lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains with her family and a menagerie of animals, where she enjoys brainstorming creative things to make with the flowers and weeds that grow around her.

  • Susie Earning-My-Cape says:

    How sweet of you to make this for your dad!
    I am pinning this & I really hope to make some as soon as I get the necessary oils. :-)

  • Jane says:

    You are too sweet! You don’t know how that made my day :) Sorry about the problems you are having with Etsy.. and your computer!! I know what you mean … I would prefer just give things away too :) Can’t wait to try this!!

    • Jan says:

      Aw, I’m glad to hear that. :)
      Fortunately, it wasn’t my main computer – I had handed down an old one to the kids, but kept a few things on it. :)

  • Matt Burks says:

    I’m sorry to hear that you’ll be stopping the Etsy store – you’re really talented at creating all of these products – but I’m glad that you’ll be focusing on what you really enjoy! This sounds great, but way to complicated for me, ha!

    • Jan says:

      Thanks Matt! I think I probably made it sound more complicated than it is – succinctness is not my strong point lol. If you can melt chocolate without burning it, you can pretty much make this! It’s a lot of fun to create these types of things, but I have so many other interests and hobbies I want to pursue too. Having my plans wrinkled is a good thing. :)

  • Dana says:

    Thank you so much for sharing. I have arthritis in my back and spine and I would really like to make this. Is there a place you can recommend buying these ingredients?

    • Jan says:

      I get everything from (that is my affiliate link) :) but some of it you may be able to find in your local health store. I often get olive oil from my grocery store. Some of the items I put in just to help the skin (since I had a relative successfully using it for painful varicose veins also.) So, if this is strictly for arthritis you can leave out: the rosehip seed oil, castor oil, blue chamomile oil, carrot seed oil, and violet leaf oil & still get an effective product. The ginger oil is optional too. What really gives it kick is the Tei Fu Oil so definitely keep that in (I buy it at my local health store, but there’s places online too.) It’s a very concentrated oil that comes in a teeny tiny bottle, which is why I put it in a balm so it could cover more territory, so to speak. Have fun making this! :)

  • Cindee Smith says:

    Thanks for sharing. I get exactly what you are saying! Esty is a beautiful site, I was just about to start a store, rethinking the process here. Thank you FDA but if it is Gods plan. Thanks I love your stuff and those cute labels.

  • Farmer Doug says:

    Shame about losing all the work you did in creating labels and such. Please continue with your excellent blog, as it is obvious how much love and effort you put into it. My wife particularly enjoys your very detailed recipes and craft ideas and the many pictures that are included with them.

    Best regards,

    “Farmer Doug”
    Ladysmith, B.C. Canada

  • Fran K says:

    This is the type of recipe I have been looking for. I was sorry to read you are stopping Etsy, if you have any of this bam left, would you consider selling some via email/mail? (please oh please!) It would be quite some time before I would be able to make this myself.

    • Jan says:

      Hi Fran! I’ve had a lot of requests to sell products again, just working out the logistics is the hard part. I have very little capital so getting it up and going again will take a bit of saving up to restock some supplies I need. (I used our tax return last time!) :) But, I will keep everyone posted on how it goes & if it will work out!!

  • Aldana says:

    Hi Jan,

    What’s Tei Fu Oil and what properties does it have? Can we omit it? Can it be replaced with something else?
    Thanks for sharing your recipe!

    • Jan says:

      Hi Aldana, Tei Fu Oil is an essential oil blend. My naturopath first gave it to me, to use when I had headaches. Later, when my husband was having occasional back pain (leftover from where he fell off of a second story subfloor & crushed a disc) she recommended I rub on his back when it hurt. It worked fabulously! This link actually gives better information than the one I had in the post:

      The ingredients are:
      Safflower seed oil, menthol mint leaf oil, camphor flake, wintergreen oil leaf and bark oil, eucalyptus leaf oil, lavender flower oil, clove flowering bud and leaf oil

      I kind of consider it THE ingredient that makes this balm, so if you omit it, you would probably want to replace it with the essential oils that are in the ingredient list and just test around until you find the desired ratios and strength needed.

      Hope that helps! :)

  • How To Make An Aches and Pains Balm says:

    […] How To Make An Aches and Pains Balm […]

  • 14 Ways to Use Ground Ginger | The Nerdy Farm Wife says:

    […] several hours. I like to use it in salves and balms that I make intended for sore muscles. See my Aches & Pains Balm recipe for an example of […]

  • Terri says:

    I absolutely love your recipes etc. I also wish I could get my hands on a jar or two of your balm as it would be quite some time before I had money & time to make some myself so please, please keep us posted if you start selling it again.I have bad arthritis in my knees & am always looking for something that actually works. Keep up the terrific recipes!

    • Jan says:

      Hi Terri! I did reopen my Etsy shop and plan to have some of this balm available in the next week or so. (Just waiting on a new batch of tins to come in!) I’m glad you’re enjoying the recipes! :)

  • Christi-TX says:

    I put a note on my calendar to check back for this on your Etsy account-I would rather buy it first & if works on my knee then maybe I’ll try and make it–but would probably just BUY more :)

    • Jan says:

      Hi Christi! :) I plan to have it restocked on November 25th or 26th. I’ll also have a holiday coupon code listed then – here and on Facebook!

  • ora says:

    I would like to purchase some of your balm-Where can I do that?

    • Jan says:

      Hi ora, I’m on winter break right now, so not making things to sell at this time. I may put some items up for sale around Mother’s Day and then again for Father’s Day. I’ll be sure to post about it here and on Facebook when I do! You might want to check out and do a search for something like “arthritis” and you might find a similar balm or maybe even something better! There are some terrific high quality herbalists on that site and some very lovely products. Thanks for the interest! :)

  • Sophie Ballis says:

    I am very interested in your product where can I BUY IT?

    • Jan says:

      Hi Sophie, I appreciate your interest! I’m on winter break right now and not making things to sell at this time. I may get some items listed for Mother’s Day and again around Father’s Day. When I do, I’ll post about it on here and on Facebook (usually with a coupon code.) You might want to check out and do a search for “arthritis” and see what the herbalists on that site have to offer. I’ve seen some lovely products on that site and if there was something I was unable to make, I’d head over there to buy it. Thanks! :)

  • Rose Face & Body Cream Recipe - The Nerdy Farm Wife says:

    […] I’ve also restocked several items that have been requested including the ever popular Aches &  Pains Balm (which has been relabeled Muscle Balm for Etsy purposes.) Don’t forget the coupon code […]

  • Vicky says:

    I would lov to no were I might purchase this balm. If U could please let me know.
    Thank U

  • Maggie says:


    I would be very interested in buying your product. Can you please let me know when it will go for sale? Thanks.

  • melissa says:

    I wonder if the beeswax could be substituted for coconut oil or butter , or shea butter… or any other base cause we are vegan here… Is there a good substitute? Thank you so much i work a lot with essential oils here at home…

  • Alex says:

    Why there’s no peppermint oil ? isn’t it a good oil for sore muscle and it feels great on the skin, like it’s refreshing

    • Jan says:

      Hi Alex, You’re right – peppermint oil is great for sore muscles and is super refreshing! The Tei-Fu oil I use in this recipe is full of menthol mint leaf oil, so there’s no need to add extra peppermint. (Though you could probably add 20 or 30 drops, if you’d like to make a stronger version.) You might also like the pure peppermint salve recipe in this post: It’s one of my favorites!

  • Estefania Dogan says:

    Hi Jan, this recipe is amazing, as are all the others, my dad is in love with all the creams, they are very helpful :)
    You wouldn’t happen to have one or 2 of this still in stock that you could send over to UK for us????
    Am having some trouble finding all the ingredients here… and until I do it would be a blessing to have a tin of cream that he could use :) If is not possible I will understand of course :) I am forever great that you took the time to send the samples over :) they’re absolutely awesome :)

    • Jan says:

      Hi Estefania! I’m glad your dad liked the samples! I do have one more Aches & Pains Balm (Muscle Balm) tin left. After crunching some numbers, I’ve decided to close up my shop very soon, so this is a good time to ask! :) If you send me a message over there, I can set you up a custom order. Thanks! :)

  • Leslie says:

    Wondering if this could be made with, maybe, shae butter or something instead of the beeswax, as I have trouble with beeswax…it’s a pain too, since every natural recipe I seem to find has it as an ingredient! Thanks.

    • Jan says:

      Hi Leslie, I have two different lines of thought that might help:

      1.) Have you ever tried candelilla wax or sunflower wax before? In recipes calling for beeswax, you can try using 1/2 as much candelilla wax or 1/4 as much sunflower wax and that usually works out pretty well.
      So if a recipe calls for 1 ounce beeswax, use 1/2 ounce candelilla wax or 1/4 ounce sunflower wax instead. (Those are good starting amounts. Depending on the recipe though, you might need to remelt and add more.) has candelilla wax and has sunflower wax.

      2.) I have made an aches & pains body butter before. I just used this recipe: but used arnica & comfrey infused oil plus added the tei fu oil instead of rose scent & left out the rose clay. No beeswax needed and it works wonderfully. (In fact, I need to put that recipe on the blog. Thanks for the reminder!)

      I hope one of those ideas will help!

  • Coral says:

    Was wondering how much your recipe would make. I have the small mason jars, I think 4oz. I think 1 but not sure. Love this recipe and I’m looking forward to making it. The infused oils are a new idea for me. Do I grate the ginger?
    Thanks, Blessings

    • Jan says:

      Hi Coral! I think it would fit pretty nicely in a 4 ounce mason jar – that sounds about just right since there are 3.5 ounces oil and .5 ounces beeswax in the recipe. I use dried ginger (or even ginger powder – like the kind you buy from the store for baking – in a pinch.) You could grate some fresh ginger though and either dry it out a bit in a really low oven or dehydrator or perhaps let it sit out on a paper towel or dish towel for a day or two to air dry. I like to infuse my oils with dried herbs most of the time since water/moisture mixed with oil is where spoilage is more likely to happen.

  • Trish says:

    How do I make the arnica and comfrey infused oil and the other infused oils?

  • kathyinozarks says:

    Hi Jan, I have lots of little jars with herbs infusing in oil over this past summer-I am now ready to make some of your recipes-your violet leaf balm everyone loved that I gave it to. I have a question-all my herbs look great in the jars no mold-do I have to strain them out-or can I just strain out what I need for a recipe. thanks much Kathy

    • Jan says:

      Hi Kathy! Well, you’re supposed to strain them out after the infusing time, but to be honest, I have some herbs & flowers that have been in their jars at least six months and I just strain around them and occasionally add a little more oil on top to keep them covered. I’m all for the least fuss as possible. :)

  • Jenn says:

    You mentioned this balm was good for headaches. How or where would you apply for this specific purpose? Thank you

    • Jan says:

      Hi Jenn, You can try rubbing on your temples & across your forehead (be very careful not to get in eyes) and on the back and sides of your neck. My naturopath is the one who taught me to use the Tei-Fu oil directly on pressure points in your neck and back; I use the aches & pains balm instead of the straight oil now though. Have someone help you, and gently press or rub in small circular motions around your neck & back (especially between shoulder blades) and you’ll find some spots feel very tender, sore, tight, or sensitive. Rub the oil/balm into those for at least thirty seconds. She says that some headaches are caused by tension that you don’t realize you’re holding on to & this helps relieve it. Depending on your headache trigger, it can really help ease the pain.

  • Vashti says:

    Hi Jan!
    I absolutely love these recipes. I have tried a few of them and I am pleased every time! I tell all my friends about your website.
    I have a question regarding coriander essential oil. I received this in the post by mistake of the sender and I’m wondering what I can do with it. I ordered various oils to make your boo boo balm and bugs away which I can’t wait to try. I’ve done some reading into coriander essential oil and its attributes, but no recipes for ointments. Any ideas? I have a feeling it will be good for menstrual cramps and growing pains…
    Any advice would be gratefully received!

  • Tina Peterson says:

    Hi Jan! Thanks for posting this! Above you mentioned to a commenter if he was making it for arthritis that there are certain items he could leave out. I have fibro and I haven’t found a balm or a EO blend that will help me w the deep achiness. Do you have any suggestions? Would you have any suggestions or would you use the whole recipe? Unfortunately it will be quite a while before I can make this one.

    • Tina Peterson says:

      Wish your store was open. I checked and nothing is listed there.

      • Jan says:

        Hi Tina, I don’t often sell items anymore, but might have my shop open for a while this spring (maybe April?) If I do, I’ll be sure to notify readers via my newsletter!

    • Jan says:

      Hi Tina! The tei-fu oil and the arnica/comfrey are two that are most helpful for pain relief. Ginger oil will help too. (As will dandelion flower oil – I have a salve recipe for that on this blog too.) Tamanu oil is really good, but if you have to, you can try leaving it out. The rosehip, blue chamomile and carrot essential oil were added just to help with my relative’s varicose vein problem moreso than arthritis & can be omitted. Have you tried “Two Old Goats Lotion”? You can find it on I know a few people that say it works wonders for their aches & pains!

  • Karen Airhart says:

    Jan, I am very new to this site but am very interested in the all natural and healthly pain balms. Looking forward to reading more on your site and web pages. Thanks again!

    • Jan says:

      Hi Karen, I’m happy to hear that you’re interested in making all natural pain balms and I hope you find the site helpful!

  • Wendy says:

    Hi Jan, more of your wondrous recipes – I was looking forward to trying this one for my aches but I can’t find Tei fu oil here in the UK. Or get it online. I’m thinking I could try adding in EO of wintergreen, camphor, eucalyptus and clove – what do you think? And what kind of proportions would you recommend?

    • Jan says:

      Hi Wendy! Those oils could probably work quite well. I’ve never worked with wintergreen oil on its own though – I’ve seen a lot of cautions regarding its use, so have been a little hesitant to buy a bottle. I would also include some peppermint in there (or use instead of wintergreen), since I believe tei fu oil has menthol in it (if I’m remembering correctly, that is!) Eucalyptus is a favorite and I’d put that in for sure. I’d only use a bit of camphor since it’s quite strong and go low on clove too since too much can irritate your skin. So – pretty good amounts of peppermint & eucalyptus, then a bit of the others, if you have them. This is a really great site that I want to explore more, since I really want to learn more about using essential oils safely and she has a lotion recipe you might like to look at too, for other essential oil combination ideas:

  • Wendy says:

    Oh thanks Jan, you are so informative. The link to the Inflammation Away Lotion is helpful – I’ll have to go EO shopping :-) then I’ll give that a try.
    There are so many websites with lots of info, but yours is a bit special, not only for the good recipes (and all for a generous £0) but more important, you reply to queries, so few others bother to do so. Which means, for me, I try things I might not otherwise. And, bit by slow bit, I get to expand my self help know how. So here’s to you and your generosity :-)

    • Jan says:

      Thank you Wendy for the kind words! It makes me happy to know that you find the site useful and are venturing forward on making your own products and such! :)

  • Denise says:

    Thank you so much for your wonderful website! I have learned a ton! I am new to salves and am anxious to make a bunch. I am curious, since you don’t have your store up, do you mind sharing how much you were selling this for? Looking at the ingredients, it seems really expensive to make (the amount of Tei Fu oil alone looks to be about $5.00 per batch). I have a lot of friends that could use the pain relief, but are lower income. Thank you very much!

    • Jan says:

      Hi Denise! I believe I was selling it for $14.95 for a 2 oz tin, but not positive. I plan to set shop back up in a month or so for a while, and will sit down and recalculate ingredient prices then to get a better idea. You’re correct, it’s probably the most expensive item that I make. I initially made it for my dad and he has sacrificed so much for me in my lifetime, that I didn’t even consider the cost when it comes to anything for him. I agree with you though, there are so many people who could benefit from it, that I’d like to try to make it more cost effective. It’s on my to-do list! :) One more thing – a lot of people find relief with dandelion salve and that is much more affordable to make: (I also have been putting dandelion oil in the aches & pains balm lately with good result.)

  • DavetteB says:

    How large is the bottle of tei fu oil that your recipe says to use half? Thanks

  • deborah repko says:

    hi Jan Iam handicapped and unable to make your salve’s I have pain in my right hand not sure what is causing it I would like to try your salve for my pain to see if it could help I signed up for your newsletter can you let me know if I can purchase it from you thank you Debbie

    • Hi Debbie! I’m so sorry about your hand! Right now I’m out of the supplies to make more of the salve and my other products (Christmas cleaned me out!), and it will be a little while until I can buy everything I need, so my shop is closed until then. Have you tried Two Old Goats lotion?
      I know some people that thought it worked just as well as my balm did for them:
      You can call and order from their site or you can find it on amazon too.
      I hope that you feel better soon!

    • Anj says:

      Hello Jan, would just like to say I am impressed with your hard work and determination. Your website and honesty has helped me understand so much I was struggling to grasp because I want to open my own small business too. Nice to come across people that are kind and open like yourself who he’ll others and use their talent to help others too. I really feel touched. I want to try the complicated recipe out as my mum suffers from arthritis to the point she can’t get up in the morning. She also suffers from hypothyroidism and as bad as that is she’s taking medication but at the moment the biggest problem is the arthritis so I want to make it got her. I just wanted to ask is the first ingredient 0.5 ounces of Violet Leaf Infused Olive Oil or 5 ounces? Thank you again for posting your recipe because I’ve been lookin for something natural instead of chemically induced marketing products. You’re a brilliant person and your dad is lucky to have you as you have him. Good luck with everything =D

      • Hi Anj, Thank you so much for the kind words! :) That should be 0.5 ounces of violet leaf infused oil – I left the zero out! Thanks for letting me know!
        I hope that it helps your mom out as much as it helped my dad!!

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