Essential Oils for Muscle Recovery – The 5 Best Essential Oils for Sore Muscles

the best essential oils for muscle recovery
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Using essential oils for muscle recovery is a safe and effective way to help relieve sore muscles.

Whether you are a professional athlete or someone who only works out occasionally, you have likely dealt with muscle soreness before.

It can come from working out at the gym, doing housework, a round of golf, or anything in between.

It affects us all and we all wish we could make it stop!

If you surf the internet, you will find plenty of ways to relieve muscle soreness, but they don’t all work and they are not all safe.

One effective and safe option is using essential oils for muscle recovery. You should always consider consulting your doctor before you try something you are not sure of, but essential oils have been used for thousands of years to help with muscle pain and muscle recovery, along with many other health issues.

Over the course of many centuries, the process of creating essential oils has evolved, but the principles and the main essential oils for muscle recovery have relatively remained the same.

Aromatherapy is commonly and effectively used for conditions such as chronic pain, anxiety, low-energy, memory loss, respiratory issues, eczema or other skin problems, and other diseases and infections.

I use essential oils year-round because they are an effective DIY asthma treatment for me, and I love a variety of the other benefits I feel from using them consistently!

Keep reading below to learn more about the best essential oils for sore muscles!

How to Use Essential Oils for Muscle Recovery?

There are multiple ways to use essential oils for sore muscles.

The primary way to use essential oils for muscle recovery is to massage them directly into your muscles. You should not use them alone though, you always want to mix them with a carrier oil such as olive oil or almond oil.

Along with that, another effective way to use essential oils is by adding them to an essential oil diffuser.

One main thought to keep in mind is that an aromatherapy diffuser is not the same as a room humidifier, and essential oils should not be added directly to any humidifier which you may have.

Doing so can potentially break your humidifier, which is an unnecessary risk.

If you want to use a humidifier along with your essential oil diffuser, you should use a 2-1 essential oil diffuser and humidifier such as this one:

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LEVOIT Humidifiers for Bedroom, Cool Mist Humidifier for Babies, Top Fill Ultrasonic Air Humidifier, Essential Oil Diffuser with Smart Sleep Mode, Whisper Quiet Operation, Auto Shut Off (1.8L/0.48Gal)
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LEVOIT Humidifiers for Bedroom, Cool Mist Humidifier for Babies, Top Fill Ultrasonic Air Humidifier, Essential Oil Diffuser with Smart Sleep Mode, Whisper Quiet Operation, Auto Shut Off (1.8L/0.48Gal)
  • 2-in-1 Humidifier&diffuser: The Dual 100 acts as both a humidifier and an aroma diffuser, letting...
  • Top-Fill Design: For easy refills and cleanup, simply remove the lid at the top of the Dual 100 to...
  • Safe and Reliable: BPA free ETL listed and CA65 tested make it safe for everyone it will...
  • Advanced Ultrasonic Technology: Spiral Air Duct Technology produces an ultra-fine mist, humidifying...
  • Adjustable Mist Level: Easily choose between 3 mist levels to create a comfortable environment and...

If you’d like to use essential oils for sore muscles and do not want the additional humidifier, this is a diffuser similar to the one I use, and it also comes with a few starting essential oils for you:

Cliganic Organic Aromatherapy Set (Top 8) with Diffuser
  • Cliganic Organic Aromatherapy Essential Oils Set (Top 8) with Booklet
  • Cliganic Ultrasonic Aromatherapy Diffuser for Essential Oils
  • 100% Pure, Only One Ingredient - Our Premium Essential Oils are 100% Pure & Natural – No...
  • Cruelty Free, Made in USA – Cliganic Organic Essential Oils are made in the USA using the highest...
  • Cliganic 100% Satisfaction Guarantee - Risk Free - We put a lot of effort into manufacturing quality...

One of the main reasons that this is an effective way to take advantage of the benefits of essential oils is because your body will constantly absorb the beneficial aspects of the oil while you sleep, allowing you to wake up renewed and refreshed.

It may seem tedious to sit in front of an essential oil diffuser for hours at a time, which is why it is so convenient to have one in your room while you sleep or watch TV!

The Best Essential Oils for Sore Muscles

the best essential oils for sore muscles

Here are the best essential oils for muscle pain and helping to relieve muscle soreness:

Lavender Oil for Muscle Pain

Lavender is one of the most common and well known essential oils, and it is definitely one of the best essential oils for muscle recovery. According to a study published in the Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine,

“When talking about its use in aromatherapy, it is well documented for the treatment of abrasions, burns, stress, headaches, in promotion of new cell growth, skin problems, painful muscles and boosting an immune system.”

There are a ton of great benefits of using lavender essential, but the most important is the anti-inflammatory qualities. The anti-inflammatory properties of lavender oil will help relieve the stress and inflammation of your muscles.

Furthermore, lavender essential oil improves blood circulation, which will help your muscles get the nutrients they need to recover faster.

Lastly, lavender essential oil is the absolute best for helping you sleep, and sleep is a crucial part of relieving sore muscles. According to a study published in Perceptual and Motor Skills,

“Lavender exposure was compared with the absence of lavender (control). Information regarding the relaxing effect of aromas was provided to examine expectancy effects. Results showed that lavender aroma improved sleepiness at awakening after the intervention. Sex differences and daily variation in quality of sleep during the intervention period were not observed. The findings suggest that nighttime exposure to lavender aroma relieves sleepiness at awakening.”

One of my all-time favorite topical products is The Healing Rose Company CBD and lavender massage oil.

If you don’t want to use lavender directly on your body, using lavender oil in your room while you are heading to sleep can help you sleep better and alleviate muscle pain!

Peppermint Oil for Sore Muscles

Peppermint is another one of the best essential oils for muscle recovery.

According to a study published in the Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research,

“Previous studies have shown that various kinds of mint were effective in reducing muscle pain, muscle relaxation, and reduce fatigue.”

 You can apply this oil topically, add it to your bath, or you can add it to an essential oil diffuser.

Rosemary Essential Oil for Sore Muscles

Rosemary is another great all-around essential oil, and it contains analgesic properties that can help relieve muscle aches and pains.

According to a study on the effect of the essential oil of rosemary on eccentric exercise-induced delayed-onset muscle soreness in non-active women that was published in Comparative Exercise Physiology,

“The results showed that rosemary significantly decreases Creatine Kinase (CK) in Rosemary Dose 2 (RD2) compared with placebo and Rosemary Dose 1 (RD1) 48 h after exercise. There was no other significant difference in other serum variables. In conclusion, the present study showed a beneficial effect of rosemary on 48-h post-exercise serum CK concentration (a muscle damage indicator).”

Mix a few drops into your favorite carrier oil and watch it go to work! Recent studies have also found that this oil is a brain tonic and can help you concentrate throughout the day, so this essential oil can help you get healthy and stay healthy in multiple ways!

Ginger Essential Oil for Muscle Soreness

Ginger is one of the best essential oils for muscle recovery because it has warming, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic properties. According to a study published in the Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology,

“The present report revealed that ginger oil possesses antioxidant activity as well as significant anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive property.”

Ginger essential oil is another great oil for mixing with a carrier oil and applying to your body, or you could choose to use ginger oil in a diffuser for a pleasant aroma.

Marjoram Oil for Muscle Pain

Marjoram is one of the lesser-known essential oils for muscle recovery out there, but that does not take away from its effectiveness.

Marjoram is both warming and soothing at the same time, and studies have shown it is the perfect oil if you are looking for something to apply directly to your sore muscles for quick relief!

DIY Muscle Rub – How to Make a Homemade Muscle Rub with Essential Oils

Although you can certainly just diffuse essential oils around your house for some muscle pain relief, you can receive more benefits of essential oils for muscle recovery by making a DIY muscle rub. There are certainly many great muscle rubs with essential oils you can purchase, but making a homemade muscle rub is sometimes better because you can choose exactly which essential oils you want in it.

For starters, you will need to purchase a pack of essential oils. Here is a great option:

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Cliganic USDA Organic Aromatherapy Essential Oils Set (Top 8), 100% Pure Natural - Peppermint, Lavender, Eucalyptus, Tea Tree, Lemongrass, Rosemary, Frankincense & Orange | Cliganic 90 Days Warranty
  • Included In This Gift Set: Peppermint, Lavender, Eucalyptus, Tea Tree, Lemongrass, Rosemary,...
  • USDA Certified Organic - the strict oversight of USDA ensures the integrity of our Aromatherapy...
  • 100% Pure, Only One Ingredient - Our Premium Essential Oils are 100% Pure & Natural – No...
  • Cliganic 100% Satisfaction Guarantee - Risk Free - We put a lot of effort into manufacturing quality...
  • Cruelty Free, Made in USA – Cliganic Organic Essential Oils are made in the USA using the highest...

This is a good starting pack of essential oils for muscle pain because it contains many of the ones I have listed here (rosemary, lavender, peppermint), and it also contains a couple of other great essential oils. Also, these are USDA Certified Organic and Non-GMO verified essential oils!

If you don’t have a diffuser, you can also purchase this same pack with a diffuser as well:

Cliganic Organic Aromatherapy Set (Top 8) with Diffuser
  • Cliganic Organic Aromatherapy Essential Oils Set (Top 8) with Booklet
  • Cliganic Ultrasonic Aromatherapy Diffuser for Essential Oils
  • 100% Pure, Only One Ingredient - Our Premium Essential Oils are 100% Pure & Natural – No...
  • Cruelty Free, Made in USA – Cliganic Organic Essential Oils are made in the USA using the highest...
  • Cliganic 100% Satisfaction Guarantee - Risk Free - We put a lot of effort into manufacturing quality...

Along with the essential oils, you will also need a carrier oil. You NEVER want to apply essential oils directly on to your skin because they are far too concentrated and can burn your skin. Almond oil, olive oil, and coconut oil are all commonly used carrier oils for essential oil muscle rubs. Here is an affordable almond oil you can use as your carrier oil:

NOW Solutions, Sweet Almond Oil, 100% Pure Moisturizing Oil, Promotes Healthy-Looking Skin, Unscented Oil, 16-Ounce
  • 100 PERCENT PURE AND NON-GMO: A natural oil that’s perfect for nourishing and reviving any skin...
  • PROMOTES HEALTHY-LOOKING SKIN: Almond oil is easily absorbed and won’t clog pores, promoting...
  • EASILY ABSORBED AND WON'T CLOG PORES: This skin-nourishing oil is ideal for the entire body and is...
  • GMP Quality Assured: NPA A-rated GMP certification means that every aspect of the NOW manufacturing...
  • Packaged in the USA by a family owned and operated company since 1968

The next step is to mix your carrier oil and your essential oils together! You can play around with the measurements as you would like, but something around 1/4 cup of carrier oil to 10-20 drops of essential oil works well.

You can decide to mix your essential oils or use just one at a time. So, find the combination which works best for you!

Concluding Thoughts – Using Essential Oils for Muscle Pain

The best part about using essential oils for muscle pain or muscle recovery is that it is not risky and it does not require a significant alteration of your daily routine.

You can easily apply an essential oil-based cream, lotion, or muscle balm to your muscles, or you can put a few drops of essential oils into a diffuser in your bedroom or living room.

I think lavender is one of the absolute best essential oils for muscle pain because adding it to a diffuser in your room before sleep can help you get a better sleep!

If you are interested in using essential oils in your room, you can check out this website which explains the best aromatherapy diffusers on the market.

If your goal is to get an aesthetic physique,  using essential oils for muscle recovery in your post-workout routine is a great way to reduce the time it takes you to recover and get ready for your next workout!

Read Next: Muscle MX CBD Balm Review

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Adam Kemp
Hello! My name is Adam Kemp. I am a professional basketball player and an ISSA Certified Personal Trainer. In 2014 I graduated from Marist College with a B.A. in Communications, and for the last seven years, I have played professional basketball in Europe. I am also an ISSA Certified Personal Trainer, and I am currently completing my Masters of Science in Nutrition Education at American University. The health and fitness tips you can find throughout the articles I have written include information I have learned throughout my basketball career, academic studies, and my own personal research. If you would like to learn more about my life, please take a moment to follow me on Instagram and Twitter.

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