Between my obsession for SoulCycle classes and quick home workouts like this one, plus the intensive decluttering of my home that I blame on Marie Kondo and her Magical Art of Tidying Up, my body's been a bit sore lately. Perfect timing for this magnesium soak with essential oils for sore muscles. ~Emily
Whether you're spending a day out in the garden, or cleaning out the basement, hard work often means sore muscles. Before you pop pain relievers that only mask symptoms, nourish your body with natural solutions first.
This soothing, magnesium bath soak uses magnesium and essential oils for sore muscles.
Why magnesium is so important
Magnesium is vital to every organ in the body, but it is especially needed by our muscles, kidneys and heart. This mineral activates enzymes, contributes to energy production, and helps regulate levels of calcium, copper, zinc, potassium, vitamin D, and other important nutrients in the body. Unfortunately, because of poor nutrition and depleted soil, the majority of us are magnesium deficient. (source)
After a long and tiring day of exerting our muscles, our bodies have used up even more of our magnesium stores. Issues like restless leg syndrome, insomnia, agitation, heart problems and nervous disorders can all be caused by lack of magnesium.
We’re not getting enough magnesium from food alone, so supplementing with a balanced magnesium like this one, and taking Epsom salt baths is vital to our health. Soaking in magnesium is a better way to get your daily dose. One study found that magnesium applied topically raised participants magnesium levels an average of 59.7% after just 3 months of use, while supplements took 9 months to 2 years to get the same results! (source)
Magnesium sulfate, more commonly known as Epsom salts, is super helpful for sore muscles. Taking a bath relaxes the body and mind and helps balance the nervous system. When Epsom salts are added to the mix, the magnesium boosts the benefits of a bath even more. If you really want to up your game though, you can add essential oils for even more sore muscle fighting power.
Essential oils for sore muscles
There are plenty of essential oils out there that are great for bath time. One of my favorite combos right now is bergamot and lime to help uplift my mood and calm me down when I’ve hit the end of my rope. Certain essential oils can really target sore muscles after a tiring day to refresh the body and mind.
Wintergreen is anti-inflammatory and analgesic for soothing pain relief because it's naturally very high in methyl salicylate – in the same family as aspirin. It’s a very potent oil, so not much is needed. Get it here.
Basil is one of my favorites to use for muscle spasms. After my husband slipped a disc, this was one of the only things that could calm the spasms. Not only is basil antispasmodic, but it’s anti-inflammatory and a neurotonic. Get it here.
Citrus oils like bergamot and lime
Inflammation causes pressure on the blood vessels, nerves, and muscles which slows the body's ability to heal and nourish itself. Citrus oils help to boost circulation in the body, which in turn helps the body repair itself. Get bergamot here and lime here.
This oil is my go-to for joint, tendon and ligament issues, so I like to include it in any sore muscle blend. Lemongrass is anti-inflammatory, analgesic, regenerative and anti-rheumatic. If you're using lemongrass topically, not just in a bath soak, then don't use more than a 1% dilution, or about 6 drops per ounce of carrier oil, to avoid skin irritation. Get it here.
This oil is good at relieving muscle cramping and sprains. It’s antispasmodic, and sedative to help calm tight muscles. Marjoram is also useful for arthritis and issues involving the tendons. Get it here.
Even though the smell reminds me of Italian food, this oil is helpful for tired and stiff muscles. Rosemary oil is a pain relieving analgesic and stimulant. It should not be used by those with epilepsy or high blood pressure. Get it here.
This oil is my favorite oil because it has so many uses, but it’s most known for its calming and relaxing properties. It’s antispasmodic, regenerative, relaxing and a nervine. It helps to calm overworked muscles and doubles for sunburn relief if you’ve been working out in the sun too long. Get it here.
Helps calm spasms and cramps and promotes healing in sprained muscles. Ginger is a powerful anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, analgesic and stimulant. It offers warming relief for sore and inflamed muscles. Get it here.
This oil helps relieve muscle pain, reduces inflammation and high levels of menthol give this both a warming and cooling sensation. Peppermint is also analgesic, a stimulant and anti-spasmodic. Get it here.
This oil not only smells like Christmas trees, but it helps to relieve muscle and joint soreness, as well as arthritis and rheumatism. Douglas fir is analgesic, sedative and a stimulant. Get it here.
Magnesium bath soak ingredients
- 3 cups Epsom salts
- 1 T. sweet almond, grapeseed or other liquid carrier oil (sweet almond helps calm inflammation)
- One of the blends below OR 15 drops of your choice of essential oils
- 4 drops lemongrass, 4 drops basil, 4 drops lavender, and 3 drops lime
- 5 drops each wintergreen, rosemary, and peppermint
- 5 drops each bergamot, Douglas fir, and ginger
- 3 drops marjoram, 7 drops lavender, and 5 drops rosemary
Magnesium bath soak method
- Place the Epsom salts into a quart sized mason jar.
- Drip the essential oils of choice onto the salts and add the carrier oil.
- Cap tightly and shake vigorously.
- Use ½ of the jar in hot bath water and soak for at least 20 minutes to relieve soreness from overworked muscles.
What are your favorite soothing essential oils?
Let me know in the comments below!
Jamie Larrison blogs at The Herbal Spoon. She has a passion for herbalism and aromatherapy and creates her own plant-based, safe for the whole family bodycare items at her shop, This & That Herbal. Learn more about Jamie here.