This spicy pain salve recipe features pain-blocking cayenne, warming ginger, plus herbs to help your aches and pains.
Spicy Salve is pretty much the most popular and oft-reached-for salve in our house. We especially love using it on sore muscles and back aches, leg aches from working at a computer for too long, or any pains that feel better when you apply heat to the area.
Rather than give it a dignified name, like such a lovely pain salve rightfully deserves, our family continues to just call it Spicy Salve. Because it’s a salve. And it’s spicy!
You can also find this recipe in the ebook, Things to Make for Aches & Pains – a joint collaboration between the Gen Z whippersnapper who originally started this website, and her mom, the Nerdy Farm Wife.
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Because of the cayenne and ginger in this recipe, avoid getting it anywhere sensitive like eyes, mouth, general mucous membranes, any broken skin.
Warming spicy feel on aching muscles = pleasant. Warming spicy feel on delicate/broken skin or in your eyes = discomfort.
Spicy Pain Salve Recipe
For the oil infusion:
For the salve:
- 3.5 oz (100 g) infused oil, from above (or abt 1/2 cup)
- 0.5 oz (14 g) beeswax pastilles (or abt 2 loosely filled tbsp)
- 48 drops cypress essential oil (2% dilution rate)
To infuse the oil:
- Combine the herbs and oil in a heat-safe jar, adding a little extra oil if needed to make sure the herbs stay covered.
- Place the jar of oil/herbs down into a small saucepan containing a few inches of water. (Enough water to cover a good portion of the jar sides, but not too much so it starts to float.)
- Heat the pan over a burner set to low to medium-low heat for 2 hours.
- The water should be warm enough to indirectly heat the oil, but if it starts simmering and bubbling, it's too hot and should be turned down.
- After around 2 hours, remove from heat, cool to room temperature, and cap with a lid.
- For a more effective infusion, place the jar in a sunny window for 2 weeks before straining and using.
To make the salve:
- Weigh out infused oil & beeswax into a heat-safe container such as a mason jar.
- Set the jar in a small pot of water on a stove top burner set low to medium-low, and allow to slowly melt together.
- Once completely melted, remove the jar from the pot.
- Add the cypress essential oil, then pour into tins or jars.
- Let cool, cap, and label.
- Store in a cool dry place; shelf life is around 9+ months.
Cleanup tip: Wipe out the melting jar with paper towels or old rags while it’s still hot and the salve is still soft. Once it cools and hardens, it’s difficult to clean!
Rub into aching muscles, or use as a massage balm for the same.
Remember that it will take a while for salve to soak completely into skin, even on the hand/fingers you used to apply it!