How To Make Homemade Warming Muscle Rub

After a good workout, I love using a deep-heating cream like Bengay, IcyHot, or Tiger Balm on my sore muscles. The warming action is such a nice relief for the soreness, and my muscles always feel better the next day! But the problem with those creams is that they smell terrible! I mean, you get used to it, especially if you’re an athlete, but still…yuck. So I decided to try making my own homemade warming muscle rub, and it turned out great!

This homemade warming muscle rub is perfect for sore achy muscles! Like IcyHot or Bengay but it doesn't smell bad!

It’s really easy to make, and it really works! The essential oils in the rub help promote blood flow to the area, which is what gives you that warming feeling, and the extra blood flow helps the muscles heal faster. Here are the benefits from each of the oils in the rub:

  • Peppermint oil: natural painkiller (analgesic); muscle relaxant; cooling properties; stimulates blood circulation
  • Eucalyptus oil: natural analgesic; anti-inflammatory; vasodilator (opens blood veins to improve circulation)
  • Clove oil: natural anti-inflammatory agent; stimulates blood circulation
  • Ginger oil: natural anti-inflammatory agent; analgesic
  • Black Pepper oil: warming, stimulating, improves circulation

When I was browsing for a good homemade warming muscle rub recipe, I found this one here on PopSugar, so this is what I used.

How To Make Homemade Warming Muscle Rub

Here’s what you need for your own homemade warming muscle rub:


  • ¼ C olive oil
  • ¼ C coconut oil
  • 1 T beeswax
  • 20 drops of each of the following essential oils: (learn more about essential oils here)
    • Peppermint
    • Eucalyptus
    • Clove
    • Ginger (you can substitute ¼ t ground ginger if necessary)
    • Black Pepper (you can substitute ¼ t ground black pepper if necessary)


  • small pot
  • pyrex measuring cup (or any heat-proof glass or metal bowl)
  • funnel
  • coffee filter
  • a second pyrex measuring cup, or a small bowl
  • small airtight container for storage

Start by filling the small pot with a few inches of water and putting the pyrex measuring cup or heat-proof bowl inside the pot to create a sort of double boiler. Put the pot on the stove and turn on the heat to medium.

If you’re using ground ginger and ground black pepper instead of ginger and black pepper oils: Add the olive oil, coconut oil, ground ginger and ground pepper to the pyrex or bowl. Bring the water in the pot to a simmer and let the spices steep in the oils for about 20 minutes.

How To Make Homemade Warming Muscle Rub-4

After 20 minutes, add the beeswax and continue heating the mixture until the beeswax melts.

If you’re using ginger and black pepper oils: Start by adding the olive oil, coconut oil, and beeswax to the pyrex or bowl. Bring the water in the pot to a simmer and continue heating until the beeswax melts.

From here on out the directions are the same regardless of which ingredients you used. While you wait for the beeswax to melt, put a coffee filter inside of a funnel and place the funnel over another pyrex measuring cup or bowl.

How To Make Homemade Warming Muscle Rub-5

Once the beeswax is fully melted, carefully pour the oil mixture through the funnel and coffee filter to strain out the ginger and pepper flakes and any other impurities.

How To Make Homemade Warming Muscle Rub-6

It may take a while for the oil to strain through the filter, but just be patient! Once all the oil has been strained, add 20 drops each of peppermint, eucalyptus, and clove oil to the mixture. (If you didn’t use ground ginger and ground black pepper, add 20 drops each of ginger and black pepper oil as well.)

Work quickly at this point because the beeswax will start to harden as it cools.

Once the essential oils are mixed in, pour the oil mixture into a small airtight container. Seal the container and let it set for a few hours at room temperature until solid, and then you’re done!

Rub a small amount of the homemade warming muscle rub on any painful muscles after a workout, and the heat from the rub will start to make your muscles feel better right away! Plus, though you can definitely smell this muscle rub, it doesn’t stink like it’s commercial counterparts!

This homemade warming muscle rub is perfect for sore achy muscles! Like IcyHot or Bengay but it doesn't smell bad!

This homemade warming muscle rub is perfect for sore achy muscles! Like IcyHot or Bengay but it doesn't smell bad!

Want to share this with your friends? Just click any of the share buttons on the left to share with Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, etc.!

P.S. if you liked this project, check out these other great ways to use essential oils!

If you’re interested in learning more about essential oils, just let me know or join our Facebook group! I’d be happy to get you more info or get you a sample to try out!

Or if you are ready to start using essential oils, you can get the all of the must-have essential oils in the Young Living Premium Starter kit at a HUGE discount. Plus you 24% off every purchase you make for life when you sign up as a wholesale member. The starter kit is everything you need to get started living a happier, healthier, more natural life with essential oils, and the 24% discount on any future purchases of Young Living oils and products doesn’t hurt either! Check out this page for more details.

Welcome to the club! Sign up to get Young Living essential oils at 24% off for forever, and get all this as well at a huge discount!



These statements and any information contained on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is intended for educational purposes only and is not meant to substitute for medical care or to prescribe treatment for any specific health condition. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Our content is not purposed to replace professional medical diagnosis, treatment or advice. Information obtained from a Young Living member should never cause disregard or delay seeking advice or treatment from a medical or healthcare provider. Use of any information from the content of this site solely at your own risk. Consult individual products labels for safety information.

Jessi Wohlwend

I believe that anyone can do crafts and DIY projects, regardless of skill or experience. I love sharing simple craft ideas, step by step DIY project tutorials, cleaning hacks, and other tips and tricks all with one goal in mind: giving you the tools you need to “do it yourself”, complete fun projects, and make awesome things!

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Reader Interactions

  1. Christina says

    4 years ago

    I was super excited about this recipe and sub. cinnamon for the clove because I didn’t have any on hand and used the eo on all others. Maybe it’s because I went rogue and started with the beeswax (since it takes FOREVER to melt down) and not the oils and since they were essential I didn’t simmer them for 20 minutes. I can’t feel the warming action on my back or my neck. It smells amazing and this is the second recipe for a warming salve or balm or rub (whatever) that hasn’t warmed for me. Help!! Is it me?? I don’t know what I did wrong or if I can melt them back down and cook them up some more…..

    • Jessi Wohlwend says

      4 years ago

      That’s right not to simmer the essential oils, just the wax and olive oil etc. If you’re using ground ginger and pepper you want to “steep” those spices in the oils while they melt, but with EOs you just add them right at the very end. You can definitely melt it back down and try adding more drops of EO to “strengthen” the warming action, but just warm it up until liquid; you don’t want to heat up the EOs any more than you have to.

  2. Sara says

    4 years ago

    This must be for people with super sensitive skin. I made it and tried it on my daughters sore back. She has sensitive skin, but she felt nothing. I melted it, and added 10 extra drops of each oil, but still feeling nothing. My only feeling is that I wasted a bunch of oils. ? I’ve gotta figure out what else to add to this to make it work because I don’t want to throw it out after using all these products. Frustrated?

    • Jessi Wohlwend says

      4 years ago

      I’m sorry it’s been so frustrating! I don’t have super sensitive skin and it works for me, but certainly every person will be different. One thing is you don’t want to heat the oils if you can avoid it; that’s why they go in very last. If you warmed it back up really gently to add more oils that might work, but potentially heating the mixture back up can reduce the potency of the original oils. If you want to try it stronger I suggest adding the extra oils when making it the first time, but I know that’s not super helpful now that you’ve already done it. Sorry! 🙁

  3. Janis says

    4 years ago

    Mine doesn’t stay solid at room temperature. Do you keep yours in the fridge?

    • Jessi Wohlwend says

      4 years ago

      Hmm, I haven’t had an issue; mine stays solid so I just leave it in a cabinet. If you live in a warm area you can leave it in the fridge to keep it solid, or you can leave it out and use it even though it’s a little “goopy”. It won’t hurt it to be a little soft.

  4. Mo says

    5 years ago

    I was curious how long this would last before it expires? Say if you kept it in a glass or plastic container on a shelf? Thank You.

    • Jessi Wohlwend says

      5 years ago

      The expiration date depends on the quality of essential oils you use, but it should be good for anywhere from 1-5 years.

  5. Jen says

    5 years ago

    For an icy feeling you could maybe use menthol crystals in small amounts its safe for bath n body

  6. Joan says

    7 years ago

    Could you add camphor oil for an increased warming effect?

  7. Rebecca says

    9 years ago

    Just made this and it is lovely. I didn’t get any warming tingling feeling but it smells divine. I also added in some chilli see oil and cinnamon oil for an extra kick. Thanks for the recipe.

  8. Diane says

    9 years ago

    Can you tell me please if you are referring to Teaspoons or Tablespoons?
    •1 T beeswax
    •1/4 t ground ginger

    Thank you

    • Jessi Wohlwend says

      9 years ago

      Capital T is tablespoons and lowercase is teaspoons! 🙂

  9. J. Minter says

    9 years ago

    Hey, I made this the other day, but I found that it didn’t get “icy” or “hot”. All in all, it just wasn’t very effective. Any tips or ideas?

    • Jessi Wohlwend says

      9 years ago

      When I use it, it gets warm just for a minute or two right when I apply it, but the “warm” sensation fades pretty quickly. However, my muscles stop hurting pretty much immediately, even after the warming sensation is gone! Did it help with sore muscles even though it wasn’t “hot”?

  10. Jennifer S. says

    9 years ago

    Thanks for sharing this. I need to make this for my husband. He has an old injury that flairs up in his shoulder when he exercises. This would be good for it.

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