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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Fitness, Fun, and Getting Things Done

With spring like temperatures beckoning us outdoors, the tendency to go overboard with fitness programs or home maintenance chores may result in stiff and sore muscles.

The following Meadow Muffin Gardens listings offer a selection of handy additions to your medicine chest or gym bag. Personal preference depicts which type works best for each individual. Two of them are herbal oils, one is an alcohol-based spray, one is a balm, one is a massage/body oil and last is a dead sea salt bath blend. The entire description that goes with each listing is provided.


Rosemary has long been depended upon for relief from rheumatic and muscular pain. This sharp, earthy smelling herb is especially useful for warming up cold hands and feet stiff from cold weather.

Arthritis and sore-muscle liniments from long ago utilized rosemary as their basic ingredient. A story is told of Queen Elizabeth of Hungary back in 1235 seeking the formulas of an old hermit. What she discovered was the various uses of rosemary in either oil or vinegar for both medical and cosmetic purposes.

Rosemary needles are infused in cold-pressed olive oil for several weeks after which it is strained and with the addition of essential oils, becomes a potent liniment convenient for both the medicine cabinet as well as the gym bag.

Prior to strenuous physical activity, it is important to warm up your muscles and keep them supple. The application of a liniment before exercise increases blood flow thereby helps to warm up the muscles and decrease the chance of injury.

Should there be pain from over-exercised muscles, liniments can also help after soreness has set in. The muscles need to rest and relax.
Liniments have a way of tricking the brain. Pain creates a loop between the area of pain and the message to the brain reinforcing this pain. The focus on the pain makes it hard for the muscles to relax. The combination of the liniment and the friction caused by the rubbing application from our hands creates an increase in heat. This provides an opportunity for the muscles to relax. Certain plants activate both hot and cold nerve impulses in the skin. The contrast between the two makes a liniment seem hotter than it actually is.

Various essential oils are added to the oil base to provide a sensation of heat along with muscle relaxants. Eucalyptus and peppermint are penetrating as they activate both hot and cold nerve impulses. Ginger, marjoram, thyme and rosemary all help relax the muscles as they stimulate circulation. Cinnamon and cloves are warming and stimulating, creating the "hot" which is why some liniments need to be regarded with respect.
*** Be aware of possible skin sensitivity and do not get the liniment near your eyes.****

***Joint and muscle pain can be caused by either an acute or a chronic condition.***

Should the muscle pain continue or you experience swelling, you may have an injury beyond just overexertion.
Acute injuries such as sprains and strains may need immediate care such as the RICE treatment which is rest, ice, compression and elevation. See your physician if you have any doubts as to the severity of the injury.

Once released to your own means of healing an herbal anti-inflammatory liniment can be very effective at relieving the swelling, discoloration and pain.

Liniments can temporarily relieve inflammatory joint pain but chronic inflammatory conditions should be monitored by your physician.

Rosemary Oil Pain Relief Liniment comes in a 2 oz. glass amber dropper bottle.
Use as needed by applying a small amount and use a rubbing action to create friction.
Look for skin sensitivity. May be too irritating for delicate skin.
Not for use on young children. Keep out of the reach of children.
Keep liniment out of direct sunlight. Sunlight will break down the properties of the essential oils.


Herbal Pain Relief Liniment is an alcohol based preparation useful in the relief of muscle aches, joint pain, inflammation, bruises, as well as part of the warm- up routine prior to exercise.
It can be used as a disinfectant but not to be applied to broken skin.
Useful for the treatment of headaches as well. Spritz fingertips so as not to get into eyes and rub into temples, forehead and the back of the neck.

Ideal for those who dislike the oily feel of oil based liniments and balms.

Prior to strenuous physical activity, it is important to warm up your muscles and keep them supple. The application of a liniment before exercise increases blood flow thereby helps to warm up the muscles and decrease the chance of injury.

Should there be pain from over-exercised muscles, liniments can also help after soreness has set in. The muscles need to rest and relax.
Liniments have a way of tricking the brain. Pain creates a loop between the area of pain and the message to the brain reinforcing this pain. The focus on the pain makes it hard for the muscles to relax. The combination of the liniment and the friction caused by the rubbing application from our hands creates an increase in heat. This provides an opportunity for the muscles to relax. Certain plants activate both hot and cold nerve impulses in the skin. The contrast between the two makes a liniment seem hotter than it actually is.

Isopropyl alcohol 70% is the liquid base in which fresh or dried herbs are infused for several weeks. The idea behind using alcohol is that upon application the alcohol evaporates leaving behind the therapeutic herbs to penetrate the skin's surface.

Herbs and spices used for this liniment are peppermint, rosemary, comfrey, oregon graperoot, echinacea, ginger, cinnamon and cayenne. These combine to activate both hot and cold, relax muscles, increase blood circulation, and soothe bruising.

Spray the affected area every one to two hours as needed. Use rubbing action with your hands to increase friction.

***Joint and muscle pain can be caused by either an acute or a chronic condition.***

Should the muscle pain continue or you experience swelling, you may have an injury beyond just overexertion.
Acute injuries such as sprains and strains may need immediate care such as the RICE treatment which is rest, ice, compression and elevation. See your physician if you have any doubts as to the severity of the injury.

Once released to your own means of healing an herbal anti-inflammatory liniment can be very effective at relieving the swelling, discoloration and pain.

Liniments can temporarily relieve inflammatory joint pain but chronic inflammatory conditions should be monitored by your physician.

*******PLEASE KEEP IN MIND THE FOLLOWING:********
1. Avoid use while pregnant.
2. Avoid use on infants and young children.
3. Brief exposure should not be irritating to the skin but avoid use on large areas of the
body. Too much absorption of isopropyl alcohol can lead to toxicity.
4. Use in a well-ventilated area. Inhalation may be irritating to the respiratory tract.
5. Not to be used in the bath.
6. Do not ingest, external use only!
7. Rubbing alcohol is flammable.

Herbal Pain Relief Liniment is bottled in a 4 oz. plastic spray bottle.
Keep liniment out of direct sunlight.


Joint and muscle pain can be either acute or a chronic condition.

Using a muscle in an unaccustomed manner can result in a strain or a sprain. The difference between the two is a sprain occurs at the joints when ligaments are overstretched.
Strains are when the muscles or the tendons that hold the muscles are torn or pulled too hard.

Whatever the cause it is usually inevitable that following an acute injury, pain, swelling and limitation of function will follow.
The most immediate thing to do is the RICE treatment which is rest, ice, compression and elevation. Any concerns as to the severity of the damage should be appeased by a visit to your physician.
Once released to your own means of healing an herbal anti-inflammatory liniment can be very effective at relieving the swelling, discoloration and pain.

Neuralgia or nerve pain can be caused by pressure on the nerve as a result of an injury or from what is termed Repetitive Strain Syndrome. This covers a wide range of conditions which develop as a result of doing the same motions continuously to the point of damaging muscles and joints. Without treatment and a change in the way we work, RSS can become a chronic condition.

Chronic pain is usually something we just have to manage. Conditions without a known cure can rely on herbal remedies to help improve one's quality of life. Perhaps not as strong as prescription drugs in relieving pain, at least you won't have to deal with addictive or mind dulling side effects. Herbs and essential oils are like a team of allies who all help out using their own attributes.
They help heal your nervous system rather than only suppressing the pain.

The chosen herb for this oil base is a yellow wayside wildflower called St. Johnswort. Named after John the Baptist, this flower is sought out after the summer solstice. After a two month infusion period and much anticipation it is ready to offer us its anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and anti-bacterial benefits. These attributes are from high concentrations of the chemical component, hypericin. This red juice is what gives the oil its wonderful red color.

St. Johnswort helps you recover when your nerves are inflamed or damaged because this herb is a nervous system relaxant.
For sore, stiff muscles, St. Johnswort acts as a cellular oxygenator that helps remove lactic acid build-up in muscles and can release nerve tension.

Chamomile, marjoram, lavender, eucalyptus and ginger are added in the form of essential oils.
Ginger is wonderful in that it increases blood circulation for warming the joints and enhances tissue repair.

Chamomile serves as an anti-inflammatory and excellent relaxant as it calms and soothes achy muscles and joints.

Lavender stimulates healing while at the same time relaxes muscles. A great companion with chamomile.

Marjoram is great for tired, stiff muscles and spasms. Definite tonic for the nerves.

Eucalyptus is often used for nervous system, muscular and skeletal conditions. It acts as an analgesic for nerves as well as helps to remove toxins in the joints.

Sprain, Strain & Nerve St. Johnswort Liniment is more potent than typical massage oils. It is bottled in a 2 oz. amber glass dropper bottle. Apply as needed to specified areas. The rubbing action into the skin creates friction, which in turn increases the muscle relaxing sensation of heat.
Chronic conditions should be under a physician's supervision.


Overexertion Relief is a balm which utilizes two herbal infused oils, comfrey and ginger root.

Time away from our work schedules is precious so of course we try to make the most of every minute.
We cram as much into our free time as possible and risk paying the price with a stiff back, shoulders, knees or whatever else put in overtime.

Called the living medicine chest, both the leaves and roots of the comfrey plant are important. High in silicic acid comfrey can reduce swelling, bruising and strengthen ligaments and tendons. Also known for its allantoin content, a crystalline oxidation product of uric acid, comfrey stimulates and accelerates tissue repair.

Ginger root is used for its aid in increasing circulation which enhances blood flow to the damaged tissue or achy muscles and joints.

The addition of shea butter adds to the therapeutic value since this rich soothing butter helps to heal bruising.

The cool, refreshing aroma of wintergreen and peppermint essential oils greet you upon application of this balm. They both contain analgesic properties which help soothe tired, sore muscles and joints.
Helichrysum essential oil is from the garden flower you probably know as immortelle. This oil has a reputation for improving circulation and the regeneration of nerves and tissue repair.

Apply as needed to stiff and sore areas.
Overexertion Relief balm comes in a 2 oz. jar

Wintergreen essential oil contains menthyl salicylate. If you are allergic to aspirin, pregnant or breastfeeding please consult with your doctor before using a product containing menthyl salicylate. Be aware of this product containing menthyl salicylate before using on children.


Whether it be the result of stress, over-exertion, chronic pain or simply wear and tear from age, our bodies send a clear message....aches and pains.

Inflammation is the body's reaction to irritation, injury or infection. The resulting symptoms are pain, swelling, reddening of the skin color and perhaps diminished freedom of movement.

Long days on our feet, poor posture hunched over at a desk, carrying heavy loads, all puts strain on our necks, backs and knees. These are very touchy areas in our physical make-up and need to be respected.

A flexible, stretched spine is very important. Tension and compression in the vertebrae creates blocked energy and painful pressure points which we feel as tight knots of pain.
Crimps in the neck are not pleasant, especially when they get so tight we can't turn our heads with ease.

The power of touch can do wonders to work out those hard, ropey, knots in our strands of muscle. You don't necessarily need another person or a massage therapist to benefit from a massage. Whatever area you can reach will appreciate a good deep kneading to work out those painful points. Use kneading motions as you apply an anti-inflammatory massage oil blend into your neck, shoulders, lower back, calves or your own feet. In fact, one of the most effective forms of utilizing essential oils is to apply them to the soles of the feet where they are easily absorbed throughout the bodily system.

Should you have assistance for your back, enjoy the warm, flowing motion of their touch as the anti-inflammatory properties of the essential oils in this oil blend help you relax and find relief.

The chosen essential oils for this blend are lavender, eucalyptus, juniper and chamomile. All contain anti-inflammatory properties which means they help reduce inflammation, pain and swelling in the joints and muscle tissues. Useful for relaxing those muscle spasms, the aches of arthritis, and tension headaches. Elimination of bodily toxins and fluid retention are both helped along by the increase in circulation.

Carrier oils used are almond and jojoba oils. Almond oil is very popular for massage oils because it is nourishing, gentle and glides easily over the skin. It absorbs quickly but not fast enough that you feel you'll need to stop and reach for the dropper bottle. Jojoba oil is very similar to our natural skin oils and easily penetrates and nourishes. Should you have a nut allergy and need a nut free oil convo me and we'll use another blend.

For use on the feet as in reflexology or just a good foot massage you will only need a dropper amount per foot.
For a full back or body massage you may need up to a tablespoon.

As a body oil for moisturizing be your own judge how much is needed, but for best results apply when the skin is slightly damp, such as after a bath or shower.

Our skin absorbs essential oils while the carrier oil will remain to soften and moisturize. Don't be surprised if you find the aroma doesn't seem as strong after a period of time. The nose will stop registering as it becomes tired of the stimulation. Essential oil molecules continue to work long after our sense of smell stops detecting them. Should someone else enter the room they would definitely smell the aromatics.

Such relaxation techniques as massage just may reward you with an improved temperament, less irritability, and a more restful night's sleep.

Anti-Inflammatory Massage and Body Oil comes in a 4 oz. amber glass dropper bottle. Should you prefer a white plastic pump or pop up type bottle let me know.


Salt baths are so common that we often forget the fact that "the simpler the better". A soak in warm salt water has long been used for achy joints and muscles as well as periodic detoxification. The addition of essential oils add their own therapeutic value as well as the pleasure of the aroma.

Epsom salts are not the same as regular table salt. Epsom salts are known as magnesium sulfate. Magnesium and sulfur are naturally present in sea water. Modern diets consisting of primarily processed foods are often deficient in these minerals. When you soak in a salt bath containing epsom salts your body will benefit as these minerals are absorbed through your skin.

Sea salt is also different from table salt in that rather than being pure sodium chloride which is refined from mined rock salt(halite), sea salt is evaporated sea water. It still contains natural minerals.

Dead sea salts originate from the Dead Sea, which is a salt lake located in the Middle East. The saline and mineral rich marshes have been used since ancient times for therapeutic and beautifying purposes.
Adding these luxurious salts to your bathing experience will help you understand why even the beautiful Cleopatra demanded rights to these mineral rich natural salts.

Being soluble in water, bath salts leave behind no residue therefore help keep your tub clean. Those of us with water softeners are aware that salt is what softens the water so it only makes sense that bath salts create soft water which enables any soap you use to clean better. And last, the addition of salt compared to a bath without salts is warmer for a longer period of time.

The usual recommendation for use is to add 2 - 4 TBS to a warm bath. Essential oils can increase the salt's potency so use your own discretion for the amount. You may only prefer 1 - 2 TBS.

Salt can be drying therefore a touch of vegetable glycerin is added, but you may want to moisturize following your bath. Also be sure to rehydrate by drinking water.

Those with heart conditions should avoid taking salt baths.
If pregnant please check with your physician before taking salt baths and check the safety of essential oils used during pregnancy.


Locations for Meadow Muffin Garden products are the website or my Etsy shop:


Words of wisdom many of us already know but have trouble following:
EVERYTHING IN MODERATION!

Disclaimer:
Meadow Muffin Gardens is the result of a passion to recognize the abundance of natural gifts provided to us by our Creator. Our desire is to utilize the healing power of plants and encourage people to educate themselves towards a greener footprint in their lives.
We supply an alternative choice for personal care products. We are not intending to treat or cure any particular condition. As with any herbal remedy, information and formulas have not been regulated by the FDA. Herbal lore has been trusted and handed down through the years but it is within your discretion how you use this information in treating a condition. Meadow Muffin Gardens does not take responsibility for your use of these products. Ingredients are listed so you as the consumer can use your own discretion as to which herbs, oils and essential oils may be beneficial to your needs.