Posted by Bonnie Rogers on 8/15/2012 to Herbal Medicine
For many of us sore, sprained and pulled muscles are something that happens once in a while, while others are constantly looking for solutions to these issues. For a sprain your first line of defense should always be ice, which helps bring the inflammation down. In addition there are some herbal remedies you may find helpful.
For many years if I had sore muscles or a sprain the first thing I looked for was homeopathic arnica which works very well, but as an herbalist, I really wanted to use an herb that grew around me, here in the northeast as well as not using the homeopathic version. I began using St Johnswort infused olive oil. Many of you think of St Johnswort as an antidepressant herb, but I find that used externally the oil will relax the nerves and muscles and allow them to heal.
A few years ago, I learned from herbalist Kiva Rose to make oil from Goldenrod, I’ve used Goldenrod tincture for many things, the most common to assist the body in removing congestion in the sinus, but boy was I surprised that she had found that it was an excellent herb to help with the awful pain of a simple sprained muscle. Since learning about Goldenrod oil, I make a batch of it yearly, this time of year in the northeast its perfect.
I find that if you apply the oil right after the injury and a few times afterwards that the pain, both the acute pain and older pain are decreased. Don’t be stingy when applying it and do apply it again a half hour or an hour later as occasionally it needs a few doses to make a change. (If you only have the tincture it will also work – use it externally and you may also want to use a little bit internally) Many find that Goldenrod oil applied externally will help over-tightened, stressed out muscles. I like adding some ginger oil or tincture to the mixture if I want it to be a little more warming. Adding skullcap internally helps as an antispasmodic and if you find that the issue is a neck issue, blue vervain is always a wonderful addition, whether it’s used internally or externally. If you have any questions concerning the use of Goldenrod, please email me at [email protected]
- Harvest the top of goldenrod - the flowers, leaves and stalks (approx 6-10 inches from the top of the plant)
- Chop up and place in a jar
- Fill your jar with olive oil - organic preferably
- Use a chopstick to stir the mixture, allowing the air bubbles to release
- Every day for a week or so open the jar, stir a little and allow the air bubbles that have built up get to get released and if it looks like you need to add a little more olive oil than do that. (about once a week after that check your oil for air bubbles)
- Let it sit on a plate as the oil will manage to escape no matter what you do.
- In 6 weeks, strain the plant material out and you have an oil that is fabulous to use. - (see our Featured article this week on - What do do when you have a sore, sprained or pulled muscle..