Recipe courtesy of a dear friend, Crystal_Dragon.
First, make some Arnica oil using 6 ounces of olive oil and about 1/4 cup of dried Arnica flowers. (CAUTION: Arnica can cause allergic reactions in sensitive people so gloves may be needed. Do not get Arnica in an open wound or near mucus membranes as it is toxic when used internally) Heat the oil and Arnica flowers in a double boiler for 2 to 3 hours, then strain the oil into a container. NOTE: Arnica is great for reducing swelling.
Next, make a deconcoction of Cramp Bark and Prickly Ash Bark. Place 8 ounces of water in a pot with 1/8 cup each of the Cramp Bark and the Prickly Ash Bark. Simmer over low heat for 20 to 30 minutes, then strain into a container. NOTE: Both Cramp Bark and Prickly Ash Bark are "warming" herbs and go deep into the muscle tissue to help maintain blood flow.
Now, place the bark deconcoction and the oil in a double boiler with 1/2 ounce of beeswax, an emulsifier (to keep the water and oil from separating - I used an emulsifying wax) and a little citric acid concentrate (as a preservative to extend the shelf life). Heat the mixture, stirring occasionally, until it's uniform in appearance. Pour into clean, sterilized jars and allow to cool. You may need to stir the mix as it cools in the jars to maintain uniformity. Once it's cooled, it's ready for use! Store in sealed jars in a cool dark place. Recipe yields about 12 ounces.
Ages ago, I made a batch of Crystal's herbal muscle rub for Jeffery. He's got chronic lower back pain and I just can't do much for him. Rubbing his lower back is akin to trying to massage concrete. Not only is it boring, but I have problems with my wrists and rubbing this area on his back makes me cry because I can't feel my hands.
I learned one very important thing: storing the mixture in a 'cool, dry' place is not a suggestion. Really, store it in a cool, dry place. I made this over the summer, and it moulded before I could use it all. I must have skimmed over that part when reading the instructions, much like I space out over anything that instructs me to 'pat dry' and don't realize why until I'm rubbing my skin raw instead of patting. Seriously, throw this shit in the fridge.
I did not get the opportunity to use very much of it, but I really liked this recipe. I had fun cooking it up; Jeff went out and bought a double boiler for me and he helped me make it while watching a movie. It smells sort of funny and it's a lot of work for a lazy girl like me, but I'll make it again.