Herbs for Sprains and Strains
I first sprained my ankle as a preteen. Then it happened quite a bit in the active years following...and then a few random times after having babies.
Most people just reach for the ibuprofen but I am telling you...DON'T! There are so many ways to take care of sprains and strains naturally...you don't need to take an OTC that can damage your stomach and kidneys.
Real quick...the difference between a sprain and a strain is really just what tissue is affected. Sprains affect the ligament...by stretching them out (they don't go back, which is why many people will continue to get them). Strains affect tendons or muscles.
Thankfully, we can use the same remedies for both.
Herbs for Sprains and Strains
While this is a homeopathic remedy, this is the first thing you should reach for. This helps with inflammation, pain, and bruising. I always have this in our home. This is the only form of Arnica that is okay for internal use.
Arnica Cream/Oil (Arnica montana)
This one usually is made with the herb Arnica and is actually quite easy to make (look for tutorial coming soon). You shouldn't apply it to broken skin. Use it as needed.
Comfrey (Symphytum officinale)
Oh how I love comfrey. This powerful herb is great for healing tissue (and bone!). Use it in a compress or a soak. I have included a recipe in this post for an aches and pain soak. It is safe for broken skin.
Calendula (Calendula officinalis)
This bright warm herb helps with inflammation and pain. It is safe for broken skin. Use it in a compress, soak, or herbal infused oil.
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
This is a warm herb that brings blood flow to the area, helping with healing, inflammation, and pain. Inflammation isn't a bad word...it a healing process that our body naturally has. Rather than trying to get rid of it superficially...we live to use herbs that help the healing so it goes away naturally. Use in compress or soak.
Lavender (Lavandula officinalis)
An herb and essential oil for pain and inflammation. Use in compress, soak, herbal infused oils, or essential oil. For acute use...you are safe to use a 25% dilution rate with the Lavender EO which is 25 drops per 1 tsp. This is for adults.
For children under 12...2 drops per teaspoon (a 2%) is fine for acute use.
While Lavender essential oil is thought of as safe to apply "neat" there is still a risk on sensitization over time. Yep, that means you may not get a reaction the first, second, or third time BUT if you continue to use it neat...you may find you break out in hives or have a serious reaction later. Just be safe, always dilute.
Aches and Pain Blend (for sale in our Etsy shop starting late March 2017)
- 1/4 cup dried Comfrey leaves
- 1/4 cup dried Calendula flowers
- 1/4 cup dried Rosemary leaves
- 1/4 cup dried Lavender buds
- 1/2-1 cup magnesium salts or pink Himalayan salt
Add all ingredients to a large canning jar and mix thoroughly (hands work!).
Use 1/4-1/2 cup herb blend in 1 quart boiling water. Steep for 15 minutes.
As compress - soak kitchen towel in infusion and place over sprain/strain. Let sit for 20 minutes, swapping out to keep it warm.
As soak - add infusion to either foot bath or full as needed.
Repeat several times throughout the day.