Sunday, September 1, 2013

Lavender-Peppermint muscle relaxing & boo-boo balm

I can hardly believe it's September already—my favorite month of the year! The air's getting crisper, I'll need to refresh our tea selection soon and long weekend rambles are about to get ever so much more comfortable.

We've had a good summer, though. Yes, the usual citizenship shenanigans were definitely the lowlight, but in the midst of all that, so much to be grateful for. We kicked off the season with a bang on the Riviera Maya, had our fill of lazy weekends, Mexican fiestas, after-work picnics, and woolly knitting sessions. And while I concentrated on rediscovering cocktail culture, R decided to concentrate on some-might-say worthier pastimes, like taking up mixed martial arts again.

When he lived in Stockholm in his 20s he trained with one of the founding families of jiu-jitsu, but when he went back to Sicily and then came here, he couldn't find anyone that taught the same style that he grew up with. I found that a little suspect, especially when he moved to New York, but he doggedly went up and down and across the isle of Manhattan (and even into Brooklyn) to try out all the ones he found and pronounced them all not quite right.

Then this spring we noticed lots of construction on a corner a few blocks from us. There's always something going on, especially downtown, but wouldn't you know, a brand new gym specializing in Brazilian jiu-jitsu opened up two minutes away from our apartment.

R signed up for a membership as soon as we returned from Mexico and has been going by after work a few times a week since then. Afterwards he's completely tuckered out, but with that post-boxing, post-sauna soak blissed out look on his face that makes me so happy. You know I'm all set with my own DIY training, so I always felt sad that he hadn't found the right niche for himself. But now he's coming home with nicked knuckles and hardcore hand wraps and enjoying himself silly.

Until I walked in one night recently and saw him sitting in the corner of the couch with his gym gear on (so already I was freaking out at the thought of sweaty clothes on cream couch), but when my eyes adjusted to the dark I saw he had his foot propped up on our blanket-stacked footstool with a dishcloth-wrapped bag of ice on top. He was sporting a forlorn look on his face and he said to me in a 6-year old voice, "I hurt my foot".

I immediately switched from annoyed hausfrau into Florence Nightingale, bent to look and yep, his left foot was swollen and a not-so-pretty color. Nothing was broken or sprained, but through some combination of someone holding a bag wrong and the wrong angle of his kick, there was a mighty nasty bruise getting purplier as I stood and stared.

He asked if we had any Bengay. We don't, but I had something better.

I went to my little stash of oils in the bathroom and when I came back to the couch with a bottle of peppermint and one of lavender, he looked at me sideways and said, "that's not going to do anything".

Of course I ignored him, mixed the two oils together, and began massaging his foot. After a few moments, my own hands began to tingle from the oil and then he un-tensed his body and leaned back against the couch and his foot went from being flexed in my hand to completely relaxed.

My little concotion works because peppermint's menthol is a local anesthetic and produces a cooling sensation (hence the tingling). It's also a natural analgesic (painkiller), anti-inflammatory, and has anti-spasmodic properties. When massaged into the skin, it increases circulation, too, so you get that cooling from the menthol and warming from the opening of pores—all of which means you don't really need Bengay if you have some peppermint oil handy.

Everyone knows that lavender is calming, but it too is an analgesic, perfect for soothing aching muscles. Next time you have cramps, sore muscles, or a 6'4" man with a boo-boo, mix this up. Works just as well, if not better, than Bengay, and smells decidedly more pleasant!

Lavender-Peppermint muscle relaxing & boo-boo balm
(makes enough for one application)
5   drops of Lavender Oil
10 drops of Peppermint Oil
     
* My oils are from Plant Therapy—I'm still really happy with their quality and price.


{ image via }

8 comments :

  1. Oh man... i just started dancing samba again and tweaked my ankle in some way without even realizing it until it started feeling like a bruise on the top of my ankle/foot... am totally going to use this mixture!!! and it's going to smell wonderful AND have a calming affect on top of it! - You're such a good doting wife - your coming to aid with his boo boo :) and fantastic that you both now have a good physical outlet... -M

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    1. Ooo, samba! Now THAT is sexy ;). Sorry to hear you tweaked your ankle though—hopefully it won't lay you out from dancing for too long. But, definitely put some of this balm on it to help with the pain and to relax you! :)

      And, thanks, M! :)

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  2. And the website is seeing some changes...streamlining?

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    1. Good eye—yes, indeedy! I'm hoping to make a bigger reframing-of-things change, but since I can't launch that just yet, making do with a bit of cosmetic clean up :).

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  3. Hope R feels better! though men are such big babies when they're 'hurt'... (hope he doesn't read your blog...) Also it's such a typical MAN thing to overexert, push too far and hurt themselves! Vito had his first seasonal football practice the other week and guess who came home limping... yeah...

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    1. Thanks, dear! He's all good now. And YES, typical man on all fronts ;). Funny to see men on all continents do the same. Hope Vito's feeling better!

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  4. i love peppermint oil but didnt know about all this benefits. Such a sweet wifey :)

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    1. Thanks, Dixya! :)

      And, yes—it's a miracle worker! Love when things not only taste good and smell good but DO good, too!

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Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a note!

XOXO,
J.