Spring is finally in full bloom and we can get outside and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine once again. Unfortunately after being sidelined indoors all winter we can sometimes get a little overenthusiastic in our activities when we first get out in all that lovely Spring weather. Whether an avid gardener or an outdoor sports enthusiast, there is one thing that we all have in common when we’re first starting out after our winter break – sore muscles! We’ve all experience it – groaning as you stand up from gardening, having discovered muscles you had forgot existed, or the burning, aching muscles after running or cycling a few miles. Discovering you have muscles that spasm and groan can take the joy out of your day, but don’t worry help is at hand.

At Tilia we have developed a whole range of products that can help to ease the discomfort of muscle strains, spasms and pain and we thought we’d share with you a little bit about what the products can do and more importantly what wonderful herbs and natural ingredients are in them so you understand why these products work so well.

 

Achy All Over Bath – we all know that a warm bath helps relieve aching muscles and ease pain. With this in mind we created our Ache-Ease bath to enhance the effects of warm water on our muscles. We combined a bath favourite, Epsom salt, with herbs and essential oils that have been shown to reduce pain and inflammation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This formulation includes yarrow (pictured), rosemary (pictured), birch (pictured) and lavender all of which have a long history of use for reducing the symptoms of muscle over exertion.  All of these herbs have anti-inflammatory and analgesic actions, acting to reduce swelling and pain on topical application. Yarrow in particular is good for drawing out the excess fluid buildup in tissue that can occur with overuse of muscles.The other added benefit of the herbs in this formula is that they all have an antibacterial action which can be helpful when we get not only aches and pains from our gardening efforts, but also nicks and cuts that need to be healed.

 

 

Poplar Salve – this aromatic lovely smelling salve is derived from the mahogany coloured resin found within the buds of the Poplar/Cottonwood tree. We take these buds (harvested in the cold later winter months, brrr!) and soak the fresh buds in organic olive oil and allow the resin to slowly extract into the oil over the next 4 to 6 weeks and then we make it into an all-purpose pain relieving salve sometimes referred to as Balm of Gilead.  All this effort pays off in the end because we get an amazingly effective topical application to help reduce pain, inflammation and wounds. Poplar contains salicylic acid, the main chemical in aspirin, and this combined with the resin in this plant are responsible for it’s exceptional ability to ease all types of pain and inflammation. Note: this salve can cause irritation for some people, particularly those with allergies to aspirin or cottonwood trees so you should always patch test it before applying in on larger amounts.

 

Tilia’s Own BFC Salve – In the 1940’s well-known herbalist Dr. John Christopher created an amazing blend of herbs known as Bone, Flesh & Cartilage. It was designed to treat everything from broken bones, torn ligaments and lacerations; to boils, bunions & arthritis. (and just about everything in between!). We have taken Dr. C’s original recipe and add a few of our own twists to create an exceptional salve perfect for gardeners and athletes alike. BFC, while good for aches and pains in general, really excels when it comes to actual joint and tissue irritation such as that seen in repetitive strain conditions associated with mowing, clipping, raking and so on. It is also excellent for a condition known as prepatellar bursitis (commonly called housemaids knee) which is caused by inflammation of a small fluid-filled sac (the bursa) in front of the kneecap. It more commonly occurs in people who spend long periods of time kneeling (hello gardeners!). This formula is a powerhouse of herbs that act to increase lubrication around joints, heal damaged tissues, reduce inflammation and ease muscle spasms – containing comfrey (pictured), white oak, mullein, gravel road, black walnut, marshmallow, wormwood, skullcap, and lobelia as well as pain easing essential oils of frankincense and sweet marjoram.  These act synergistically to increase lubrication around joints, heal damaged tissues, reduce inflammation and ease muscle spasms.

 

Arnica Cream – this lovely sunny yellow wild plant  has long been used to ease pain and inflammation from trauma to the tissues or from overworked muscles. It is excellent for sprains, strains and bruising, quickly easing symptoms while healing the underlying tissue. We have combined it with comfrey, another of our healing herbs for tissues and joints, as well as witch hazel which cools and astringes the area to reduce swelling. Note: Arnica should not be applied to open wounds nor ingested as it can cause toxicity in these situations. (It is completely safe for topical application otherwise.

 

 

 

Minty Muscle Ease Sticks – as it’s name implies this rub on stick packs a minty punch to relieve the effects of pulled muscles and general overuse of the body. Made from infused oils of peppermint (pictured), yucca, rosemary and yarrow as well as essential oils of peppermint, wintergreen, birch, and cloves. It also has menthol crystals (which help to cool painful, overworked muscles). Mint, wintergreen and birch all contain methyl salicylate which works by initially gently irritating tissues bringing healthy blood cells to the area to start the healing process then it cools the tissue to reduce pain and swelling.  This salve is in a stick form that is great to throw in a pack for ease of use anywhere.

 

 

Trauma Relief Cream – like our arnica cream the Trauma Relief cream is great for the symptoms of trauma to the body such as falls, accidents, and over straining of muscles. Where it differs slightly from our arnica cream is in its excellent ability to ease muscle spasm and cramping. This is perfect for back spasms, leg cramps and generalized pain and inflammation. This cream contains a range of different herbs and essential oils, in particular St. John’s Wort (pictured), Poplar and Arnica infused oils and lemongrass and rosemary essential oils (amongst lots of others!). It also contains magnesium oil which is said to relax muscle spasms and ease pain. These ingredients combine to ease the cramping so commonly seen in over use of muscles.

So go ahead and enjoy your time outdoors, at Tilia we have you covered!