My top 5 Liniments for Treating Minor Injuries at Home
Oh that smell! Can't you smell that smell? Nothing tells the world you have an injury with the same punch as liniment. Though the odor may be unpleasant to some, we can't deny that it helps alleviate pain from inflammation, pulled muscles, sprains, strains, twists, and all those other injuries weekend warriors and athletes alike obtain. But which is the best to use? How and when should they be applied? Let's go through my top 5:
Trauma and tendon liniment can be used on everything from sprains to bruises to broken bones (of course, you should see a doctor if you think something is broken). The only time you should't apply it is on open skin.
Trauma liniment: use this instead of ice
Yes, I mean it. DON'T USE ICE! I explain why on my About Acupuncture page but just to reiterate: ice stops inflammation because it's stopping blood flow. Unless you're dead, you don't want to stop blood flow. In fact, you want the opposite to occur. Inflammation is your body's natural healing response and will usually flush out on it's own, but trauma liniment helps this process along. It has the same cooling effect as ice but actually speeds up blood flow through the area. More blood means all the junk is being moved out and more nutrients are brought in for healing.
Tendon liniment: use this once inflammation stops
This is used in the second stage of healing after inflammation has stopped. This liniment has more warming properties to it to increase blood flow and relax muscles and tendons. Continue use until the pain and swelling stops and the injury has completely healed. If you start using it and the inflammation returns, stop, go back to the trauma liniment for a few more days, and try again. Each injury is different so they will heal at different rates.
Red flower oil, white flower oil, and woodlock oil are your go-to muscle treatments.
Red flower oil has warming properties so it will help increase blood flow and relax muscles and tendons. If heat feels good on the injured area, this one will feel great and make you smell like Christmas.
White flower oil has cooling properties and will aid with minor inflammation in the muscles. Similar to the trauma liniment, it will also help speed up blood flow. Use this if you feel ice would alleviate your pain. Bonus: this can also be used to treat itchy bug bites!
Woodlock oil is neutral when it comes to the warming-cooling spectrum. I like to use this in the summertime when heat feels nice but you don't wan't to be any hotter than you already are, or in the dead of winter when there's inflammation but it's just too damn cold outside to apply anything with cooling properties. With woodlock, you get all the tingles to relax the pain away, and the best of both worlds.
There you have it friends. With these five liniments you can treat almost every injury you can incur playing volleyball, dancing the night away, or simply stumbling around your friends yard celebrating life. Of course, if you lost a finger setting off fireworks, you should immediately go to the ER. Liniment can't help you. If you do get burned by the BBQ though, purple cloud ointment is the Chinese gift to burns everywhere! It can also be used to treat sun and cold burn, eczema, dermatitis, bug bites, itching, dry, and cracked skin. With all these in your arsenal, nothing will stop the party.