Natural Remedies For Those Inevitable Gardening Aches and Pains
Springtime brings with it a burst of excitement and energy to put forth into gardening. I find that I put in my most productive work on the weekends, but I also tend to go overboard and neglect the principle of pacing myself! If you’re like me, after a long day of weeding, hauling, bending and digging, you may be making a date with an ice pack for the evening. Keep reading for a few natural remedies for gardening aches and pains that may help you feel young again and keep the spring in your step.
Top pointers for reducing gardening aches and pains
1) Build core muscles and flexibility: Core muscles support your back! Consider pilates or the new pilates/yoga combined workouts (my favorite!) to increase flexibility and strengthen your abdomen, which will help keep your back in alignment.
2) Increase stamina from the inside! The cordyceps mushroom is prized in Chinese medicine for its ability to boost physical performance, endurance and reduce fatigue! Backed by clinical studies so you know it isn’t just folklore, this product is a wonderful way to combat the physical stress of gardening.
3) Reduce inflammation: Lavender oil is prized for its therapeutic properties including easing tension and pain! Combine 2-3 drops with a teaspoon of a carrier like coconut, almond or olive oil and massage into the affected area or enjoy in a warm bath.
4) Take a bath: After a long day in the garden, you deserve a little solitude and relaxation in a warm tub! Just grab a great gardening book or some of your favorite relaxing melodies and soak for 20 minutes. Combine a cup of Epsom Salts and let the magnesium sulfate go to work on those stiff, sore areas. Add a few drops of lavender oil while you’re at it! You may also enjoy the skin conditioning benefits of 2 tablespoons of almond or olive oil, but be careful not to slip and do clean the tub afterwards.
5) Use a topical analgesic: Salicylates from plants were used in ancient civilizations to help alleviate pain and are still well-loved and used (think aspirin)! Check out this powerhouse topical blend featuring medicinal plant extracts, including salicylates found in wintergreen essential oil, to instantly soothe and relax the muscles and tendons for fast pain relief. Eucalyptus, rosemary, peppermint and juniper oils, all prized for their pain relieving benefits, are also combined in this bottle! Relax spasms and reduce inflammation by adding a drop or 2 with a teaspoon of carrier oil and massage into the area of discomfort. You’ll notice an instant warm, soothing sensation and a feeling of comfort as the oil begins to absorb. This remedy has increased my mobility in moments when I couldn’t turn my head completely to the side. Just reapply as needed. Be sure to wash your hands afterwards to avoid getting the mint in your eyes!
If you prefer something that’s ready to open and apply, try this Flex Creme instead. It was developed for athletes, and gardening is definitely an athletic endeavor! I have enjoyed it on my feet after a long day of walking, and it works immediately! Finally, this is a must-have in my house: peppermint and menthol are blended in a refreshing gel that won’t leave you smelling like the medicine cabinet. The name is quite fitting – it’s called Ice Dancer. My daughter uses it to ease her growing pains! Extremely affordable, we apply to achy feet, legs, back and neck muscles. To rev it up, just blend in a drop or two of the wintergreen blend or peppermint essential oils. We LOVE that combination!!
6) Warm up and cool down: If you’ve ever attended an aerobics class, this was part of the workout, and the same applies to gardening! Enjoy a brisk walk to get your blood moving and to loosen your muscles, rest every hour and drink plenty of fluids, and stretch when you’re finished.
7) Accommodate your condition: If you’re prone to chronic pain due to a condition, prepare your garden and invest in the best tools to accommodate your abilities.
Don’t let springtime garden preparation catch you off guard! Prepare well, follow these “post-workout” remedies and continue to enjoy the spiritual, physical and mental benefits of gardening. If you’re like me, you may have to pace yourself and spread out the chores rather than cramming them all into the weekend. Come Saturday night, you won’t be having a date with an ice pack.
Susann Crowell is a licensed skin specialist who is passionate about helping individuals achieve younger looking, healthier skin not only through the proper use of quality skin care and treatments, but also through nutritional support and healthy eating, as well. Thanks to this “inside out” approach, Susann’s role as a skin care specialist has evolved into supporting health, longevity, and disease prevention.
Susann’s fond memories of childhood include gardening with her mom, especially pulling tiny carrots from the earth and rinsing them in the water spout to eat right away. Although she doesn’t claim to have inherited the green thumb, she loves gardening and aspires to help her three young girls create similar memories.