Sporty Bobos: 5 Medicinal Plants For Athletes
Everyone knows that sports are good for your health! However, sustained physical effort can sometimes cause minor injuries such as muscle soreness, tendinitis, bruises, and blisters. Natural remedies, particularly phytotherapy, can help you treat these minor inconveniences. We have listed 5 medicinal plants that are very useful and beneficial for athletes.
1- Horsetail for preventing tendinitis.
Horse-tail or Equisetum arvense is a plant highly appreciated in phytotherapy for its richness in silica and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium.
This plant, whose young green stems are used, has remineralizing and healing virtues. It has no contraindications.
It is the first of 5 beneficial medicinal plants for athletes because it promotes collagen production and therefore tissue health. It contributes to good healing and ensures tendon flexibility.
Thanks to its mineral content, it also has a preventive action on cramps and other muscular pains. To benefit from its advantages, athletes can take horse-tail in the form of standardized plant extract (EPS), mother tincture, or capsules.
As the dosage of capsules may vary, remember that you should take about 1.5 g of horse-tail powder per day for 15 days if you want to make a cure.
2- Aspic lavender for treating blisters.
The lavender spica or Lavandula spica is a variety of lavender from which an essential oil with multiple benefits is extracted.
Not only is this essential oil an excellent antiseptic, but it also contains:
• camphor with analgesic, anti-inflammatory and warming properties
• linalool with anti-inflammatory, healing and pain-relieving properties
Lavender spica is one of the 5 plants beneficial for athletes because it allows to disinfect blisters and accelerate their healing. On an unopened blister, simply apply one to two drops of pure essential oil.
If the blister is open, dilute 30 drops of essential oil in 10 ml of St. John's Wort oil (a vegetable oil with healing properties).
Caution: St. John's Wort oil is photosensitizing! It should not be applied during the day and expose the skin to the sun. Lavender spica essential oil is also prohibited for epileptic people due to the camphor it contains.
It is interesting to have a bottle of lavender spica essential oil in your backpack when hiking in nature, as a drop of pure essential oil is enough to immediately relieve an insect bite.
Used before sports as a massage oil (diluted in a neutral vegetable oil), this essential oil also allows to prepare the muscles for effort.
3- Arnica to facilitate recovery.
Well known for its use against bruises and other contusions, arnica is also one of the 5 medicinal plants beneficial for athletes.
Taken in the form of homeopathic pellets or used as an oily macerate to be applied like a massage oil, this pretty mountain flower is precious in preventing muscle pain and aiding in recovery.
This medicinal plant with analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties is the perfect remedy for treating muscle or vein soreness, cramps, and minor injuries... as arnica stimulates venous circulation.
Did you know that endurance athletes usually take a dose of arnica 7CH right after exercising to limit muscle pain and promote recovery? It's a proven trick that can be complemented by taking pellets in the following days to relieve soreness.
The plant itself cannot be ingested because it is toxic, but it is used to make a widely used oily macerate in sports medicine. To optimize its effectiveness, the arnica oily macerate is generally mixed with essential oils such as camphor rosemary, lavender, and wintergreen.
4- Wintergreen to relieve pain
In herbal medicine, Wintergreen and Creeping Wintergreen are among the most effective pain-relieving plants. They are used in the form of essential oil and have the same analgesic effectiveness as aspirin!
Wintergreen is one of the 5 medicinal plants beneficial to athletes because it calms pain and reduces inflammation in muscles and joints.
Simply dilute it in a vegetable oil (at a rate of 30 drops in 10 ml of oil) and apply it in massage to painful areas to promote the elimination of lactic acid after exercise and relieve soreness.
It can also be used before a sports session to warm up muscles, ligaments, and tendons and reduce the risk of injury.
Warning: Wintergreen should not be used in case of allergy to aspirin, anticoagulant treatment or hemophilia as it thins the blood.
5- Italian Helichrysum or Immortelle to treat bruises.
The last of the 5 beneficial plants for athletes is Italian Helichrysum or Immortelle (Helichrysum italicum) because it is very effective against bruises and contusions.
If you practice a team sport that can cause bruises such as rugby or combat sports, do not hesitate to buy a bottle of Italian Helichrysum essential oil, preferably products from flowers originating from Corsica or Southeast France.
Despite its high price, this essential oil is essential in the natural medicine kit of athletes because it is 50 times more effective than arnica in treating hematomas and edemas!
Thanks to its healing properties, it is a complete remedy in case of a blow and a minor wound. Just apply a drop of pure essential oil on a bruise or bump to quickly relieve pain.
In the following days, you can use it diluted in arnica oil macerate and apply this mixture 2 to 3 times a day until the bruise completely disappears.