Ankle Update and Do-it-yourself Arnica Massage Oil

My ankle is doing better everyday, which is a good thing. I can’t wait to get back to normal activities, but I know it’s important to take it easy. Don’t want to reinjure it or make it worse, after all. For now, I’m pleased that the swelling has gone down, it’s not sore or tender to the touch, and I’m getting extra help and attention from Boyfriend now that he’s back in town. Always nice to have an excuse to not help with the chores, lol. At the same time, I miss practicing my plies and releves while waiting for water to boil for cooking!
After PoetsandPirouettes   mentioned arnica, I remembered that I had picked up a bag of dried arnica leaves awhile back. I’d heard that arnica was good for inflammation. Since I love do-it-yourself projects – and I have all this extra time since I’m not practicing ballet – I made an arnica-infused massage oil for my ankle. It worked! I will probably also continue using it for sore muscles as well.
Anyway, instructions are below in case anyone is interested:
1)   Double boil some water. I used a medium (small?) pot of water and put a heat-safe glass bowl inside of it. I brought the water to a boil, then lowered the heat to medium.

2)    Place the dried arnica leaves inside a small glass jar. Cover the leaves completely with oil. I used coconut oil, but grapeseed, olive, sesame, etc. would probably work as well. Mostly I used coconut because it hardens in low temperatures, in case I decided to later add in beeswax and make it into ointment.
3)    Place the jar (with contents) into the glass bowl in the pot. Stir the contents periodically, making sure the leaves remain covered in oil. Replenish the water periodically as well, since quite a bit will evaporate eventually. I let the leaves infuse into the oil for about 4 hours.
4)    Carefully (pot holders!) remove the jar from the hot water.
5)      Strain through cheesecloth. I put the cheesecloth on the mouth of the jar and secured it with rubber bands. Then I flipped the jar upside down and let the oil drip through into a different jar. Once most of the oil had gone through, I took the remaining oil-drenched leaves, wrapped them in cheesecloth, and squeezed more oil out from them.
6)   Finish, store, and use. Optionally, add a couple drops of lavender essential oil. Store in a glass container since oil can possible dissolve plastic.

I’ve been massaging this oil into my ankle as often as I remember, and I think it’s been helping out quite a bit. Aren’t little do-it-yourself projects fun?!

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