Is natural muscle rub as effective as synthetic muscle balms?

Is natural muscle rub as effective as synthetic muscle balms?

When we created the all natural formula for our organic muscle rub, we chose not to use methyl salicylate. Why? In a country where Deep Heat is a household name and every Rugby Club's changing rooms smell of wintergreen, we seldom stop to ask if methyl salicylate really delivers any real benefits to tired muscles and aching joints. But the science is in.

What's the active ingredient in common muscle rubs?

That minty smell might be a give away! Originally found in Peppermint Oil but now mainly made in labs, methyl salicylate is the active ingredient. It causes the skin to feel cool and then warm, and these sensations distract you from feeling the aches and pains deeper in your muscles, joints, and tendons.

So, wait - does methyl salicylate help muscle inflammation? 

Nope. Harvard Health reports that the methyl salicylate used in topical pain relievers "causes a pleasing sensation that counteracts pain, but it doesn't influence the underlying cause or inflammation." also warns that methyl salicylate is a skin irritant when used in high concentrations, especially if evaporation from the skin is prevented, and other research (and product labels) warn that applying a heat pad after menthol has been applied to skin is not advised.

What is one of the important active ingredients in Omrub?

Capsaicin is the natural chemical that gives chili peppers their spiciness - and gives Omrub organic muscle rub its heat and the special pain numbing, anti-inflammatory effect that helps muscles recover from exertion.

Naturally Relaxes Muscles and reduces inflammation:

Science Daily reports that Capsaicin can "directly induce thermogenesis, the process by which cells convert energy into heat." This means your muscles are warmed from the inside using ATP energy, which causes muscle relaxation, reducing muscle inflammation from exercise. This study reported that capsaicin reduced inflammation as much as the very controversial mainstream anti-inflammatory diclofenac. 

Blocks pain in muscles, joints and even nerves:

The natural extract capsaicin is also analgesic - which means that it helps block pain messages to your nerves. Studies show capsaicin creams and patches can help relieve pain that's due to:

  • Muscle sprains and strains
  • Joint conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Migraines and other severe headaches
  • Surgery
  • and even nerve damage. 

"For people with arthritis who regularly have pain in their fingers, knees, hips or other joints, rubbing a cream containing capsaicin onto the painful area may burn or sting at first. After a while, however, the area will become numb."

We choose not to use any commonly-used synthetic anti-inflammatory ingredients such as Methyl Salicylate, which causes an intense heating-cooling on the skin, and can prove highly toxic with repeated use. 

The verdict on natural muscle rub vs pharmaceutical?

Natural out-classes synthetic, and capsaicin out-performs methyl salicylate.

We used natural, organically sourced capsaicin in our muscle balm formulation to deliver actual benefit to muscles, joints and nerves - not only by numbing pain, but by warming the cells to simulate anti-inflammatory action in the muscles.

Try Omrub's Certified Organic, fully natural formula for professional strength, highly effective muscle rub and joint pain relief.


Thanks to Alexandra Gorn for the beautiful image. If pain persists, always consult your doctor.