Herbal liniments have traditionally been used as a natural means for relieving muscle and joint aches, sprains and bruises. These topical preparations are typically made using warming, stimulating herbs such as cayenne and ginger. Vinegar, oil, rubbing alcohol or a grain alcohol like gin or vodka are usually used as a base.

An alcohol-based liniment enhances the cooling qualities of a liniment, quickly evaporating and leaving the herbal properties to penetrate into the skin. Not only will an oil-based liniment stay on the skin much longer, it will also warm the area.

Things You'll Need

Make an Alcohol-Based Herbal Liniment

Mix all the herbs together in a jar. Pour in the rubbing alcohol. Seal the jar and place it in a warm, dark area such as a cabinet. Alternatively, place it in a paper bag.

Leave the liniment to stand for 7 to 10 days, shaking well at least once each day. Strain out the ground herbs with the cheesecloth. Squeeze the herb material to get out as much of the liquid as possible.

Pour the preparation into an airtight container. Label your jar with the warning: “For External Use Only.”

When you apply your liniment, you can enhance the warming effect by covering the application area with a warmed towel.

Make an oil-based Herbal Liniment

Mix all the ingredients together in a jar. Cover and let stand for 3 days.

Shake well at least once each day.

Store in a cool, dark place.


  • For increased potency, leave the herbal preparation “set” for up to 8 weeks.