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The Best Natural Remedies for Sore Muscles

Medically reviewed by Jobelle Ann Dela Cruz Bigalbal, MD · General Practitioner

Written by Mayvilyn Cabigao · Updated Jun 04, 2021

The Best Natural Remedies for Sore Muscles

What Is Muscle Soreness?

Muscle soreness is the tension you may feel in certain parts of your body, often after exercise or activity. There are remedies for sore muscles available so you can treat yourself after an intense workout.

When you exercise, you create micro-tears in the muscle fibers; as they rebuild, the muscle fiber strengthens as well. The repair process of muscle fibers is also the main reason why you feel sore.

When compared to muscle pains, muscle soreness is a healthy and normal kind of dull ache. It is the reaction you get from your body after putting so much stress on your muscles.

Types of Muscle Soreness

There are two types of muscle soreness depending on the level and duration of pain.

1. Acute Muscle Soreness

This is the kind of soreness that you might feel during or immediately after an exercise. You will feel the tenderness of your muscles right after the first minute of your exercise.

The pain will eventually go away after two to three minutes or up to 24 hours after relaxing the stretched muscles.

2. Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS)  

When you workout for the first time in a long while, the morning after, you feel like your body is stuck on the bed. Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is the kind of pain you feel.

Unlike acute muscle soreness, the tenderness of your muscles and the discomfort in your entire body will be felt for 24 to 72 hours. It will subside in two to three days after the muscles relax.

DOMS are common to athletes and people who are really into physical training. This type of soreness is felt due to the increasing intensity of training or workout. Doing new exercises that have a greater impact on the physic also causes DOMS.

How Does Warming Up Prevent Injury While Exercising?

Treatments and Remedies for Sore Muscles

After finding out the type of soreness you endure after a workout, it will be a great time to find the best treatments and remedies for sore muscles that you can use or do.

Natural Remedies

Using natural remedies like herbal plants in treating muscle soreness will be a great way to deal with pain and discomfort.

Medicinal plants are often used in the Philippines to treat different illnesses like coughs, colds, fever, hypertension, and a lot more. These medicinal plants can be useful as remedies for sore muscles as well.

Here are some locally available herbal/medicinal plants you can use for muscle soreness.

remedies for sore muscles

Sambong or Blumea Camphor (Blumea balsamifera)

Sambong has anti-inflammatory factors that can help relieve sore muscles. You can make Sambong tea at home or take it in the form of a supplement.

Bawang or Garlic (Allium sativum)

This is a staple Philippine alternative medicine. Aside from being a popular treatment for hypertension, bawang also contains anti-inflammatory agents that are good for sore muscles.

remedies for sore muscles

Bayabas or Guava (Psidium guajava)

Bayabas is a fruit that Filipinos commonly likes to pick from a neighbor’s tree and snack on. This fruit is a good snack, as well as jam packed with properties that might help relax stretched muscles.

Banaba or Giant Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia speciosa)

Banaba is a popular herbal medicine in the Philippines. It is rich in corosolic acid, a substance that contains anti-inflammatory properties that are perfect remedies for sore muscles.

Yerba Buena or Peppermint (Clinopodium douglasii)

Yerba buena is famous for its leaves and extract. This medicinal plant is an analgesic that can relieve stress on muscles and it also works as a cough and colds treatment.

Oregano (Origanum vulgare)

With its rich anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties, oregano can help soothe muscles and promote comfort.

Luyang Dilaw or Turmeric (Curcuma longa

Luyang dilaw has curcumin, which is essential in decreasing muscle damage and can even reduce inflammation.

Luya or Ginger (Zingiber officinale)

Luya has a soothing therapeutic effect that can calm soreness and decrease pain. It is the main ingredient in making “salabat’ or ginger tea. Salabat is popular among Filipinos who often suffer from colds and coughs.


Here are some of the treatments you can try to alleviate muscle soreness.


A massage after an intense workout is a delight because it helps muscles to recover from overstretching and it also treats muscle inflammation and stiffness, as well as to promote blood circulation.

A professional therapist will begin the treatment by applying oil all over the area where you feel sore. The most common massage oils are lavender and peppermint. These oils help relax and calm the muscles, promote pain relief, and reduces inflammation.

In the Philippines, “hilot’ is a popular kind of massage you can get to feel relaxed. Carried out by an albularyo or manghihilot (massage therapist) by inspecting the areas where stress has built up.

Hilot is a deep-tissue hand massage which helps ease muscle tension and relieve stress.

Cold therapy

Cold therapy or cryotherapy, is a treatment done in different ways such as applying ice packs or coolant sprays, doing ice massages, and sitting on cold whirlpools or ice baths.

Applying cold compress to sore muscles will help relieve pain, reduce swelling, and inflammation. Ice numbs the sore area to slow down blood flow to prevent swelling from worsening.

Ice baths and cold whirlpools are what athletes use to treat their sore muscles.

Key Takeaways

Engaging in physical activities is still one of the best ways to stay fit and healthy. Keep in mind, you cannot see the results of your hard work without feeling some discomfort.

Muscle soreness caused by these activities is just part of the process that helps build your strength. Taking treatments and remedies for sore muscles can help you cope with stress and soothe your aching body.

Learn more about Orthopedics, here.


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Medically reviewed by

Jobelle Ann Dela Cruz Bigalbal, MD

General Practitioner

Written by Mayvilyn Cabigao · Updated Jun 04, 2021

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