How to Make a Body Rub Out of Peppers

Written by miriam kresh
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How to Make a Body Rub Out of Peppers
Chilli peppers have a surprising ability to heal sore muscles. (red peppers image by Elke Dennis from

Soothing pain relief is probably not what you imagine when you think of hot peppers, but traditional healers know that hot peppers infused into oil make an effective body rub for post-workout muscle aches, a strained back and even arthritic joints. Capsaicin, the chemical in peppers that results in the sensation of heat, makes local nerves temporarily stop reacting to pain, and creams containing capsaicin may relieve the pain of osteoarthritis. Instead of buying commercial pain-relief creams, make your own inexpensive body rub with fresh or dried hot peppers.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • 85.1gr. fresh or dried hot peppers, any variety
  • Knife
  • Chopping board
  • Latex gloves
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 340gr. jar with lid
  • Medium-size pan
  • Kitchen towel
  • Sticky label
  • Magic marker

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  1. 1

    Slice 85.1gr. of any variety of fresh or dried hot peppers thinly while wearing latex gloves.

    How to Make a Body Rub Out of Peppers
    Slicing the peppers releases their properties. (pepper image by dinostock from
  2. 2

    Combine the sliced peppers with 1 cup of olive oil in a 354ml. jar. The oil should cover the peppers. Add more olive oil if needed to keep the peppers generously covered. Use a knife to stir the peppers and oil gently together, eliminating air bubbles.

  3. 3

    Heat the pepper-olive oil mixture. Close the jar tightly. Place it in a medium-size pan, and pour enough water into the pan to reach halfway up the jar. Place the pan over low heat. Allow the water to simmer, not boil.

    How to Make a Body Rub Out of Peppers
    Choose a jar with a close-fitting lid. (5 colourfull jars on a white background image by Ramona smiers from
  4. 4

    Cook the pepper-olive oil mixture in the hot-water bath for two hours. Add more water as needed to keep the water level halfway up the jar.

  5. 5

    Cool the pepper-olive oil mixture, which is now an infused oil. Remove the pan from the heat, and allow the infused oil to cool while still in the pan.

  6. 6

    Dry the jar with a kitchen towel.

  7. 7

    Label the infused oil. Write "pepper oil" and the date on a sticky label, and put it on the jar.

  8. 8

    Store your infused pepper oil. Close the jar's lid tightly, and keep the jar in a cool, dark place between uses.

    How to Make a Body Rub Out of Peppers
    Stored correctly, the hot pepper oil will last one year. (red peppers image by MAXFX from

Tips and warnings

  • Always wear latex gloves when handling chilli peppers.
  • If massaging a large body area with the infused pepper oil, wear latex gloves to avoid overexposing yourself to the oil.
  • Some people are more sensitive to hot peppers than other people. Do a sensitivity test before massaging with hot pepper oil. Rub a few drops of the mixture onto the painful area, and wait a few minutes. If the person reacts with strong discomfort, don't use the mixture.
  • The infused oil may cause serious discomfort or burns if not handled correctly.
  • Do not massage any part of the face or head with hot pepper oil.
  • Do not apply the oil to open wounds, broken skin or a skin rash.
  • Do not massage small children with the infused oil.
  • Do not massage a pregnant or breastfeeding woman with the oil.

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