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How to use horse liniment for people

Updated February 21, 2019

Some ranchers and farmers swear that topical horse liniments are superior to human liniments at relieving human aches and pains. You can even find horse liniments marketed for pet and human use. Chapman's Premium horse liniment advertises its products are "for man or beast." The "if it is good enough for my horse, it is good enough for me" theory may not always be true, however. Equine products do not undergo FDA testing and may contain ingredients not safe for humans. Before you melt away your pain with your favourite horse product, read the label and get approval from your doctor.

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  1. Choose a horse liniment labelled as safe for human use. Read the ingredients on the horse liniment label. Look for products that contain natural herbs and essential oils. Steer clear of products that contain DMSO. DMSO, an ingredient found in some horse liniments, is not approved by the FDA for human use to treat muscle and joint pain, and it may be dangerous. DMSO absorbs through the skin into the bloodstream, carrying with it any impurities contained in the product.

  2. Wash your skin with regular soap and water. Pat your skin dry with a towel.

  3. Massage the horse liniment into your skin to relieve tender muscles and aching joints. Avoid getting the liniment in your eyes, nose or mouth.

  4. Reapply the horse liniment to your skin two to three times a day, or according to the manufacturer's directions.

  5. Tip

    The manufacturers of Absorbine horse liniment make a human version of the horse product called Absorbine Jr. Absorbine started manufacturing the human liniment after noticing that farmers used the human liniment to soothe their own aches.


    Always get your doctor's approval before using horse liniment. If your aches and pains continue more than a few days, see your doctor. Joint soreness and aching muscles can be caused by arthritis, muscle tears and other more serious conditions.

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About the Author

Rose Kivi

Rose Kivi has been a writer for more than 10 years. She has a background in the nursing field, wildlife rehabilitation and habitat conservation. Kivi has authored educational textbooks, patient health care pamphlets, animal husbandry guides, outdoor survival manuals and was a contributing writer for two books in the Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Series.

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