DIY Jalapeño Muscle Rub?

Have you guys seen the new Netflix series “Orange Is the New Black?” It seems to be all the rage over here! …Although I only first heard of it recently, when our PR assistant was telling me about an episode where Piper (the main character) makes a muscle rub using jalapeño peppers. This immediately sparked our interest, and we had to know – can jalapeños really cure muscle aches?

After doing a bit of research, it seems that there is some evidence to support this theory. Jalapeños contain a mineral called capsaicin, which causes the hotness you experience when eating – or even touching – one. Capsaicin happens to be the same warming agent that’s used in muscle rubs you can purchase in stores! After finding this out, I knew I had to try it out for myself.

I first acquired some jalapeño peppers. I cut one open and scooped out the seeds with a spoon.


I filled a small glass container with cocoa butter and stirred in a few of the seeds (maybe between 8-12), mixing well.

Jalapeno muscle rub DIY

I then took a small bit of lotion in my hand and rubbed it over my shoulders, which have been pretty sore lately from working out. To my delight, my shoulders began to feel a warming sensation after just a few seconds. It wasn’t overwhelmingly hot – just warm enough to feel nice and soothed. I would say this trial was a success!

Muscle rub DIY

Warning: If you decide to make a jalapeño muscle rub for yourself, I’d advise you to start with just a few seeds, test out the cream, and then add more if necessary. These babies are quite hot, so it’s best to start out slow! Make sure you do a spot test and wait 24 hours before applying to a large area — and don’t forget to wash your hands after applying!

Have you guys checked out “Orange Is the New Black” yet? Let us know how you like it!

Follow FP Brigette on Twitter.

5 2 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
10 years ago

ahhh that show is wonderful! We recently started it at our house, and can’t.get.enough.

10 years ago

Who would have thunk!

10 years ago

Amazing idea! Love finding natural alternatives to drugstore products :)

<3 dani

10 years ago

This is pretty cool, I think I might have to try it out.

10 years ago

Oh this is perfect! Definitely going to give this a try!

xo, Juliette Laura

10 years ago

Best show ever! Thank god i was sick and in bed when i started the season because i was glued and couldnt leave if i wanted to…and after watching, i definitely didnt want to!

10 years ago

The show is terrific. I watched all 13 episodes in < 3days. : P

10 years ago

To those of you who may not know much about prison or the prison system. This show is EXTREMELY accurate in its portrayal of life behind bars. Wonderful show.

10 years ago

A minor correction – capsaicin isn’t a mineral, it’s an organic compound. Thanks for test driving this – I’m going to try it.

10 years ago

Yep I’m going to try it with my “home grown” jalapenos! Have always know that capsaicin has lots of medicinal properties!

10 years ago

That’s awesome who would of known you can make this?

10 years ago

Do you leave the seeds in? Also did you use raw cocoa butter or cocoa butter lotion?

10 years ago

On the show, she didn’t just use the seeds. She used the whole pepper. I also want to know if it was raw coca butter.

Cocoa butter is a solid at room temperature. You’d need to combine other ingredients to give it a spreadable, butter like consistency, unless your are using a cocoa butter cream purchased from a store. 1 part cocoa butter, 1 part shea butter, and 1 part carrier oil makes for great body butter recipe. Otherwise, if you use solid cocoa butter – it’s natural state at room temp – you’re going to end up with a solid block of cocoa butter with seeds inside.

10 years ago

i’m afraid my hands would be on fire for days after using this rub….

10 years ago

Nice. I also have tried one. But I used pepper seeds…. Can it?

10 years ago

I’ll definitely try this one after a gym session.

9 years ago

can i use shea butter instead?

9 years ago

I haven’t tried this but to answer Ximenu’s question, in the episode of Orange Is The New Black that she made this cream she was looking for Cocoa or Shea butter so I’m going to have to say yes.

9 years ago

Hi. What you and Piper made was a crude version of this very effective salve for both Fibromyalgia and Back pain. The preferred way to make this is with dried hot peppers and alcohol and takes a little time and preparation. Begin with a package of DRIED jalapeños. Break off and discard the stems. Blend for 35-45 seconds (don’t get too fine) and pour the blended peppers into a jar. Fill the jar with alcohol, rubbing or drinking, cover the jar tightly and let stand on the kitchen counter until the alcohol is infused with the hot pepper. (At least 24 hours). The alcohol will change color as it is infused. Once the mix is infused, strain the peppers out of the alcohol using cheese cloth or a fine strainer and pour the alcohol back into the jar. Put the jar in a warm sunny place where the alcohol can evaporate. Once the alcohol has evaporated you will have in the bottom of the jar the pepper oil. Now add it to the Shay or Cocoa butter. Use two parts butter to one part oil. If you have sensitive skin, cut back on the oil. The butter is stiffer than the oil so you will have to mix it with a spoon or stick. I use Popsicle sticks. BE SURE TO NOT GET THE PURE OIL ON YOUR SKIN. YOU CAN STORE ANY REMAINING OIL IN THE REFER. I suggest making a tiny amount to begin with until you get the percentage of oil to butter to your liking. Don’t use it more than three days consecutively on any one place or it will irritate the skin. You can buy small containers for your preparation at stores that provide soap making ingredients or sell bulk lotions for massage therapists. Many natural foods stores carry containers as well.

9 years ago

Oops. Forgot to mention. Be sure to leave the top off the jar the second time or the alcohol won’t evaporate.