Sore Muscle Soother body oil

by Ritual Mischief


Windfall native black cottonwood buds + windfall native Douglas fir branches + homegrown rosemary and peppermint leaves and soft stems + homegrown goldenrod + olive oil + many months of brewing time all come together in this massage oil. We began making this oil in early 2021 to soothe our own sore muscles after we decided our 50-year-old bodies could hang our own drywall and hand dig our own 3-ft-deep and 60-foot long trench for electricity to the new herbal studio building. The idea for this particular oil came from the Douglas fir trees themselves, looking down at us as we carefully hand dug the trench around their roots in our hard clay soil. At that time we used just cottonwood, fir, and peppermint infused oils. We've since added rosemary and goldenrod to improve this oil.

Made seasonally and in small batches with trees and plants we love, on land we love, and with the help of people we love and trust. This means this oil may or may not be available all year--the months we tend to run low or out are March-July as we wait for the mints and goldenrod to grow and finish infusing. Currently available in 1-ounce and 4-ounce sizes, when available. We also offer in-person refills at reduced prices to people who stop by to visit the trees, dogs, cats, makers markets, herbal studio, or me in person—when we have the infused oils on hand. 

Tips: For added awesomeness, take a bath (ideally) or shower (also good) first to warm your skin. While your skin and muscles are still warmed from bathing (though not still wet), rub the massage oil into your sore muscle(s). Aaaaaahh. Also, people who like strong scents can add essential oils to this body oil if they wish. Essential oils are very strong and human skin is more sensitive that we often realize or like to admit--read about each plant and read essential oil creator recommendations in detail before adding essential oils and using them on your skin.

Why olive oil? And tips for using olive oil as massage oil...

  • Care for planet, trees, and people. We use organic olive oil because of it's long history of loving humans/safe use with people and also this oil's well-established supply chains, which tend to be better for planet, trees, and people than most other oils used for body care today.
  • Love. We love this oil, and the trees it comes from, and the people who devote their lives to its creation--people across many nation-state borders, beliefs, and persuasions.
  • With olive oil, you cannot rush. This oil takes it's own sweet time with human skin. It doesn't disappear immediately. Rushing doesn't work. You may have to rub it into your muscles and skin for a longer period of time than you think you have time for. This slowing down to the oil's pace may feel slow or self-indulgent if you were raised not to center your body or punished for listening to and supporting your own body in the past or if you're in a huge hurry. If you do rush, you'll likely end up with oil on your clothing, bedding, and/or furniture. Here, depending on which sore muscle we're massaging, we may change into old t-shirts or lay on old towels that we don't mind staining a bit with oil. Or rub it into feet outside and walk around in the grass for a while. Sometimes I'll rub muscles in my feet and then put an old pair of socks on and go to bed. Please take your time, rub the oil in thoroughly. We welcome the idea that this long-loved oil from old trees knows that we are worth the extra time, even when we (or other humans) don't. And, if you do rush and end up with oil on valuable clothing, bedding, or furniture, clean them thoroughly as soon as you can so the oil doesn't set and stain. Unless stains don't bother you: if that's the case, go wild! ;-) 

Ingredients: Windfall black cottonwood buds (from Mountain Tree Farm in Arlington and other cottonwood trees we love from around here), Whidbey windfall Douglas Fir branches (from Ritual Mischief & walks in neighboring woods), and our own rosemary and peppermint leaves and soft upper stems and goldenrod (grown at Ritual Mischief) and infused into an organic/trusted non-organic olive oil blend. The fir, peppermint, rosemary, and goldenrod are infused in olive oil for 7 to 8 weeks and the cottonwood buds infuse for at least 4 months, up to a year or more. Note: For those buying this oil from my studio in person, at your request, I will add a drop or two of fir, peppermint, or rosemary essential oils in. I personally far prefer the smell and feel of the local plant-infused olive oils only, but a few people find the scent too subtle. 

Storage & life of the product: Store your bottle in a cool, dry, dark place where direct sunlight never touches the bottle. We suggest using this body oil within 12 months of purchase when it's freshest, because the only preservative is the nature of the plants (especially the cottonwood buds) themselves. Your oil may last longer than that, too, but if at any point it doesn't smell good anymore or starts to look different, stop using it. Also, plant-infused oils have minds of their own. They may ooze a little bit (oozing is part of their nature and charm), and you may find that a tiny bit of oil pools under the bottle itself, so we recommend storing the bottle on a hard surface--like stone or metal or glass or ceramic tile--that you don't mind getting a teeny bit of oil on. 

Refills: If you live on, or visit, Whidbey Island in person, we will refill these bottles for you considerably less than the original price here at Ritual Mischief. Some of the expense of making them is in the special apothecary bottles and the expensive shipping to get the bottles here to the island. Hugs (and yay!) to anyone willing to reuse their bottles!

Medical Disclaimer: If you are allergic to aspirin, your body may not love the cottonwood buds in this oil. If your body doesn’t like this oil for any reason, stop using it. The information on this page is for general reference for further exploration and study. It is not intended as a replacement for professional medical advice. See the Medical Disclaimer page of this website for more details. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Packaging: This oil currently comes in either a 1-ounce clear glass wide rollerball bottle or a 4-ounce reusable, clear glass bottle with metal screw-top lid. We are discontinuing the 2-ounce pump top bottles. See the Packaging page of this website for more details. 

Shipping & Pick Up

We ship via U.S. Postal Service. Viva la public services! Whidbey Island friends & friends visiting Whidbey, save on shipping by picking up orders at Ritual Mischief on the west edge of Langley. Choose the Pick up delivery method at checkout if you intend to pick up your order, and we'll email or text you when it's ready and then arrange a convenient pick up time for you.


If you order a product that doesn't work you, we will refund your money for up to 15 days after you received it. Proof of purchase required.

Digital products

Activity books and other digital content are available immediately after purchase.