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Have you ever been given something and wondered what the hell it is, what it is for and how on earth you use it? Well funnily enough that is exactly what happened to me a few weeks ago. Here I am sitting in the office when a package arrived for me from one of my volunteers. I love getting things through the post (other than bills) and I especially love receiving things that I am not expecting, so I excitedly tore of the brown wrapping paper which covered the small box to find inside two small round tins of Badger Balm, one was Sore Muscle Rub - Extra Strength and the other Headache Soother. Funnily enough I had mentioned that I often suffered with headaches and sore shoulders from spending so much time in front of my computer screen, even though I do wear my glasses, but as I am really busy at work there isn't much I can do about it, the world seems to be reliant on emails and pdf documents currently.
I have seen Badger Balm in my local pharmacy and thought the small tins did look quite sweet particularly the Badger found pictured in whichever pose has been created to depict the product in hand, also given that my Hubby has the nickname Badger_Boy on the other side! Having seen them, I had never actually purchased anything from the range, yet people who come and go from my office always mentioned they use Badger Balm for their headaches and one lady in particular uses the Badger sleeping balm to send her off into a peaceful slumber and when she said she would send me a sample, I never thought she meant going out and buying me something from the range. However I thanked her for the thought and she made me promise to try them,
The Badger Company is a family run company according to their website and it started back in 1995 from a family kitchen in New Hampshire in the USA. Bill Whyte the head of the family, whom by trade was a carpenter whilst on the side he was a keen herbalist had never been able to find a product to help heal his sore, cracked and dry skin on his hands. So he instead mixed up his own product using Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Beeswax, Castor Oil, Aloe Vera and Essential Oil of Sweet Birch and was so impressed with the results he formed the Badger Company. Like many companies today, The Badger Company is committed to being chemical-free and 100% natural also they also use at least 70% Certified Organic ingredients in all of their products as well as now being 100% Vegan.
With the Badger range you can a wide variety of products which range from the tinned balms which I now have plus products for babies, sun care, lip care, aromatherapy oils, body butters and soaps to name a few. They all incorporate a pictured drawing of a Badger in one way or another and usually in a stance which relates to the product at hand and because they are relatively small in size and contain only 2oz of the balm itself, they are perfect for carrying around in your handbag.
I was given Sore Muscle Rub - extra strength as one of the Badger Balms because I go to the gym regularly and partake in Spinning, Step, Body pump and a few other classes and often end up with a few aching muscles and having now advanced to the intermediate Body Pump classes which means more weights, I am more often than not I end up with aching shoulders which can be quite uncomfortable, so I was looking forward to trying this balm because I am allergic to Ralgex and Deep Heat which I hate the smell of anyway and this balm is sold as soothing your muscles like having hot sun on your back as the ingredients within the balm penetrate deep into your muscles to sooth them.
The tin itself is a soft metal and can be dented very easily, however the lid is removed by simply twisting it in a clockwise position and inside there is the balm which looks very similar to Vaseline in my opinion but it smells really strongly and quite spicy and given its ingredients that is no surprise. Starting with Chilli which is high in Vitamins A, B, C and E all of which are good for the skin, it is said that Chillies stimulates the release of endorphins within the body which then act as natural pain killers and are used for anti-inflammatory purposes. Cardamom Oil is known for its antispasmodic properties providing relief to muscle pulls and cramps. Lemongrass Oil is a further ingredient which is also renown for its soothing of sore and painful muscles and is often found in muscle relaxing bath oils, the scent of this oil is also refreshing and is great for soothing and relaxation purposes. Finally amongst the big list of ingredients is Cinnamon oil which I was surprised to find listed because it isn't something I would expect to find listed but the oil itself is said to easing muscular and joint pains like many of the other ingredients that are included within this balm and again it is also an uplifting aroma which is said to ease depression and tiredness and alert the senses. This is by no means all of the ingredients, the list seems endless and they are all listed on the website associated to this product should you feel the need to look them up and they are also listed on the bottom of the tin.
When it comes to using this balm, depending on where the muscle stiffness or ache is you should be able to manage by yourself to use it. However in my case with my shoulders being sore, I had to call on the help of my beloved to massage the balm into my shoulders. To use it, you simply need to run your finger along the top of the balm so that you see a small amount on your finger and then apply it directly to the sore area and massage it into the skin gently; the balm absorbs itself straight into the skin and within a few seconds there is a sudden warmness on the muscles as the ingredients get to work on the pain and the description given of hot sun on your back is a really good one because it does get warm, but not uncomfortable, it is quite soothing and within a good few minutes the pain does ease somewhat and eventually goes away, much to my surprise. The smell of this balm which to me was a combined mix of the lemongrass and cinnamon is really relaxing and you can smell it on your skin for sometime after using and the balm doesn't leave behind any residue or greasy marks, so you can infact not worry about stains being transferred onto your clothing.
After using this muscle rub now on a twice weekly basis, usually as soon as I am home from the gym and showered and then before the muscle aches and spasms set in for me it is the best time to use the balm. I have to admit that when I first came to use this product was dubious as to its claims but I am always happy to be proved wrong and I was just that - proved wrong (I am always happy ha) because it did work and I did feel so much after using it on my shoulders which is usually where I feel the pain the most with my muscles becoming tight after exercising, so for easing that pain within my shoulders this product works and I enjoy the warmness it creates around my muscles when I use it because I know something is then working to ease that stiffness. The pain for me is normally when I feel the stiffest in my shoulders and using this balm I have noticed that I don't really feel any pain at all. Then a few weeks back I had over exerted myself in Body Pump which is an aerobics class with weights to basically tone the muscles and burn fat and I had used heavier weights than normal and hurt my upper arm in the process, so once again I applied the Badger Balm myself to the affected area to find that once again the warmness soothed the aching muscles until I didn't notice the dull ache anymore.
I now carry my little tub with me in my handbag, with it being so light I don't have to make any effort to be able to fit it into my bag on a daily basis and I also have a Badger Balm for headaches within my bag as well. The Badger Balm brand can be found in local pharmacies and online, which are the two places I usually look too.
I am a convert to these balms, they are cost effective in that they cost between £3 and £6 depending upon where you purchase them from and in my own case each tin will last me around three to four months if I continue to use it twice a week, which I think is real good value for money.
For Your Overworked, Overplayed, Strained, Pulled, Aching, Throbbing, Give-Me-A Break-Please Muscles and Joints. Gently warming and light orange in color, by virtue of our specially formulated Cayenne Pepper Extract. Cayenne is naturally anti-inflammatory and has been shown to block pain without negative side effects. The Ginger, Cardamom, Rosemary, and Lemongrass essential oils are also good for muscle and joint soothing. The fragrance helps to calm, center and strengthen the emotions. Used prior to physical activity, Sore Muscle Rub helps keep muscles and joints warm and loose.