Enhancing athletic performance is of paramount importance to every coach, trainer and athlete. Eating right, proper hydration, and sound muscle preparation techniques are routine and important for the athletes.
But what can we do to prepare the body beyond just this standard process? Isn’t there something that we can do to run a little faster, jump a little higher or push a little harder? With a synthesis of modern physiological insight and ancient herbal wisdom, we can prepare the body for exertion, enhance the physical output and improve recovery. We can do better and we can do it naturally.
There are a number of herbs and berries that have been used throughout the ages by warriors, hunters and laborers to improve muscular function, reduce pain and aid in recovery. These herbs were sometimes ingested by chewing or drinking as a tea. Often times, they were simply mashed up (macerated) and rubbed on the arms and legs.
In modern times, we can make a powerful water-based decoction and easily apply the vital constituents as a transdermal gel. In this manner, the herbs are absorbed through the skin and directly to the area where they will be needed.
Before any activity, there is a stretching and warming-up phase of preparation. Witch Hazel has been used to increase the muscle fiber lubricity thereby allowing the body to become more supple. Native American Indians were known to rub the leaves on their legs before they ran off to deliver a message to another encampment.
Lubricious muscles allow for more efficient exertion, by sharing the load more equally over the muscle body. Well balanced and limber muscles reduce the chance of injury. Peppermint Leaf increases circulation through the muscles and Juniper berries help to flush lactic acid. These functions ensure long-term stability of performance from the muscles by facilitating the flow of energy in, and waste out. These three botanicals allow for better warm-up and a more powerful work-out.
While the athlete is competing, in order to achieve peak performance, it is important for them to push beyond fatigue and beyond the pain of exertion. White Willow Bark acts as an analgesic alleviating the pain, Ginseng provides increased energy flow and Devil’s Claw maintains smooth joint function under pressure. These three herbs allow the athlete to push harder and hurt less during intense competition.
Of course, after heavy exertion and competition, there will be muscle fiber damage, micro-tears in muscles, ligaments and tendons and bruising in muscles bodies. In order to facilitate the repair of these issues and minimize the recovery discomfort, a few more herbs are suggested.
Arnica Montana is an herb that reduces the pain and improves healing. There are enzymes in the Arnica that break-up micro-clots in the bruises, allowing blood to more effectively deliver healing constituents through the micro-capillary bed. Comfrey has the most pronounced ability to repair damaged tissue. It contains allantoin which increases the activity level of the fibroblasts that lay down reparative collagen.
In all competition, cramping can be an unintended consequence of intense exertion. Sweet Marjoram relieves cramps that are caused when waste builds up faster than it can be removed from the area. These three herbs make the road from overexertion to ready-to-run, a smoother, shorter and more efficient transition.
It is also possible to make an herbal decoction of these botanicals and spray the liquid all over their muscles. The warmup enhancement, output improvement and recovery support would clearly be a benefit beyond the standard process. It would certainly be a natural advantage in any athletic activity.
What if this wonderful assortment of botanicals already existed as an aqueous sports gel? Well that would be one Honey of a Muscle Gel. In fact, Nature’s Rite calls it Muscle Honey™.