Chile Plasters

Chiles contain a substance called capsaicin, which traditionally has been used as a mild painkiller and is the active ingredient in some conventional arthritis creams. 

Use as a local anesthetic or deep-heat treatment to ease stiff and painful muscles.

Tools and Materials

  • 1 cup habenero chile peppers, finely sliced
  • 4 tablespoons dry mustard
  • 1 cup coconut oil, non-fractionated


  • 2 tablespoons beeswax
  • 4 packets 4-by-4-inch gauze wound dressing pads
  • 4 packets 4-by-4-inch adhesive wound dressing

Chile Plasters How-To
1. Place peppers, mustard, and coconut oil in a medium saucepan over low heat. Cover and cook for two minutes. Remove from heat and let cool, covered.

2. Set a fine mesh sieve over a medium bowl and line with cheesecloth; strain pepper mixture, squeezing oil out of cheesecloth. Return oil to saucepan and place over low heat. Add beeswax and cook, stirring, until dissolved, about 2 minutes.

3. Remove oil from heat and add dressing pads to soak. When fully saturated, transfer dressing pads to a piece of wax paper and let stand for 10 minutes until set. Pads can be stored layered on top of one another, wrapped in plastic wrap, and kept refrigerated until ready to use, up to 1 year.

4. To use, place a pad on adhesive wound dressing, then apply to affected area. Keep area warm by covering with a blanket; leave on for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

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