21 April 2011

Word of the day: Embrocation

Trendy word for Liniment

Embrocation: a medicinal liquid that is rubbed into the skin to relieve muscular stiffness and pain. Embrocation is also the act of putting on the lotion. In cycling, embrocation products are also used to provide the feeling of warmth, or as a barrier between the skin and cold wet weather, or to aid in recovery.

We can thank the Latin language for this trendy term, and of course France who has given us many of our English -tion (cion) suffixes. From Middle French embrocacion, from Medieval Latin embrocation-, embrocatio, from Late Latin embrocare to rub with lotion, from Greek embroche lotion, (slang term - Belgian knee warmers).

Embrocation is not new to cycling, it was not born with the recent trend in cyclocross, the concoctions have been used by cyclists for many years. Most mixtures were home-brewed recipes combining oils, emollients, and witch hazel, capsicum, menthol or other heating agents. A number of companies have jumped on the medicinal bandwagon by touting their products offering a variety of heating temperatures and targeted purposes to their products for use both during your ride and after your ride. Some of the easily accessible name brands of embrocation are: DZnuts, Mad Alchemy, Soigneur Embrocation, Rapha, Assos, Elite Ozone, and others.&

Embrocation runs a strong parallel to jalepeno peppers, both offer heat, but you never want to rub your eyes after handling either. And of course, do not get it mixed up with your chamois creme. Whatever the scientific evidence of increased circulation and protection, the most obvious benefit of embrocation is the feeling it offers the rider. You either like the feeling, or you don't.
Pete Smith, owner and founder of Mad Alchemy Embrocation once said, “Embrocation is the jam on your toast, the honey in your tea. It’s just plain good.”

Used in a sentence: On this cold rainy day in Denver, a little embrocation application might be just what the doctor ordered.

David Zabriskie and his embrocation revelation, a modern day medicine man
Folks have been selling elixirs and liniments for a long time