Blue Relief

Arthritis make you stiff?  Or maybe you're sore from that game?  Blue Relief promises to provide temporary pain relief... all natural ingredients are supposed to soothe away aches in just minutes.   Should YOU reach for this pain relief gel?

Five volunteers at the Cape Girardeau Senior Center agree to test Blue Relief on their arthritic hands. And none of them have ever heard of Blue Relief.

"The reason we're not testing Blue Stuff is because we've ordered it, and it's been 21/2 months, and it's still not come in!" Amy Jacquin explained to the volunteers.  "This is something that can be found at a local department store, so we'll test it. Plus it's half the price!"  Amy paid $20 for Blue Relief at Walgreen's.

Joann Leadbetter starts us off. "I can smell it," she says as she rubs it into her hand. "It's very aromatic."

That's because it contains menthol. It also has Emu oil, MSM, Aloe Vera, and various herbs. Makers say it'll provide pain relief in 5 to 10 minutes, with no burning sensation.

"It felt cool at first," describes Joann.  "Now it's getting warm."

We leave her to wait for ten minutes, and move on to Louis Parkhurst, who says it feels like lotion. Louis doesn't notice any cooling or warming sensation at first, but does notice the smell.  "It isn't obnoxious," she emphasises.  "But you can definitely smell it."

92-year-old Leona McLain is our next volunteer.  "It just feels cool," she says as she rubs it into both hands. Is it warming up? I can't tell much difference."

Meanwhile, Doyle Sample rubs Blue Relief on several knuckles. And he admittedly puts on a pretty generous amount.  "I don't feel anything," he says.  "It was cool at first, but it's not doing anything now, that I can tell."

Doyle's wife, Cora Lee, also uses quite a bit.  "It has a good, fresh smell," she says.

By now, 10 minutes has passed for our first volunteer. Joann says Blue Relief is somewhat soothing. "It's tingling," she describes. "I feel like it's getting hotter inside. It still feels a little uncomfortable, but the pain isn't as bad."

Louis disagrees. "I cannot tell any difference," she says strongly.  She won't waste her time with Blue Relief.  "Not even for free!"

Leona tried it on two different places, and has mixed results. On one hand, she doesn't notice anything. But on her other? "Well, I think it feels a little bit better," she says, as she moves her fingers around.  "I can work it better, and I don't feel the soreness in there."

Doyle never did feel any heat from Blue Relief. And he, too, had mixed results. "My thumb, I don't feel pain," Doyle says as he points to his hands. "But it's still stiff. My little finger is still stiff, and sore."

It left Cora Lee feeling sticky, and still feeling pain. "When I move my joints, it still hurts," she says, flexing her fingers.   "I can't tell that it did anything."

That's because it probably DIDN'T do anything. With an active ingredient of menthol, one Rheumatologist in Cape Girardeau says this topical ointment only masks your pain. "He said it doesn't really remove the pain, as much as give you another sensation to focus on," Amy explains to the volunteers.  "And that may take your mind off the pain."

The doctor's theory seems to pan-out, because within another 10 minutes, any perceived relief was long gone. Several of our senior volunteers were back to cradling their hot coffee cups... because that heat DOES soothe their aching joints. And that therapy leaves a less bitter taste!

So Blue Relief barely gives any soothing sensation. The $20 product earns a dismal grade of D.