Arnica oil is the most famous homeopathic remedies for pain management. Arnica herb, found mostly in North America and parts of Asia, is native to Europe. There are several species of arnica. But the most common and commercially available is Arnica montana, also known as mountain tobacco, leopard’s bane, and wolf’s bane.

Arnica plants have large, bright yellow or yellow-orange flower heads. These begin to appear during midsummer and continue blooming well into autumn. Through CO2 extraction or steam distillation, the flower heads are used to produce pure arnica essential oil. This is combined with a mild carrier oil to produce readily available arnica oil. Arnica oil contains various fatty acids, including linoleic, linolenic, palmitic, and thymol. The antibacterial activity in thymol found in arnica essential oil has been well-established and reported in many scientific studies.

Arnica oil can also be extracted by infusion. This is when either the root or flower is soaked in a base essential oil such as olive oil and can also follow a process called maceration- a term used to describe when heat is applied to the infusion process.

A study revealed that the best way to make arnica oil to release its analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties is to subject the plant under heat and steep it over a period of time.

Arnica flower and root have been used as a pain reliever, expectorant, and stimulant. The flowers are used for a macerated oil. Homeopathic preparations are made from the root. In Germany, there are over 100 recipes for healing creams and ointments using Arnica as the base ingredient.

A study conducted in Germany discovers that the flower contains helenalin and dihydrohelenalin. These ingredients account for the effective anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties of Arnica. This oil has been found to be effective in soothing exhausted shoulders, pains in the joints, inflammation and insect bites. This is used as massage oil for body dealing with joint pains. It can reduce bruising and relaxes those tense muscles. What makes the oil so effective is the fact that it increases circulation to one area of the body. The blood flows into the injury area which can help repair that injury. Also, if the area has a swelling pain, arnica oil soothes the swelling.

Other than the liquid form, Arnica oil also comes in a supplement and a cream form. The same relief is experienced when taken to soothe swells and pains.

Benefits of Arnica Oil

arnica flowers and roots

Homeopathic remedies to bruises

Healing a bruise by natural means is always desirable. One exceptional natural remedy for bruises is arnica oil. According to the British Homeopathic Association, Arnica oil is one of the best known homeopathic remedies which has been used for several trials to demonstrate the effect of homeopathic remedies on bruising and trauma. Indeed, some plastic surgeons confirm it for reducing bruising after cosmetic surgery. Simply apply the arnica oil to the bruise twice daily (as long as the bruised skin area is unbroken)

Treats arthritis pains

Arnica has been demonstrated in studies to be effective against arthritis, making it an effective natural arthritis treatment. One of the unique abilities of arnica oil is its ability to stimulate the production of white blood cell. These defensive cells can also help reduce inflammation in joints and muscles, which commonly accompany arthritis. A 2007 study published in Rheumatology International found that topical arnica was as effective as a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug like ibuprofen in the treatment of arthritis of the hand.

Increases Circulation

The stimulating nature of arnica oil can boost your circulation by reducing coagulation in your cardiovascular system. This helps to lower blood pressure and prevent blood clots from forming. This can also increase energy and promote healing throughout the body.

Improves Carpal Tunnel

Arnica oil is an excellent natural remedy for carpal tunnel inflammation of a very small opening just below the base of the wrist. Arnica oil helps with the pain associated with carpal tunnel and ideally, it can help sufferers to avoid surgery. However, for people who decide to have surgery, studies have shown that arnica can relieve pain after carpal tunnel release surgery.

In a double-blind, randomized comparison of arnica administration versus placebo post-surgery in patients between 1998 and 2002, the participants in the group treated with arnica had a significant reduction in pains after two weeks. Arnica’s potent anti-inflammatory effects make it a smart choice for carpal tunnel syndrome.

Soothes Migraines

The analgesic properties of this oil are well known. With a few drops applied on the temples or the base of the neck, it can quickly soothe migraine and headaches. Although it may be tempting to use this oil in an aromatherapy treatment for headaches or stress, do not inhale diffused arnica oil.

Relieves Muscle Pain & Other Inflammation

Arnica oil is a potent remedy for various inflammatory and exercise-related injuries. The positive effects of topically applying arnica have been proven to be effective in reducing pain, indicators of inflammation and muscle damage, which in turn can improve athletic performance. According to the results published in the European Journal of Sport Science, participants who used arnica had less pain and muscle tenderness 72 hours after intense exercise. Arnica has been used in traditional medicine for everything from hematomas, contusions, sprains and rheumatic diseases to superficial inflammations of the skin. One of the constituents of arnica that makes it such a potent anti-inflammatory is helenalin, a sesquiterpene lactone. In addition, the thymol found in arnica has been found to be an effective vasodilator of subcutaneous blood capillaries. As such, it helps facilitate the transport of blood and other fluid accumulations and acts as an anti-inflammatory to aid normal healing processes. Arnica oil also stimulates the flow of white blood cells, which process congested blood to help disperse trapped fluid from the muscles, joints and bruised tissue.

Encourages Hair Growth

Whether you are a man beginning to experience male pattern baldness or a woman seeing more daily hair loss than you would prefer, you might want to try arnica oil as a natural hair treatment. In fact, arnica oil is one of the best secret treatment for reversing hair loss. A regular scalp massage with arnica oil can provide invigorating nourishment to the scalp, which stimulates hair follicles to support the growth of new and healthy hair. Some claim that arnica can stimulate the growth of new hair in cases of baldness. You can also look for shampoos, conditioners, and other hair products that include arnica oil as one of the ingredients to reap the benefits of arnica oil.

Boosts Cardiovascular Health

Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are known as “good” fats, which can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol level. Oleic acid and linoleic acid are particularly good for reducing inflammation and promoting a healthier metabolism. By doing so, it can further reduce your risk of atherosclerosis and other heart ailments.

How to Use Arnica oil

arnica oil

Arnica oil can typically be found at any health store as well as many online retailers. When purchasing arnica oil, look for one that has a low number of natural ingredients. Ideally, the oil contains arnica extract and high quality base oil (or oils) such as certified organic olive oil, almond oil, and grapeseed oil. Beneficial Vitamin E sometimes also is included for its natural preservative abilities.

Avoid arnica oil that has “fragrance” listed as an ingredient since the fragrance source is unknown and can often be a skin irritant. Arnica is not meant to be used undiluted on the skin. By purchasing arnica oil, you have an arnica product that has already been diluted properly to make it safe for external use.

Before using arnica oil, make sure to shake the bottle well. You can apply arnica oil to an area of concern two to four times per day using cotton gauze or by massaging the oil directly into the skin until it is well-absorbed. As with any external product, discontinue use if a negative reaction occurs after application of arnica oil.

Possible Side Effects & Cautions When Using Arnica Oil

Topical use of arnica is generally considered safe. If a rash or inflammation occurs at the area of contact, then discontinue use of the arnica oil. Arnica oil may cause an allergic reaction in people who are sensitive to the Asteraceae or Compositae family. Members of this family include ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, daisies, and many others. If you have allergies to any of these plants/plant families, be sure to check with your health care provider before using arnica products. You can also perform a patch test to see if you have any allergic reaction to the oil.

Arnica is best used on unbroken skin for short periods of time. Do not apply arnica oil to damaged or broken skin because too much arnica can be absorbed and arnica can be toxic if it gets inside the body. Also, avoid contact with mucous membranes. People with hypersensitive skin as well as pregnant and breastfeeding women should refrain from using arnica oil. Always keep arnica oil out of the reach of children. Excessive amounts of arnica taken by mouth can be poisonous and even deadly. Never take arnica internally unless it’s in the form of homeopathic pills that contain too little arnica to cause harm.