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Arnica Oil

Veterinarian Reviewed on June 15, 2012 by Paulina Nelega, RH
Posted in Uncategorized

Arnica Oil


Arnica Oil is an oil that is extracted from Arnica Montana, a perennial plant that is commonly found in both Siberian and European mountain ranges. The plant is also grown in the mountains of North America and Canada.

The essential Arnica Oil is extremely toxic and must not be used in aromatherapy. The essential oils should be stored separately from other essential oils. The infused Arnica Oil is the preparation that is actually safe to use.

History and Origin

Arnica Oil comes from Arnica Montana, which is also called Wolf’s Bane, Leopard’s Bane, Mountain Tobacco, and Mountain Arnica. The plant grows about two feet and has yellow-orange flowers and the leaves are bright green, hairy and round tipped. The fresh or dried yellow daisy-like flowers are the parts used for medicinal preparations and for the preparation of infused oil.

The infused Arnica Oil is achieved by mixing one part dried Arnica Montana Flowers and five parts of any vegetable oil. Place the dried flowers inside a glass jar and pour over the vegetable oil. Cover the jar with a paper towel and secure with a canning ring or rubber band. Let it stand for about six weeks making sure the flowers are under the oil. After the prescribed period, strain the oil with a strainer and pour back into a jar or bottle, cover with a cap and label as infused Arnica Oil.

Traditionally, in the European and North American region, Arnica Oil was largely used for the remedy of inflammations and muscles pains. It was most beneficial for inflammation caused by insect bites and for rheumatic pain. Arnica Oil was believed to help in the stimulation of blood circulation.

Ancient Uses

Native North American Indians and Europeans generally used Arnica Oil for the healing of wounds, and for the reduction of inflammation, and soothing of muscle aches. Arnica oil has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial qualities which is why it can reduce swelling and pain and improves the overall healing process of wounds.

Modern Uses

Arnica Oil is highly beneficial for the treatment of bruises, acne, inflammation from insect bites, Hair Loss (used by rubbing on scalp, but first make sure there is no broken skin), muscle aches, sprains, rheumatic pain, superficial phlebitis, pulled muscles, tendon strain, wound, and swelling due to fractures.

Arnica Oil when used for external purposes should be infused with vegetable oil. The infused oil is very beneficial for injured muscles and excellent as massage oil for sore muscles and sport injuries because it helps to minimize bruising and to relax tensed muscles.

Side Effects

Arnica Oil is not advised to be used internally. When it should be internally administered, the administration must be done by a naturopath, health practitioner, or a professional herbalist. Arnica Oil when taken internally may cause heart irregularities, dizziness, increased heart rate, nervous disturbances, mucous membrane irritation, stomach irritation, tremors, vomiting, and weakness. Arnica Oil is also not recommended for pregnant and breastfeeding women.

Prolonged external use of Arnica Oil may cause blisters, peeling, eczema, and other irritating skin conditions. Hypersensitive individuals are not advised to use Arnica Oil.

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Our Expert

Paulina Nelega, RH
Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan

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