Arnica Oil - Origins, Benefits and Uses

The market for essential oils is growing all the time. Estimated to be worth around $17 billion in 2017, experts project it could grow to as much as $27 billion by 2022. There are many benefits of arnica oil. Many people are turning to alternative remedies as a natural alternative to pharmaceutical treatments for many common conditions. One of the best natural remedies is arnica oil. It can be used for a number of different conditions, most notably issues with:

  • hair
  • skin
  • bodily inflammation
  • muscle aches
  • swelling
  • bruising issues, and
  • muscle soreness/muscle pain.

It's therefore a great addition to any first aid kit. If you're curious about what it might be able to do for you, we've looked at the benefits of arnica oil in detail here. Read on to learn more!

What is Arnica Oil?

What is Arnica Oil

Arnica is a naturally-occurring herb in Eastern Europe and Siberia, as well as some milder climates in North America.

According to the 2019 study from Surgier et al, arnica is "a source of several metabolite classes with diverse biological activities." These activities make it ideal for the treatment of a wide variety of medical conditions, particularly those that relate to your:

  1. skin
  2. hair
  3. blood
  4. muscles, and
  5. other bodily tissues.

Arnica is a member of the daisy family, sometimes referred to as the sunflower family. Arnica oil is extracted from dried herbs using a carrier oil.

You can do this at home yourself, or you can purchase ready-made arnica oil from a store. The preparations involved in making arnica oil from scratch can be demanding, so it may be easier to buy a product if you're not familiar with them.

However, you can make it yourself with raw arnica and a carrier oil if you wish.

What does arnica oil taste like?

You should note that arnica has the potential to be highly toxic. Therefore, you should never ingest raw arnica flowers or concentrated arnica oil. The potential complications that can result from the ingestion of the arnica plant are very severe; they can include:

  • stomach pain,
  • vomiting,
  • internal bleeding,
  • irritation of the throat and digestive system,
  • organ failure, and
  • coma.

It can even cause death in some extreme cases. In small amounts, however, it is not especially dangerous.

If you do happen to taste some by accident, you probably won't be happy; the taste of even a small amount of raw arnica herb is highly unpleasant. As it's far less concentrated than the naturally-occurring plant, arnica essential oil doesn't taste as bad.

In fact, some people use arnica as a food ingredient for certain meals, such as dairy desserts.

However, you should be aware that it is never safe to consume to include arnica in ingredients in large doses.

Does arnica oil expire?

Arnica oil products come with expiration dates. Manufacturers advise against consuming arnica products after this date has passed. If you have an arnica product in your home whose use-by date has passed, you should discard it.

To get the best possible shelf life for your arnica oil products, you should keep them in their original containers, at room temperature, and out of direct sunlight (your first aid kit should do nicely). If you make these preparations, your product will survive for much longer.

What Are the Health Benefits of Arnica Oil?

What Are the Health Benefits of Arnica Oil

Arnica oil offers a range of health benefits which make it a great inclusion in any first aid kit. We've done some research and looked at some of the best below.

Antibacterial & anti-inflammatory properties

Many of the most common health issues today are caused by inflammation, including arthritis, chronic fatigue, and many different types of pain. You can address inflammation with pharmaceutical anti-inflammatories quite easily. However, these can have unwanted side effects.

Luckily, there are a number of natural remedies for inflammation, and arnica essential oil is one. While clinical evidence on the anti-inflammatory properties of the arnica plant is, so far, scarce, anecdotal evidence suggests it is an effective treatment for various inflammatory conditions.

One of the more interesting features of arnica flowers, from an anti-inflammatory point of view, is its interaction with the blood. Some users have suggested that it can be used to treat issues like bruising and improper blood clotting.

However, because arnica has the potential to be toxic if it gets into the bloodstream in large quantities, you should avoid putting it too near an open wound. Research shows arnica flowers also carry natural antibacterial properties.

This means that arnica can be very effective in treating bacteria-related illnesses and skin and hair conditions. Arnica might therefore be able to replace antibiotics in some instances, though you should always consult with your health care provider before making a call like this.

Treatment of osteoarthritis

As researchers Chen et al (2017) note in their widely-cited study on the condition, osteoarthritis is "the most common degenerative joint disease and a major cause of pain and disability in adult individuals."

It is a chronic condition, meaning that there is not currently a cure. However, there are a number of interventions that can manage the symptoms of osteoarthritis.

If pharmaceutical options aren't working for you, or you'd like to supplement them with a natural remedy, arnica could be right for you.

Studies have shown that regular application of arnica gel could be as effective as ibuprofen in managing some symptoms of osteoarthritis. This includes its action as a pain reliever.

Use for dental issues

Arnica's anti-inflammatory properties make it an ideal treatment for some dental issues. A lot of dentists are now prescribing products in which arnica is listed as an ingredient after their patients undergo "gum surgery, root canal treatment, implant surgery or wisdom teeth extraction."

Because swelling is inevitable after invasive procedures like this, products made from arnica flowers can be massively beneficial to patients in need of recovery and pain management.

Treatment of insect bites

Bites from many different species of insects native to North America can cause painful swelling reactions.

Research shows applying an arnica-based topical product to the site of the swelling after a bite can help to reduce it more quickly than would otherwise be possible. Relevant facts suggest it will also help to manage pain in the short run.

Treatment of chapped skin

Chapped skin is another condition that can be related to excessive bodily inflammation. Because of this, arnica oil can be useful to assist or speed up the healing process. It can also manage the pain that arises from chapped skin.

You should be careful, however, not to apply too much arnica cream or salve near broken skin, especially if the product you're using has a high concentration of the active ingredient. Arnica has the potential to be toxic, so you should always try to avoid getting it in your blood.

Benefits of arnica essential oil for hair

Like some other essential oils, arnica extract has many reported benefits for hair health, making it one of the best natural hair tonics. There are a few different ways in which arnica oil products can benefit your hair.

Arnica oil for hair loss

Hair loss is one of the most pressing aesthetic issues facing people today, especially men. There are a few different causes of hair loss; the most prevalent is androgenetic alopecia, or male pattern baldness.

According to a seminal 1987 study by Cotterill and Unger, the condition "may affect up to 50% of males between the ages of 30 and 50 years." Some men start to lose their hair from this condition in their early twenties.

There are a few different pharmaceutical drugs that can treat male pattern baldness, arresting the progression of hair loss and sometimes even encouraging regrowth. The most effective of these is finasteride, sold under the brand name Propecia.

However, finasteride carries a small risk of severe side effects, including erectile dysfunction, gynecomastia, and depression.

If you want to avoid the pain of hair loss without exposing yourself to risks like these, arnica extract, arnica oil, or arnica gel could be the solution. While the evidence for its efficacy here is mainly anecdotal, there is logic behind the idea that arnica oil can help with hair loss.

Does arnica oil regrow hair?

Because of its antibacterial properties, it can help vital nutrients reach your hair follicles and promote stronger growth. It can also clear away built-up oils, contributing to a healthier head of hair overall. Almond oil can also help with hair loss. For a proper perspective on how arnica oil might benefit your hair, you should consult with your health care provider.

Treat Dandruff

Dandruff occurs when pieces of scalp come loose and appear as white flakes, often on the shoulders. It usually comes from the hair on your head, but can come from beards too, and even eyebrows.

There are a few different causes of dandruff. One of the most common is seborrheic dermatitis, a condition that causes skin to go red and start flaking.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that arnica oil can address both the symptoms and root causes of this condition, though clinical studies on this subject are still rare. As is the case with hair loss, almond oil can also be of value in the treatment of dandruff. Shea butter may also be useful for this purpose.

Premature graying

The age at which your hair starts going gray depends on a number of factors, including your race. On average, however, hair color starts changing when you reach your mid-thirties. However, not everyone is lucky enough to make it that far. S

ome people begin graying in their early twenties. If this sounds like you, and you'd prefer not to dye your hair, arnica oil might be just what you need. As is the case for balding, graying can sometimes be related to the general health of your hair.

If you promote stronger, cleaner hair by applying arnica oil to it, you may see your graying process begin to slow down. The pain of graying is real for men and women of every age. However, arnica oil could help you to keep it at bay for a little longer.

Benefits That Need Further Medical Research

There are a huge number of "anecdotal" benefits associated with essential oils and aromatherapy treatments.

These are potential health advantages that users have reported, but that has not been fully confirmed to exist by scientific examination. Arnica is no different in this regard.

Some of the conditions that it has been suggested as a treatment for include:

  1. high blood pressure
  2. blood clotting issues
  3. digestion problems
  4. hair loss
  5. various types of pain
  6. some types of swelling, and
  7. dandruff.

A quick online search will bring up all the stated benefits of arnica products. Personal experience may be the only way to decide for yourself what it works for.

What are the side effects of arnica oil?

Arnica oil is safe for most applications. However, there are some risks and safety concerns you should be aware of if you're going to use it.

If you have an allergy to ragweed, you may experience similar symptoms if you come into contact with a product containing arnica as an ingredient. This is due to certain chemical similarities between the two. If this is the case, arnica oil probably isn't for you.

Is arnica oil safe for pregnant women?

If you are pregnant or breast feeding, you should avoid arnica and arnica oil and search for a different remedy.

This is because not very much research has been done into the safety of arnica oil use during pregnancy, so doctors usually advise their patients to avoid it so as to be safe rather than sorry.

Does Arnica interfere with any drugs and medications?

Arnica generally does not affect most other medications patients might be taking.

However, if you're on medicine for the treatment of blood clotting, such as anticoagulant or antiplatelet drugs, you should avoid applying arnica to your skin or hair, as it can slow down the process of blood clotting.

What are the different ways to use Arnica

What are the different ways to use Arnica

Since you can't ingest arnica, even to decrease pain, it's only useful as a topical treatment of one kind or another.

You can either get it in oil form, which is good for hair, or buy a cream or ointment that can be applied directly to the skin if you have a dermatological diagnosis.

As oil

Arnica oil is perhaps the most common version of the remedy that you'll see. You can usually search for arnica oil at most good health food or supplement stores, whether they're physical or online retailers.

The effectiveness of arnica plant products or arnica oil might vary depending on what retailer you go to; always make sure to buy your arnica products from a reputable vendor who will give you value for your money.

Arnica oil is the best option for hair issues, like male pattern baldness or excess dandruff. Simply rub a few drops into your scalp and leave it sit for a few minutes for optimal absorption results.

As cream/ointment

Creams, ointments, and gels containing arnica are very useful, as you can apply them to your skin easily. These products have benefits if you're treating pain, muscle aches, muscle soreness, some blood pressure issues, stomach pain, bruises, skin rashes, pain in your joints, and many other issues besides.

Is there a substitute for arnica oil?

  • also, mention different products that include arnica oil. have such products so devote a short section to them



There are many reasons to turn to essential oil treatments nowadays. They're affordable, effective, and often pose far fewer health risks than traditional pharmaceutical drugs. If you are looking to increase your use of herbal remedies, arnica oil could be a great investment, especially if you're in pain from any of the conditions we've looked at here.

So, what are you waiting for? Add an arnica oil product to your cart today!

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