Arnica Oil: Uses and Benefits
Arnica is a flowering perennial plant belonging to the daisy family. Arnica montana commonly grows in the mountains of Europe and North America, and produces a pale yellow oil which can be used in topical cosmetic products to provide a range of therapeutic benefits.
Arnica’s Uses and Benefits
Arnica is perhaps best known for helping to soothe bruises, sprains and muscle pain, but it is also traditionally used to aid with inflammatory conditions of the skin (including eczema, psoriasis and rosacea), arthritic pain, poor circulation, migraines and hair loss.
Arnica oil is said to be rich in anti-inflammatory properties. It’s high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, including linoleic and oleic acids, which are known to have anti-inflammatory effects on the body. Arnica oil also contains thymol (likewise found in Thyme oil), which is believed to have anti-inflammatory properties and act as a vasodilator. Vasodilators affect the muscles in the walls of the arteries and veins by preventing these muscles from tightening and narrowing the walls. As a result, blood flows more easily through the vessels. It is believed that this effect may contribute to arnica’s healing properties.
Applied topically to the skin by way of creams, balms, gels or ointments, arnica’s anti-inflammatory benefits are popular in the traditional treatment of bruises, muscle soreness, sprains and swelling.
Why We Use Arnica Oil in our Massage Waxes
Due to arnica’s excellent ability to aid with bruises, sprains and muscular aches, we use arnica infused oil in the majority of our Massage Waxes to enhance the efficacy and therapeutic benefits of the wax. This is particularly relevant in our ‘Sports’ range.
Arnica should only be applied to the skin in diluted form, and avoided on broken skin or wounds. It should only ever be taken internally in heavily diluted forms as part of a homeopathic approach. Arnica should never be used raw (undiluted); when consumed raw and undiluted it’s toxic to the body, and applying it directly to the skin can cause irritation.
Arnica oil is not recommended for use during pregnancy and breastfeeding, due to its potency and the risk of potentially passing small amounts of toxins to the foetus or infant, or inducing premature labour.
As with many therapeutic treatments, if in doubt consult your healthcare professional before use.
If you prefer to avoid arnica due to pregnancy, or for those with compromised immune systems, our following products are free from arnica oil:
- All our Reflexology Waxes, both vegan and non-vegan
- Our entire ‘Zest’ range (available as a Massage Wax, Reflexology Wax, Liquiwax, and Vegan versions), which was developed in conjunction with the Iris Cancer Charity to make the waxes as mild as possible for those with compromised immune systems
- All Vegan Liquiwaxes, except Vegan Sports Liquiwax
- Bee Balm
- Throat & Chest Balm
All of our waxes and balms that do contain arnica oil are formulated with a dilution of arnica oil that is safe to apply to the skin.
When used safely and with proper care, topical products containing arnica oil are excellent to have on-hand at home for any unexpected bruises, sprains, muscle soreness and swelling.