Arnica is traditionally used in homeopathic medicine in treating different kinds of ailments especially when it comes to muscle soreness, bruises and sprains. It is renowned for its healing and anti-inflammatory properties that's why it is essential in every household.
It is well-known for being an instant and effective natural painkiller, the reason why professional athletes usually use arnica products as their first aid relief if they encounter training and exercise-related injuries.
Having an arnica-infused product is a must, especially if you’re clumsy, an athlete or if you do a job that requires manual labour since you are prone to having wounds, bruises and sprains.
Read and know more about this pain-relieving oil and what it can do for your health.
Origin of Arnica Essential Oil
Arnica has a scientific name of Arnica montana, wherein these are herbaceous plants of the Asteraceae family. Its name arnica could be derived from the Greek word “arni” that means “lamb”, because of its hairy and soft leaves.
It is a wildflower that is native to the high mountains of Central Europe and the western part of the United States, the reason why it is also called European arnica and mountain tobacco. It was also called leopard’s bane and wolf’s bane since it is believed that this plant can be poisonous to animals.
This plant can grow in mountain ranges that are up to 3,000 feet above sea level and the higher the altitude, the arnica flowers can become more aromatic. The extraction method used to produce pure arnica essential oil is through steam distillation of arnica flowers.
1. Anti-microbial Properties. When applied topically, it can promote skin health and reduce appearances of acne since it contains anti-microbial properties. It can also give relief to insect bites, skin infections and eczema by soothing inflamed areas of the skin.
2. Relieve Muscle and Joint Pain. Has anti-inflammatory properties that help in the temporary relief of sore muscles and joint pain from arthritis and rheumatism. It can also be used for soft tissue injuries, sprains and bruises as it also strengthens blood vessels.
3. Promotes Respiratory Health. A respiratory-stimulant where it can be used for treating sore throats, pharyngitis and can give relief if you have smoker's cough and other respiratory disorders due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
4. Cardiovascular Health. Studies show that it can promote heart health and can reduce your risk of having coronary artery disease, strokes and heart attacks because it contains good fats that help lower your cholesterol and blood pressure levels.
5. Healthy Hair and Scalp. It contains rich vitamins and nutrients that help encourage hair growth and prevent early loss of hair or baldness. It can also treat dandruff, split ends while nourishing your hair and protecting your scalp against oxidative stress.
6. Tooth Pain. Studies show that arnica can be a natural painkiller for tooth pain. Also, promotes oral health since it contains anti-bacterial properties that can help treat bacterial mouth infections and prevent gum diseases such as gingivitis.
7. Eye Health. It helps reduces vision problems that are related to diabetes. Research shows that arnica products can help people with type 2 diabetes in reducing their blood sugar levels. It can also bring relief if you have bruised or sore eyes.
8. Alleviates Stress. Proven to reduce feelings of depression and stress by bringing emotional balance, promoting calmness and fighting free radicals. You can reduce your stress levels by using diluted arnica oil for a massage which helps you unwind and release nervous tension.
9. Blood Circulation. Researches show that arnica-infused products can help reduce post-partum bleeding as well as improving blood flow and better circulation which is very essential for a healthy circulatory system and heart health since slow blood flow can lead to clogging of arteries.
10. Immunity Boost. Scientific studies show that arnica oil helps stimulate and boost the immune system as it helps fuel the production of white blood cells in the body that increase your resistance against viral and bacterial infections.
Directions for Use
Always keep in mind that natural substances are not always safe and require proper usage, that’s why it is very important to strictly follow directions on product labels and consult your healthcare provider before using any kinds of products that can have serious side effects.
For essential oils, proper consultation and assistance are needed from a qualified aromatherapist and health practitioner. Aside from the different benefits that you can get from arnica essential oil, it can also be used in different ways. Some of these are:
For Topical Use
Apply arnica and gently massage a small amount into the affected area as instructed by your healthcare professional. Arnica can be in the form of cream or gel and for best results you should use it as soon as possible after an injury occurs. Repeat it two to three times a day or as needed. You can use Weleda Arnica Cream 36ml or Brauer Arnicaeze Arnica Gel 100g.
For Oral Use Arnica oil is not advised to take internally, however, if taken orally, it should be administered by health care professionals. Pure arnica oil can be toxic when taken orally can cause serious side effects such as increased heart rate, vomiting and gastrointestinal irritation.
For Bath You can use Weleda Arnica Sports Shower Gel 200ml after a hard day’s work or after having a workout. This product is the perfect exercise partner that helps get you back to full bloom where it will help you refresh your mind, replenish your spirit and energize your body.
Precautions and Side Effects
Children and Pregnant Women. This kind of products need to be kept out of reach of children for it may cause serious side effects like seizures when not properly administered. If you are pregnant or nursing, you should consult your healthcare provider or aromatherapist before using the oil externally or internally.
Allergic Reactions. Arnica oil has a compound called helenalin that can cause allergic reactions in hypersensitive individuals that might irritate your skin and can cause you rashes. Therefore, an allergic reaction to arnica essential oil should be considered a medical emergency.
Digestion Problems. Arnica oil can cause gastrointestinal irritation, so don’t use products that contain arnica oil if you have digestion problems such as ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome and other stomach conditions.
High Blood Pressure. Arnica oil can increase your blood pressure readings, so do not take arnica oil internally if you have high blood pressure as this can increase your risk of having a stroke or heart attack.
Surgery. Arnica might cause increased bleeding during and after surgery so do not use it at least 2 weeks before your scheduled surgery.