Arnica oil is starting to become popular for the health-promoting qualities it has and as a pain-reliever. Everybody should have it in their alternative medical kits, especially if they are prone to injuries related to sports. In this article, you will learn about the benefits of arnica oil and how it can help you get better after a long day at the gym or in the park.
But what is arnica oil?
The arnica name is attributed to a clan of flowering from the daisy family (called Compositae). These types of flowers are native to Siberia and Europe, but they also grow in North America in the mountain areas. Arnica is well-known for its health-promoting qualities, and it is used as natural medicine. You can easily recognize its yellow petals and orange center flowers, and it grows between 1.5-2 feet high. There are many species of arnica in the world, but the most known is the Leopard’s Bane or Arnica Montana. This alpine flower plant grows in the areas up to 3,000 feet. The higher the altitude where the alpine plant grows, the more aromatic its flowers become. The blossoms of Arnica Montana are used to make the arnica oil, which is an aromatic essential oil of yellow color.
Uses of arnica oil
Arnica roots and flowers have been used by people for hundreds of years as herbal medicine. Historians say that the German philosopher and poet Goethe used to consume arnica tea to relieve his chest pains. Some people smoked the leaves for therapeutic reasons. But today, doctors advise being very careful using arnica, especially when it is in its essential oil form.
Today, arnica is used in perfumes and various cosmetic products, like hair tonics and anti-dandruff. In addition to this, you can find at exclusive shops arnica pellets, crèmes, and topical gels. As a medicine, it is still used in its diluted form as a swelling reducer, infection protector, and pain reliever. Many professional athletes use a topical homeopathic preparation of the arnica oil for first-aid relief or exercise-related injuries or pain.
Benefits of Arnica oil
It was discovered that arnica oil has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, and can help with:
- Bruises, sprains, and swelling due to fractures
- Muscle aches, pulled muscles, spasms, and rheumatic pain
- Insect bites
- Acne – it is not recommended to be applied on broken skin
- Hair loss – only in diluted form to help increase the blood circulation
How does it work?
Most of the arnica oil properties are attributed to the thymol derivatives. This element is an active vasodilator of blood capillaries and helps facilitate the transport of blood, helping the healing process. The arnica oil can aid in stimulating the proper flow of white blood cells and assists in the dispersion of trapped fluid into the joints, bruised tissue, and muscles.
Be careful though!
Pure arnica oil may be toxic if it gets inside your body. Avoid ingesting it. If you take it orally, you could suffer:
- Nervous disturbance
- Heart irregularities
- Increased heart rate
- Gastrointestinal irritations.
It is advised to be used only in the form of oil, even if diluted.