Have you used arnica? I don’t know of anything else that can do what it does. It has a prime spot in my medicine closet.
Let me tell you all about it.
Arnica has been used medicinally since the 1500’s. It’s a perennial with yellow-orange flowers similar to daisies. It’s the dried flower heads that are used in medicinal preparations. I think the dried flowers smell a little like chamomile.
Arnica is the best treatment I know for minor injuries that may cause bruising or swelling.
And living in a house with three males…we have plenty of opportunity to use it!
Bruising occurs when trauma to your body causes blood vessels closest to the surface of your skin to burst. That allows blood to flow into the affected area, resulting in a black and blue bruise. In order for the bruise to go away, your blood vessels need to allow the blood to be absorbed back into your body. Arnica has a relaxing effect on blood vessels, which facilitates this happening more quickly.
(I want to insert a promise here: I will never post pictures of injuries. I can think of few things worse than being taken off guard by a close up picture of a boil or toenail fungus when all I wanted to do was browse Pinterest for awhile. Not here, my friend, not here).
I’m telling you, applying arnica to an injured area makes a HUGE difference in healing time.
Not only is it helpful for preventing and healing bruising, but it does wonders for sprains, muscle aches, joint pain and inflammation.
How to Use Arnica
After I had successfully made my herbal healing salve, I knew that an arnica salve was my next project.
As with any salve, you begin with an infused oil. The key to infusing an herbal oil is to do it low and slow. It can be as easy as filling a jar half full of dried arnica flowers and then filling it up with olive oil and setting in a warm windowsill for a few weeks. I’m usually too impatient, and so use a double boiler or warm oven method to infuse it. You can read about how to do that, and how to thicken the oil into a salve using beeswax here.
I made two versions. Version one is just arnica infused oil thickened with beeswax.
Version two has an addition of an essential oil blend that is a muscle soother. The blend is called Panaway and contains wintergreen, helichrysum, clove and peppermint essential oils.
It’s easy to make two types like this. After you have added the beeswax, you pour your plain version into containers. Then you add several shakes of the essential oil to the remainder, mixing it in, and pour that into containers to set up.
The unscented version is usually our pick when we need to apply and then go out and about. The Panaway doesn’t smell bad, in fact, I find it soothing. But it’s not exactly my perfume of choice.
That version is, however, our first choice for sore muscles. It’s wonderful!
You could also use other essential oils, instead. Lavender would be a good choice. It is soothing and relieves pain.
If you’re looking for dried arnica flower heads to make your own infused oil or salve, you can find them here, it’s where I order mine.
We use our arnica salve for sore muscles after a workout or an aching back after long day doing yardwork, on a wrist or ankle that got twisted, a banged toe, finger slammed in a door, or a stiff neck. And sometimes, it’s just those weird pains that come with aging that you don’t know where they came from.
What do you think you’ll use it for?
** Information on medicinal uses for herbs are provided on this site for educational use only, and is not intended as medical advice. I’ve made every attempt at accuracy, but cannot make guarantees. If you have any serious health concerns, you should always check with your doctor before self-administering herbs.**
*This post contains some affiliate links. Part of why I created The Sparrow’s Home was to be able to share resources that I’ve found useful or wonderful in some way. Every so often, I’m fortunate enough to become an affiliate with the makers of these fantastic resources. This will never add cost to my readers.