How to Make Arnica Oil

by | Jan 19, 2021 | Healthy Living, Herbal Remedies

Wildcrafting your own arnica oil is a great skill and you can use the oil in many home remedies or DIY salves and creams. It’s a great ingredient for pain relief, our favorite is our “No More Aches” arnica salve.

Woman standing in front of a hutch holding arnica oil and arnica salve.

Why I Love This Recipe

Having arnica oil on hand means I can easily make and utilize the healing and pain-relieving properties of the arnica flower. Our favorite way to do this is with an arnica “no more pain” salve.

We use the salve for bumps, bruises, aches and pains, and my most favorite use is rubbing on my neck and shoulders to relieve tension headaches.

Uses for Arnica oil

The arnica flower (part of the sunflower family), when steeped in oil, releases it’s anti-inflammatory properties. This oil can then be used in ointments, salves, and creams to help reduce pain and swelling that can come from muscle aches/tension, bruises, bumps, headaches, and even arthritis.

Arnica oil helps increase blood circulation to the application area which can both reduce pain and speed up healing time.

Benefits of Arnica Oil

A woman adding peppermint essential oil into a small measuring cup.

With a quick search, you can find many of the health benefits that arnica oil can provide. Here’s a quick glimpse:

  • Heals bruises – because arnica oil increases circulation to the application area, it can heal bruises faster than a bruise left untreated.
  • Relieves muscle pains, muscle soreness, sprains, and other inflammation – again, because of the increased circulation, when applied topically heat is brought to the area relieving muscle aches, sprains and inflammation.
  • Helps with osteoarthritis and improves carpal tunnel – as with most injuries or arthritis-related pain, inflammation plays a large role. Reduce inflammation and you’re going to reduce pain.
  • Relieves tension headaches – because arnica is a great remedy for sore muscles, oftentimes tension headaches are a result of stressed or strained muscles in the neck and shoulder area. Applying arnica oil (or this arnica salve) can bring lasting relief as it will relax and soothe over-stressed muscles.
  • Improves dandruff and encourages hair growth – using arnica oil topically on the scalp can help stimulate hair follicles, which in some cases can promote new hair growth. Arnica oil can also help remove other built-up oils and dead skin cells, which can improve dandruff.

Ingredients

A woman standing in the woods holding a basket in one arm and an arnica flower in the other hand.

To make an arnica oil, you just need two simple ingredients:

  • Arnica flowers – the first ingredient needed is arnica flowers. You want to pick the arnica flowers just before their petals are fully opened as this is when their medicinal properties are strongest. Be sure to have a flower identification book for your area as arnica flowers can look very differently depending on region.
  • Oil – I like to use the same olive oil I use in my kitchen. A good quality oil is best as this will be going on your skin (your largest organ), so you want it to be of a high quality without any additives or chemical processing. You can use other oils such as avocado oil, almond oil, etc.

How to Make Arnica Oil

Woman pouring olive oil into a mason jar filled with arnica flowers.
  1. Harvest your arnica flowers.
  2. Allow them to dry out in the sun or a warm, dry place for about 30-60 minutes.
  3. Fill a clean mason jar (any size) with arnica flowers.
  4. Cover the flowers with oil.
  5. Secure with a lid and place in a cool, dark place for 4 weeks.
  6. Shaking the jar several times a day for the first week, and then once daily for the remainder of the four weeks.
  7. Strain flowers out using a fine mesh sieve or butter-muslin and store oil in a sealed jar in a cool area, out of direct sunlight.

Other Herbal Remedies

Four tins of homemade arnica oil salve with homemade labels on each tin.

Did you make this recipe? If so, we’d love for you to rate it with the stars in the recipe card below. Also, snap a photo and show us your beautiful jar of herbal oil by tagging us on social media!

Woman standing in her kitchen with a jar of arnica flowers steeping in olive oil.

Homemade Arnica Oil

Making a homemade arnica oil is very easy. You just need two ingredients and about a month's time and you'll soon have an herbal oil that's a wonderful anti-inflammatory oil, great for use in salves, butters, creams and lotions.
3.5 from 4 votes
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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Resting Time: 30 days
Total Time: 30 days 10 minutes
Servings: 2 cups
Author: Carolyn Thomas

Ingredients

  • 4 cups arnica flowers
  • 3 cups oil

Instructions

  • Harvest your arnica flowers.
  • Allow them to dry out in the sun or a warm, dry place for about 30-60 minutes.
  • Fill a clean mason jar (any size) with arnica flowers.
  • Cover the flowers with oil.
  • Secure with a lid and place in a cool, dark place for 4 weeks.
  • Shaking the jar several times a day for the first week, and then once daily for the remainder of the four weeks.
  • Strain flowers out using a fine mesh sieve or butter-muslin and store oil in a sealed jar in a cool area, out of direct sunlight.

Video

Notes

  • Be sure to harvest arnica flowers just before they fully bloom. They have the most medicinal benefits at this stage.
  • Allow flowers to dry in the sun to let any bugs crawl off and any extra water evaporate.
  • You want to be sure to shake your jar daily to break up any chance of mold forming on flowers that are above the oil.
Tried this recipe?We want to see! Tag @homesteadingfamily on Instagram.
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