Tuesday, 8 November 2016

A-Z of Herbs: Arnica

Arnica (arnica montana) is a perennial with yellow-orange daisy like flowers native to the mountain area of Europe.

It's a hardy plant that grows best in well-drained, slightly alkaline, soils. A sunny spot with afternoon shade is ideal. Seeds can in sown in late summer. Arnica can also be grown from cuttings. Well-established plants can be divided and replanted in the spring. Arnica is not drought-resistant so will need consistent watering in hotter climates.

Arnica is probably one of the best known herbs for the treatment of bruising, swelling and muscle strains. It has been used traditionally for many years. Studies as to its effectiveness have had mixed results, but anecdotal evidence suggests that it may provide relief.

A simple bruise balm can be made as follows:

Arnica Bruise Balm

You will need:

Place the oil, beeswax and cocoa butter in the top of a double boiler (or similar). Warm over a low heat until melted. Remove from the heat and add the essential oil, if using. Pour into a small, clean jar and leave to cool.

Makes approx. 1/2 cup of balm. Stored in a cool place out of direct sunlight the balm will keep for up to 12 months.

To use: apply as required to bruises. 

Do not apply to broken skin. 
Always wash you hands after use.
Do not use if pregnant or breastfeeding.

Please note that this article is not intended as medical advice. It is an overview only.

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  1. Wonderful! We use arnica a lot, both with homeopathic remedies and also a cream, though I never thought to make my own. :) Lisa

  2. I've never heard of arnica before! Thanks for the great lesson and recipe and thanks for posting this to the #fandayfriday link party #fdflinkparty. Hope to see more of your posts there in the future.

  3. I had purchased arnica but didn't know I could make my own. Thanks for the recipe.
    Thanks for sharing at Over The Moon Party,