Saturday, November 14, 2015

Handcrafted Arnica Massage Oil

About a week ago I did a pretty intense exercise video and after a few hours, I could not walk up my stairs because my legs were so sore!! The next day was even worse! I really overworked my legs by doing too many lunges with weights.  I started massaging my homemade Arnica Massage Oil into my legs and they started feeling better the same day. I learned how to make arnica infused oil in herbalist school and I want to teach you how to make it too.  There are quite a few herbs that work well in carrier oils, Arnica is one of them.

Arnica flowers. Credit: Mountain Rose Herbs
I buy my dried Arnica flowers from Mountain Rose Herbs. The botanical name is Arnica montana and it is from the Asteraceae plant family. According to Mountain Rose Herbs, "Arnica is a graceful woodland plant in the same family as the sunflower, native to Central Europe and the western United States. Its yellow flowers are collected at summer's end and dried for medicinal use. There are many medicinally viable species of arnica flowers found around the globe, some of which are found in North American mountain ranges and woodlands."


"The most commercially available species is Arnica montana, which is the species available for purchase from Mountain Rose Herbs. This species of arnica is native to Europe, with a natural range stretching from the southern Iberian Peninsula to Scandinavia. The plant has large flower heads with brilliant yellow coloration. Flowers begin to appear during mid-summer and continue blooming well into autumn. For best results, they should be harvested early in the blooming season. The dried flowers are fluffy and fibrous, and can be irritating to the nose if handled improperly."

According to The Complete German Commission E Monographs, arnica contains sesquiterpene lactones of the helenanolid type, predominantly ester derivatives of helenalin and 11,13-dihydrohelenalin. Additionally, the herb contains flavonoids (e.g., isoquercitrin, luteolin-7-glucoside, and astragalin), volatile oil (with thymol and its derivatives), phenol carbonic acid (chlorogenic acid, cynarin, caffeic acid), and coumarins (umbelliferone, scopoletin).

Arnica is traditionally used as an external herbal medicine for bruises. It is in fact approved by the German Commission E for topical use when applied for inflammation, bruises and joint pain. According to esteemed herbalist Michael Moore, the herb does not have an immediate effect but instead takes several hours to work in support of strains and bruises. Arnica flower should not be taken internally. Check out this reference for more information: Medicinal Plants of the Pacific West by Michael Moore



A few safety precautions to remember when you use Arnica.... Not for internal use. Do not use on open wounds or broken skin. Persons with allergies to other members of the Asteraceae family should exercise caution.

Arnica infused oil is wonderful for soothing sore overworked muscles. 
How To Make Arnica Infused Oil:

Step 1: You need one sanitized and dried canning jar with a tight fitting lid. 




Step 2: You will need 1 ounce of dried Arnica flowers from Mountain Rose Herbs. I like to buy my herbs from Mountain Rose Herbs because they are Certified Organic and Kosher Certified. You can buy them HERE
Step 3: You will need 5 ounces of sunflower seed oil (or another easily absorbed light-weight carrier oil). You can buy sunflower seed oil from Mountain Rose Herbs. If you purchase your sunflower seed oil from Mountain Rose Herbs, you are buying Certified Organic, Non-GMO and Kosher Certified. Visit HERE to buy from Mountain Rose Herbs
Step 4: Add the dried flowers into the canning jar and put the oil over the herb (make sure that you cover the herbs by at least 1-inch of oil). Stir well and cap the jar with the lid. 

Step 5: Place the jar in a sunny window and shake once daily for four to six weeks. 

Step 6: Strain the oil from the herb using a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth. Squeeze out as much oil as you can and store in a clean dry amber or dark glass bottle. You can add a few capsules of Vitamin E oil to the infused oil to keep it fresh. 


Add in some essential oils

Get that "One-Two Punch" by adding in some essential oils to your arnica-infused massage oil.  

Fresh-Picked Beauty's Sore Muscle Massage Oil Recipe: 

3 ounces Arnica-infused carrier oil
10 drops German Chamomile essential oil (shop here)
10 drops Roman Chamomile essential oil (shope here)
15 drops Helichrysum essential oil (shop here)
10 drops Wintergreen essential oil (shop here)
15 drops Eucalpytus essential oil (shop here)
15 drops Sweet Marjoram essential oil (shop here)

 Mix all ingredients into a dark amber glass bottle. Massage small amounts into sore muscles. Avoid contact eyes and mouth. External use only!! Avoid if pregnant or if you have any medical condition or allergic to any of the ingredients listed. For educational purposes only This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.  This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.


This information is for educational purposes only, it is not intended to treat, cure, prevent or, diagnose any disease or condition. Nor is it intended to prescribe in any way. This information is for educational purposes only and may not be complete, nor may its data be accurate. As with all herbs,  Do not take internally unless working with a qualified and expert practitioner. Keep away from children.  I am an affiliate with Mountain Rose Herbs,please review my disclosure page for details.. Avoid use  unless discussed with your physician. This information is for educational purposes only.  This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.  This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any condition or disease. Green Blessings!!!