Best way to use arnica for pain

vickeym Posts: 2,020 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited October 2020 in General Health

I am fairly new to herbal medicine. Only actively researching for about a year and trying my hand at making some thing over the last couple months.

I recently purchased some arnica from Mountain Rose Herbs (I don't have any growing yet.)_ I am looking for the best way to use arnica for treating pain. Lower back, knees, hips, shoulders etc. Mostly overworked and aging. Would an oil, a salve, a liniment, or a poultice be a better way to make use of the arnica?


  • merlin44
    merlin44 Posts: 426 ✭✭✭✭

    I find a salve convenient and personally prefer the consistency when applying. Herbal medicines require experimentation, try the one that appeals to you (and have fun there's little more satisfying than making "good medicine").

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,516 admin

    Arnica oil is great to use for massage. Usually a massage will assist with pain relief but if you can add herbal oils to the massage so much the better. I agree with @merlin44 that a salve is less messy, easier to apply to a specific area and better to travel with. You could add extra beeswax to the salve and make it into a stick.  I found some tubes that are larger than lip balm and they are great for this type of application. Very easy to travel with and no mess on your fingers at all. I have made liniments with Arnica, both on its own and in blends. I use isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol for this purpose as it is cheaper and better for liniment applications. I have made a blend with Arnica, Cottonwood Bud and Wormwood that is very effective. Has the appearance and odor similar to Absorbine. If you injure yourself out hiking during Arnica season you could make a quick poultice of the flowers to apply to the injury. I have never made a poultice using dried Arnica but it would work. Arnica is best used on areas that have a “bruised” sensation, which can occur even when there is no visible bruise. But I have seen some really serious bruises (covering large areas and solid black), after a few applications of oil over 12 hours, reduce in size and turn from black to yellow. So it just depends on how you want to use it.

    Arnica works even better if you should happen to have homeopathic Arnica on hand and can take that in conjunction with using herbal preparations. (And everyone should have a vial in their medicine cabinet.)

    Good luck with your herbal medicine making journeys! 

  • ines871
    ines871 Posts: 1,283 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @vickeym - I too can vouch for Arnica salve working wonders... as already said. - Experienced iceskaters, & particularly any less-experienced skaters carry it in Skating bag in a tube , because it is used regularly.

  • vickeym
    vickeym Posts: 2,020 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have used a commercial arnica salve. That is where I first learned of it. I was impressed with how well it worked. The very happy to learn I can make my own. Can't wait to try making it. There are so many herbs I have been looking into and it seems the more I read and study the more I find I want to get. Just have to narrow it down some as to which to start with until I can get more of my own growing here.