Arnica oil

vickeym Posts: 2,112 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited October 2020 in Making Herbal Medicine

I have only ever made Arnica oil using the folk method in the past. Found a recipe using an alcohol soak then the oil. Whick is ready very quick. You use 1 oz of herb to 1/2 oz of alcohol. Soak for 24 hours then add 8 oz oil and blend.

Now that I am straining it, I'm wondering if there has been enough time for the oil to pull out the medicine or should I leave it together and let it soak for a few weeks?

I found this method on Mountain Rose Herbs. If you scroll down to this section you will see the recipe

Alcohol Intermediary Method for TOPICAL Herbal Oils

Would appreciate any suggestion or tips. Arnica is too expensive to waste by not leaving it to soak long enough.


  • lmrebert
    lmrebert Posts: 363 ✭✭✭✭

    @vickeym I agree, I think I would do the first part with the alcohol, which I do with most of my oils just to help prevent spoilage and to possibly extract other properties from the plant, and then I would do a a 6-8 week infusion like all my oils. If you need it early just strain off a bit but continue the infusion. I recently found another use for arnica oil since its a blood mover, I used my salve on mosquito bites while camping (I'm super allergic and become miserable and don't sleep from the itching, also prone to cellulitis) and they were 50% better the next day after 1 application! Arnica is wonderful so I agree I would not want to chance wasting it!!

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,640 admin

    I have never used the alcohol method for making oils. I make my arnica oil in the spring with fresh flowers, not dried, so no need for the alcohol rehydration of the dried flowers. I think quick methods are OK if you need a product right away to treat an acute situation but I feel that it needs the full extraction time for the most benefit. I've never had a problem with oil spoilage except when the oil itself has gone past its stale date.

  • vickeym
    vickeym Posts: 2,112 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I am using dried arnica I purchased from Mountain Rose Herbs this time. I did not have access to fresh flowers. Though just this week, a friend who has it growing wild at her place dug some up and gave to me. Along with wormwood and valerian. I am letting the arnica steep in the oil now as was suggested and I also felt was a better idea. Hoping by next year I will have enough growing to use my own fresh flowers to make the next batch.

  • Jaylene
    Jaylene Posts: 53 ✭✭✭

    I have always been taught that Arnica is best used in the dry form when extracting in oil. Richo Cech has a great book called Making Plant Medicine that provides basic information/ratios for tinctures oils and salves with a variety of herbs and generally the best form/part of the herb😃

  • vickeym
    vickeym Posts: 2,112 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Yes, I always use the dried flowers, just hoping to get enough growing to be able to dry my own and use them. Arnica is rather expensive if you have to buy it. Still worth using, but a lot more expensive. I was recently given a couple plants, so I am hoping this will be the beginning of a whole patch of them for future use.