Incredible Health Properties of Arnica

By: Cat Ebeling
Co-author of the best-sellers:  The Fat Burning KitchenThe Top 101 Foods that Fight Aging & The Diabetes Fix

I love trail running, and living in Boulder, Colorado with the mountains literally just outside my door, there are plenty of great trails. Thing is, they are pretty rocky and steep. I was running down a steep rocky trail the other day, and just happened to put my foot down on a rock the wrong way, and BOOM—sprained my ankle!

It was a long walk back home, and given the current controversy about whether to ice injuries, I decided not to ice it, but to take some arnica that I keep around. I went from barely walking and in a lot of pain to walking normally on day three! I was amazed!

The arnica not only helped the swelling and trauma, but it helped the pain immensely—I didn’t even have to resort to Ibuprofen or Tylenol, both of which have serious health and liver implications.

Arnica, on the other hand, is a completely natural homeopathic remedy that is so effective and widespread, that even physicians and surgeons now recommend it to their patients to reduce pain, trauma, swelling, bruising and inflammation. Arnica helps to naturally speed healing to the affected area.

Arnica has been recorded as being used all the way back to the 12th century as a healing agent. It has been used extensively in Europe for literally thousands of years.

The most common type of arnica is Arnica Montana which is part of the daisy family. The daisy family contains several members which are used medicinally, including echinacea, calendula chamomile, yarrow, and dandelion.

Arnica contains a substance called helenalin, which is a potent anti-inflammatory. It can be used for traumatic injuries, surgery, or even just aches, pains, insect bites, and sore muscles. Since Arnica helps to decrease swelling, it also decreases pain associated with swelling. Arnica also stimulates the body’s healing processes and actually speeds up the time it takes injuries to heal.


Arnica is available in a variety of different forms, including topical oils, creams, gels, and ointments; as well as oral capsules and sublingual. Generally, the topical forms work best for superficial injuries and inflammation, and the oral capsules or tablets work for deeper injuries or trauma.

Arnica is excellent for treating the inflammation of osteoarthritis as well as injuries. This study done in 2007 and published in the Rheumatology International shows topical arnica as effective as an NSAID drug like ibuprofen in the treatment of the pain and stiffness of arthritis. Got sore, achy knees? Try arnica. Another study from Switzerland showed arnica’s effectiveness for moderate arthritis in knees, as well. In addition, arnica is effective at treating the pain, inflammation and stiffness from carpal tunnel syndrome in the wrists.

For us athletes, especially aging athletes, arnica oil is a godsend for inflammation, muscle soreness, and exercise-related injuries like sprained ankles. Applying arnica topically after a hard workout or training session can be very effective at reducing inflammation and muscle damage. In this study, participants who used arnica had less pain and muscle tenderness 72 hours after intense exercise, according to the results published in the European Journal of Sport Science.

Arnica is also known to stimulate white blood cells and to help flush out the toxins that accumulate in an injured joint or wound, speeding healing and easing pain. Arnica contains thymol (also found in thyme) which is a vasodilator. In other words, it dilates the blood vessels and even the tiny capillaries, which helps to increase circulation, cleaning out the wound and easing swelling.

Other uses for arnica include treatment for headaches, back pain, mouth and gum pain, and even leg cramps. One odd use for arnica oil is that it actually can stimulate hair growth, so it may be effective to add to your daily hair routine. Regular scalp massages with arnica oil can actually stimulate the hair follicles to grow new, healthy hair.

How to Purchase Arnica


Arnica is available in oil, tincture, homeopathic ointment, cream, salve and pills or capsules.

Since arnica is considered a homeopathic treatment, the potency is important. Lower dilutions are shown by smaller number next to the numeral X, C, etc., which means it has a higher concentration. For pills, look for homeopathic pills with 30x dilution. For oral products, potencies usually range from 4X-200C depending on the manufacturer.

Topical Arnica can be much higher, and it is common to find higher potencies such as 1X to 6X. (1X being the stronger potency.)

Arnica is toxic if it gets inside the body. Never apply arnica in any form on broken skin or on an open wound. Never take arnica internally unless it is homeopathic pills or capsules that contain too little arnica to cause harm.

Arnica oil can be found at health and supplement stores or online. Look for arnica oil that has few other added ingredients, but generally it will need to be diluted with a high-quality base oil such as olive oil, almond or grapeseed oil.

Some people may be sensitive to the compound helenalin found in arnica. If you develop a mild rash, then you may be helenalin-sensitive and should stop using arnica.

Arnica is one of the best, natural, pain-killing, trauma-soothing, healing substances you can use. It’s certainly a good idea to always keep some topical arnica and some homeopathic lozenges in your medicine cabinet. It is simply amazing!



About The Watchdog

Mike Geary has been a Certified Nutrition Specialist and Certified Personal Trainer for over 15 years now. He has been studying nutrition and exercise for almost 25 years, ever since being a young teenager. Mike is originally from Pennsylvania, but has fallen in love with mountain life and now resides in the picturesque mountains of Utah. Mike is an avid adventurist and when he’s not spending his time skiing, mountain biking, hiking, or paddleboarding on the lake, he has enjoyed skydiving, whitewater rafting, piloting an Italian fighter plane (seriously), scuba diving, heli-skiing, and traveling all around the world, enjoying learning about different cultures. At the age of 40, Mike now feels healthier, stronger, and more energetic than when he was 20... All because of a healthy lifestyle and great nutrition!

Check Also


3 Scary Reasons To Ditch Aluminum Foil (And What To Use Instead)

Today’s blog is republished from my friends at TheAlternativeDaily, a leading publisher of daily alternative health …


  1. I am into week 4 of a non displaced fracture of the tibia at the ankle ant there is still pain and swelling. Would arnica be of any help to me now?

  2. Willow bark is analogous to super aspirin? If I have allergy to aspirin, may I take this product?

  3. Yes,, totally pleased to see you knew about Homeopathy.
    I’ve worked with all the super good companies in the US. Hylands and Boron
    Always a good remedy out there for all indications.

    • Would any form of arnica help the neuropathy in my feet which resulted from chemotherapy?i have used the gel for shoulder pain and it does work for that but the neuropathy is a nerve issue.

      • Try alpha lipoic acid. The neurologist at MD Anderson suggested I take 600 mg per day and it did help. Comes in various forms. You can check Web MD and possibly Sloan Kettering website for more info.

  4. If you take Arnica pellets BEFORE you work out or do any physical exucusion ypu will not have sore muscles or pain. Thank you too for such a wonderful article about Arnica.

    • Could you please clarify your breakdown of strengths. I, too, was confused. Which is stronger, the X, or the C? Is the lower the number going up in potency, or the higher the number going up in potency? Thank you.

  5. As a Classical Homoeopath I am confused by your description that 1X is a ‘stronger potency’ than 6X.
    It is ‘stronger’ in the sense of less dilution but once prepared homoeopathically, although more diluted, it’s ‘potency’ is increased.
    Or is this a new preparation that is not being prepared homoeopathically?
    Please clarify . . . otherwise a useful and informative article and glad to see you appreciate one of our greatest healers . . . the scrappy little mountain daisy . . . :}

  6. My elderly mother started using an arnica cream once a day for lower back pain. It was recommended by a local homeopathic physician and helped her discomfort. However, halfway through using the second tube she started breaking out in half dollar sized red welts on her back. We stopped the arnica and it took about a month for the welts to go away completely. I later read that anyone who has hay fever could possibly be sensitive to arnica products. My mom has always had hay fever.

  7. I had oral surgery this past Wednesday and I thought the dentist would never get the eye tooth out. He finally did, being careful that he didn’t hit my sinus cavity which comes way down toward my teeth. Needless to say I was given novacaine and all of the numbness finally wore off this evening (Friday, at 6 P). I have been rubbing Arnica gel several times a day on my face and the swelling is going down and I’m not black and blue. I’ve used Arnica for years and am happy with it.

  8. On the last day in May this year, I had a bad fall and broke a bone in my arm in 3 places ………….. but took Arnica in capsule form, plus other recommended homeopathic things …. and astounded the doctors by everything being healed in just 4 weeks!

  9. Thank you for your good work.

  10. Good morning

    I have painful lower back and knees I know its from picking up heavy things and walking up and down 21 stairs daily what can I take for the pain

    Thank you

  11. Denny, Are you familiar with ‘Arnica’. Natural pain killer, trauma, smoothing healing…….topical, pills, .??
    It might be some relief for Leslie. Hope she is feeling better & has an appetite for Easter Ham & trimmings.

    I am interested to check it out. Source email is “”TheNutrition WatchDog.

    Happy Easter.. Itsa nice day here but overcast on the beaches…..70 degrees

    Love & Hugs…….Bob

  12. Hi! I am wondering if ARNICA would be helpful with IT syndrome (Illiotibial band).

  13. I have lost hair around my face and no longer have hair in front of my ears. The skin is shiny and a biopsy has shown lichen Plano pilaris probably FFA. Have you ever heard that rubbing arnica oil could stimulate the hair follicles to bring back new growth? I am hoping to stop the progression by taking finasteride but I am seeing thinning on the top—regrettably!!! Any information would be appreciated.


  15. Would you recommend this to be used in capsule form to be taken internally or gallbladder surgery instead of Tylenol?

  16. I have used Arnica rollon ,cream,and pills for all my aches.Good stuff.Also I uae FRANKINSENSE and MY RRH in rubbing oil on my feet,legs and hands for neurophy caused by diabetes,caused by AGENT ORANGE.
    Apply a small amount,massage it in good.Really works.Also use ARNICA after the oil.

  17. How do you find a homeopathic doctor in my area?

  18. I used it for many of years but they took out the bonadella and Puritan Pride stopped handedly it. Do you have it. I would like to buy some. It’s the best.

    ARNICA ( Heterotheca inuloides ) ✅

  20. I had great success with Arnica gel on neck pains which the cause of has yet to be determined, maybe pinched nerve. I had been using it 1 to 3 times a day for a month when I thought I should check with the company, Boiron, if it was ok to use it this long or longer and they said they only recommend it for 3 days so I quit using it. Anyone know what harm it can do using it so long and what other option might work for pain long term?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.