Arnica montana

Beautiful Arnica flower, during a hike in Switzerland
Beautiful Arnica flower, during a hike in Switzerland

Herb – Arnica montana

Arnica contains sesquiterpene lactones which are known to reduce inflammation and decrease pain. Additionally, the properties in arnica montana are contributors in reducing inflammation by dispersing fluids that build up in bruised and injured tissue. Arnica helps to reduces swelling and relieves pain after injury and muscle strain.
Most commonly used for treating wounds, bruises and injuries. Anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory qualities help reduce pain and swelling while improving wound healing. Arnica has also been used as a tobacco substitute and another of its names is mountain tobacco, or “smokeherb”.


Arthritis, burns, ulcers, eczema, bruising, acne, muscle exhaustion, altitude sickness, sprains, fractures, painful joints, sore muscles


Tincture of arnica is made by crushing whole plants and soaking hem in alcohol. Oil can be made with soaking flowers and leaves in olive oil and soaking up the sun in a sealed glass jar for up to 4 weeks. Use direct on affected areas.

Personal Notes

I made my own oil mixture over the summer, because you need full sun in order for the healing powers to intermix in the oil solution.  The purpose for making oil is so that you have a topical ointment to rub on burns, wounds, bruises, or injured tissue or sore spots on the body.  I wanted to share a personal experience and hope that it could help others.  I had a “ganglion cyst” on the outside of my knee bone, so the outside bone on my left leg, next to the knee.  There, I had a sizey bump which was filled with joint fluid.  It is painful and ugly.  In the past, I’ve drained it, and received acupuncture therapy for the isolated area.  It went away for 4 years, and just after a very strenuous hike (12 hours, 2 days), it popped up again.

I decided to try Arnica on that spot, more for the pain, and never expecting the bump to go away.  During a one week period, I used it daily.  I noticed today, my pain is gone, and I no longer have any sign of the ganglion cyst.  It’s gone!  This home made ointment has quite some power to heal injuries.  I’m going to experiment further as needed, but I’d recommend making your own solution and have it in your first-aid cupboard for when the time or situation calls

Make your own oil

arnica oil
  1. Dry the flowers completely (about 10-14 days)
  2. Put dry flowers and leaves into a clean glass jar.
  3. Add 1-2 cups of oil (choose a pure oil, for example a Shea, an almond, an aloe, or a olive oil, and be sure it’s organic)
  4. Seal the jar so that it’s air-tight, and find a warm spot in full-1/2 day summer sun.
  5. Baste for up to 2-4 weeks, then store in a dark cupboard and use when desired.

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1 comment

    • Sue on 04/02/2019 at 21:50
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    I have a similar cyst on the distal finger pointer-finger joint of my right hand. After applying arnica gel from the store, it reduced in size almost instantly, and the red, irritated, inflamed look around the cyst went away. Now I am treating it with arnica and frankincense oil. I plan on taking photos, so that others can see the results.

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