What Are the Uses of Arnica Oil?

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  • Written By: Meshell Powell
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 31 March 2020
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Arnica oil has been used for centuries to treat inflammatory conditions such as sore muscles, painful joints, and bruises. Insect bites, scars, and herpes lesions may also be treated with this potent oil. Internal consumption of arnica oil can be toxic unless the oil is sufficiently diluted and administered by a qualified naturopath. Long-term use of arnica oil may lead to skin irritation, blisters, or eczema.

When used to massage tired or sore muscles, arnica oil may prevent bruising and reduce swelling. This remedy is also used to relax muscles and may be helpful in the treatment of muscle spasms. Those with chronic pain conditions such as fibromyalgia may find this natural remedy to be particularly beneficial.

Inflammatory joint conditions, such as arthritis, lupus, or bursitis, may be treated with products containing arnica oil. This herb is known for its ability to easily penetrate the skin and is believed by many to reduce pain and inflammation of swollen joints as well as over-the-counter pain relievers like aspirin or ibuprofen.


Used in combination with other skin-healing herbs, arnica oil is thought to aid in the reduction of the appearance of scars and other skin blemishes. Swollen veins and inflammation caused by broken bones or insect bites are also treated with topical preparations containing arnica oil. Mild to moderate skin damage caused by scrapes, cuts, and bruises may heal more quickly when applying this oil to the skin two or three times per day.

Essential oils containing arnica may be applied to herpes lesions to speed the healing process. These lesions may be caused by cold sores or genital herpes, as both conditions are related to the herpes virus. Proper dilution is vital in order to avoid damage to the sensitive mucus membranes of the mouth and genitals.

Side effects of arnica oil are rare and typically involve skin irritation and sensitivity. When this treatment method is used for prolonged periods of time, the skin may begin to peel, blister, or bleed. Eczema and other skin disorders may also develop as a side effect of arnica use. These symptoms usually disappear once the treatment has been discontinued, although medical intervention is sometimes necessary. A dermatologist is a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of skin disorders and may be particularly beneficial to those who experience skin irritation as a result of using this herbal product.


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