"Arnica is a bright yellow, perennial herb that looks quite similar to a daisy, hence its nickname "mountain daisy." Once harvested, arnica flowers are often turned into an essential oil or an extract and used as an active ingredient in homeopathic remedies and skincare products like ointments, gels, tinctures, and creams.
Arnica is also sometimes taken internally as a supplement but only in highly diluted doses. The pure arnica plant is poisonous and you should never try to ingest it undiluted. When using arnica for skin benefits, it's better to use it topically and only on unbroken skin.
What are the benefits of arnica?
For centuries, arnica has been touted as one of the top healing herbs in homeopathy. Now natural beauty lovers are also starting to explore even more benefits from the flowering herb. Here are a few ways topical arnica can help the skin and body.
1. It can help relieve pain.
One of the most popular ways to use arnica is to apply a topical arnica gel or balm on sore muscles and sprains. The plant's power to heal muscle aches comes from its strong anti-inflammatory benefits which, in turn, can reduce swelling and provide pain relief by improving blood circulation.
2. It can speed up wound healing.
In addition to providing pain relief, arnica also has the potential to stimulate the flow of white blood cells and improve blood flow in the joints, muscles, and bruised tissue. For this reason, it's sometimes recommended that postoperative patients use it to heal faster after surgery. That being said, arnica should not ever be used on open wounds without direct instruction from your doctor.
3. It can soothe insect bites.
Applying an arnica cream or arnica gel to a bite can help calm inflammation in the affected area and can help clear out the extra histamine by increased circulation, reducing the desire to scratch and therefore speeding up healing time overall.
4. It can help treat dandruff.
In addition to being a natural anti-inflammatory, arnica also has antibacterial properties. These two benefits can team up to create a strong defense against scalp irritation and malassezia, a fungus that often triggers dandruff. To use it to promote scalp health, try adding a few drops of arnica oil to your shampoo or look for a shampoo that lists arnica as an active ingredient. You can also create a hair mask by combining arnica oil with a hydrating oil like coconut oil or jojoba oil.
5. It can depuff skin.
In recent years, arnica's anti-inflammatory powers have been used for more cosmetic purposes like decreasing puffiness around the face. You'll often find it as an active ingredient in eye creams and in face masks."
Taken from Ipsy