Arnica: It’s the flower with major comforting power. Used since the early 1500s, the herb is a natural healing aid for aches, bruises and beyond—and continues to make us say ahhhh, even today. Here’s why.
The oil extracted from arnica (which belongs to the sunflower family) is brimming helenalin, a compound that you’re likely to find in every anti-inflammatory formula you’ve ever used. When applied topically or ingested, the flowering herb decreases inflammation and stimulates blood flow, alleviating pain and fatigue.
For centuries, it’s been used in teas, ointments and ingestibles to treat skin bruises and muscle pains. Today, everyone from alternative healers to professional athletes use arnica for the very same benefits. “Arnica is the most recognized and commonly used first-aid remedy in the homeopathic pharmacopeia,” says Robert Cohanim, founder of Historical Remedies. “It can heal not only minor soreness and traumatic injuries, but effectively prevent soreness and bruising.”
“I keep arnica in my gym bag and locker and take it before, during and after any workout or training to prevent the ‘morning after soreness,’ ” adds Cohamin. “I also take arnica after I shave to stop bleeding and irritation from nicks and cuts. It works like a charm.”
Other arnica advantages include:
- healing emotional/mental trauma triggered by injury
- aiding overall fatigue and jet lag caused by travel
- releasing tension
Whether you add it your bath for added relaxation, rub it over your achy joints for post-activity relief, or pop some in your mouth to prevent pain, arnica is nature’s way of giving you some sweet relief. Check out some of our picks that contain this soothing ingredient:
Kneipp Arnica Joint & Muscle Rescue Herbal Bath
A bath treatment with essential oils that relieve sore muscles and achy joints.
CV Skinlabs Restorative Skin Balm
This lotion provides anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antihistamine skin benefits.
African Botanics Botanical Body Hydrator
A natural moisturizer infused with the healing properties of arnica, peppermint, lavender, neroli and tea tree essential oils that soothe, soften, revive and smooth the skin.
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