top of page

Arnica, the plant for Trauma and Bruising whether physical or emotional

Arnica Montana (or one of its 41 species), is a perennial plant in the daisy flower. The flower is small and not that beautiful but it is a beloved and widely used remedy around the world.

This plant is naturally found in the mountainous regions of Europe and Western America. We can grow it as a perennial in zone 4 successfully, though it will not grow as tall, the flowers are plentiful. It is hardy to zones 2-4. Be aware that this plant spreads readily. What started as 2-3 plants 3 years ago is now 4 large patches in my gardens. Like mint, I find it easy to control by simply pulling up the plants where I don't want them each spring. The plants start flowering, typically in late June, but I see it will be in early June this year as the plants are already pushing up some buds.

Arnica typically grows at higher elevations in acidic, rocky soil. It will do well in your garden in a loamy, well drained soil in the full sun. It is not that picky, just be selective as to location and companion plants so they don't grow into each other.

Harvest the flowers from arnica, just as they are opening. The plants often produce flowers over a week or 2 period of time, so I hand pick the blossoms each morning until they are done flowering. Some find harvesting the leaves after it is done blooming beneficial as well to add to the healing oil. Personally, I only use the flowers. Purchasing dried Arnica blossoms runs $60-$80 per pound, so it is well worth your time to grow your own. They require such little maintenance.

Arnica is not traditionally used as an internal medicine. It's power comes from its topical use and its use in homeopathy (which is taken internally)

Arnica's biggest use is for dealing with Injury and Physical trauma. It is specific for bruises, sprains and blunt injury trauma; for when someone falls hard but doesn't split the skin. Do NOT use arnica on open skin as it will irritate it and could lead to more bleeding - reach for a Yarrow balm for that case. An Arnica balm will soothe sore muscles, reduce pain and aid in reducing inflammation and help diminish bruising by improving circulation to the damaged tissues, muscles and/or joints and allowing it to heal faster.

Arnica is also used for deep trauma caused from either a physical injury or stress from fright or fear. This is usually treated with the homeopathic from of Arnica, a very safe and inexpensive remedy. I keep homeopathic Arnica in my first aid kit at all times. It is so helpful if, say hiking and there is a fall. Take the arnica pellets and you can feel the difference in 5-10 minutes. If you are new to homeopathy, I encourage you to take some of the free, or very low cost classes on line. It is a powerful tool to have in your medical kit.

I will include much more detail about arnica in the membership portion of the website, so if you want more information and/or recipes, I highly encourage you to subscribe. I keep it at a low cost of $15 per year, with access to detail information on medicinal plants that grow in our area that we have been discussing the past 4 years.

To use the Arnica flowers, you can make a tincture 1:1 fresh plant with Vodka or a balm/salve by putting fresh arnica flowers into olive oil for 3 weeks. Strain, add beeswax and package.

I use this all the time and I know you will too after you try it.


bottom of page