How to Make Arnica Salve or Ointment

What you'll need

5 tsp. of Dried Arnica flowers which you can buy here
3 tbsp. of olive oil
1.5 tsp. of beeswax

As its name would suggest, Arnica Montana, grows in the mountains of Europe, Russia and North America and its use was popularised by mountaineers using the flowers on their tired and aching legs.

Arnica is one of the best known herbal treatments for bruising, sprains and muscle damage or recovery. If applied quickly, Arnica improves the processing of congested ‘bruised’ blood from the area and also has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties to reduce pain and swelling.

Arnica can be applied by spraying an infusion on the skin for aches and sprains (1 teaspoon dried herbs in half cup of water) or a diluted tincture for use in a bath or foot bath (30g dried flower preserved in one cup of food grade alcohol) but a cream or salve is a soothing and easily applied way to use Arnica topically to treat sprains, bruises, and muscle pain. It is important to remember that Arnica should NEVER be consumed internally and occasionally when applied to broken skin it can cause skin irritation in some people. It is also not recommended that pregnant women use Arnica topically.

Here’s a great recipe for a soothing Arnica Salve:


First, mix the Arnica flowers and the olive oil in a small saucepan over a very low heat, mix the arnica flowers and olive oil. Once it’s warm, turn off the heat and let it sit for 1 to 2 hours.

Now strain the cooled mixture through a piece of muslin cloth. Keep the oil infusion and you can dispose of the flowers. Pour the Arnica infused oil into another saucepan and add the 1.5 tsp. of beeswax. Heat this again on a low heat to the point at which the beeswax is melted into the oil. Pour the finished salve into as many small tins or balm containers as you want. This amount should make about 50-60ml of salve.

You’re done! Wait until the salve has cooled down before you put the lid(s) on the containers and store in a cool, dry place.

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