Sunflowers have been a symbol for many things, so you may not even realize that they're like a big cousin to what's about to become your favorite natural cleanser. Whenever you hear about the healing benefits of arnica oil, think of its relative, the mighty sunflower, and its rich history in feeding and healing. Arnica oil grows naturally in North America although, according to the Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine, it originated in Siberia where the arnica oil was used to treat wounds due to his tremendous healing property. Many holistic skin care experts are noticing that arnica’s medicinal benefits still hold up today, especially for use on bruises and sore muscles.
According to sources at Organic Authority, arnica oil has anti-inflammatory properties, which is why it’s common in massage oil or for achy joints. The ability to bring down inflammation is also helpful for those who suffer from acne as it also heals damaged skin. Arnica oil is one of those magnificently versatile oils, being slightly antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antiseptic. The flowers and oil have an innate ability to promote hair growth, moisturize the skin and scalp, and soothe irritated skin.
Since I’m always trying to soothe the woes of yesterday on my sensitive skin, I couldn’t wait to try out some DIY arnica recipes. These recipes are made using pure arnica oil, diluted with a carrier oil and/or dried arnica flowers. You can purchase a diluted form of arnica or you can make your own by infusing the flowers in a fixed oil like olive or sunflower.
1. Arnica Salve
One of arnica's famous claims is to reduce swelling and pain of joints; this recipe for a healing salve from Wellness Mama is a great way to find relief. You can also add diluted arnica oil to your favorite hand salve recipe.
2. Healing Body Scrub
I can't be near dried flowers without using them for a gently exfoliating body scrub that looks as pretty as it makes me feel. Start with your grain of choice — like sugar or salt — and add dried arnica flowers, diluted arnica oil, and your favorite essential oils.
3. Arnica Bath Tea
Bath teas are an easy way to get the effect of a bath bomb without having to spend the time it takes to let them set. Use your arnica flowers with your favorite dried flowers. Place arnica and other of your favorite dried flowers in a large empty tea bag and sprinkle on a modest amount of essential oils. Seal the tea bag up with a rubber band or bread tie and dunk in the bath before you get in. It smells amazing.
4. Arnica Hair Tea
Another one of my favorite things to do with dried flowers is to make a potent hair tea to promote healthy growth. According to sources at Stylecraze, arnica can help stimulate hair growth. You can do this by making a tea or adding the diluted arnica oil to massage into a damp scalp.
5. Arnica Oil For Stretch Marks
You can purchase diluted, organic arnica oil to lift stretch marks and honestly, it's going to be a really great home remedy if you choose to reduce the appearance of yours. As mentioned before, arnica oil is most commonly used for bruises and joint pain because of the anti-inflammatory properties. Arnica oil is not going to prevent the skin from stretching, but can reduce the appearance of stretch marks. Pair this oil with shea butter to increase results and apply diligently daily.
Image: Kristin Collins Jackson (6)