Whether you suffer from pain due to occasional bumps, bruises and sore muscles or as a result of chronic conditions such as arthritis or carpal tunnel, this arnica pain relief salve recipe is the perfect natural remedy for muscle pain and inflammation!
Pain is something we all experience at some point in our lives. And whether it’s a bump or a bruise, sore muscles, arthritis or even a chronic illness, that pain can range from uncomfortable to debilitating. While commercial over-the-counter and prescription medications offer relief, the side effects and damage caused from chronic use of these medications can begin outweigh the benefits. Therefore, if your pain is manageable, I highly recommend trying natural alternatives.
As someone with fibromyalgia, I found that changing my diet and eating healthier made a tremendous difference. In addition to diet, herbal supplements (keep reading for more on that further down) and staying active, I was able to significantly reduce my symptoms. However, for those tough days when none of those things seem to matter, my arnica pain relief salve really helps to ease muscle pain, stiffness and calm inflammation. In addition, if you’re like me and suffer from cold hands and feet in the winter (or year round!) this salve also helps to warm skin and improve circulation to those areas as well.
What is arnica?
Often referred to as mountain tobacco, leopard’s bane and wolf’s bane, Arnica montana is a flowering perennial native to the mountains of both Europe and Siberia. Its vibrant flowers look similar daisies and contain the compound helenalin, a powerful anti-inflammatory. Used medicinally since the 1500’s, arnica is also rich in fatty acids, including thymol, which is shown to have antibacterial properties. It’s common not only in ointments, cream, liniments and salves but can also be found in anti-dandruff hair care products and tonics.
Due to the nature of arnica and its compounds, you should not use arnica on broken skin or for extended periods of time. It’s best suited for occasional topical use. In addition it’s important to note that those who are allergic or sensitive to ragweed, daisies, marigolds and other flowers in the Asteraceae or Compositae family, arnica may cause an allergic reaction. It should not be taken internally and, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, arnica should be avoided all together.
Other ingredients in my arnica pain relief salve.
I formulated my arnica pain relief salve recipe using a combination of arnica infused herbal oil, baobab oil, shea butter and beeswax. Baobab oil, like arnica, has natural anti-inflammatory properties. It’s fast absorption rate makes this African carrier oil especially nice as a component of this recipe. Used in combination with beeswax, it helps to protect and insulate skin as well as moisturize without feeling greasy. Fresh ginger essential oil and chili seed essential oil then gently warm skin to soothe overworked muscles, while just a touch of orange gives this salve its lovely scent.
I purchased the arnica herbal oil that I used for my arnica pain relief recipe at Mountain Rose Herbs. However, you can also purchase dried arnica flowers to create your own herbal oil infusion for this recipe if desired.
Arnica Pain Relief Salve Recipe
.75 oz. arnica herbal oil
.5 oz. baobab oil
.5 oz. white cosmetic or natural beeswax
.25 oz. refined shea butter
20 drops fresh ginger essential oil
12 drops 5-fold orange essential oil
10 drops chili seed essential oil
Using a digital scale weigh out the beeswax and shea butter. Combine in a small scientific glass beaker or glass Pyrex measuring cup. Then heat in either a microwave at 30% power or in a double boiler until melted.
Remove from heat, then weigh out and stir in the baobab oil and the arnica infused herbal oil. Follow with the essential oils using a dropper or graduated transfer pipettes to measure out the drops called for in the recipe.
Stir well to combine then pour into a 2 oz. glass amber glass jar. (I got mine from SKS Bottle & Packaging here.) Allow your arnica pain relief salve to solidify, then screw on the lid and label your salve as desired for personal use of gifting.
To use massage desired amount of your arnica pain relief salve onto unbroken skin as needed to help soothe muscles, alleviate the severity of pain and reduce inflammation. Take care to keep your arnica pain relief salve away from eyes and nasal passages as well as other delicate areas of skin.
If you like my arnica pain relief salve recipe, then may also like my neem oil body butter recipe with arnica infused coconut oil or my collection of six other natural pain relief remedies which you can find here.
For dry itchy skin, also be sure to try my dry skin salve recipe with baobab oil via my guest post at The Nourished Life blog. Not only do I share the amazing skin care uses for baobab oil, but you’ll also learn how to make your own homemade salve for dry winter skin or troublesome skin conditions such as eczema, dry psoriasis and actinic keratosis.
Other natural options for managing pain.
As previously mentioned, I’ve also been using herbal supplements to help manage my pain and its underlying causes. Those supplements include Gaia Herbs Daily Wellbeing for Women, Gaia Herbs Turmeric Supreme: Pain and Gaia Herbs Turmeric Supreme: Pain P.M. In addition I also drink Natural Vitality’s Natural Calm Anti-Stress Drink daily to help restore healthy magnesium levels in my body which in turn naturally reduces stress.
(I purchase all of these products for myself at Thrive Market which saves me a substantial amount of money, however most of these products should be available at your local co-op or health food store as well.)
As I am currently going through perimenopause (learn more about perimenopause here) and my fibromyalgia symptoms worsen during hormonal changes and periods of stress or anxiety, I am taking both Gaia Herbs Daily Wellbeing and evening primrose supplements in order to avoid hormone therapy (and still feel sane.)
Within the past two years one of my friends was diagnosed with breast cancer at 40, another with both uterine and ovarian cancer and then my mother with ovarian cancer. My mother’s cancer, for which she had her ovaries surgically removed, was a result of using hormone therapy after a hysterectomy for longer than recommended (and with the ok of her doctor.) Thus the hesitation of turning to prescription medication and instead trying natural alternatives instead.
Gaia’s Daily Wellbeing for Women works to support immune health, stress management, inflammatory response and women’s health. Formulated using proprietary herbal blends, these supplements, taken daily, also promote normal sleep patterns and calm occasional nervousness. While evening primrose (this is the brand I use) is a superior source of Gamma-Linolenic Acid, an important omega-6 fatty acid, needed for the production of beneficial prostaglandins (hormone-like compounds), which play an important role in promoting immune regulation.
I started taking the evening primrose prior to Gaia Herbs Daily Wellbeing and noticed almost immediately that it helped significantly with perimenopausal hot flashes and mood swings. The addition of Gaia Herbs Daily Wellbeing has further aided with overall stress reduction and supplies my daily intake of D3.
Low magnesium on the other hand can cause irritability, insomnia, muscle soreness and spasms, anxiety or depression, noise sensitivity, high stress, headaches and even chronic fatigue. (Learn more about low magnesium here.) Studies have shown that many adults aren’t getting enough magnesium. So in order to boost my own magnesium levels I switched to a natural magnesium deodorant (find my recipe for making your own here) and I also started drinking Natural Vitality’s Natural Calm.
I then also take Turmeric Supreme Pain, which contains turmeric root, ginger root, rosemary, black pepper and a proprietary extract blend to tackle pain and inflammation as they occur. And I take Turmeric Supreme Pain P.M. to help me sleep better throughout the night when pain symptoms make sleep difficult.
These are all my experiences with these supplements however and everyone is different. If you are experiencing undiagnosed pain or are currently being treated for a chronic condition, you should obviously consult a doctor before making any changes to your lifestyle or taking herbal supplements. To explore more home remedies and natural pain relief alternatives, be sure to follow my Natural Home Remedies and Herbal Health Care Pinterest board. (And don’t forget to check out the benefits of a Thrive Market membership here.)
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This article is not intended to provide diagnosis, treatment or medical advice and is provided for informational purposes only. Information on products mentioned are based on my own personal experience and have not been evaluated by the FDA. Please consult a physician prior to making any changes that may impact your health.