Arnica Is a Skin Care Superhero
I first discovered the qualities of Arnica years ago when researching plant based ingredients for inflammation, irritated skin, and acneic skin. It’s also known as Wolfsbane (cool name), and has been used for a long time to remedy skin ailments. Read on to discover how it can help you improve your skin.
History of Arnica
Arnica grows primarily in the western mountains, from the Yukon and Northwest Territories in the north to the southwestern U.S., but it can also be found in small, isolated pockets as far east as Lake Superior.
First Nations used poultices of arnica to soothe strained muscles and bruises. Settlers from Europe recognized North American arnica as closely related to a familiar European medicinal plant, Arnica, also employed to soothe minor aches and pains, as well as to treat wounds.
Arnica contains several chemical compounds with anti-inflammatory or counter-irritant properties, which help relieve minor pains. It is currently being investigated for possible pain relief for arthritis. Arnica products for external application are readily available in Canada and used widely in Europe.
How Can You Benefit From Arnica?
It can help relieve pain. One of the most popular ways to use arnica is to apply a topical arnica gel or balm on sore muscles and sprains. The plant's power to heal muscle aches comes from its strong anti-inflammatory benefits which, in turn, can reduce swelling and provide pain relief by improving blood circulation.
It can speed up wound healing. In addition to providing pain relief, arnica also has the potential to stimulate the flow of white blood cells and improve blood flow in the joints, muscles, and bruised tissue. For this reason, it's sometimes recommended that postoperative patients use it to heal faster after surgery. That being said, arnica should not ever be used on open wounds without direct instruction from your doctor.
It can soothe insect bites. Applying arnica to a bite can help calm inflammation in the affected area and can help clear out the extra histamine by increased circulation, reducing the desire to scratch and therefore speeding up healing time overall.
It can help treat dandruff. In addition to being a natural anti-inflammatory, arnica also has antibacterial properties. These two benefits can team up to create a strong defense against scalp irritation and malassezia, a fungus that often triggers dandruff. To use it to promote scalp health, try adding a few drops of arnica oil to your shampoo or look for a shampoo that lists arnica as an active ingredient. You can also create a hair mask by combining arnica oil with a hydrating oil like coconut oil or jojoba oil.
Skin Nourishment: Perhaps one of the best kept secrets about arnica is that the petals contain sesquiterpene lactones, as well as flavonoids, carbonic acid, and coumarins. It's safe to say that arnica is packed with nutrients and other compounds that are extremely beneficial to your skin. Sesquiterpene lactone, which is often referred to as helenalin, is the main restorative compound in arnica. Along with flavonoid, sesquiterpene lactone can help to soothe and renew your skin after exposure to stress.
Stretch Mark Treatment. You can drastically reduce the overall appearance of pregnancy-related stretch marks and the redness associated with them.
Healing Acne. Arnica has been known to work wonders with acne, even in very difficult, cystic (hormonal) cases.
It can depuff skin. In recent years, arnica's anti-inflammatory powers have been used for more cosmetic purposes like decreasing puffiness around the face and eyes. It’s actually very popular in the modeling world to help depuff face.
A popular product that we carry includes arnica, and it's a great additional to your skin care routine:
Arnica is a somewhat new addition to the skin care world and has many important benefits to healing and calming skin, you'll want to include it in your own routine.
Jeanette @ Claribelskincare.com | Owner, Formulator & Herbal Expert