Arnica CO2-to – Organic
- Distillation Method: CO2-to
- Country of Origin: Romania
- Plant Part: Flowers
- Latin Name: Arnica montana
- Cultivation: Certified Organic
About the Oil: Arnica CO2 ‘Total’ Extract can be used in topical formulations and is great for sore muscles, joints, and inflamed skin.
Note: CO2 extracts generally include some larger molecules compared to their steam-distilled counterparts. Some may not be suitable for use in a diffuser. Learn more about CO2 extracts on our Making Essential Oils page.
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About The Plant
A perennial alpine herb with a creeping underground stem, giving rise to a rosette of pale oval leaves. The stem produce a single, bright yellow, daisy-like flower. This difficult to cultivate plant is native to northern and central Europe and also found growing wild in Russia, Scandinavia, and northern India.
About The Oil
Arnica, in the form of Arnica montana CO2 flower extract, is emulsified in organic sunflower oil to standardize the 'active' compounds which are exceptionally potent. These active compounds are known for easing discomfort and reducing swelling.
Arnica has a long history of use as an 'infused' oil, where the flowers are soaked in, such as olive oil, for many weeks. This oil would then be topically applied or used to create further formulations. Unfortunately, this process takes a long time and the resultant chemistry of the oil varies greatly. Now, as a standardized CO2 extract, you can easily add Arnica essential oils to your own formulations.
THERAPEUTICS DESCRIBED BY AROMATHERAPY SPECIALISTS
From Erich Keller’s Aromatherapy Handbook for Beauty, Hair, and Skin Care1:
Wound healing agent
Activates skin & tissue metabolism
Relieves sprains & muscle strains
Aids healing of bruises & abscesses
Revitalizes chapped, cracked, or scaly skin
From Deborah R Mitchell’s Dictionary of Natural Healing2:
“First aid treatment of choice”
Relieves physical and emotional shock
Recommended for sports-related injuries
Effective for gout
Cools the head & warms the body
PROPERTIES OF ARNICA REPORTED IN PEER-REVIEWED RESEARCH
Reduced post-surgical fluid build-up5
Tissue repair & wound healing6
SUMMARY OF RESEARCH STUDIES
Arnica was found to have significant anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity in an experimantal study on mice. These same activities were also shown on human cell cultures in vitro.3
A double-blind, placebo-controlled study on patients receiving rhinoplasy surgery showed that topical application of arnica reduced bruising and discoloration significantly compared to the control group.4
Topical application of arnica in total mastectomy breast cancer patients showed a significant reduction in blood and seroma fluid collection under the skin after surgery.5
Arnica was found to upregulate the expression of genes that contribute to tissue repair and wound-healing in an in vitro study.6
May be supportive in cases of inflammation, chronic and traumatic injuries, and reduction of bruising.
Please note: It is not intended for use in aromatic applications, only topical ones. Do not use on broken skin.
Arnica essential oil is typically found in balms, creams and oils at homeopathic concentrations (exceptionally small amounts that special devices are used to measure). You will only want to use 0.5% to 1% in your formulations. This is 6 to 12 drops per total ounce of your formula.
Do not use internally.
Blends nicely with Helichrysum, Ginger, Frankincense, and German Chamomile for topical formulas.
Always test a small amount of essential oil first for sensitivity or allergic reaction. Arnica may be a photosensitizer, possibly making the skin more susceptible to UV light where it has been applied. Follow with sunscreen, or keep applied areas out of direct sunlight for 48 hours after application.
If pregnant or under a doctor's care, consult a physician. This essential oil is highly toxic and should never be used internally or on broken skin.
1. Keller, Erich. Aromatherapy Handbook for Beauty, Hair, and Skin Care. Healing Arts Press, 1999.
2. Mitchell, Deborah R. Dictionary of Natural Healing. Macmillan, 1998.
3. Kundu, Chanakyanath, et al. “Anti-Inflammatory Homoeopathic Drug Dilutions Restrain Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Release of pro-Inflammatory Cytokines: In Vitro and in Vivo Evidence.” Indian Journal of Research in Homoeopathy, vol. 11, no. 3, 2017, p. 158., doi:10.4103/ijrh.ijrh_94_16.
4. Chaiet, Scott R., and Benjamin C. Marcus. “Perioperative Arnica Montana for Reduction of Ecchymosis in Rhinoplasty Surgery.” Annals of Plastic Surgery, vol. 76, no. 5, May 2016, pp. 477–482., doi:10.1097/sap.0000000000000312.
5. Sorrentino, Luca, et al. “Is There a Role for Homeopathy in Breast Cancer Surgery? A First Randomized Clinical Trial on Treatment with Arnica Montana to Reduce Postoperative Seroma and Bleeding in Patients Undergoing Total Mastectomy.” Journal of Intercultural Ethnopharmacology, vol. 6, no. 1, 2017, pp. 1–8., doi:10.5455/jice.20161229055245.
6. Marzotto, Marta, et al. “Arnica Montana Stimulates Extracellular Matrix Gene Expression in a Macrophage Cell Line Differentiated to Wound-Healing Phenotype.” Plos One, vol. 11, no. 11, 10 Nov. 2016, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0166340.