Oily macerate of Arnica: benefits and uses in phytotherapy

Originating from the European mountainous regions, the flowers of arnica of the mountains contain active ingredients with recognized therapeutic properties and their maceration in the sunflower oil provides an oily macerate very appreciated by the sportsmen. Indeed, very anti-inflammatory, it alleviates the muscular tensions of all kinds. But it has many other uses: you suffer from circulatory problems? Here is a macerate for you! Latin name: Arnica montana L. Part used: Flowering tops

Main properties

  • anti-inflammatory : Arnica oily macerate is anti-inflammatory thanks to the sesquiterpene lactones contained in the flowers of Arnica: helenalin and dihydrohelenalin exert an anti-inflammatory action in animals, by inhibiting the production of prostaglandins, molecules normally responsible for inflammation. Moreover, this effect is reinforced by the carotenoids and flavonoids that are also extracted during the maceration. Consequently, the oily macerate of Arnica is ideal for the sensitive and irritated skins.
  • anticoagulant, circulatory : Arnica is known to act on blood circulation. Indeed, sesquiterpene lactones and helenalin would inhibit platelet aggregation, which would rather tend to increase the bleeding time. This is why it is better not to put oily macerate of Arnica on an open wound. On the other hand, once the coagulation is done, Arnica is very useful to limit the extent and the duration of the bruises, and it supports the blood circulation in the case of varicose veins for example.
  • antimycobacterial : Helenalin and other sesquiterpene lactones have shown in vitro antiparasitic activity against certain protists of the genus Trypanosoma. This activity was also found in an alcoholic extract of Arnica flowers, so we can legitimately think that it is found in the case of Arnica oil macerate. Moreover, studies have proven that oleic and linoleic acids have an antibacterial activity against certain Gram+ bacteria.
  • antimitotic : The sesquiterpene lactones in this oily macerate inhibit keratinocyte mitosis which inhibits the growth and renewal of hair follicles. Arnica oily macerate is therefore suitable for the formulation of products that seek to slow down hair development.
  • repairing : Arnica oily macerate has a stimulating and protective action on the skin barrier. Indeed, it has been shown that sunflower vegetable oil, which forms the basis of this macerate, protects the skin from nosocomial infections and improves the skin barrier function. Thus, with the compounds extracted from the flowers of Arnica, this oily macerate is an excellent cutaneous protector.

Characteristics and composition

Cosmetic characteristics
  • Skin type : all skin types.

Organoleptic characteristics
  • Appearance: oily liquid
  • Color: greenish to orange yellow
  • Odor: floral, slightly bitter.
  • Touch : dry.

Characteristics for the formulation
  • Unsaponifiable and active ingredients : flavonoids, sesquiterpene lactones, coumarins.
  • Comedogenicity index : 0 (=non comedogenic)
  • Oxidation stability: sensitive
  • INCI name: Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil, Arnica Montana Flower Extract

Fatty acid composition
  • linoleic acid (omega 6 PUFA) : 48 à 74 %
  • oleic acid (omega 9 MUFA) : 14 à 40 %
  • palmitic acid (SFA): 4 à 9 %
  • stearic acid (SFA): 1 à 7 %

Physical characteristics
  • Density at 20°C: 0.910 à 0.930
  • Flash point : 100
  • Peroxide Index: 20
  • Refractive index at 20°C : 1.470 à 1.480

Botanical characteristics
  • Botanical family: Asteraceae
  • Country of origin: France.
  • Distilled part: flowers
  • Production process : maceration in sunflower oil
  • Latin name : Arnica montana L.

Precautions for use

  • Arnica is toxic to the nervous, digestive, respiratory and cardiac systems, and it should not be ingested. Its oily macerate is thus reserved for cutaneous use.
  • Do not take at the same time as anti-coagulants/anti-platelet agents to avoid increasing the risk of bleeding.
  • It is advised not to use it on open wounds.
  • This oily macerate is sensitive to oxidation.
  • Consult your doctor if you are taking any medications at the same time.
  • People allergic to Asteraceae should seek medical advice before use.

Authorized use of the product

Dermal route Oral route

Authorized users

Adults and Teens Children under 6 years old Pregnant and nursing women Babies under 3 years old


Preferably stored in a cool place, away from light and heat.

In case of muscle cramp, muscle pain, tendonitis, joint pain

Efficiency : ++++

Arnica oily macerate is anti-inflammatory: it limits muscle and tendon inflammation due to its natural sesquiterpene lactone content (helenalin and arnifolin). This oily macerate is thus quite indicated in case of tendinitis or sprain. Traditionally used in this role for many years, this use has been recognized by the EMA (European Medicinal Agency) in contusions, sprains and localized muscle pain. It will therefore be ideal for reducing bruises, calming pain and promoting proper healing in cases of tendonitis, bruises, blows, stiff neck, etc....

  • Application advice: a few drops on painful or inflamed areas, 2 times a day.
  • Complementary essential oil(s): for greater effectiveness, add a few drops of essential oil of Sweet Clover or Lemon Eucalyptus, respecting a 20% dilution.
  • Other suitable plant oils : Synergistic usefor osteoarthritis relief. Synergistic usefor tendonitis. Apply very gently to the painful area, 6 to 8 drops, 3 times a day for 5 days: 30 drops of Italian Helichrysum essential oil + 10 drops of Lemon Eucalyptus essential oil + 10 drops of Lavandin Super essential oil + 10 drops of Peppermint essential oil + 60 drops of Arnica oily macerate.

In case of edema, bruise, hematoma, contusion

Efficiency : ++++

Circulatory, Arnica oily macerate promotes smooth blood circulation. This helps to resolve bruises and edema as well as any situation where your blood is stagnant. However, beware of its anti-coagulant effect and its potential to promote bleeding. Do not use on an open wound!

  • Application advice: a few drops by massaging on the affected area, 2 times a day.
  • Complementary essential oil(s) : you can combine it with essential oils such as Italian Helichrysum essential oil to promote good venous circulation. 1 drop of Italian Helichrysum for 4 drops of Arnica.
  • Other suitable plant oils: Use in synergy with essential oils. Dfrom 3 years, 2 drops in local application on the bruise, bump or hematoma, 5 times a day until disappearance : 30 drops of Italian Helichrysum essential oil + 10 drops of True Lavender essential oil + 10 drops of Cypress de Provence essential oil + 50 drops of Arnica oily macerate. More details: essential oils against hematoma.

In case of a sprain

Efficiency : ++++

The oily macerate of Arnica presents anti-inflammatory and circulatory benefits. In case of sprain, it will be ideal to reduce pain, swelling and bruising, thus promoting good healing.

Restricted to + 6 years. To be repeated 3 times a day for 5 days. Gently massage the painful area with 6 to 8 drops of this mixture :

  • 30 drops of Italian Helichrysum essential oil.
  • 10 drops of Lemon Eucalyptus essential oil.
  • 10 drops of Lavandin Super essential oil.
  • 10 drops of Peppermint essential oil.
  • 60 drops of Arnica oily macerate.

Also remember to keep the joint fixed. More details or other users: essential oils for sprain relief.

Against Varicose Veins, Heavy Legs

Effectiveness: ++.

The oily macerate of Arnica is rich in active ingredients and unsaponifiable matter which will be useful in the event of varicose veins or heavy legs. Arnica indeed supports blood circulation, while acting in particular on the small capillaries suscpetibles to be responsible for varicose veins. The oily macerate of Arnica thus facilitates the blood circulation and reinforces the wall of the vessels.

  • Application advice: a few drops in massage from the bottom to the top of the leg, 2 times a day.
Arnica Organic oily macerate

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