Hair fall management is not easy. It is even more difficult to restore the growth of healthy and beautiful hair in a safe, natural, and effective manner. But if you choose to opt for something like arnica oil, you can stay away from all your hair worries easily. Though arnica has a myriad of health and skin benefits, all those are surpassed by the perks it offers for hair. In this article, find out why you should switch to arnica oil for hair and which side effects you need to be careful about.
What is Arnica Oil?
Arnica (Arnica montana) is a perennial flowering herb, which is popularly known as Mountain Daisy, Leopard’s Bane, Wolf’s bane, Mountain Tobacco, Mountain Snuff, and so on. The shrub belongs to the Asteraceae family and is native to cold, rocky regions of Siberia and Eastern Europe. Arnica has long been a staple to homeopathy medicine for the treatments of health, skin, and scalp. The potent anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving, fungicidal, bactericidal, soothing, healing, and rejuvenating properties of the herb are attributed to the concentration and bioavailability of its active compounds, mainly sesquiterpene lactones (1). Arnica oil is a herbal infusion prepared from the extracts of daisy-like yellowish-orange flowers of arnica. The latest researches have unleashed its excellent benefits in hair care and hence, lots of hair cosmetics have started using it’s a primary ingredient.
When it comes to essential oils, arnica oil has a number of alternatives. You can replace it with tea tree oil, lavender oil, rosemary oil, cedarwood oil, and peppermint oil for thick, shiny, and healthy hair.
Benefits of Arnica for Health
Let us start with those amazing health benefits offered by arnica. Following is a list for you:
- When used topically, arnica may help relieve pain and inflammation in tissue to a large extent. It is mostly effective in controlling acute muscle soreness, stiffness, sprains, tendonitis, fibromyalgia, etc. The herbal extract may also help reduce post-operative swelling and pain in patients to some extent. (2)
- Arnica extract (oil/gel/tincture) may offer better recovery and functional movement than non-steroidal inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in chronic osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. (3)
- The healing qualities of arnica is also quite impressive. It may heal post-surgical scars and bruises effectively while bringing bruise colors back to normal fast (4). Apart from this, the herb may even stimulate blood circulation and regenrate tissues to heal deep wounds, superficial phlebtis, swelling caused by fractures and insect bites, etc.
- Using arnica-infused mouthwashes may help you take care of your oral health by preventing bacterial infections and treating sore throat.
- If massaged gently into the skin, arnica flower extract may even reduce stress and depression symptoms in people by relaxing the muscles.
Benefits of Arnica for Skin
Not only our health but arnica can also protect our skin in a number of ways. Here is how:
- Active compounds present in arnica are sesquiterpene lactones, carbonic acid, flavonoids, coumarins, volatile oils, etc., which are quite friendly to skin and provide nourishment to it.
- Helenalin, a member from the sesquiterpene lactone family, and flavonoids in arnica may work together on stressed and damaged skin, thereby making it smoother and rejuvenated.
- The strong antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antiseptic properties of arnica may keep the skin shielded from burns, sun damage, itchiness, infections, vaginitis, frost bites, chilblains, eczema, etc.
- Arnica is also quite helpful in diminishing the appearance of stretch marks.
Benefits of Arnica Oil for Hair
The oil extracted from Arnica flowers is used in commercially available oils, shampoos, and conditioners for treating unwanted scalp conditions, ensuring the growth of hair and boosting its overall beauty significantly. Here are the major benefits of arnica oil for our locks:
1. Treats Hair Loss
Regular scalp massage with arnica oil may help you a lot in fighting hair loss issues. It provides nourishment to the scalp and invigorates it, thereby stimulating hair follicles to support the growth of new hair. The oil, in its highly concentrated form, may even treat severe issues like alopecia efficiently. (5)
2. Reduces Hair Fall
It feeds your hair follicles properly and makes the hair roots stronger. As a result, the elasticity of each and every strand goes higher, which eventually gives you less hair in your brush during combing.
3. Makes Scalp Healthy
It keeps the scalp free from excess oil, sebum, dirt and debris while maintaining its natural health and texture. According to researchers, the oil possesses amazing anti-inflammatory as well as anti-bacterial properties. Therefore, you can stay away from symptoms like dandruff, itchy scalp, infections, etc. while using it.
4. Cures Split Ends
You can get rid of split ends by massaging your scalp with arnica oil regularly. It may strengthen hair fibers from roots to tips by introducing healthy proteins in them, which decreases the appearance of split ends.
5. Prevents Premature Graying
Arnica oil increases the circulation of blood throughout the scalp to a large extent and prevents the premature graying of your hair efficiently.
6. Makes Hair Beautiful
A healthy scalp means a bunch of healthy and strong hair. In other words, arnica oil provides complete nourishment to your hair and makes it thick, soft, smooth, frizz-free, and beautiful.
How to Use Arnica Oil for Hair?
When it comes to treating the hair and the scalp, arnica oil should be used topically for massaging. Take required amount of oil (depending upon the length of your hair) into a bowl and add some coconut oil or almond oil to it. Apply the mixture to your damp scalp evenly. Massage the entire scalp gently by moving your fingertips in small circles at least for 15 minutes. For the best results, do it in the evening or at night right before going to bed. Wash and clean your hair with plain cold water in the next morning. Continue using it at least for 2 months in order to enjoy the results.
You can get a variety of readymade arnica hair oils with 1%-2% of arnica extracts in the market at absolutely reasonable prices. These non-sticky homeopathic formulations that combine several other natural ingredients like coconut oil, sandalwood oil, cinchona, cantharis, etc. with the extracts of the arnica flowers.
Side Effects of Arnica Hair Oil
The topical application of arnica oil is mostly safe for us. However, there may be some possible side effects too. Some common adverse effects of using arnica oil include allergic reactions like hives, itching, runny nose, headaches, inflamed sinuses, breathing problems, etc. Pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers should also not use arnica oil. Make sure that you never ever ingest arnica oil as it is reported to be toxic in nature. It can lead to serious consequences, such as increased heart rate, high blood pressure, etc.
Arnica oil is extracted from the bright yellow flowers of the perennial herb Arnica Montana. Being an extremely versatile herb with numerous potent active compounds, arnica offers plenty of benefits for our health and skin. On the other hand, the oil of arnica acts as a super tonic for our hair by treating hair loss, reducing hair fall, making the scalp healthy, curing split ends, and preventing premature graying. However, you need to be careful about the topical application of the oil as it may cause certain side effects to some people.
Frequently Aske Questions (FAQs)
How Quickly Does Arnica Work?
When it comes to healing scars, bruises, and wounds, arnica can take 2 weeks or longer to work properly.
Is Arnica Oil a Carrier Oil?
Arnica oil can be used along or along with other organic oils. Hence, you can certainly use it as a carrier oil for other essential oils.
Can You Take Too Much Arnica?
Too much intake of arnica may cause serious side effects to our health.
Does Arnica Really Help Spider Veins?
Being an effective remedy for bruises, arnica can also be used to treat as a complementary and alternative therapy for spider veins.
Does Arnica Increase Blood Flow?
Yes, arnica may help boost the flow of blood to different parts of our body through massaging.
- “Arnica montana L. – A Plant of Healing: Review“, onlinelibrary.wiley.com
- “Effectiveness and Safety of Arnica montana in Post-SurgicalSetting, Pain and Inflammation“, Academia.edu
- “Choosing Between NSAID and Arnica for Topical Treatment of Hand Osteoarthritis in a Randomised, Double-Blind Study“, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
- “Perioperative Arnica montana for Reduction of Ecchymosis in Rhinoplasty Surgery“, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
- “Alopecia: Herbal Remedies“, citeseerx.ist.psu.edu