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Hobby Corner: Arnica Oil Infused Salve for Muscle Pain

Originally posted September 25, 2018.

Arnica Oil Infused Salve for Muscle Pain

My work can be very analytical and intense, so I offset this by exercise and engaging in pleasant hobbies.

Here’s another easy remedy for you to make for simple comfort in everyday life. Make this salve for use in your home and to give to friends, too! Making salves with plant essences is a lot like cooking. So, if you like to cook as a hobby this is a meditative fun way to pass a rainy day at home!

First, get your stuff together and get ready to cook!


10 drops Sweet Orange

15 drops Lavender

5 drops Sandalwood

Arnica oil is applied to the skin for muscle and arthritic pain. One study has shown that applying arnica oil to arthritic areas twice a day for three weeks reduces pain.

Safety Warning:

NEVER use essential oils on your skin undiluted! They are very concentrated and must be mixed with a carrier oil such as the ones listed above!

Use this salve sparingly, only a nickel size, once or twice a day, as the ingredients are concentrate. Also, first test your salve out on a small skin patch, wait 24 hours, and see how your skin reacts before rubbing it over a wider area.

Roman Chamomile is known to relieve inflammation and to alleviate muscle pain has calming and soothing properties.

Sweet orange is known to be mood uplifting, to support digestion and has a nice, light scent.

Lavender is known to be calming and relaxing and reduces inflammation.

Sandalwood has anti-inflammatory properties and is a good deep base note to balance out the lighter floral scents in this mix.

I love the emotional energy of flower essences and I always add a few drops of flower essence for energetic emotional support as part of my formulas.

Some suggestions for flower essences for emotional support when dealing with pain are listed below. Just a drop of which ever flower essences you choose are enough enhance your formula.

Arnica – Reduces feelings of fear shock and trauma

Calendula (Mary’s Flower) – maternal warmth and compassion

Cherry Plum – reducing acute tension and stress, balancing rigidity

Holly – Supports feelings of inclusiveness and and unity, reduces feelings of rage and separateness

Mimulus – Helps reduce feelings of basic fear

Rock Rose – helps one work through feelings of being frozen with fear

Star of Bethlehem– Need for healing and emotional balance

And of course, there’s the well known Five Flower Formula or Rescue Remedy, which are said to help with feelings of shock, pain and trauma

Other useful objects for this project!

Glass double boiler (or you can just put a heat proof bowl in a pot)

Glass stirrer (I had some old bar stirrers in my kitchen drawer!)

Glass jars to pour the salve into when it’s ready!

If you are sensitive to essential oils, use a small fan to keep the air moving around you as you work

Let’s start!

Wash your double boiler and glass jars in the dishwasher to sanitize them. I got an old-fashioned glass double boiler on Ebay for $9.99 and I love it! I used a silicone heart damped muffin pan for this project.

Line up your glass jars at the ready for pouring the mixture in! You don’t want to be stuck with a fresh, warm salve and no place to put it! That would be a drag!

Time for fun!

It’s like cooking, so don’t step away from your project and accidentally overcook it!

Melt the beeswax, stirring occasionally

Put in the shea butter, let it melt, too.

Put in the arnica oil.

Stir in the vitamin E oil.

Take the mixture off the heat.

Add the essential oil drops and stir!

Pour the mixture into the jars, let it cool and harden overnight and it’s

it’s ready for giving as gifts to your friends and family!

It’s not like commercial salves, that just immediately soak in.

It’s kinda greasy, but it will eventually soak into your skin if you just wait a bit.

Essential Oil Safety: Sensitivity

Some notes about the strength of the formula:

I tend to be sensitive to essential oils, so I use a 1% dilution measurement, which is less less than a 2% dilution, which is what’s considered a therapeutic amount of essential oils for a healthy adult.

A 2% dilution is 12 drops of oil to 1 ounce of carrier oil, so I should have used 84 drops total of oils, but I only used around 40 drops total.

Even the 40 drops might be too strong of a fragrance for some people, so as you are cooking your formula, just keep your nose tuned to how you feel.

To those who are sensitive to carriers and essential oils, here’s a hint from Liz Fulcher, Clinical Aromatherapist, Director of the Aromatic Wisdom Institute. She says to use a small fan when creating homemade salves at home and to take things slow, using one oil at a time to see how you react. Good advice!

Also, when using the salve, test it out on a small area first, wait 24 hours, and see how your skin reacts before going all out and rubbing it over a wider area.

Have fun!


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