The Genuine Arnica

When I am not in the clinic, I can usually be found strapped to a pair of rollerskates playing roller derby. This means that I get to spend many of my evenings, beating up and getting beat up on by some of my best friends. Needless to say, muscle aches and bruises are a constant in my life. I used to reach for homeopathic arnica which can be found in any health food store. Arnica flowers have been used for centuries as a medicinal to help with reducing the swelling and pain of bruises, sprains, and muscle/joint problems.


I started to realize that homeopathic arnica was not cutting it for me. Homeopathic remedies are created by repeatedly diluting the source material. Dilution usually continues well past the point where none of the source material is present. I didn't want the diluted stuff, I wanted the real deal! I love arnica, but I wanted something that was more potent. In my search for a reliable source for some arnica to ease my own bruises, I found a herbalist who grows his arnica right here in Santa Cruz and bottles it in his herb workshop. My favorite thing about this oil is that you can actually see the plant material floating in the oil and smell the medical qualities of the source material. No dilution here!

I mix in a good serving of mugwort oil (also known as moxa) . Mugwort is a warming herb that penetrates into the channels and invigorates qi and blood. Essential for any sort of healing from traumatic injury. BAM! The perfect concoction for a derby girl (or maybe just for someone who is clumsy!). 

Patterns to use mugwort + arnica oil on: 

  • bruises
  • muscle aches
  • menstrual cramping
  • post-surgery rehab
  • post-injury rehab
  • mouthwash for mouth ulcers or swollen gums (do not ingest!) 

You don't need an appointment to pick up some healing oils for yourself. But you should treat yourself to an acupuncture treatment. Especially since I've got a groupon out now!