Simple Homemade Arnica Salve |

Simple Homemade Arnica Salve

admin April 6, 2015

If you haven’t yet heard of arnica salve (or cream), you’re missing out.

Arnica is an herb — which should only be used externally, by the way — which is excellent for helping to heal bumps and bruises.  It seriously takes the sting out of the average minor injury and can prevent bruising in some cases.  Once, I dropped something on my foot and it really hurt.  Even a half hour later, it was still stinging and hard to walk.  I got my arnica salve, rubbed it on, and in minutes it barely hurt at all.

This is a really awesome thing to keep in your first aid kit for spring and summer.  Kids are more likely to fall when they’re outside a lot, running around.  (Although this shouldn’t be used on broken skin, like scrapes — I’ll share another awesome salve for those injuries later this year.)  This salve actually helps the injury, but it also gives you something to “do” when little ones are very upset about the bump they just received.

**Don’t want to make your own?  Grab some in our store!**

Arnica Salve

Commercial arnica salve, gel, or cream is available.  But it isn’t cheap.  Expect to pay upwards of $10 for a 2 – 4 oz. tube!

I like to keep arnica salve around all the time.  In my purse, the diaper bag, the medicine cabinet, really anywhere I might be.  Just in case.  I can’t afford to spend $40 or more to have this on hand.

But making it is extremely inexpensive.  Arnica flowers are a bit expensive to start (about $8 for 1 oz.) but that bag will last forever.  1 oz. of arnica flowers would probably make you 30 – 40 1 oz. tins.  Some friends and I recently had a DIY night, and I gave each person a small bag with some arnica flowers and beeswax so they could make this at home as a bonus project (we also made 5 different projects together).  If you have a shop near you where you can buy herbs in bulk, you could get a fraction of an ounce for $1 – $2 and still be able to make several tins.

The other ingredients are super simple: olive oil (or any liquid oil you prefer — avocado, sweet almond, apricot, jojoba, etc.) and beeswax.


  • 1 tbsp. arnica flowers
  • 2 oz. olive oil
  • 1.5 tsp. beeswax



Step 1: In a small saucepan over very low heat, mix the arnica flowers and olive oil.  Once it is warm, turn it off.

Step 2: Let this oil mixture sit for 1 – 2 hours.

Step 3: Strain the oil mixture through a piece of cloth (wash cloths work fine), reserving the oil and throwing out the flowers.

Step 4: Pour the oil into a clean, dry saucepan and add the beeswax.  Turn on low heat until the beeswax is melted.

beeswax.2 editjpg

Step 5: Pour the finished salve into 1 2-oz. tin or 2 1-oz. tins, depending on what you prefer.  Two tins lets you keep it in two different places.  You don’t need much at once, so I chose to pour mine into 1-oz. tins (I made a triple batch, which you can see in the pictures.  There are 4 1-oz. tins and 1 2-oz. tin.)

salve tins filled edit

That’s it!  Once the salve is cool, put the lids on and store in a cool, dry place.  (If it melts, it could get messy — like if you leave it in your car in the summer — but it should be fine.  It will just need to re-solidify.)

Use a small amount as needed on bumps and bruises on non-broken skin.  Safe for babies over 6 months.

**Don’t want to make your own?  Grab some in our store!**

How do you treat bumps and bruises?

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  1. Hi there! I’m so excited to make this! I have the oil and beeswax, will be buying the tins and arnica flowers soon! I am wondering how you decided on using for 6 months and older. I just used Hyland’s arnica spray on my 18 month old the other day when she fell and then decided to read on ages and found lots of mix reviews on children. I like this recipe as it doesn’t contain alcohol and is less likely to drip (don’t want it in her eyes and etc). Thanks for your reply and recipe!!!


  2. […] Arnica salve is for bumps, bruises, and swelling.  It helps for minor muscle strains or twists, prevents bruising, and more.  It’s good if you’re hiking and are feeling sore at the end of the day.  It’s also good if little ones trip on the playground and bump their knee (but it shouldn’t be used on broken skin).  Make your own! […]


  3. […] extra sore days, a little arnica is warranted (topically).  A nice cup of chamomile tea might help, too — it relaxes you, so at least […]


  4. […] like this homemade pain cream.  (This recipe uses essential oils — if you prefer, try this homemade arnica salve for pain, which is based on whole herbs and safer for the whole […]


  5. I only have arnica flower extract, I don’t have the actual flowers, would just putting in a tablespoon of arnica extract in the recipe work too?


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Hi, I’m Kate.  I love medical freedom, sharing natural remedies, developing real food recipes, and gentle parenting. My goal is to teach you how to live your life free from Big Pharma, Big Food, and Big Government by learning about herbs, cooking, and sustainable practices.

I’m the author of Natural Remedies for Kids and the owner and lead herbalist at EarthleyI hope you’ll join me on the journey to a free and healthy life!

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