Where does arnica come from? 

Arnica is a botanically-based topical enhancing ingredient popular in holistic remedies for it’s amazing benefits in skincare and pain relief. A typical arnica cream formulation’s active ingredient, arnica, is derived from the yellow flowers of the herb, Arnica Montana. It is native to the central and northern European highlands and recognized in the European culture for its medicinal properties. The herb can also be found in Siberia and temperate climates in North America. 

Arnica plants are very low maintenance. They do, however, require quite a bit of light but prefer some afternoon shade in hot climates. 


Why do people use arnica in skincare topicals? 

Arnica’s history of being used for medicinal use goes all the way back to the 1500s. Arnica cream and salve were, and still are, most commonly used for pain. People rave about its ability to minimize the pain of a sprain or decrease swelling. Many women swear by arnica during labor to ease contractions, too. Other common reasons to use arnica creams and salves include easing sore muscles after a workout, minimizing the pain of arthritis, and to reduce bruising.  

The science behind arnica cream and salve

Poison Control does warn that arnica can be poisonous when ingested in large amounts. Arnica cream is not designed to be ingested, so there is no risk when using a topical cream. Arnica is available in homeopathic tablets that are diluted to reach a safe point of ingestion. Poison Control warns, “Arnica tablets should not be taken with other medications or herbal products that can thin the blood like aspirin, clopidogrel, warfarin, enoxaparin, apixaban, dabigatran, rivaroxaban, ginger, garlic, or ginseng, to name a few. If you are taking Arnica and you have an upcoming surgery, let your surgeon know and stop taking the Arnica at least 2 weeks before the procedure. If you aren’t sure if it is safe to take Arnica with your daily medications, ask your pharmacist to check for interactions.”

A 2002 study explored the use of arnica being applied topically in order to relieve osteoarthritis in the knee. The study notes, “Scores on the pain, stiffness, and function subscales also showed significant reductions at these timepoints. The overall local adverse-event rate of 7.6% included only one allergic reaction. Sixty-nine patients (87%) rated the tolerability of the gel as “good” or “fairly good,” and 76% would use it again. Topical application of Arnica montana gel for 6 weeks was a safe, well-tolerated, and effective treatment of mild to moderate OA of the knee.”

Producing arnica skincare formulations comes with great potential 

According to a report presented by Grandview Research, “The global complementary and alternative medicine market size is projected to reach USD 296.3 billion by 2027, exhibiting a CAGR of 19.9%. A comparatively high demand for alternative medicine across developing countries and expanding applications of traditional medicine practiced in Asia are two key driving factors of the market.” This includes arnica cream and other arnica derivatives. 

The report also says “Europe is expected to account for the highest revenue throughout the forecast period followed by the Asia Pacific region. Wide acceptance of alternative treatment approaches and rising patient preference toward the same is boosting the regional market for complementary and alternative medicine.”

Woman dispensing arnica cream on hands to use topically
Image by AdoreBeautyNZ from Pixabay

Securing your spot in the crowded alternative therapy space

There are a few key factors to establish alternative medicinal products that generate revenue. One of them is jumping into the alternative medicine market before the “boom.” Customers will take note of the fact that your brand was in production before it became the thing to do, creating a stronger sense of trust in you from your consumers. This will also allow your brand to identify industry patterns and come better prepared when the market begins to rapidly increase in competition and potential revenue. 

Another key factor, and potentially the most important one, is partnering with a product manufacturing company with experience in the consumer packaged goods industry, and specifically, the botanical industry. E5 Chem brings decades of experience in the CPG industry. We are fully prepared to navigate the waves that might come with producing a product in the alternative therapy space. 

You must also ensure that the partner you select is committed to high-quality ingredients. In the botanical extract space especially, high-quality ingredients are one of the most important factors in the consumer’s decision to purchase a product. E5 third-party tests each extract for cannabinoids in CBD products, solvents, pesticides, and heavy metals to ensure your product has only the best ingredients. Our proprietary extraction methods also ensure the stability, freshness, and quality of these ingredients. 

For more information on our processes and philosophies, download our free information pack.