Basic Information About Arnica

What is Arnica? Why are they used for and why are they popular? These are many questions people commonly ask about Arnica montana.

Arnica is one of the most popular homeopathic remedies in the United States today, and it is usually found in homeopathic first aid kits as an anti-pain remedy and anti-inflammatory topical ointment.

Arnica: What is it?

Arnica montana, commonly called leopard's bane is a perennial herb that grows in Central Europe. It grows a bright yellow Arnica flower which could be toxic if taken internally. They are processed and turned into homeopathic tinctures, creams, pellets, gels, oils and sprays.

What is arnica used for?

Herbal arnica, different from the arnica used in homeopathy, usually consists of concentrated plant material which is much stronger and potentially dangerous. Used externally, the herbal arnica topical creams and ointments are used for relief of pain and inflammation caused by conditions such as strains, arthritis, sprains and gout. It has also been reported that arnica has the ability to relieve herpes symptoms such as cold sores while others claim that it kills the herpes virus. Arnica is also found in scar creams for promoting scar healing and reduction. It is also infused in oils and sold as massage oils.

Internally, on the other hand, Arnica is used as a remedy in homeopathy. Arnica preparations are usually taken after surgery to reduce pain and swelling, for alleviating acute sprains and strains, and for bruise relief. It is also used to manage the pain before and after labour and delivery, as well as to lessen trauma.

What is arnica tablets used for?

Arnica is commonly sold commercially in tablet or cream form. Arnica tablets have been widely used as supplementary homeopathic treatment for bruises, strains and sprains, for pre- and post-operative care, for muscular pain, and for shock and trauma, among others.

Note: Some Arnica found in the market is Mexican arnica, which is taken from the plant called Heterothica inuloides, which is not the true Arnica montana plant, and is not effective in relieving pain or inflammation.

Arnica and Bursitis

Arnica has also been seen to be effective in the treatment of bursitis. Bursitis is an inflammation of the bursae, which are fluid filled sacs found between the bones and the tendons and muscles near the joints. Application of the arnica gel on to the skin has been seen to excellently give pain relief. This homeopathic remedy is usually coupled with the intake of proteolytic enzymes such as bromelain to reduce the inflammation.

How does Arnica Work?

Arnica stimulates white blood cell activity which consequently leads to the dispersion of congested blood and trapped fluids from the muscles and jointed as well as bruised tissue. It also has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory abilities that help in the reduction of pain and swelling and improve faster wound healing.

Arnica and Pregnancy

Though arnica is widely used to relieve pains during labor, arnica is not recommended for use during pregnancy as concentrated amounts can stimulate the uterus to contract.

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