Arnica in Traditional MedicineArnica montana, a wildflower that grows in the high mountains of Europe, has likely been used as a healing herb since the Middle Ages1. The first documentation of the use of Arnica as a medicinal plant in Europe dates from the 1500s.
Folklore tells us that humans learned the value of Arnica by observing mountain goats, who would clamber to find the Arnica plant after falling or stumbling. Following the animals’ lead, locals began to apply the herb for bruises, mostly in the form of external salves or steeped in teas. This explains its German name, Fallkraut or “fall herb.”
Many people take over-the-counter painkillers, such as ibuprofen, to help reduce swelling and ease pain. However, these painkillers, known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), reduce the symptoms of swelling without addressing the underlying causes. Homeopathic Arnica montana offers an alternative, holistic remedy for minor swelling, while actually stimulating the body’s healing process.
The body’s natural response to injury is to swell up, sending increased blood flow to the area with plenty of white blood cells to start repairing the damage. You will notice the injured area becomes enlarged and tender. It may also appear red and feel warm to the touch. Swelling is part of your body’s healing process, but it can also be painful.
5 FABULOUS BENEFITS OF ARNICA
One excellent natural remedy for bruises is arnica oil. Simply apply the arnica oil to the bruise twice daily (as long as the bruised skin area is unbroken).
A study out of Northwestern University’s Department of Dermatology found that topical application of arnica was more effective at reducing bruises than low-concentration vitamin K formulations. Researchers identified a number of ingredients in arnica that account for anti-bruising, including some that are caffeine derivatives.
Arnica has been shown in studies to be effective against osteoarthritis, making it an effective natural arthritis treatment. The use of topical products for symptom relief is common when it comes to osteoarthritis. A 2007 study published in Rheumatology International found that topical arnica was as effective as a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug-like ibuprofen in the treatment of osteoarthritis of the hands.
Arnica was also found to be an effective topical treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee. A study out of Switzerland evaluating the safety and efficacy of topical arnica had both men and women apply arnica twice daily for six weeks. The study found that the arnica was a safe, well-tolerated and effective treatment of mild to moderate osteoarthritis of the knee.
Helps Carpal Tunnel
Arnica oil is an excellent natural remedy for carpal tunnel, inflammation of a very small opening just below the base of the wrist. Arnica oil helps with the pain associated with carpal tunnel and ideally can help sufferers to avoid surgery. However, for people who decide to have surgery, studies have shown that arnica can relieve pain after carpal tunnel release surgery.
In a double-blind, randomized comparison of arnica administration versus placebo post-surgery in patients between 1998 and 2002, the participants in the group treated with arnica had a significant reduction in pain after two weeks. Arnica’s potent anti-inflammatory effects make it a smart choice for carpal tunnel syndrome.
Relieves Sprains, Muscle Pain & Other Inflammation
Arnica oil is a potent remedy for various inflammatory and exercise-related injuries. The positive effects of topically applying arnica have proven to be effective in reducing pain, indicators of inflammation and muscle damage, which in turn can improve athletic performance. Study participants who used arnica had less pain and muscle tenderness 72 hours after intense exercise, according to the results published in the European Journal of Sport Science.
Arnica has been used in traditional medicine for everything from hematomas, contusions, sprains and rheumatic diseases to superficial inflammations of the skin. One of the constituents of arnica that makes it such a potent anti-inflammatory is helenalin, a sesquiterpene lactone.
In addition, the thymol found in arnica has been found to be an effective vasodilator of subcutaneous blood capillaries, which helps facilitate the transport of blood and other fluid accumulations and acts as an anti-inflammatory to aid normal healing processes. Arnica oil also stimulates the flow of white blood cells, which process congested blood to help disperse trapped fluid from the muscles, joints and bruised tissue.
Whether you are a man beginning to experience male pattern baldness or a woman seeing more daily hair loss than you would prefer, you might want to try arnica oil as a natural hair treatment. In fact, arnica oil is one of the best secret treatments for reversing hair loss.
A regular scalp massage with arnica oil can provide invigorating nourishment to the scalp, which stimulates hair follicles to support the growth of new and healthy hair. Some claims have even been made that arnica can stimulate the growth of new hair in cases of baldness. You can also look for shampoos, conditioners and other hair products that include arnica oil as one of the ingredients to reap the benefits of arnica oil.
Arnica as a Natural Alternative to NSAIDs
Arnica can ease swelling and related pain from many common minor injuries, from children’s bumps and bruises to athletes’ sore muscles. In conjunction with appropriate medical care, it can aid recovery from other injuries such as strains. Multiple studies have shown Arnica to be an effective treatment in reducing the pain and stiffness of minor arthritis. Many doctors and homeopaths recommend the use of Arnica before and after surgery to reduce swelling, in particular, the unsightly swelling that follows cosmetic surgery.
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Arnica Massage Bars are made with a special blend of Cocoa, Shea and Mango Butters with Coconut Oil for a richly hydrating therapeutic massage application.
Enriched with healing Arnica Oil, Peppermint Essential Oil and Menthol Crystals, this bar helps soothe tired, achy and sore muscles as well as ease joint inflammation and soreness. The menthol crystals offer a slight cooling sensation making this a fabulous post sporting event remedy.
Massage the bar slowly on your sore, trouble spots, and let the heat of your skin gently activate the moisturizing bar and it's properties!
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Arnica is best used on unbroken skin for short periods of time. Do not apply arnica oil to damaged or broken skin because too much arnica can be absorbed and arnica can be toxic if it gets inside the body. Also avoid contact with mucous membranes.
People with hypersensitive skin as well as pregnant and breastfeeding women should refrain from using arnica oil. Arnica oil should always be kept out of the reach of children.