Arnica belongs to the sunflower family. It grows mostly in the temperate regions of western North America.
Traditional Uses of Arnica
In herbal medicine, Arnica is used for relief of bruises, stiffness, and muscle soreness. Arnica is widely used as a salve for bruises and sprains, and sometimes as a tincture, for the same anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving purposes. Preparations made from the flowering heads have been used in homeopathic medicine for hundreds of years. It is popular in Germany and over 100 drug preparations are made from the plant. It is available most commonly in gel form, to be applied to the affected area.
Active Compounds in Arnica
The active components in arnica are sesquiterpene lactones, which are known to reduce inflammation and decrease pain. Other active principals are thymol (an essential oil), flavonoids, inulin, carotenoids and tannins.
Benefits of Arnica
Arnica works by stimulating the activity of white blood cells that perform much of the digestion of congested blood, and by dispersing trapped, disorganized fluids from bumped and bruised tissue, joints and muscles.
Arnica is known to stimulate blood circulation and can raise blood pressure, especially in the coronary arteries. The plant is used externally for arthritis, burns, ulcers, eczema and acne. It has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory qualities that can reduce pain and swelling, improving wound healing.
Toxicity: The internal use of Arnica is not suggested. It can cause vomiting, weakness, increased heart rate and nervous disturbances.
Patients and doctors found homeopathic arnica get to be more effective than ibuprofen gel at easing finger joint pain (Rheumatology Internatioal epub, DO:10.1007/s00296-007-0304-y). The study-planned and performed according to strict international guidelines for studies of multiple osteoarthritis of the fingers-was conducted for nearly a year by 20 medical doctors in Switzerland and included 204 patients with the condition. Participants applied either the arnica gel or ibuprofen gel three times daily to the affective finger joints and completed a detailed questionnaire at their first doctor’s visit and again at the last visit, three weeks later.
Although ibuprofen is established and highly effective active substance, it is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), which is known to cause certain sensitivities in some individuals over a long period of use. Arnica has had a safe history of use a topical product by millions of people. This study shows that there is a solid, efficacious choice out there for people who do not want to use an NSAID topical