Arnica: An All-natural Healing Agent

Did You Know… 

… that arnica is an all-natural solution for arthritis pain, muscle aches and stiffness, and accelerated wound healing?

Arnica is an herbal remedy made from the petals of the Arnica Montana plant, which is indigenous to the mountainous regions of Europe and North America.  It’s been used as a medicinal remedy as far back as the 16th century, and for good reason.  Research shows that when applied topically, arnica relieves pain, tension, and swelling and even accelerates wound healing, eases the sting of bug bites, and prevents and/or reduces bruising.

Arnica for Arthritis 

Arnica has proven especially successful at soothing arthritis symptoms.  Results from a 2007 study made up of 240 osteoarthritis sufferers showed that an arnica gel preparation delivered the same relief as daily ibuprofen.  That’s especially good news considering the serious risks associated with continuous ibuprofen use!

Other research demonstrates arnica’s healing powers as well, including…

  A significant finding that arnica gel applied twice a day for 3–4 weeks significantly reduced pain and stiffness in arthritic knees as well as revived function, flexibility, and mobility.

  A 2006 study of 227 adults undergoing arthroscopic surgery suggested that a homeopathic solution of arnica reduced postoperative swelling.

  More recent research points to arnica as a possible aid in the treatment of burns.  Arnica helps generate granular tissue, which accelerates the healing of burns (including sunburns), abrasions, eczema, and certain skin cancers.  Arnica also stimulates circulation and directs blood flow to the wound, thereby speeding up the healing process.

The Secret Ingredient Behind the Healing

     Arnica owes much of its medicinal potency to thymol—an antimicrobial, antifungal, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory substance.  Researchers theorize that with the help of thymol derivatives, arnica is able to soothe joint pain, inflammation, and swelling.

How to Apply 

Arnica is widely available as a topical cream and ointment to be applied directly to skin.  Arnica can also be used in tincture form as a base for compresses and poultices.  Rub arnica directly on joints, muscles, bruises, and bites for immediate relief.  Test a patch of skin to make sure you are not allergic.  Prolonged use of arnica may trigger an allergic reaction or cause irritation, including blisters, peeling, and eczema.

Homeopathic Arnica 

Experts warn that you must never ingest arnica unless it is as an extremely diluted, commercially available homeopathic remedy.  When taken internally, arnica can cause dizziness, vomiting, heart conditions, tremors, and in some instances death!  However, as a homeopathic treatment, arnica has demonstrated effectiveness against bronchitis, influenza, cystitis, and kidney infections.  Homeopathic arnica can also be used for…

  • backaches
  • carpal tunnel syndrome
  • eczema
  • fibromyalgia
  • headaches
  • hemorrhoids
  • migraines
  • arthritis

     Homeopathic use of arnica should be under the supervision of a physician or other licensed healthcare practitioner.