Arnica – The Story of Centuries of Healing
Arnica goes by many names (Leopard’s Bane, Mountain Daisy, Wolfsbane, and European Arnica) but one thing is for sure- it’s been used as a healing remedy for centuries. There is confusion over where and when Arnica was first used. Some say a nun in 12th century Germany spread the word of it’s healing properties. Others say it was a popular folk remedy dating back to the 16th century. There are also claims that Arnica flowers were used in Russia and indigenous tribes in North America. In any case, this perennial flower grows its yellow orange flowers in July and August in the hills and mountains of Northern and Central Europe, Siberia, and in Northwestern United States. Arnica looks like a two-foot daisy.
Traditionally, Arnica leaves were dried and smoked. Today, the common method is using an oil or lotion and rubbing it on the injuries. The blossoms are picked and laid out to dry. The dried buds are then soaked in a carrier oil. The mixture is drained after 6 weeks which results in an infused oil. The oil is too potent to use without diluting into a cream or adding additional oil. This carrier oil along with or without essential oils are used to make healing creams, bath salts, and other body care products.
What does it help with?
As one of the most popular homeopathic remedies, Arnica is used to relieve pain, swelling, minor injuries from surgery, joint pain, bruises, aches, sprains, and inflammation. Arnica has both anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. It can safely be used to heal inflammation from insect bites and poison ivy. It is also used to reduce trauma to soft tissue and helps with rheumatic and joint pain. It makes an excellent massage oil for sport injuries and sore muscles while reducing bruising and relaxing muscles. As a plant-based remedy, athletes benefit from its non-drug quality. Sport enthusiast use Arnica to recover from injured muscles, sprains, and swelling following strenuous workouts and competitions. In many countries plastic surgeons recommend Arnica to their patients to heal bruising and swelling following cosmetic procedures (external use only).
Arnica can be used with other medicines and has a low risk of side effects. However, Arnica should not be used by pregnant women. Arnica should not be used in on broken skin and open wounds. Arnica should not be taken in large quantities as this can cause side effects such as diarrhea and vomiting. Do not take internally unless the product labeling specifically say’s you can.
Arnica is a great natural healing remedy that is used by some on a daily basis to ease chronic pain. With very little downside it’s worth trying anytime you have closed wound injury. If you enjoy natural products, watch for this amazing ingredient.