Do you have a staple in your medicine cabinet that is your go-to remedy for a variety of ailments? In our family, it’s arnica. We use arnica for many different maladies and it has worked wonders for us.
Arnica comes from the wolf’s bane plant. It is also referred to as leopard’s bane, mountain tobacco and mountain arnica. This is what the flower looks like.
Arnica is used to reduce inflammation due to injury, sprains or strains. I have read that it can also aid in regenerating tissue. It can treat wounds, bruises, arthritis and other inflammatory issues. It aids in circulation and can be applied directly on the skin or taken internally.
How We Have Used Arnica
My husband was in a serious car accident about 6 years ago and had broken ribs and major bruising across his abdomen. During his healing process, he applied arnica to the bruised areas. However, as a bit of an experiment, he didn’t apply it to all of the bruised tissue. Remarkably, the area on which he applied the arnica was healing 2 to 3 times faster than the other area. It was no longer black and purple while the other side remained bruised and sensitive to the touch for a much longer time.
We used arnica recently on our 2 year old who had a fairly serious burn on her hand. She came with me to an event and she began playing with some children at a hot water dispenser. There was no safety on the dispenser and while she and another girl were touching it, her hand became scalded. Most of the burned area was red but she had some blisters, as well. We treated her immediately with cold water, a pain reliever and copious amounts of arnica gel. Her pain was gone by the next day and the redness was gone a few days later. She had no scarring whatsoever.
A Complement To Other Treatments
There have been studies conducted on patients undergoing surgery and they found that the patients who had taken arnica internally had reduced swelling and faster rates of healing as opposed to the patients who were given a placebo. The internal arnica comes in a homeopathic pill form that looks like this:
Arnica can also be used by arthritis patients who have been known to have a significant reduction in stiffness and swelling when using arnica along with their other treatment protocols.
Athletes Can Also Benefit
If you are very active in sports or just do your best to keep yourself fit, you know what it feels like after a long session of strenuous exercise. You hurt! You can combat the soreness of that lactic acid buildup with arnica. Studies have shown that marathon runners who had taken arnica had less muscle soreness.
Warnings For Usage
As with any treatment, use common sense and caution. The gel should not be taken internally because the active ingredient helenalin is toxic and very dangerous for the heart. Extensive topical use can result in eczema. And, while homeopathic medicines are extremely diluted, it is wise to consult with a homeopathic physician before taking any homeopathic medication.
If used appropriately and safely, this is a wonderful natural treatment for a variety of problems. We’ve found it to be really effective.
Live well and be happy!