Arnica: A Herbal Treatment For Bruises And Arthritis

Closeup photo of yellow arnica
Copyright: mch67 / 123RF Stock Photo

Arnica grows in the mountains of Europe, Russia and North America. Mountaineers in the Alps were the first known users of Arnica on their tired and aching legs. The plant is actually a member of the sunflower family and with its deep-rooted, erect stem and downy yellow leaves its easy to see why. The seeds and preparations made from it are one of the best known ‘natural’ treatments for bruising and muscle damage. If applied quickly, it is claimed to improve the processing of congested ‘bruised’ blood from the area and also has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties to reduce pain and swelling.

Availability Of Arnica

Arnica dried seeds on a white background.
 

Purchase the organic, dried seeds from herbalists and whole food shops either in 50g or 100g amounts.

Uses Of Arnica

Not to be used internally (ingested)!

  • Bruises, sprains and aches
  • Muscle recovery
  • Rheumatism and joint pain
  • General healing of the body

Preparation

For best results apply immediately after an injury. It is often applied as an infusion to spray on the skin for aches and sprains (1 teaspoon dried herbs in half cup of water). Dilute a tincture for use in a bath or a foot bath (30g dried flower preserved in one cup of food grade alcohol) or as an infused oil (30g of dried flowers preserved in half a cup of oil). Arnica oils and creams are used topically to treat sprains, bruises, and muscle pain.

Cautionary Information

  • The herb should not be taken internally because it can irritate the stomach. Arnica montana contains a toxin, known as helanin, which if consumed in large amounts can cause gastroenteritis and bleeding of the digestive tract.
  • Contact with the plant itself can be irritating to the skin

Products Containing Arnica Extracts

Arnica extract makes a valuable addition to compositions such as bath products and creams. Kneipp® Herbal Bath Joint & Muscle is a product for adding to the bath which is stated to soothe and invigorate the body. It contains a valuable arnica extract and natural essential oils of cabreuva, rosemary and various pine species. Napiers’ Arnica Plus Emergency Cream also contains Witch Hazel and Comfrey. This is marketed as a cooling, soothing skin cream. Weleda produce an Arnica Bumps And Bruises Spray which contains organic arnica. It is described as a first aid essential for bumps and bruises, stiff muscles and minor sports injuries. Safe for everyone to use.

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The products and the information provided about specific products on or through this site have not been evaluated by the United States Food and Drug Administration or by any other national regulatory body and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. The information provided on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician/doctor or other health care professional or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. You should not use the information on this site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problems or for prescription of any medication or other treatment. You should consult with a healthcare professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication or if you suspect you might have a health problem. 

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