Arnica (Arnica Montana)


 Sore Muscles and Bruising Arnica is an alpine herb with a long history of use in the folk medicine of Russia and the Swiss Alps. Today, many plastic surgeons recommend that their patients use arnica creams to reduce post surgical bruising, and athletes often carry a tube in their gym bags to soothe sore muscles. Arnica oils and creams are one of the best known herbal sports medicines, arnica has dramatic results if used immediately after an injury. Arnica helps speed the healing process by moving waste-bound fluids out and moving cleansing fluids and platelets into the affected area.
Arnica montana is a traditional herbal remedy for topical uses. The oil can be included as a base for creams, gels, liniment and ointment, or applied in diluted form in a compress. In herbal medicine, arnica is often the initial treatment for certain injuries. People have been using arnica for medicinal purposes since the 1500s, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC).

Pain Relief
Topical arnica is beneficial for relieving pain associated with muscle aches, sprains and osteoarthritis, as noted by the UMMC. A study published in "Advances in Therapy" in 2002 looked at patients with mild to moderate osteoarthritis of the knee. Those who had an arnica gel applied twice-daily experienced significant reductions in knee pain and stiffness, along with increases in function, after three weeks. Research published in the April 2007 issue of "Rheumatology International" found the effects of an ibuprofen gel and an arnica gel were comparable in patients with osteoarthritis of the hands.

Inflammation Reduction
Topical arnica is beneficial for treating bruises and insect bites, and for reducing inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis and other conditions. People also use arnica oil to treat swelling of a vein caused by a blood clot (phlebitis) and swelling due to sprains and fractures, according to the UMMC. Research indicates benefits of arnica for reducing postoperative swelling, as explained by the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. A component of arnica called helenalin is the likely reason for the herb's anti-inflammatory and anti-swelling effects.

Skin Ailment Treatment
Arnica has antibacterial properties, making it useful for treating certain skin ailments. People should not use the oil on open wounds because it can be absorbed into the blood. Arnica may be beneficial for treating acne, boils, cuts, scrapes and rashes, and also is included in some herbal dandruff treatments.

Disclaimer: The information presented herein  is intended for educational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


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