Everything You Need to Know About Arnica, part 1

arnica-montanaEveryone has heard of arnica. If you enjoy natural medicine, wellness, or herbs you have heard of arnica. Maybe your doctor recommended it to you before surgery. Maybe a friend told you to take it when you got a bruise. You have probably heard of this herb.

You also probably don’t know many, if any, of the amazing benefits that this herb has to offer you, nor the challenges and safety of using products that are available to you. Are the products available to you even the ones you should be using for your own needs? Over the next few weeks we will be focusing on this herb and going through many of the misconceptions, challenges, and benefits of working with this fabulous herb.

Two years ago I was able to share with you on The Dancing Herbalist Blog the beginnings of my research on arnica. You can view the full article here but I would like to share with you in even more detail about this herb. To start we will discuss the popular uses and some of the safety considerations of working with arnica.

1863ytfxan1fejpgArnica is commonly used for bruises. While there is minimal research that shows any effect from arnica in this area it is still used as such. Often arnica is used as a homeopathic remedy either topically or as pastilles in the mouth. Many doctors will recommend using the pastilles before surgery and a cream after to prevent bruising.

It can be used at a full strength herbal product both topically and internally with great care. There is a significant danger to using a full strength arnica tincture internally and it should be done only with the direct care of an herbalist or other qualified health practitioner.

Topical use of a full strength arnica product is wonderful and is often recommended for individuals with musculoskeletal challenges. It is also often used by athletes to prevent delayed onset muscle soreness and is considered to be as effective as NSAIDs at relieving osteoarthritis symptoms. Some of the safety considerations with topical, full strength arnica include irritation due to allergies to plants in the aster family. This is common and use should be discontinued with this allergy.

e5f453_ad72e45db4dd49ef9eb1778d7b678f61Other sensitivity can occur using arnica topically at a full strength. The main molecules in arnica promote the breakdown of skin cells to be absorbed more effectively into the body. This irritation can be problematic when too much is applied. A rug burn like sensation may be experienced. In this case, use of arnica should just be reduced to prevent the irritation.

The Dancing Herbalist is a topical herbal products company with products designed to support you in creating wellness for a moving lifestyle. Please visit our herbal products page and explore more information about our full strength arnica cream. Be sure to subscribe to our blog to continue to receive updates on arnica uses and safety along with other herbs to support your wellness.

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