Arnica montanaor, as it is more commonly called, Arnica, is an extremely popular ingredient in a variety of medications that soothe pain and reduce soreness in muscles and the inflammation associated with muscle strain. It is also called 'mountain tobacco' and 'leopard's bane' in different parts of the country and the world.
The huge popularity of Arnica montana is demonstrated by the number of nations who use it regularly and the different forms in which one can purchase the product. Europeans, Native Americans, East Asians alike all recognize the benefits of Arnica montana. You may find Arnica in applications that include ointments, salves, tinctures, liniments, and creams.
Notice that all of these applications are external, or topical, in nature. Though it is possible to take Arnica internally as a tea or an injection, it can be extremely dangerous and is only advised under the watchful care of a physician. Only a few types of heart disorders are conditions, which would warrant internal use. As the side effects can be severe, this may be considered as a last result.
The number of health problems that benefit from use of topical Arnica usage are many. Some include sprains, superficial phlebitis or vein swelling, insect bites, Bruises, muscle and joint issues, and in the form of mouthwash it helps decrease the swelling in gums and the prevalence of ulcers in the mouth. Thought it is not documented, some have reported that usage of Arnica has alleviated the symptoms of Epilepsy, seasickness, rheumatic pain, acne, senile Heart disease, coronary artery disease, Angina, and increases the rate of wound healing. It has also been said to stimulate hair growth when applied directly to the scalp.
Arnica is an herbal plant that grows perennially up to one or two feet in height. The stems are round and furry with flowers two to three inches across at the tops. The leaves are green with tiny sharp points along the edges and the flowers are yellowish orange. Native to Central European and Siberian mountain pastures and woodland areas, it can also be found in England, Southern Scotland, and North America.
Arnica's constituents, or the principles found in the herb, are what gives it its potency. The primary constituent is arnicin, which can be described as bitter, crystal-like in consistence, and unstable oil, found mostly in the flower heads. Phulin and tannin are next in line as major principles of Arnica, and found in the rhizome. Other constituents include resin, flavanoids, polysaccharides, lactones, mucilage, and resin. The roots and flower heads, both dried and fresh, are mined for these qualities and used in medicinal compounds.
Arnica is best purchased, but it can be grown as well. It grows best from a seed or from a root division in a peat, loam and sand mix. At harvest, collect the full flower head and allow it to dry. Roots are best collected in the fall after the leaves have died. As for purchasing, depending upon the brand of capsule, Tincture, cream, et cetera chosen, there may be dangerous additives. A good amount of research is necessary before purchasing any Arnica products, and always, always be sure to follow the directions on the bottle or box exactly as stated.
No matter what the problem it is not advisable for children to ingest Arnica internally. It is just fine, however, for children to use topical applications of Arnica for Bruises, swelling due to sprain, and muscle pain. Follow the directions on the package as necessary or ask a licensed homeopath for the correct dosage or appropriate number of applications per day for children.
It's simple enough to create your own topical applications with Arnica oil. First, make a Tincture by diluting ten drops of Arnica oil in 70 percent ethanol alcohol. For mouthwash, dilute this Tincture with ten times the amount of water – this is not to be swallowed. Just swish and spit.
For poultices or compresses, dilute the Tincture with three to ten times the amount of water. Ointments or creams have a four or five to one ratio of Tincture – or no more than 15 percent of Arnica oil – using vegetable oil as a base.
There are a few precautions to follow when using Arnica, no matter what form you choose. For the most part, Arnica is safe. Some people react badly, however, presenting with irritated or inflamed skin, Blisters, peeling, or Eczema. Avoid applying Arnica solutions to broken skin or to anyone with an allergy to the herb.
Though there are no documented contraindications or negative reactions with other herbs or medicines, either prescribed or over the counter, there are some side effects. Some possible side effects include irregularities of heartbeat, shaking, dizziness, nausea, redness or inflamed skin, irritated skin. If any of these are noticed then discontinue use immediately and if they persist, then consult a physician. Most topical solutions, however, have such a minimal amount of the herb that side effects are extremely rare. And as always, those who are pregnant or breastfeeding should consult with their doctor before beginning the use of any medicine, herbal or traditional.
Where Arnica grows naturally, it has always been commonly used for its healing properties. Trauma to muscles through over exertion or injury has found a remedy through the application of Arnica for centuries. After pregnancy, women may find relief in the herb, especially for their stomach muscles. This multi-dimensional herb may help even emotional trauma and Depression as well as poor blood Circulation and incontinence.
It is important to note that none of these claims have been documented or confirmed by the FDA and no information included herein should be construed as medical advice. If there is an overdose of Arnica or a child swallows any amount, call poison control. Remember that Arnica as an essential oil will not dilute in water, but when taken orally must be taken with at least a full cup of water to mitigate irritation to stomach lining and tissue.comment be the first to comment