Arnica is also commonly called leopard’s bane. It is a bright yellow, daisy-like flower that blooms during the summer months. Preparations made from this flower have been used in homeopathic medicine for hundreds of years. It is most popular in Europe with over 100 drug preparations made from the plant.
The active components in arnica are sesquiterpene lactones, which are known to reduce inflammation and decrease pain. Other active principals are thymol (an essential oil), flavonoids, inulin, carotenoids and tannins.
Arnica works by stimulating the activity of white blood cells that perform much of the digestion of congested blood, and by dispersing trapped, disorganized fluids from bumped and bruised tissue, joints and muscles.
Claims and Common Uses:
- Beneficial in relieving irritations of the skin.
- Aids in the treatment of muscle aches and cartilage pain.
- Has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce pain and swelling and improve wound healing
- Used externally for the relief of arthritis, burns, blood blisters, ulcers, eczema, acne, sprains and bruises
- Applied as a salve for chapped lips and irritated nostrils.
Part Used: whole top growth, especially the flowers; extract of the blossoms
Preparations: Arnica is available over the counter in various potencies, in both tablet and liquid form
Side Effects and Warnings of Arnica:
- Do not take arnica internally unless it is under the supervision of your doctor, it is poisonous and not for self-medication, as the plant may be toxic and cause skin irritations.
- Internal consumption can cause vomiting, weakness, high blood pressure, increased heart rate and nervous disturbances.
- Never apply arnica on broken skin. If further irritation develops, discontinue use.