Benefits of Arnica
What is Arnica?
Arnica is a herb that grows in Europe and the U.S. It comes in a variety of species, with the most common one being arnica montana. Arnica is a flowering plant that mainly grows in Siberia and Europe, but may also be found in some parts of North America. The arnica plant usually thrives in places that are 3,000 feet above sea level, and reaches a height of 1 to 2 feet.
I just learnt that dried arnica flowers have been used for various medicinal applications since the 1500s. Swiss mountain guides chew its leaves to prevent fatigue while climbing!
The Healing Properties of Arnica
If eaten, the actual herb can be toxic to the liver and can be fatal. Because of the risk of pure arnica, the FDA classifies it as an unsafe herb. In homeopathy, however, some remedies using arnica are considered safe. It is important to see a trusted homeopath for tinctures infused with arnica as they can work quite well for many things including seasickness.
I have used it topically many times and found it to be quite effective. Arnica can be used in a variety of ways depending on the need. Diluted tinctures of arnica are used in foot baths to soothe sore feet. Arnica oils, creams, and gels are the most common form used to treat sprains, bruises, sore and tired muscles.
Arnica is best known for its capability to help lessen swelling, and helps speed up the healing process of bruises and wounds. Athletes tend to apply it after a tough workout to speed up their recovery.
The active compounds of arnica give it the ability to protect the body against bacterial infections. Be sure not to apply arnica directly on open wounds or broken skin to prevent irritation.
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