Arnica Health Benefits

Arnica Health benefits, Side Effects

What is Arnica common Arnica is a plant native to northern hemisphere used as medicine since antiquity.
Arnica Health Benefits in folkloric herbal medicine and homeopathy arnica is used to treat bruises, rashes, sprains, pains, acne, boils and other skin wounds

Arnica Montana Flower

Arnica Side effects and warnings. Arnica is considered poison when taken at large amounts. Side effects include irritation of the mouth, throat and digestive tract, increased heart rate ...

What is Arnica

Scientific names: Arnica montana L.

Other Names: Arnica, , Arnica montana, Bergwohlverieih, Doronic d’Allemagne, Fleurs d'Arnica, Herbe aux Chutes, Leopard's Bane, Mountain Tobacco, Plantin des Alpes, Wolf's Bane, Wundkraut.

What is Arnica?

Arnica is a plant native to the mountainous regions of Europe and can be found in temperate regions of northern United States and other areas with similar climate condition. The name Arnica may have come from the Greek word “arna” meaning “lamb” due to its soft and hairy leaves.  Arnica has value in folkloric herbal medicine and homeopathy as treatment for bruises, rashes, sprains, pains, acne, boils and other skin wounds. Although there are no sufficient scientific evidence for the analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties of arnica, its traditional use is still widely accepted.

Arnica Montana

Arnica (Arnica Montana) is an herbaceous perennial plant belonging to the sunflower family (Asteraceae) that grows from 20 cm to 60 cm in height, erect, usually supporting a single flower head. Arnica flower is daisy-like, bright yellow or orange in color, with long ray florets and numerous disc florets.  The oval-shaped leaves are opposite, forming a basal rosette close to the soil surface. Arnica has a seed like fruit with white or pale tan bristles. Arnica flowers have a distinct aromatic odor while the leaves give off a pine sage scent when bruised.

Traditional Health Benefits of Arnica

Arnica montana has long been used medicinally for centuries for the following conditions.

  • Acne
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Arthritis
  • Body acbes
  • Boils
  • Bruises
  • Bursitis
  • Chapped lips.
  • Cold Sores
  • Eczema
  • Gout
  • Hair growth
  • Herpes
  • Insect bites
  • Joint pain
  • Muscle pain.
  • Scar healing
  • Sore throats.
  • Sprains
  • Strains
  • Swelling

In homeopathy, Arnica preparations are used to treat the following conditions.

  • Angina
  • Anxiety
  • Chest pain
  • Chicken pox
  • Concussion
  • Epilepsy
  • Flu
  • Hemorrhage
  • Hoarseness
  • Incontinence
  • Kidney stones
  • Motion sickness
  • Nose bleeding
  • Post-surgery pain
  • Restlessness
  • Shock
  • Sore lymph glands
  • Spasms
  • Tonsillitis
  • Tooth extraction
  • Trauma
  • Vomiting blood

Scientific Studies of Arnica Health Benefits

Arnica health benefits on performance, pain and muscle damage

In a study done in National Institute of Sport Studies , University of Canberra , Australia as published in European  Journal of Sport Science, August  16, 2013, the effects of topical Arnica was investigated if it can reduce pain, inflammation and muscle damage in well trained males experiencing delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). Results have shown that the application of topical Arnica immediately after intense exercise and for the following 96 hours  did not affect any performance assessments or markers of muscle damage or inflammation. It did however demonstrate the possibility of providing pain relief three days post-eccentric exercise.


Health Benefits of Orally Administered Arnica to Mitochondrial Oxidative Stress

In a study done in the Fundação Hermínio Ometto, Uniararas, Araras, Brazil, The effects of homeopathic Arnica on mitochondrial oxidative stress induced by Ca(2+) plus inorganic phosphate and/or Fe(2+)-citrate-mediated lipid peroxidation was analysed in adult Wistar rats.  Results have shown that  Arnica inhibited lipid peroxidation of mitochondrial membranes and there was a significant decrease in mitochondrial O(2) consumption compared to control animals. The study as published in the Journal of Homeopathy, January 2013 concluded that orally administered Arnica 30cH protects against hepatic mitochondrial membrane permeabilization induced by Ca(2+) and/or Fe(2+)-citrate-mediated lipid peroxidation and fragmentation of proteins due to the attack by reactive oxygen species in Wistar rats.


Arnica Montana Health Benefits for Ecchymosis - Disproved

The Journal of Ophthalmic Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, November 2010, reported a study on the wide spread use of homeopathic preparations of Arnica montana for reduction of postsurgical ecchymosis. The authors evaluate the efficacy of Arnica Montana after upper eyelid blepharoplasty and has found that there was no statistically significant difference in area of ecchymosis or rank order of ecchymosis severity for days 3 and 7 after treatment with Arnica montana versus placebo.


Arnica Montana Anti-inflammatory Health Benefits – Disproved.

The British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, February 2010, reported that the widely popular homoeopathic treatment with potential haemostatic and anti-inflammatory properties of Arnica Montana has no effect on bleeding, inflammation, and ischaemia after aortic valve surgery. The experiment conducted on 92 adult patients showed that there was no significant statistical difference between homoeopathy and placebo groups, thus it was concluded that homoeopathic treatment of Arnica Montana does not improve bleeding, inflammation, pain or myocardial ischaemia.


Antioxidant and Cytoprotective activities of Arnica montana L. and Artemisia absinthium L. ethanolic extracts.

The Department of Cellular and Molecular Biology, National Institute of Research and Development for Biological Sciences, Bucharest, Romania, has conducted an experiment to evaluate the chemical composition, antioxidant activity and protective effect against H2O2-induced oxidative stress in a mouse fibroblast-like NCTC cell line. The study which was published in Chemistry Central Journal. Spetmeber 2012, suggested that Arnica montana and Arnica absinthium extracts, rich in flavonoids and phenolic acids, posses good antioxidant activity and cytoprotective effect against oxidative damage in fibroblast-like cells. These results provide scientific support for the traditional use of A. montana and A. absinthium in treatment of skin disorders.


Efficacy of Arnica Echinacea powder in umbilical cord care in a large cohort study.

The Department of Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Reproductive Medicine, University of Siena, Italy, conducted an experiment to test the effects and the efficacy of arnica echinacea powder in umbilical cord care by evaluating the time of cord detachment and the risk of side effects in a large cohort of newborns.

Results have demonstrated the efficacy and the safety of arnica echinacea in umbilical cord separation. No infections or even bacterial colonizations were found. In conclusion due to its potential benefits, low cost and feasibility, the study recommend the use of arnica echinacea powder as routine procedure in all nurseries. (J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2012).

Arnica Side Effects and Warnings

Arnica is considered safe when used externally to unbroken skin or ingested as an ingredient in properly prepared foods.

Arnica is considered poisonous when taken in large amounts.  It is not to be taken internally by mouth or applied to open wounds.

Side effects include irritation of the mouth, throat and digestive tract. Vomiting, diarrhea, bleeding of the stomach lining, increased heart rate, shortness of breath, coma and even death are other side effects.

Arnica may cause skin irritation, soreness and redness as among its side effects when used topically.

Arnica can cause allergic reaction to people sensitive to Asteraceae plant family and related plants:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding:  Arnica is not recommended for women who are pregnant or breast feeding. Toxins may be absorb from the skin and may be fatal to the baby.

Arnica Availability and Preparation

Dried Arnica flower is the primary part used for medicinal purpose, although the rhizomes and the roots are sometimes used. The flowers can be harvested from May to August, dried then chopped or grounded and mixed with other herbs and natural oils and applied topically to affected areas.

Commercially, arnica can be found in liniment. cream and ointment preparations for inflammation, strains, sprains, and bruises. While homeopathic preparations of Arnica are likewise widely marketed and used.

Arnica contains a toxin called helenalin, which can be poisonous if taken in large amounts. Arnica is not to be taken internally or be applied to open wounds where it can be absorb by the body. Arnica poisoning can cause internal bleeding of the gastric tract and may lead to death.

Arnica homeopathic preparations contains very small amount of arnica and when properly taken as directed is considered safe.

Arnica montana preparations are available in Amazon. You can check this one Boiron Homeopathic Medicine Arnica for Muscle Reliefthat has good reveiws.

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