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The Herbal Remedy of Arnica and It’s Role in Homeopathic First-Aid Treatments

Herbs may seem small and insignificant when it comes to taking care of your health, but some of them are actually pretty impressive when you try them out for yourself. One particularly promising herb is called Arnica Montana, or just Arnica for short. This herb originates from Europe and has been used for hundreds of years as a homeopathic remedy. Times have changed, but research shows that Arnica still has a place in our medicine cabinets and first-aid kits. Here’s a bit of information about this herbal remedy and how you can use Arnica in your own life.

Photo credit: Peter Stevens via Flickr

What Is Arnica Montana?

Arnica is a small plant with yellow flowers and is a member of the sunflower family. The leaves, roots, and flowers have all been used medicinally, with historical records of its use dating back to at least the 16th century. This is an herbal remedy that is best for topical use rather than ingesting it orally.

How Arnica Is Commonly Used

One of the hottest topics among Arnica enthusiasts is bruise healing. This natural medicine is used to help bruises heal faster and reduce discoloration of the skin. It may also help to reduce swelling after an injury and relieve the pain associated with it. Additionally, Arnica has been recommended by naturopathic doctors for everything from jet lag to headaches and acne, but it is most commonly recommended for first-aid purposes. Some athletes swear by Arnica to sooth sore muscles after tough workouts and speed up their recovery time after changing routines or suffering from minor injuries.

Properties of Arnica

There are several active compounds in Arnica that contribute to its healing properties and make it a popular herbal remedy. For example, Arnica has anti-inflammatory properties to reduce swelling caused before or after surgery or after an injury. It also has anticoagulant properties to reduce the formation of blood clots and aid bruise healing. Research also shows that Arnica has analgesic properties that can reduce pain after an injury or insect bite.

Photo credit: Smoobs via Flickr

How to Use Arnica

You can find commercially produced first-aid products that contain Arnica along with other ingredients. But since those “other ingredients” are sometimes questionable, you may want to take a DIY approach and experiment with this plant on your own terms. One easy way to do this is combine a teaspoon of the dried Arnica herb with half a cup of water in a spray bottle and spray the mixture onto muscle aches, sore spots, and bruises. You can create a tincture with an ounce of dried Arnica flowers with a cup of food-grade alcohol or make an infused oil by combining the dried flowers with a cup of oil, such as extra virgin olive oil.

Just be careful not to apply Arnica to an open wound or ingest it orally. For more tips on how to treat bumps and bruises the natural way, see our article about Natural First Air Remedies for Minor Injuries. Along with OliveViate Topical Skin Relief, STOP Rash, Cut and Wound Remedy and Bye Bye Burns, it’s worth having some Arnica on hand for those times when accidents happen.

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