Arnica is a popular homeopathic treatment for a variety of diseases and conditions. Available in several forms, such as creams and tinctures, arnica has several benefits. In use since the 1500s, arnica in homeopathy is helpful for reducing inflammation, soothing achy muscles, and treating traumatic injuries.
The arnica plant is a perennial plant native to Europe and Siberia, but the plant is also widely cultivated in North America for its known homeopathic benefits. Arnica grows to a height of one to two feet (30.48 to 60.96 cm) tall, and produces yellow and orange flowers. Arnica preparations use the flower heads of the plant.
Arnica in homeopathy is typically used as an external topical cream or ointment. Label directions should be followed, and arnica ointment or cream should not be placed on an open wound. Some homeopathic doctors may suggest the use of tincture preparations. This can include adding arnica tincture to compresses or mouthwash.
Traditional uses of arnica in homeopathy include using it to help reduce inflammation. Inflammation can occur for a wide variety of reasons, and arnica has shown promise in treating many of these conditions and diseases. Inflammation as a result of sprains and strains, insect bites, and pulled muscles are among those conditions where arnica may be useful.
Diseases often resulting in inflammation of the joints can also benefit from the use of arnica. This includes various types of arthritis, such as osteoarthritis. Carpal tunnel syndrome is another condition that may respond to treatment using arnica in homeopathy.
Conditions related to the muscles of the human body can also benefit from the use of arnica in homeopathy. This includes sore muscles from overexertion and bruising from trauma. Topical creams are typically the prescribed regimen for treating muscle soreness and bruising.
When used after surgery or after trauma, arnica can help speed recovery and healing. If used as a homeopathic treatment, arnica can help reduce bruising and speed tissue healing. In addition, since it has anti-inflammatory properties, arnica can also reduce pain associated with inflammation.
Prolonged use of arnica needs to be monitored carefully. While typically safe, repetitive use of arnica ointments or creams over a long period of time can lead to skin problems, such as blisters and eczema. Even though arnica should not interfere with any medications, a physician should be consulted before using arnica. Typically, arnica is not suggested as an internal remedy as it can cause vomiting, dizziness and heart irregularities.