By: Dr. Lauri Grossman, DC CCH RSHOM(NA)
Safe Medicine from a Toxic Herb
Arnica is actually a toxic herb, but in its homeopathic form, it can heal. Homeopathic Arnica uses micro-doses of the Arnica plant, which are both safe and beneficial. In its homeopathic form, Arnica restores health with no side effects and is safe for children, adults, pregnant women, and seniors. Like other homeopathic medicines, Arnica has been regulated as a drug by the FDA since 1938 and manufactured according to the guidelines in the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States. Homeopathic Arnica has no reported drug interactions and is safe for individuals who require other medications. Just take care not to apply Arnica cream or gel to broken skin where it can cause irritation.
Herbal preparations of Arnica are very different from the homeopathic medicines made from the plant. In herbal form, the amount of plant extract is substantially higher. This can cause adverse effects when taken internally. Home brewed teas and tinctures can cause dizziness, diarrhea, irregular heartbeat and even death. Topical herbal applications can cause reactions as well. For this reason, professional practitioners recommend Arnica only when used in homeopathic form.
Benefits of Homeopathic Arnica
In recent years, many research studies have been carried out to explore the effectiveness of homeopathic Arnica. In medical clinics and hospitals, physicians are turning to Arnica to relieve the soreness and bruising that can follow accidents and surgery. Especially helpful after orthopedic and plastic surgery, Arnica relieves inflammation and bruising and speeds recovery. Experts in emergency medicine recommend it to reduce pain and mend tissues associated with traumatic injuries. Fitness coaches rely on it to ease the soreness that comes from overexertion and muscle strain.
Topical Arnica or Arnica Pills?
Homeopathic Arnica is available in two forms: topical gels and creams that can be applied to the skin, and medicated pellets and tablets that dissolve under the tongue. For minor, local complaints, the topical form is recommended. For more severe general symptoms, the pellet form is more effective.
When to Use Arnica
Keep a supply of homeopathic Arnica in your home first aid kit for bruising or soreness associated with:
- Minor injuries
- Black eyes
- Minor back pain
- Minor pain from dental procedures