Arnica

Arnica is a herb whose flowers are used in medicine.

Updated: October 12, 2021

Arnica:


Arnica is a herb whose flowers are used in medicine.

Some facts about Arnica:

  • Arnica can be taken by mouth for sore throat and various pain such as pain after surgery or wisdom tooth removal. The gel can be applied for insect bites, painful and swollen veins near the surface of the skin, bruising and muscle pain. It can also be used for vision problems due to diabetes, stroke and for abortions.
  • Arnica can be applied as a gel to the skin for pain and swelling linked with bruises, aches and sprains.
  • It can also be applied to the skin for arthritis, muscle and cartilage pain, chapped lips, insect bites and acne.
  • Arnica can be used as a flavor agent in frozen dairy desserts, candy, beverages, baked foods, gelatins and puddings in foods.
  • Arnica can be used in hair tonics and anti-dandruff preparations in manufacturing. The oil of arnica can be used in perfumes and cosmetics.
  • The active chemicals present in arnica may act as antibiotics and help reduce swelling as well as decrease pain.
  • Arnica can be applied as a gel to the skin for osteoarthritis.
  • Aarnica can be taken by mouth only when it is used in homeopathic dilutions. The extreme dilutions of the active chemicals are used in homeopathic products.
  • Arnica is known for its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties as it contains inflammation fighting plant compounds such as sesquiterpene lactones, flavonoids, and phenolic acids.
  • Arnica comes in the form of tablets, gels, ointments and creams.

Uses & Effectiveness of Arnica:

  • The pain and stiffness can be reduced and function in people with osteoarthritis can be improved in the hand or knee by applying an arnica gel twice daily for 3 weeks.
  • Osteoarthritis is a disease in which the protective tissue at the ends of bones known as cartilage of your joint wears down and causes pain and swelling.
  • The pain, swelling, and complications of wisdom tooth removal can be reduced by taking six doses of homeopathic arnica 30C. This will not be helpful for bleeding.
  • Bruising under the skin in women following face-lift surgery can be reduced by taking 12 doses of a specific arnica product.
  • Applying an arnica ointment can help reduce bruising when applied twice daily for 2 weeks.
  • Vision problems in people with vision loss due to diabetes can be reduced by taking homeopathic arnica 5C by mouth for 6 months.
  • Applying arnica gel on the leg muscles immediately after running and then in an interval of 4 hours for 5 days can reduce muscle pain or soreness after 3 days.
  • Pain after surgery can be slightly reduced by taking homeopathic arnica by mouth. Homeopathic arnica can be used together with an arnica ointment from 72 hours after surgery for 2 weeks in some cases.

Side Effects of Arnica:

  • Arnica is possibly safe when taken in the amounts commonly found in food by mouth or when applied to unbroken skin for short term.
  • It can cause irritation of the mouth and throat, stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea, shortness of breath, fast heartbeat, increase in blood pressure, heart damage, organ failure, increased bleeding, skin rashes and coma when taken by mouth.
  • It is poisonous and can also cause death.
  • Arnica is often used as an ingredient in homeopathic products in extreme diluted form so that they contain little or no detectable amount of arnica.
  • Severe vomiting followed by acute, bilateral vision loss can cause due to overdose.
  • Contact dermatitis can be a result of topical application.

Precautions & Warnings of Arnica:

  • It is likely unsafe to ake arnica by mouth or apply to the skin if you are pregnant or breast feeding.
  • Be sure to check with your healthcare provider before applying it to your skin if you have allergies as Arnica may cause an allergic reaction in people who are sensitive to the Asteraceae or Compositae family.
  • Don't apply arnica to damaged or broken skin as too much could be absorbed.
  • Don't take Arnica if you have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), ulcers, Crohn's disease, or other stomach or intestinal conditions as it can irritate the digestive system.
  • Don't take arnica if you have a fast heart rate as it can increase your heart rate.
  • Don't take arnica if you have high blood pressure as it can increase blood pressure.
  • Stop using arnica at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery as it can cause extra bleeding during and after surgery.

Interactions of Arnica:

  • Taking arnica along with medications that also slow clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding as it can slow blood clotting.
  • Aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, others), dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin and warfarin (Coumadin) are some of the medications that slow blood clotting.
  • Do not take arnica or apply it on your skin if you are allergic to sunflowers, marigolds, ragweed or other plants from the sunflower family.
  • Avoid taking it with blood thinners such as warfarin as it can increase your risk of bleeding.
  • Dosing of Arnica:
  • An arnica gel product with a 50 gram/100 gram ratio can be applied to the affected joints two to three times daily for 3 weeks or Osteoarthritis.
  • Homeopathic products containing arnica are typically 5C-30C dilutions where C refers to the active ingredient that was initially diluted by 100 fold and 5 or 30 means that the resulting dilution is then diluted again by 100 fold, 5 or 30 more times. These preparations are contain measurable amounts and are likely unsafe.

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