Arnica : What is It and How Can It Help You Heal?

ArnicaI first heard of arnica several years back.  Someone mentioned that they were going to try it on some bruises they were trying to get to go away a little quicker than if they just faded on their own.  I personally have always bruised easily, so of course I tuned in when they started talking about clearing a bruise faster.

What is arnica exactly?

Arnica is a flowering plant that has a pretty yellow flower which perennially blooms.  The plant’s notorious flower is the part of the plant that has been used medicinally for hundreds of years, and continues to be used today in similar capacities, but it mostly known as a topical application for helping skin abrasions and bruises to heal and clear faster than they would on their own.

Arnica is generally not taken orally since oral administration can easily result in overdosing, and can have side effects that can be extremely dangerous.  So, it is really pretty much used as a topical remedy these days and is never recommended to be taken orally.

Arnica uses : Bruising, muscle aches and more

When applied topically, arnica is supposed to help reduce inflammation and also may help increase circulation to the area, which can also help speed the healing process.

For this reason, indications generally include topical application to sore muscles, sprains, bruises, bug bites and other trauma to the skin (other than broken skin). If applied to raw broken skin it may cause irritation, so it’s really supposed to only be applied to closed skin or under the skin or muscle types of issues.

You can find arnica in many different types of diluted topical applications. These include ointments, creams, oils, tinctures and gels.  Using the product over a long period of time can cause skin irritation, so it’s generally only supposed to be used for shorter periods of time in helping to soothe inflammation and heal something faster.

It really has no scent when in its diluted form.  When I’ve applied it in an oil based preparation, it seems to cause a generally “warm” sensation to the area where it was applied.  It also does seem to have a soothing and slightly pain-relieving effect on the area where it was applied.

Beyond that, I cannot say that I’ve noticed it has actually helped to heal anything faster. Generally though, it does seem to have a soothing and calming effect on the skin and tissues immediately under it.

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