Native to the mountains of Southern Russia and Europe, Arnica Montana is a plant that is believed to have multiple medicinal uses.

Researchers have been studying herbal remedies like Arnica for decades. And it isn’t surprising to know that many patients are moving away from chemical-ridden drugs and opting for natural methods to deal with different skin conditions.

If you are looking for alternative and complementary therapies after facing disappointment with pharmaceutical drugs, the homeopathic arnica preparation might help you.

In this guide, we will discuss homeopathic remedies for multiple common conditions like broken skin, muscle pain, scalp irritation, etc. Moreover, we will talk about how homeopathic arnica therapy can help relieve these symptoms for you. 

So, let’s get going!

What Is Arnica Montana?

Arnica Montana is a plant with bright yellow or orange flowers and long leaves. Typically found in the alpine regions of Asia, North America, Europe, and western North America, the flowers and leaves of this plant are used to treat various types of muscle pain, soreness, dandruff, and other conditions. 

One of the essential ingredients of Arnica Montana is known as helenalin [1], which has excellent anti inflammatory properties. However, it must be diluted correctly prior to use, or it may cause irritation and allergies. It can even be highly toxic if consumed in the undiluted form. 

What Are The Forms Of Homeopathic Remedy Arnica?

Although the most common form of homeopathic arnica preparation is the topical arnica gel, there are other forms available on the market. These include –

  • Arnica oil
  • Arnica cream
  • Arnica Montana extract
  • Arnica ointment
  • Arnica tincture

Benefits Of Homeopathic Arnica Montana 

Wondering if homeopathic remedies work to relieve the long-term conditions you may have had? Well, read on to know about all the benefits of taking homeopathic arnica.

1. Reducing Muscle Soreness And Muscle Pain

Muscle pain, also known as Myalgia, can result from a number of issues. Athletes and fitness enthusiasts often experience delayed onset muscle soreness or DOMS [2], typically one or two days after working out.

Muscle pain and soreness can also be a result of overworking, fatigue, and many other conditions [3]. And the oral consumption of arnica or even its topical application in the form of arnica gel, cream, or oil can help reduce swelling and pain in the muscles. Besides, you may opt for a combination of the oral and topical arnica treatment to reduce pain.

However, ensure that you speak to a professional about the right dosage.

2. Alleviating Post-Surgical Bruising And Pain

The results of a placebo controlled pilot study [4] showed that homeopathic arnica can help control post-surgical bruising and pain in patients who took it perioperatively. Furthermore, research and tests conducted on patients (in the form of a double blind trial) in a randomized clinical trial revealed positive results. 

As per the randomized placebo controlled trial, perioperative Arnica Montana can benefit some patients and could be a reliable homeopathic remedy. However, other placebo controlled clinical trials revealed that arnica did not show vastly different results in reducing postoperative pain, bruising, and swelling. 

3. Treating Dandruff

Dandruff can be caused by a number of issues like dry scalp, fungal infection, irritation, excessive sweating, hereditary conditions, or even due to environmental conditions. But arnica oil can effectively help treat dandruff [5] as well as relieve any itching and irritation. Furthermore, the regular use of arnica Montana cv can even improve the texture of your scalp over time.

Not just that, but this remedy can also improve the texture of your hair and strengthen it from the root to its tip. Besides, coating your hair follicles with arnica oil can improve the appearance of split ends and give you healthier hair. 

4. Acne And Rosacea

Acne and rosacea are skin disorders that can cause inflammation, pain, swelling, and bruising. They often leave permanent skin scarring that can significantly affect the person and impair their quality of life. However, the inflammatory nature [6] of Vogel Arnica gel can help reduce the pain, irritation, inflammation, and swelling in patients who have these skin conditions. 

Moreover, during a placebo controlled clinical trial [7] on patients receiving varicose vein surgery, the efficacy of the topical treatment Arnica Montana gel was investigated. And the results revealed the regular application of this gel can help relieve pain and bruising .  

5. Wound Healing

In yet another multicenter clinical trial, tests revealed that arnica helped with skin bruising and wound healing in patients who took the remedy perioperatively [8]. These tests were conducted between control groups and treatment groups of 29 patients in a double-blind format. 

Although there were significant positive results for patients who took the homeopathic treatment perioperatively, the same was not found for patients who took it postoperatively.

Side Effects Of Homeopathic Remedy Arnica 

Medicinal herbs and herbal infusions can be immensely beneficial for treating several conditions and ailments. Although the results are somewhat slower than traditional OTC (over the counter) medications, homeopathic products remain widely popular [9] among people who want natural treatment alternatives.

That said, here are a few side effects of the herbal medicine arnica that you should know about.

  • Diarrhea
  • Mouth or throat irritation
  • Shortness of breath
  • Slow blood clotting
  • High blood pressure
  • Stomach pain
  • Bruising or bleeding
  • Rapid heartbeat 

Individuals with ragweed allergy [10] should also avoid the topical arnica treatment, as it may cause some side effects. Some of the symptoms include –

  • Inflamed sinus
  • Headache
  • Runny nose
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Itching
  • Hives

It is best to take professional help before applying or consuming arnica. However, if you face any of the conditions above or feel unwell after taking it, we recommend discontinuing using arnica and consulting a doctor at the earliest.

Who Should Not Take Homeopathic Arnica?

Although arnica gel and topical arnica are generally considered safe for everyone, there are a couple of factors to keep in mind. As such, you should avoid taking homeopathic arnica under these circumstances –

1. Pregnant Or Breastfeeding 

The homeopathic remedy arnica should not be taken by pregnant or breastfeeding women. This applies to all of its forms – topical arnica gel, arnica cream, arnica oil, and oral supplements.

2. Before Surgery

Arnica flower can inhibit human platelet function and slow down blood clotting, which is why you should stop taking it at least two weeks (or as recommended by a doctor) before surgery. Discontinuing it will reduce the risk of postoperative bleeding and help you recover faster. 

3. If You Have Broken Skin

It is best not to apply arnica on broken skin, as the skin can absorb far too much, which may cause irritation. We’d suggest letting the skin heal for some time before applying arnica, especially if you’re looking to relieve pain or swelling. 

4. If You Have Digestive Issues

Although most homeopathic remedies like arnica have numerous benefits, they can aggravate certain digestive issues. Those suffering from IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), intestinal issues, Crohn’s disease, etc., should avoid taking arnica. 

Selection Of Arnica For Medical Purposes 

There are various arnica species like Arnica longifolia eaton, Arnica gracilis, and Chamissonis. However, the one that is most commonly used for medicinal purposes is Arnica Montana. 

Typically, the various forms of arnica OTC medications come in a highly diluted form so that it is easier to consume and does not have any side effects. These preparations have very little to no helenalin, making them safe for patients. 

That said, whenever you purchase any of the forms of homeopathic remedies Arnica Montana, it is vital to check if the brand has been tested by any independent body, like

  • NSF International
  • ConsumerLab
  • U.S. Pharmacopeia or USP

Furthermore, always check the ingredients to ensure that the arnica tincture prepared does not contain helenalin in it. Another important tip is to steer clear of products that have “pure arnica” in them, as they can be dangerous if consumed or applied. 

Preparation Of Arnica 

Truth be told, there aren’t many records of the different types of arnica preparations. Arnica is most commonly prepared as a homeopathic remedy and used to treat several conditions. The roots, leaves, and flowers of the perennial herb Arnica Montana are used to prepare tinctures, creams, and oral supplements. 

Moreover, Arnica Montana should always be taken in a diluted form. As we mentioned earlier, it contains high amounts of helenalin in its original form which can be extremely toxic to humans. Henec, this compound has to be removed completely and the preparation should then be diluted to ensure safe consumption or application. 

How To Store Arnica 

Storing arnica correctly can ensure that it does not spoil before it reaches its expiration date. We’d suggest storing it at room temperature in a cupboard or drawer and keeping it away from children or pets. Furthermore, the bottle should not be exposed to direct sunlight, as it may affect the ingredients or the preparation. 

Apart from that, you store the preparation in its original bottle, tube, or container and don’t attempt to transfer it to some other bottle. Although arnica may be effective when it is used correctly, it is vital to consult a doctor before taking the preparation. 

Moreover, never self-medicate when using any medication, even for homeopathic remedies, which may seem innocuous. 

How To Use Arnica 

The Arnica Montana topical ointments can be safely applied about three to four times a day. However, the oral supplements may have varying dosages depending on the condition of the patient. 

You will find various potencies and dosages of Arnica Montana being sold as OTC medications. The dosage and potency depend on the condition; however, potencies of less than 10 are generally administered to acute trauma patients (adults) [11]. 

That being said, we highly recommend avoiding self-administration homeopathic products. Always consult a doctor and verify if you have any allergies before using arnica. Likewise, stick to the recommended dosage and change it only after consulting the doctor.

Case Studies On Arnica Consumption 

A case study revealed a 66-year old patient developed allergic contact dermatitis caused [12] by the intermittent use of the tincture. This led researchers to study the case further, which revealed that sesquiterpene lactones in the preparation could cause arnica contact eczema [13]. 

Some case studies conducted on patients reveal the efficacy of a certain potency of Arnica Montana in wound healing after surgery. This study [14] conducted on patients receiving hallux valgus surgery compared the efficacy of Arnica Montana to diclofenac. Surprisingly, it concluded that Arnica Montana D4 could be used by patients receiving knee surgery as an alternative to diclofenac. 

Yet another case study conducted on 23 patients receiving bilateral oral surgery [15] revealed the efficacy of the homeopathic treatment in reducing bleeding, edema, and bruising. 

And finally, patients suffering from acute stroke illness [16] were given arnica as an emergency treatment. It revealed that this homeopathic remedy could be safely administered to patients after a stroke, as it can help them recover from acute trauma. 

Final Words

With that, we have finally reached the end of our guide. We hope this helps you better understand the uses, benefits, and side effects of the homeopathic remedy Arnica Montana.

Also known by the names “Wolf’s bane” and “mountain tobacco,” Arnica has a number of benefits for several conditions, as is evident from the case studies above. However, always remember to take arnica in its diluted form for the best results. 

Remember that the proper administration of herbal medicines like arnica are generally a safe and effective alternative to pharmaceutical drugs and can help treat skin conditions as well as other issues. 

We will be back soon with more such guides. Till then, keep an eye on this space for more such interesting reads. Stay safe and take care!

Reference:

[1] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32614752/#:~:text=Recent%20studies%20indicate%20that%20Arnica,important%2C%20anti%2Dcancer%20properties.

[2] https://www.healthline.com/health/doms

[3] https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322869

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC539394/

[5] https://www.healthline.com/health/arnica-oil-for-hair#:~:text=Dandruff%20treatment,inflammation%2C%20according%20to%20anecdotal%20evidence.

[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5828925/

[7] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14605480/

[8]  https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16415448/

[9] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7253376/

[10] https://www.healthline.com/health/arnica-oil-for-hair

[11] https://www.reliasmedia.com/articles/51702-homeopathic-and-herbal-preparations-of-arnica-montana-for-treatment-of-musculosk#:~:text=Arnica%20is%20generally%20prepared%20as,%2C%20muscle%20soreness%2C%20and%20shock

[12] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0944711311800097

[13] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11722485/

[14] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18199022/ 

[15] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7749769/

[16] https://www.winchesterhospital.org/health-library/article?id=38341#:~:text=Arnica%20was%20chosen%20for%20the,months%20into%20the%20recovery%20period.

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