Arnica montana is a mountain plant that grows in Europe up to 3000 meter-high. The plant measures from 20 to 60 cm and has one yellow flower head of 5 cm diameter that blooms between May and August. It belongs to the Asteraceae (sunflower family) and its smell resembles of the pine. As a matter of fact, arnica often grows where pine trees grow. Arnica has been used since centuries and was discovered by mountain people who used it to heal bruises, bumps, contusions and trauma in case of falls. Stems and leaves are often hairy (depending on the species) and this is why arnica comes from the Greek word “Arni” which means lamb to remind the soft and hairy texture.
Arnica is typically used in arnica oil, arnica ointment or arnica balm (liniment) as a remedy for traumatic injuries such as bruises, strains, sprains and even broken bones. It acts by dilating blood capillaries to increase the blood flow to and from the injury and helps reduce swelling, activates blood circulation, decreases the pain associated with the trauma and speeds up healing. However, arnica should not be used on an open wound. Arnica is often used by athletes to soothe muscle pain when they have been overworked.
Arnica is not to be taken internally as it contains helenalin, a substance that can be toxic and can induce internal bleeding. However, it is commonly used in homeopathic remedies (like cures like) in small dosage as an anti-inflammatory and facilitates wounds healing after surgery.
Organic arnica cream, arnica oil or arnica ointment is a must-have remedy in one’s home in case of a trauma occuring as it helps re-balance quickly physical, mental, emotional or spiritual disturbances. Favor organic arnica that is 100% natural and has not been treated with chemicals just like other organic products.