Arnica Herb Benefits & Uses
Used throughout Europe and North America since the 1500’s as a cream or ointment, effective for soothing muscles, reducing inflammation and healing wounds.
Arnica Herb History
Arnica is an aromatic, perennial, herbaceous plant with bright yellow flowers that bloom into a star or sunflower formation from June through August. it grows up to 2 feet tall with stems covered in light fuzz and egg-shaped leaves arranged in pairs along the stalks. Modern Arnica products remain popular in Europe and are generally available in most natural food stores and drug stores in the U.S. Homeopathic applications can be taken in tablet form, though topical solutions are more common. The history of arnica as a healing plant is well known, but within Hildegard medicine it is slightly less clear.
Arnica Herb Beliefs
Arnica montana is a homeopathic topical pain relief agent. Its mechanism of action is not well known. Arnica preparations have shown wound healing, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and pain relieving properties There is some evidence that arnica is effective in healing bruises and osteoarthritis. It has not been studied for any anticancer effects. Laboratory experiments on arnicahave shown that it can kill bacteria and decrease inflammation. However, it is not clear if the herb has similar effects in humans. Because of the risks of pure arnica, the FDA classifies it as an unsafe herb. Doctors who practice complementary medicine generally advise against using arnica in any form other than in a highly diluted homeopathic form.
Planting arnica isn’t difficult. Just sprinkle the seeds lightly on prepared soil in late summer, then cover them lightly with sand or fine soil. Keep the soil slightly moist until the seeds germinate. Be patient; seeds usually sprout in about a month, but germination can take much longer. Thin the seedlings to allow about 12 inches (30 cm.) between each plant. You can also start arnica seeds indoors. (13 C.) For best results, grow the plants indoors for several months before moving them to a permanent outdoor location after all danger of frost has passed in spring.
Arnica Herb Uses
Arnica is used topically for a wide range of conditions, including bruises, sprains, muscle aches, wound healing, superficial phlebitis, joint pain, inflammation from insect bites, and swelling from broken bones. More recent studies suggest it may also be helpful in the treatment of burns. People take arnica by mouth for sore mouth and throat, pain such as pain after surgery or wisdom tooth removal, insect bites, painful and swollen veins near the surface of the skin (superficial phlebitis), bruising, muscle pain, vision problems due to diabetes, stroke, and for causing abortions
Preserving And Storing Arnica
Arnica oil is a well known herbal remedy for bruises, sprains and muscles strains. It’s surprisingly effective, as well as easy to make at home. An arnica infused oil also quickly converts to a convenient and easy to apply arnica salve.
Other Herb Varieties Worth Checking Out