As a Naturopath, I’ve been prescribing Arnica externally for over seventeen years.
The effectiveness of Arnica may be the result of a property which stimulates the blood flow to the area of skin where the herb is applied. This will increase the rate of healing and reduce the pain and swelling associated with muscle strains and bruises.
A bruise is an injury that involves the rupture of small blood vessels causing discolouration of underlying tissues without a break in the skin. During the healing process, Arnica fades this discolouration.
Old injuries that are aggravated from time to time, muscular rheurmatism and sports injuries may also be relieved by the application of Arnica ointment or cream. Massage gently into the affected area. For maximum healing effect, wrap or cover the injured area in plastic cling wrap and leave overnight.
Arnica is a perennial herb that is generally found in Europe (except Great Britain), the northern part of the U.S.A and Canada. It is also grown commercially in northern India.
Medicinal parts used are the flowers and the rootstock. It is the golden yellow flower heads that are mostly used to obtain the main ingredients; a volatile oil and a bitter glycoside called arnicin.
It is important to note that Arnica is mainly recommended as an external application on the skin in the form of an ointment or cream. It should NOT be applied to broken skin, ie open sores, cuts or blisters. Arnica may be taken internally only if it is in suitable homoeopathic dilutions.