Benefits Of Arnica

Updated: Sep 16

Scientific Name: Arnica montana

Common Names: Leopard's bane, Mountain tobacco, Wolf's bane

Arnica, also known as Arnica montana and sometimes referred to as leopard's bane, mountain tobacco, or wolfsbane, is a bright yellow flower similar to a daisy native to Northwest America, Mexico, Siberia, and some parts of Europe (1). Arnica is toxic if eaten naturally, but when diluted correctly in supplementation or homeopathic medicine, Arnica montana is commonly used as a skin treatment for bruises, aches, pains, inflammation, and more (2). The healing properties of this perennial herb have been documented dating back to the 12th century by St. Hildegard, a German nun known for her devotion to nature and physiology (3).


Benefits of Arnica

Contraindications & Interactions

Understanding Homeopathic Doses of Arnica

Products Recommended with Arnica Ingredients

 

Benefits of Arnica


Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Arnica montana is well-known for its anti-inflammatory properties, thanks to its wide array of plant compounds that assist in combating inflammation. Chronic inflammation has been linked with many diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, asthma, and certain cancers (4). In most cases, Arnica montana is used to help ease inflammatory pain associated with insect bites, bruises, and arthritis flare-ups (5). One study found that treating paw edema in rats 6 hours after being given Nystatin treatment didn't have significant inhibitory effects. Still, pretreatment did block the action of histamine in increasing vascular permeability (6).


May Reduce Pain

Thanks to Arnica montana's anti-inflammatory properties, this makes Arnica montana great for reducing pain. Arnica montana's pain-relieving properties are said to be due to some of the plant's anti-inflammatory compounds like sesquiterpene lactones, flavonoids, and phenolic acids, which are said to also assist in pain management (7). Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and is associated with pain, stiffness, tenderness, loss of flexibility, a grating sensation, bone spurs, and swelling (8). One study found applying Arnica topically in a gel form to osteoarthritis pain to be as effective as topical ibuprofen and even improved physical function (9). In another study, Arnica was very effective in helping reduce pain associated with carpal-tunnel hand surgery recovery (10).


May Reduce Bruising

Historically, Arnica montana has been used as a homeopathic remedy to treat bruises. Most bruising occurs when small blood vessels near the skin's surface are broken due to the impact of a blow or injury, leaving a black and blue mark that's often accompanied by a minor bump, swelling, and tenderness (11). In one study, participants with minor bruises were treated with either 20% arnica gel, 5% vitamin K, a combination of 1% vitamin K and 0.3% retinol, or a placebo. They found that the arnica group had significantly less bruising than all the other groups after 14 days (12). A 10-day study found that topically applying arnica cream greatly improved bruising and swelling post-rhinoplasty compared to the placebo group (13).


Promotes Hair Growth

Arnica is excellent at boosting hair growth. If you suffer from hair loss, try adding arnica oil to your shampoo and massaging it into your scalp often. Arnica montana is a widely used herbal and homeopathic medicine for hair growth stimulation. Available as arnica oil and arnica shampoo, it helps rejuvenate the scalp, stimulates hair follicles by improving the blood flow, and prevents premature hair fall (14).

⚠️ Warning: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA, and this herb is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure anything.


Understanding Homeopathic Doses Of Arnica

Doses are very particular in homeopathic treatments. When looking at a homeopathic remedy, you'll usually see a number followed by a letter, but what do the letters and numbers mean? The letters are roman numeral notations and the dilution process, while the number is how many times the dilution process was repeated. Typically homeopathic remedies are diluted in distilled water or ethyl alcohol.


X in roman numerals notation is 10, meaning this homeopathic remedy would be diluted 1:10, or the number of times a remedy is diluted with nine parts dilutant. So if you see Arnica Montana 30x, that means the arnica was diluted with nine parts dilutant (usually distilled water or ethyl alcohol), and the dilution process was repeated 30 times.


C in roman numeral notations is 100, meaning this homeopathic remedy would be diluted 1:100, or the number of times the arnica is diluted with 99 parts dilutant. So if you see Arnica Montana 30c, that means the arnica was diluted with 99 parts dilutant (usually distilled water or ethyl alcohol), and the dilution process was repeated 30 times.


You may encounter CH and CK, which means the homeopathic remedy was prepared according to a specific method. CH means it was designed according to the Hahnemann method, which uses one part of the homeopathic potency to 99 amounts of alcohol in a new container each time. CK means the homeopathic remedy was prepared according to the Korsakovian method, which is used to get higher potencies of 200c and above as they use the same container for each dilution step instead of a new container each time.


D in roman numeral notations is 500, meaning this homeopathic remedy would be diluted 1:500, or the number of times the arnica is diluted with 499 parts dilutant. So if you see Arnica Montana D30, that means the arnica was diluted with 499 parts dilutant (usually distilled water or ethyl alcohol), and the dilution process was repeated 30 times.


M in roman numeral notations is 1,000, meaning this homeopathic remedy would be diluted 1:1,000, or the number of times the arnica is diluted with 999 parts dilutant. So if you see Arnica Montana 1M, that means the arnica was diluted with 999 parts dilutant (usually distilled water or ethyl alcohol), and the dilution process was done once.


LM in roman numeral notations is 50,000, meaning this homeopathic remedy would be diluted 1:50,000, or the number of times the arnica is diluted with 49,999 parts dilutant. So if you see Arnica Montana 1LM, that means the arnica was diluted with 49,999 parts dilutant (usually distilled water or ethyl alcohol), and the dilution process was done once.


Contraindications & Interactions

Do not ingest raw arnica, and do not apply to any open wound, cut, or scape.

Homeopathic arnica pills are heavily diluted and safe. Look for 30 x (or c) homeopathic dosage, and give children half the dosage. Consider trying a small patch of arnica oil on the skin for the first usage to ensure you do not have a helenalin sensitivity.


Individuals with allergies to ragweed or other members of the Asteraceae family may be allergic to arnica.


Be sure that any arnica you use is highly diluted, especially in its essential oil form.

Arnica has been every mom's secret to mending day-to-day bruises and bumps and treating ongoing inflammation. If you don't have arnica in your apothecary, it's time to stock up.


Products Recommended with Arnica Ingredients

What's your favorite way to use arnica?


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