Anyone who knows me, knows I’m a very thorough skeptic. I literally question everything, even myself at times. (Let me stop lying, all the time LOL!). I like that about my personality though, as I feel it’s especially useful when it comes to healthcare. My passion is to ensure that individuals are empowered with information about safe and effective interventions, so that they make take their health, and the health of their families and loved ones, into their own hands, with the guidance and support of their primary care provider of course.
Especially with field complimentary and integrative medicine, there is so much misinformation out there, it’s hard to decide what is safe and what is not, which is why I started this blog.
One remedy I was recently introduced to was a salve which included Arnica in it’s ingredients. I had never heard of Arnica, but when I looked it up, it claimed to be some sort of miracle cure for bruising, inflammation, pain and swelling. Now, when I see the word “miracle” anywhere other than sacred texts like the Bible, I get weary. It’s so easy for people to make claims that a remedy works, and as I do think that most people have good intentions, I think the word ‘miracle’ anything could be super misleading, as healing and health is a very individualized thing, one thing that may work for one may not work for another.
I had an accident two weeks ago that rendered me unable to dance and even walk. I was in a lot of pain, but the bruising was disgusting(so much so that when I went to the hospital, I’m sure they were convinced I was being abused in some way due to the look on their faces when I told them what happened.) I’m a person who bruises quite easily, but after a week and the bruises seemed darker and more hideous than before, I was over it. This was not a mood for 2019. However, I decided to try Arnica, and let me tell you something, Arnica did not come to play. Within two days, my bruising was so faint compared to the week before, it didn’t look like I was fresh out from falling off a cliff.
So first things first, what is Arnica? It’s an herb that grows in Europe and the U.S. Arnica is usually taken by mouth, or through ointments and fresh plant gel applied on the skin. In my case, I bought a gel that I applied to my wounds about twice a day. (I’ll link the product at the bottom of the post.) According to Kevin Leivers, a pharmacist who has extensive expertise in new product development for natural pharmaceuticals, there is a good amount of usable data from scientific and non-scientific animal and human trails that support the claims that Arnica is a viable treatment for pain, swelling and bruising. One of my favorite trails considered a group of 79 patients with mild to moderate osteoarthritis. Across the board, individuals reported a notable decrease in pain and stiffness after using Arnica gel in just about a month and a half. There were some adverse reactions reported such as dry skin, which I also experienced when using the gel. It was almost like putting hand sanitizer and having that white dryish skin left over. However, nothing some good old coconut oil couldn’t fix!
Now, I’m sure you’re running out to your nearest health foods market to find this miracle gel. But you must know the full story before deciding if this is right for you. Now, I am a fierce advocate for whole plant medicine. I encourage you to check out my article on Cannabis and the benefits of using the entire plant. However, as a whole plant, Arnica is actually extremely toxic to humans, so I would never, ever recommend consuming or using this product in it’s natural, whole plant form. If you do opt to use Arnica orally, the pills you would get contain highly diluted Arnica. These are considered homeopathic treatments. These low-dose Arnica tablets are safe to use and have been studied for muscle pain, diabetic eye damage, and swelling and pain after surgery. If you are curious as to what homeopathic medicine is, check out my other article here.
Arnica is usually taken by mouth, or through ointments and fresh plant gel applied on the skin. Homeopathic treatments are usually individualized based on the specific symptoms of the patient. Typically, either 5C or 30C potency tablets to be taken beneath the tongue three times a day. Doses can be taken for 24 hours or up to six months. For topical treatment of conditions such as osteoarthritis, it is suggested that you should use an Arnica gel product with a 50 gram/100 gram ratio and rub it into the affected joints two to three times daily for 3 weeks.
As always is the case, more research is needed to put Arnica in its, in my opinion, well deserved place in traditional treatment plans under careful supervision of your health care provider, and may offer an alternative to individuals who would rather skip the ibuprofen. Personally, this herb made me a very happy camper, as I had a short recovery time, and I still slayed doing so.
As always, I would love to hear your thoughts and questions, so sound off below! Have you ever used Arnica? Did it work for you? Comment, like and share.
With love tribe,