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What is Arnica?

June 22, 2020
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The herbal flowers from the Arnica plant have been used to treat bruising, swelling, and pain for hundreds of years. It is a member of the Compositae family, a vast botanical family including the common daisy, sunflowers, echinacea, and even lettuce and the globe artichoke. Its leaves are soft and hairy, which may be where it got its name from, as “arni” is the Greek word for “lamb.”

Arnica grows in areas like Siberia, central Europe, and some temperate climates in North America, and has other names like Leopard’s Bane and Arnica Montana.1 The Arnica plant can grow up to 25 inches, but this can be quite uncommon due to the harsh environments it tends to grow in. The British Homeopathic Association states that the higher the altitude this plant grows in, the more potent it becomes.2 They also say that as an alpine plant, Arnica grows in nutrient-poor soil, and can grow in meadows up to 3,000ft above sea level, this means that it is exposed to strong sunlight and quite rugged conditions. We think that this is quite fascinating due to its uses in treating bruising and swelling, as even the growing process sounds a little bruising and harsh in itself. This hardy and yet soft plant is a therapeutic resource that certainly goes through a lot to bring its healing properties to us. It certainly resonates with us when it comes to its uses in homeopathic medicine as the premise for this approach is that “like cures like.”

Arnica can address bruising and swelling in the body topically, and more evidence is emerging to the pain-relieving properties of the herb. In a study published in 2016, Arnica was discussed as a resource for many inflammatory conditions and pain management in postoperative settings. This study even suggests that Arnica could be a “valid alternative to non-steroidal inflammatory fighting drugs.”3

Arnica is used for several conditions, including joint issues, sore throats, bleeding, bruising, and swelling.4 As a homeopathic resource (meaning it is diluted for use), Arnica is a noted treatment for traumas to the body, whether the trauma is anticipated, like surgery, or accidental injuries caused by falls or even exercise.5

We love being able to tell you all about Arnica. This humble herb interacts with the body to address inflammation, bruising and swelling, and muscle aches and joint pains—this why our founder, Ruth, included it in her Mending Milk Dream Cream.

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1. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-721/arnica
2. https://www.britishhomeopathic.org/charity/how-we-can-help/articles/homeopathic-medicines/a/arnica-montana/
3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25171757/
4. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-721/arnica
5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC539394/_

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