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Home :: Herbal Medicines

Arnica

 

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Arnica is also commonly called leopard's bane. The arnica plant has a bright yellow, daisy-like flower which blossoms around July. Fresh or dried flower heads are used in medicinal preparations. Arnica commonly refers to Arnica montana.Arnica ( Arnica montana) is very popularóGermany alone has fabricated more than 100 drug preparations containing this herb. Applied topically as a cream, ointment, liniment, salve, or tincture, arnica has been used by appease muscle aches, reduce inflammation, and heal wounds. While arnica has also been used internally as an herbal remedy for specific heart disorders, it should only be used in this way under the supervision of a healthcare provider.

In fact, arnica in herbal form is primarily confined to topical (external) use because it can cause serious side effects when it is used internally. Arnica is a perennial which grows to a height of 1 to 2 feet bearing yellow-orange flowers similar to daisies. Stems are round and hairy, ending in one to three flower stalks, having flowers 2 to 3 inches across. Leaves are bright green; the upper surfaces are toothed and slenderly hairy while lower leaves have rounded tips. The flowers are collected overall and dried, but the receptacles are occassionally removed as they are liable to be attacked by insects. Arnica is known to excite blood circulation and can raise blood pressure, particularly in the coronary arteries.

The plant is used externally for arthritis, burns, ulcers, eczema and acne. It has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties which can reduce pain and swelling, improving wound healing. Arnica is used topically for a large range of conditions comprising bruises, sprains, muscle aches, wound healing, acne, superficial phlebitis, rheumatic pain, inflammation from insect bites, and swelling due to fractures.

An experienced clinician may prescribe arnica as an herbal remedy for senile heart, angina, or coronary artery disease. Homeopathic arnica is widely reputed to control bruising, reduce swelling and stimulate recovery after local trauma; many patients therefore take it perioperatively. Homeopathic preparations are also used to treat sore muscles, bruises, and other conditions related with overexertion or trauma. Homeopathic doses are very diluted and generally regarded secure for internal use when taken in accordance with the directions on the product labeling.