How to use Arnica

Earlier this year I had surgery. I was lucky to get a doctor that believes in supporting modern medicine with natural methods. She prescribed arnica and pineapple as ways to support my body as it was healing. I have used arnica for years, but had never thought to use it after a major medical event like this.

Arnica flowers, how to use for muscles

Mostly I use arnica for bruising. I have a cream made with arnica and I have some homeopathic tablets and I would use one or both to help myself heal from bruising or muscle strain. 

My stepdad had a really bad injury on his arm a few years ago and I decided to get him some arnica cream to help it clear up more quickly, so I looked online and I found that there is a whole line of arnica products and these are now sold in every major grocery store! 

I find that absolutely amazing because the last time I had to buy it, I had to go to a specialty herbal shop because I couldn't find it anywhere else.

I love how mainstream some herbals are now!

What Does Arnica do?

The herb Arnica has been used in medicine since the 1500s. Tales of old explain that the people observed goats ingesting the plant, which caused locals to imitate the practice. They found that arnica helps with bruises, sprains, wound healing, muscle aches, joint pain, inflammation and swelling. Can be used for any type of pain from burns to broken bones.

Helps Heal Bruised Areas Quickly 

Through the ages, arnica has been used to speed up the healing of bruising. These injuries are more of a simple nuisance, but bruising can produce a lot of discomfort and pain if it is located in a sensitive area. When you use arnica, the body will begin to produce more white blood cells to help remove the damaged blood and tissue. As the area heals, the dark colors fade and tenderness in your tissues dissipates. 

3 different arnica products

Arnica Soothes Inflammation

When you’ve been injured, one of the first responses that are common for your body is inflammation.  Arnica is a strong anti-inflammatory so it should be used immediately after an injury. Once you’ve absorbed it, the anti-inflammatory benefits will begin to spread to areas in your body. 

Arnica Eases Arthritis Pain

As you become older, it can become very difficult to perform the tasks that were common to your daily life in the past. Swelling in the joints can make these tasks painful, and discourage you from completing projects. Arnica has long been associated with soothing the sore joints of older people. After ingesting arnica, doctors have noticed a measurable decrease in inflammation near effected tissue areas. 

Arnica is a useful substitute for OTC pain relief when it is paired with other natural methods. 

As mentioned earlier my doctor also suggested I eat pineapple everyday during my recovery. Pineapple contains bromelain, an anti-inflammatory enzyme the body uses to help healing. Pineapple can help reduce the duration and severity of bruising after surgery or injury.

How to use Arnica

It depends which product you want to use but the two most widely available forms are a cream/gel and little homeopathic tablets. The flavorless tablets are placed under your tongue and allowed to dissolve. You'll do this a few times a day (as per the instructions on label) 

You can also get a cream or gel in a tube and that would be applied topically to the injured area 2-3 times a day. Do not apply to broken skin!

Arnica is an herb but is not taken internally like most herbal preparations, because it has serious side effects. This is one of the few herbs that I refuse to grow and prepare myself! I could make an herb infused oil using the dried flowers of the Arnica plant then use that to make a salve or cream. 

DO NOT use Arnica flowers as a tea! Homeopathic Arnica tablets are highly diluted and therefore safe, but it's difficult to know how strong an herb is when preparing it yourself so in cases where the herb can be dangerous...it's better to stick with commercially prepared products. For safety!

Related reading: Want to learn more about taking care of your health naturally? Check out all my natural healthcare and herbalism posts!

~L

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