Benefits of Arnica Montana: Relieve Aches and Pains

| 3/30/2009 2:32:11 PM


For muscle and joint pain, my homeopathic remedy is arnica (Arnica montana). Applied topically as a cream, gel, ointment, tincture or salve, arnica relieves soreness and reduces swelling.

In junior high, my dance teacher made it a requirement to bring arnica cream to class in case of an injury. Audrey, my instructor, would rub the cream on her ankles before and after class. When a dancer would fall, someone would run across the street to grab ice and everyone else would grab arnica from their dance bag. Audrey would always scold the students who didn’t bring their arnica cream, as if they had forgotten their jazz shoes.

Arnica Montana
Photo by Luberon/Courtesy Flickr

Helenalin is a compound found in this daisy-like mountain flower and it’s responsible for the anti-inflammatory affects of arnica. Dr. Andrew Weil says arnica is toxic if it gets inside the body and it shouldn’t be applied to an open wound or any form of broken skin. It’s a mild pain reliever so it should only be used for acute conditions.

Using arnica externally is recommended for muscle and joint injuries, sprains, bruising and swelling. Whenever I take a dance class I bring my arnica in case of an injury. Like Audrey, I massage it on my ankles before and after class to reduce inflammation and relieve any pain.

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