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What is arnica? What is it used for?
Arnica is a perennial plant in the mountainous regions of
Canada, the U.S. and Europe, with dark brown roots and a simple
(lightly branched) stem that reaches a height of 1-2 feet.
Each plant contains 1-9 large, daisy-like yellow flowers,
with notched outer ends. The medicinal parts of the plant
include the flowers and root stock.
External uses for arnica include contusions, edema, swelling,
joint problems, rheumatism and hematoma. Internally, arnica
may fight oral and throat infections, inflammation caused
by insect bites, and internal bleeding.
How much arnica should I take?
The amount of arnica taken depends on its use. For mouth
rinses, arnica may be taken in a tincture that has been diluted
10 times. When used in infusions, the typical arnica content
is two grams of herb per 100ml of water.
What forms of arnica are available?
Arnica is available in a wide range of forms, including infusions,
tinctures and ointments. Arnica is also sometimes used as
a poultice or compress.
What can happen if I take too much
arnica? Are there any interactions I should be aware of? What
precautions should I take?
Arnica should not be used on open wounds or broken skin.
Prolonged use of arnica to treat damaged skin may itself cause
disorders, including eczema and the formation of pustules
on the skin. High doses may lead to more severe conditions,
From a toxicological viewpoint, oral use of arnica is considered
potentially unsafe. If taken orally, it should be used only
after careful consultation with a qualified health care practitioner.
Other Resources :
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- Blumenthal M (ed.) The Complete German
Commission E Monographs. Boston: Integrative Medicine
Communications, 1998, pp. 83-84.
- Gruezo WS, Denford KE. Taxonomy of arnica
L. subgenus chamissonis maguire (asteraceae).
Asia Life Sciences 1994;3(2):89-212.
- McGuffin M (ed.) American Herbal Products
Association Botanical Safety Handbook. Boca Raton: CRC
Press, 1997, p. 14.
- Wagner H, Bladt S, Zgainski EM. Drogenanalyse
(Plant Drug Analysis). Berlin: Springer-Verlag, 1983,
- Wolf SJ. Cytotaxonomic studies in the
genus arnica (compositae: senecioneae). Rhodora 1987;89:391-400.