Arnica,Arnica montana, also called sneezing or mountain tobacco, is a lively herbaceous plant native to Europe where it grows wild and can reach half a meter in height. Arnica belongs to the botanical family of the Asteraceae, like chamomile and calendula or marigold.
Depending on the medicinal use that we are going to make of it, we will take advantage of the whole plant or only the arnica flower.
Arnica can normally be found in the form of an ointment, cream, gel or oil, and is used for the healing of bruises, sprains, muscle pain, swelling and in general, any problem that is related to the bones, tendons or the muscles. An example of such problems would be rheumatoid arthritis. In addition, it is also used successfully to combat pregnancy stretch marks.
Active principles and properties of arnica
This plant has triterpenes, phenols, flavonoids, coumarins, phytosterols, tannins, carotenes and bitter principles such as arcinin.
Arnica has a powerful anti-inflammatory, fungicidal, astringent, febrifugal, antiplatelet, cardiotonic, vulvar, antispasmodic, rubefacient, antibiotic, choleretic, antihistamine, healing, immunostimulating, sedative and analgesic action.
- Analgesic properties of arnica. They help us relieve pain from sprains, bruises and other injuries.
- Anti-inflammatory properties of arnica. They explain why this medicinal plant helps reduce inflammation and reduce the temporary swelling of injuries, as well as bruises. This is because it contains a compound called helenalin.
- Arnica antimicrobial properties. They make it very useful to combat minor skin irritations.
Arnica montana also has a high rubefacient power, this means that it is capable of stimulating blood circulation in the area where it is applied, and that increased blood causes the disappearance of hematomas and bruises, and can even reduce the possibility of which they are formed.
In addition, it is a plant with healing properties very appropriate to treat pain, bumps, swellings, bruises, skin problems and to prevent infections, although to date there is no absolute certainty of how the plant.
And to obtain all its benefits, we can apply it in the form of a cream, ointment, gel or oil.
Some studies suggest that in addition to the more well-known benefits of relieving pain, swelling, and bruising, arnica may also be useful for treating post-surgery pain and swelling, relieving them in a mild but significant way.
You can take advantage of the antibiotic properties of this medicinal plant to treat mouth problems by rinsing and gargling, taking care not to swallow or ingest the product.
In the form of a cream, ointment, gel or oil (not taken by mouth), arnica is used to:
- Bumps or bruises: Its use prevents the appearance of bruises, bumps and reduces pain
- Freezes: If unopened blisters have occurred, arnica cream has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that will help reduce the sensation of pain
- Tears or strains and muscle aches
- Bruises on the eyes
- Sprains and dislocations
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Pregnancy stretch marks
- Unopened ulcers, skin eczema and acne
- Hair care by making natural shampoos
- Mouthwashes with the aim of curing canker sores in the mouth, gum problems or pyorrhea of the teeth
- By gargling we can eliminate the bacteria that affect the throat and that cause conditions such as pharyngitis or angina
- Washing of the genital area in case of vaginal itching
Arnica should never be ingested due to its high toxicity, with the exception of homeopathic treatments prescribed by doctors for:
- Fight epilepsy
- Dizziness on marine trips
- Increase the flow of blood through the coronary arteries after someone has suffered from angina pectoris
- They are also being used experimentally for the treatment of lung and colon cancer cells.
- Mountain tobacco: Arnica is also known as “mountain tobacco”. The reason for this name is due to the fact that the mountaineers smoked its dried leaves to treat respiratory problems, especially bronchitis and coughs, although this use often irritated their mucous membranes.
- In Homeopathy: Arnica is one of the plants most used in homeopathic treatments.
Advantages of arnica
An additional advantage of arnica is thatcan be used in homeopathic medicineTherefore, as the substance is diluted so much, its ingestion is no longer dangerous. Despite this, its use should always be consulted with the doctor.
Attention to its side effects and contraindications
The internal consumption of arnica is dangerous and toxic, so not The consumption of its infusion in the form of tea (known as arnica tea) is recommended, since it can produce:
- General discomfort
- Death in case of excessive consumption
These contraindications disappear in homeopathic products made with this substance under strict medical supervision.
The direct ingestion of the arnica plant or its infusion can be very toxic, so it is only recommended for external use. The only exception to ingesting products that contain arnica is in homeopathic preparations, where strict controls and protocols have been followed to avoid this toxicity.
The infusion of this plant is only recommended for gargling or to apply externally, depending on the ailment you want to combat or improve.
Arnica is used cutaneously in the form of an ointment, cream, gel or oil, so all the effects that have been described refer to the external use of the plant.
Sometimes, due to the potential of the plant or to the little diluted use of it, cutaneous reactions have been observed on the skin characterized by more or less extensive redness. And especially in very sensitive skin, arnica can cause skin lesions such as dermatitis or blisters.
Arnica is not advised, and even less orally, during pregnancy and lactation because it is not safe due to the toxic potential of the plant.
In case of allergic to the plant, or of people with open wounds or bleeding, it is not recommended to apply arnica to avoid causing intoxication.
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