Natural Healing Spotlight: Arnica


History and Uses:

Arnica montana has been used medicinally since the 1500's and continues to be used today. It can be applied topically as a cream, ointment, liniment, salve, or tincture. Europeans and Native Americans have used Arnica to soothe muscle aches, reduce inflammation, and heal wounds. It is often the first remedy used for injuries such as sprains and bruises. Arnica in its herbal form is primarily restricted to topical (external) use because it can cause serious side effects when taken internally. Arnica is often used in homeopathy and can be taken internally when it is in the extremely diluted form common to homeopathic remedies.  

Anecdotal Story:

My almost three year old recently had surgery and I was so worried about how I would handle his pain afterwards. I wanted to avoid heavy duty pain killers if I could, but I also didn't want him to be suffering. I spoke with his Naturopathic doctor who recommended that I use Arnica. Typically, the Arnica that is used on a day-to-day basis is the strength 30c but she had me get some 200c which is a stronger dose. I gave him a dose before his surgery and then immediately after. I continued giving him Arnica (rotating with another homeopathic remedy for surgical wound healing) every couple of hours and by the end of the second day, I hardly noticed a need for it. He never once acted like he was in pain (and believe me, if you would have seen the wound, you would have thought he would have been in a lot of pain!) and once the numbing from the caudal block wore off about three hours after we got home from the hospital, he was his normal, happy self - running around the house, jumping, and being silly. I had imagined we'd be up all night with a screaming child and was delighted to see that the reality was totally opposite of my imaginations. I was completely amazed at the fact that these little white homeopathic pills worked so well for his pain and that I never had to fill the expensive prescription for Loritab. When someone gets a little bump or bruise, that is the first thing I reach for. I love them because they are very easy to give to children (just cut the dosage in half) and in my experience, have been very effective.

You can find homeopathic Arnica tablets at most health food stores or online. Vitacost.com has a wonderful price on the Hyland brand.

To see past Natural Healing Spotlights, click here.

Information on Arnica taken from here and here.

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