Better Nutrition

Arnica for what ails you

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what is it? Arnica is a homeopathi­c and herbal medicine from the Arnica montana plant, known for its bright yellow flowers. Native to Europe, arnica is both a homeopathi­c and herbal medicine— the flower is extracted and processed differentl­y when used homeopathi­cally.

top uses: Homeopathi­c arnica has a long history of use as a healing remedy. Here’s a quick overview of arnica’s most common health applicatio­ns ( prevention and/ or treatment of):

Bone fractures Bruises and black eye Rashes, including eczema Pre- and post- surgical healing Shock associated with burns Sore muscles Sprains, strains, and swelling Traumatic injury, all kinds

tidbits: In one study, herbal arnica gel ( not homeopathi­c) was shown to provide relief of pain and stiffness for mild- to- moderate knee pain when applied twice daily for six weeks.

beauty & personal care: Arnica oil, which makes a great massage oil, soothes achy muscles and tired feet ( try adding to a foot bath). The cheerful yellow flower can also help reduce under- eye puffiness and is therefore added to some eye creams ( try Home Health Goji Berry Eye Cream). And homeopathi­c pills may help clear up certain types of acne. According to expert Jacquelyn Wilson, MD, DHt, of Escondido, Calif., arnica is excellent for painful acne with a sore, bruised feeling in your skin; a sunken, red face with the feeling of heat on the lips; itchy, burning pimples; or pimples occurring in crops— one heals, a new eruption pops up near it.

supplement options & dosages: FOR TOPICAL USES: Look for arnica gel, cream, oil, or ointment, either as a homeopathi­c preparatio­n or as pure arnica extract ( herbalbase­d). Rub on sites that are not bleeding ( e. g., sprains, burns, swollen areas, and cuts that have scarred and healed). FOR PILLS: Let 3– 5 pellets ( 30x or 30c dilution) dissolve under your tongue; repeat 3– 4 times a day between meals until symptoms are resolved.

cautions: Never apply arnica to an open wound or broken skin— it can be toxic if it gets into the body. Similarly, homeopathi­c pellets are the only safe way to take arnica internally ( avoid ingesting the remedy in any other form). Stop using arnica if you develop a rash, which indicates a possible sensitivit­y to a compound in the flower ( helenalin).

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