In 2005, medical professionals began noticing a growing trend geared toward the use of homeopathic medicine by their patients. Today, more individuals seek information on this particular treatment option for various reasons, including the increasing rise in cost for traditional medication. Although alternative medicine is not fully supervised by government entities, such as the FDA, there has been movement towards its acceptance within the medical community.

Alternative Remedies, which includes homeopathy, acupuncture, and other unconventional forms of treatment, seeks to heal the body with a more holistic approach – that is, by looking at the body as a whole, rather than simply focusing on a specific ailment. This approach can be applied for acute health issues, such as a cold, stress, or healing minor wounds, with positive results. Alternative medicine can also be used in conjunction with modern medicine. This practice is known as “Complementary Medicine.”

Arnica’s History

Found in the mountains of Europe and Siberia, this perennial flower can be used fresh or dry to treat a variety of ailments. Since the 1500s, Native Americans have been using Arnica to treat wounds, and it is still used for its healing properties today.

Available Forms of Arnica

Arnica is available in several forms: gel, cream, tincture, salve, and pill. It can be used topically to aid in healing wounds following surgery and various other minor abrasions, but should not be applied on a fresh wound. As a tincture or salve, it can be applied directly to sprained or injured muscles to provide temporary relief.

Most physicians advise against using Arnica internally because it has been reported to cause stomach irritation and can be poisonous. Alternatively, the topical forms are more likely to be accepted for use. Always check with your doctor before using Arnica in any form due to its interaction with other medications and physical conditions. Always follow any instructions located on the package.

Arnica’s Current Uses

Arnica can be used to treat a variety of ailments, including:

  • sprains
  • muscle aches
  • rheumatic pain
  • inflammation
  • swelling
  • acne
  • sunburn

When deciding to try Arnica for your particular ailment, it is always best to run your decision by a doctor first. Even though this herbal supplement has little scientific research to support its claims, physicians can usually determine whether or not a herb is safe to use internally or externally based on its mechanism of action.

Always follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer and cease using Arnica if any side effects occur, such as headache or dizziness.