Arnica Herb health benefit and side effects
May 20 2016 by
Ray Sahelian, M.D.

Arnica is an herb derived from the Arnica montana plant (also known as wolf's bane) that has long been in use as a remedy for bruising, swelling and muscle soreness. I, personally, do not have much experience using this plant.

Arnica is available as an extract, tablet, gel, ointment, tincture, cream, oil, tea, and homeopathic arnica.

Benefit Arnica Montana herb

Arnica For Bruising
This herbal remedy seems to help lessen the bruising that often comes with plastic surgery. The study, of 29 face-lift patients, tested the effects of an oral preparation of arnica. Arnica is toxic if taken in a strong enough dose, but proponents say that in homeopathic doses, the plant has a range of uses -- one of the most popular being as a banisher of bruises. Arnica is often sold in health food stores as a topical ointment, but can also be taken in pill form. Many surgeons have started giving oral arnica to their patients as a way to minimize post-operative bruising. The research evidence on arnica, however, has been mixed. Some studies have found the herb to be no better than a placebo in helping bruises to heal. In this study, researchers assessed an arnica product, sold as SinEcch, that is marketed specifically for reducing bruising and swelling following plastic surgery. Alpine Pharmaceuticals, the maker of SinEcch, partially funded the study. The 29 face-lift patients were randomly assigned to take 12 doses of either arnica pills or placebo pills, starting on the morning of their surgery. During their recovery, photographs were taken to chart the changes in facial bruising. The patients also rated their own impressions of their healing. Overall, there were no clear differences between the groups in terms of how well they thought their bruises were healing. In both groups, it took about 11 days, on average, for patients to "feel comfortable going out to dinner."Arnica patients' bruises tended to be smaller, particularly on the first day after surgery and one week later. They also showed a different pattern in bruise healing - steadily improving after the first post-operative day, whereas placebo patients tended to get worse before improving. As for people who use arnica cream for everyday bruises, the current findings may have little relevance. It's not clear that common topical arnica preparations penetrate the skin enough to have much impact on bruises. Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery, 2006.

Research, content, ingredients
New sesquiterpene lactones from Arnica tincture prepared from fresh flowerheads of Arnica montana.
Planta Med. 2005.
Investigation of an ethanolic extract prepared from fresh Arnica montana flowers afforded three new 1,5- trans-guaianolides, of which 11alpha,13-dihydro-2-O-tigloylflorilenalin and the respective 2-O-isovaleryl derivative are reported for the first time. Additionally, three new and one known 2beta-ethoxy-2,3-dihydrohelenalin esters were isolated.

Post partum bleeding
The effect of the homeopathic remedies Arnica montana and Bellis perennis on mild postpartum bleeding--a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study--preliminary results.
Complement Ther Med. The Center for Integrative Complementary Medicine, Shaare Zedek Medical Center, Jerusalem Israel.
To evaluate the effect of Arnica Montana and Bellis perennis on postpartum blood loss. Double blind, placebo-controlled, randomized, clinical trial. Department of Gynecology, Shaare Zedek Medical Center, Jerusalem. Forty parturients were randomized to one of three groups: Arnica montana C6 and Bellis perennis C6, Arnica montana C30 and Bellis perennis C30, or double placebo. After 48 h the Arnica / placebo was halted, and patients continued the Bellis / placebo until cessation of lochia. Treatment with homeopathic Arnica montana and Bellis perennis may reduce postpartum blood loss, as compared with placebo.

How safe s arnica during pregnancy?
   I am not sure but I would avoid oral use until studies are published.

Am J Ther. 2014. Effectiveness and Safety of Arnica montana in Post-Surgical Setting, Pain and Inflammation. Arnica montana has been widely used as a homeopathic remedy for the treatment of several inflammatory conditions in pain management and postoperative settings. This review gives an overview of the therapeutic use of Arnica montana in the above-mentioned fields also focusing on its mechanisms of action learned from animal models and in vitro studies. Arnica montana is more effective than placebo when used for the treatment of several conditions including post-traumatic and postoperative pain, edema, and ecchymosis. However, its dosages and preparations used have produced substantial differences in the clinical outcome. Cumulative evidence suggests that Arnica montana may represent a valid alternative to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, at least when treating some specific conditions.

Varicose vein surgery
Efficacy of Arnica in varicose vein surgery: results of a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study
Forsch Komplementarmed Klass Naturheilkd. 2003.
In homeopathy ARNICA is widely used as a wound healing medication and for the treatment of hematomas. In this pilot study the efficacy and safety of ARNICA D12 in patients following varicose vein surgery were investigated. Prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot trial according to ICH GCP guidelines. The study was conducted by a surgeon at the Angiosurgical Clinic, Berlin- Buch. After randomized allocation, 60 patients received either ARNICA D12 or placebo. Start of medication occurred the evening before operation with 5 globules. On the operation day one preoperative and hourly postoperative dosages after awakening were given. On days 2-14 of the study 5 globules 3 times a day were given. The results of this pilot study showed a trend towards a beneficial effect of ARNICA D12 with regard to reduction of hematoma and pain during the postoperative course. For a statistically significant proof of efficacy of ARNICA D12 in patients following varicose vein surgery a larger sample size is necessary.

Arnica tablet, gel, oil and topical use questions
Q. I have a cream for feet and legs with arnica as the second ingredient. I have read that used topically in concentrated amounts it can cause the uterus to contract. I have also read that used topically during pregnancy or while breastfeeding it is not recommended as some can absorb into the skin and it is not know how it may affect a developing baby. The cream is supposed to be healthy soothing/ good for the relief of varicose veins, and also contains aloe vera, jojoba, eucalyptus, peppermint and vitamin E. Does what research you see agree with what I found, or is it different? I don't want to try it if it'll affect my baby (I'm 34 wks pregnant).
   A. We are not familiar with the influence of arnica in cream form on the human body.

arnica montana treatment tuberculosis
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dried arnica seed flower