The Miracle of Arnica


Do you believe in miracles? If you don’t, try using an arnica-based treatment the next time you have sore muscles or a bruise, and you just might change your mind!

Those who bruise easily or have a particularly severe bruise report that using arnica-based creams, salves, and oils helps bruises heal faster. Sometimes as soon as four days after beginning application!

You’ll also find various forms of arnica in the medicine cabinets of athletes and outdoor enthusiasts who want to combat sore muscles after a strenuous day of racing, hiking, or exploring.

So what is arnica anyway?

Arnica, or Arnica Montana, is an herb found in North America’s more temperate climates, growing wild in the German and Austrian Alps, and in Southern Russia and Northern India as well. This mountain herb has fuzzy, yellow-orange flowers with a rather strong odor.

It is said that arnica was one of the mystic healing herbs in ancient times. And over time, the healing knowledge of arnica has been passed down to hikers and others that explore the mountains.

If an injury happens in the middle of a hike in more rugged and remote parts of the Alps and other ranges, rushing to urgent care isn’t an option. The poultice of crushed arnica leaves has been used for centuries to activate instant relief and healing when an injury occurs in the backcountry.

Today, a poultice with diluted arnica tincture remains an effective treatment for bruises, contusions, concussions, sprains, and swelling. The flowers of arnica are often used in homeopathic treatments as a tincture, oil, cream, and sometimes in tablet form, and may even help to combat headaches. Arnica is implemented in the manufacturing of anti-dandruff treatments and tonics, while arnica oil is used in commercial cosmetics.

At one point, diluted arnica was being used to remedy sore throats, but because of toxicity concerns, internal use of arnica extracts is no longer advised. In fact, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) lists arnica as unsafe for oral ingestion, so please do not pop an arnica flower in your mouth the next time you’re out on a hike!

Additionally, arnica should not be applied to open wounds or mucous membranes. So let’s review: No arnica in your mouth or your nose. Got it?!

Ok, where can arnica be applied then? Before we discuss that, let’s look at how it works in the first place.

How does arnica work?

Arnica montana’s action mechanism is as much a mystery as the herb is miracle, but a rather recent study on the effectiveness and safety of arnica montana does explain that arnica’s actions could be the result of the chemicals dihyrdohelenalin and helenalin. These two chemicals may kill bacteria and cancer cells, decrease the activity of blood cells and chemicals that lead to inflammation, act as antibiotics, and alter the action of immune cells.

According to a 2017 study, beneficial compounds are found in different parts of the arnica plant, including flavonoids, carotenoids, phenolic acids, and essential oils, giving arnica extracts their antibacterial, antitumor, antioxidant, anti‐inflammatory, anti-fungal, and immunomodulatory properties.

Whatever the scientific reason for its magic, arnica works! It has been used extensively in pain management and as a homeopathic remedy for the treatment of various inflammatory conditions. And arnica montana is a popular treatment for postoperative and post-traumatic pain, edema, and several other conditions.

According to cumulative evidence, arnica montana may eventually be a valid alternative to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in some circumstances. For now, it’s pretty clear that arnica isn’t just for backcountry adventurers anymore!

What are the everyday benefits of using arnica?

With its antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving, and wound healing properties, arnica remedies are well suited for treating bruising and pain associated with minor injuries. If you have any concerns or allergies, always check with your doctor before using any type of arnica.

Arnica is also commonly utilized to treat pain caused by osteoarthritis and swelling after an injury or surgery. By combining arnica flowers with other healing ingredients such as organic coconut oil and avocado oil, arnica is able to penetrate more deeply into the skin.

At Bee Boys, we make our Arnica Avocado Salve with the highest-quality organic and natural ingredients, including Certified Naturally Grown beeswax and propolis. We infuse our arnica salve with both organic avocado oil and coconut oil. Avocado oil calm is touted for helping to calm itchy skin, help chapped and dry skin, and act as a natural ultraviolet radiation barrier.

Like arnica flowers, coconut oil can help treat inflammation and heal wounds. And the medium-chain fatty acids found in coconut oil also possess antimicrobial properties that may protect the skin from harmful bacteria and help in healing acne, while keeping skin hydrated.

Before you head off on your next hike or off-the-grid adventure, grab a tin of our Arnica Avocado Salve and you won’t have to worry about sore muscles and bruises ruining the fun.

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