by the Power of Arnica

by the Power of Arnica

The German scientist and writer Goethe (1749-1832) claimed that arnica had saved his life. The story of the wonderful herb Arnica montana goes back centuries. Arnica was discovered as a medicinal plant by Europeans in the 16th century. Growing up in its wild form in alpine meadows, it covered parts of Europe and America with its bright orange-yellow blossom, similar to that of a daisy.

In the 1950s, the Swiss holistic physician Alfred Vogel wrote that arnica can be found in Switzerland anywhere up to an altitude of 2,500 meters. Perhaps this is why it became known as “Mountain Tobacco”. Today, as it becomes increasingly rare in its wild form, it is a protected species in many parts of Europe. Described in old textbooks as a plant for faster wound healing. Climbers usually sought it for relief from muscle aches in Russian traditional medicine as well.

Arnica is used for atherosclerosis, uterine bleeding, angina, fatigue, sprains, heart failure and alopecia due to psychological causes. Topical preparations with arnica appear to have antiseptic, analgesic and healing properties. It is used in musculoskeletal injuries, body aches and joint injuries due to either excessive exercise or an injury. Arnica is a plant that has a tall stem but very few leaves. Its large flowers, most of which are bent back to some extent, bloom during the summer months of its second year. Today, its flowers are used for medicinal purposes, but it is difficult to grow successfully, as it requires patience and careful cultivation in a specific type of soil.

Arnica is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. However, over time it became much more widely used externally, making it currently available for internal use only as a homeopathic remedy. Its external use is a very popular treatment for the relief of pain and swelling of bruises, as arnica is an analgesic herb with very important healing properties.

Today we know that this amazing herb is equally beneficial for arthritic and muscle aches and sprains. It is also clinically proven that its topical application has anti-inflammatory action. In fact, in a recent clinical trial study, it was investigated how beneficial a gel made from fresh arnica tincture is for osteoarthritis. (Arnica Montana Gel for Osteoarthritis of the Knee, Kneusel, Weber & Suter, 2002)

The study lasted six weeks and almost 90% of patients improved. In fact, after the third week, there was a significant reduction in pain and stiffness in the knee. Given this to a large number of people suffering from arthritis, it is really hopeful that this medicinal plant can help in treating this particular problem.