Arnica (Arnica montana) is an herb that has been used medically since the 1500s by the peoples of the Americas and Europe. It has a wide range of uses and can be administered topically for sprains, insect bites, muscle soreness, joint pain and bruising. Topical arnica can help soothe pain and facilitate quicker healing.
Topical arnica use
1. Obtain the topical arnica. Topical arnica (also called Leopard’s bane) comes in a variety of forms, such as a tincture of 70 percent ethanol, or in cream or ointment form. It can be purchased at most health food stores and many drugstores.
2. Pour the topical arnica directly onto the bruised area and gently massage it into the skin. The sooner you can apply arnica, the more effective it will be in healing your bruise. Arnica will reduce the swelling, discoloration, and discomfort of the bruised area.
3. Store your arnica at room temperature. Very hot or very cold temperatures can degrade the integrity of topical arnica and may render it less effective.
4. Reapply topical arnica to the affected area according to the instructions on your product label. In general, reapplication can be as often as needed for topical arnica, since the skin will absorb it at an appropriate rate. Topical arnica is safe for use in adults and children, but consult the product label as children require a smaller dose.
5. Consult with your doctor or licensed homeopath if you develop adverse reactions to topical arnica. A small number of people are highly allergic to the arnica plant, so be sure you do not suffer from this allergy before you apply arnica to a large area.
6. Discontinue use of arnica if you suffer irritation or eczema on skin where it has been applied, as can happen with prolonged use. Don’t use arnica on that area again until the skin is healed.