Gearing up for the beach? It’s that time of year,…
If you are unfamiliar with Arnica Oil, it’s most likely that you are not an avid label-reader, as this beneficial plant-derived oil has long been an active ingredient in numerous formulations–mostly in treating pain. With an equal share of use in alleviating pain suffered by those with arthritis as the more acute needs resulting from sports injuries, Arnica Oil has been shown to be highly effective in healing bruises as well as reducing the time needed for injuries to heal. Another reason that Arnica Oil may seem to be a new agent is that it goes by other names. Also known as Mountain Tobacco, Leopard’s Bane, Wolfsbane and European Arnica, the producing plant is known to grow in Europe, southern Russia and in North American areas that are heavily wooded. This perennial flowering plant with its bright yellow flowers closely resembles daisies with fuzzy leaves, and has been utilized for many years, by many cultures. There are some cautionary warnings that should be heeded when using Arnica Oil, as it is a more powerful agent than most, and may be contraindicated for some people to use.
This is the species of Arnica plant used in commercially prepared Arnica Oil products sold over the counter in a number of different formulations, and going under different brand names. Within this healing oil another essential oil can be found, known as Thymol, as well as flavonoids, inulin, carotenoids and circulation-boosting tannins. The way it works has to do with its ability to stimulate white blood cell activity–the specific ones that do the bulk of the job of digesting congested blood. In injuries and bruises, this means that trapped fluids become dispersed from the tissues, joints and muscles. There is evidence suggesting its benefit to improve health and conduction capabilities of some nerves. All uses include dilution, whether with water in both topical and ingested forms of treatment, or in formulations including lotions, creams, ointments and gels.
Uses for Arnica Oil
While most of its use is in topical applications, there are many who dilute Arnica Oil in water for use as a mouthwash/gargle for both inflamed gums and sore throats. Caution must be exercised not to swallow Arnica mouthwash, as this oil is not to be ingested internally. It can be used as a soothing soak ingredient for your feet, and it is being applied in cream or gel form to the scalp to treat issues with hair loss. Ointments containing Arnica Oil are used in treating and preventing phlebitis.
Precautionary Information for Arnica Oil Use
Before using Arnica Oil in any form, first discuss this with your primary care provider to determine its safety, as among the side effects linked with Arnica Oil use are GI-related nausea and vomiting. It can cause problems when used by anyone with chronic liver or kidney disease. It is not to be used to treat an open wound, due to the Arnica component of helenalin. This is a poisonous active ingredient that can be heart-toxic. With long term use, it has been found to produce eczema. Signs of overdose include those similar to other commonly known symptoms of poisoning, such as diarrhea, hemorrhaging and fatality. Arnica Oil is not to be used by pregnant or nursing women.