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essential in your first aid kit

Known since ancient Greece, Arnica montana is one of the most widely used plants in homeopathy. Rich in anti-inflammatory and analgesic principles, it is also used to make ointments, balms, mother tinctures, ampoules, etc. Knocks, blows, bruises, muscle aches, recovery after physical exertion…: discover all its benefits.

From the Asteraceae family, mountain arnica is also called mountain betony, alpine plantain, Vosges tobacco… It is recognizable by its orange-yellow flowers that appear from May to July depending on the altitude. In France, it grows in mid-mountain pastures up to 2,800 meters in the Pyrenees, the Vosges, the Massif Central, the Alps… Subject to intensive exploitation that threatens the species, it is now listed as a protected species in some European countries. French countries and departments. That is why we recommend that you prefer brands that use organically grown arnica or communicate the responsible and sustainable aspect of its collection: wild collection by hand, without uprooting the underground stems or harvesting the fruitful plants. This is the case of the brands that are offered in our selection.

Arnica

Arnica – Source: spm

The flagship remedy for trauma

Analgesic, soothing and anti-inflammatory, arnica relieves trauma as soon as it appears: blow, bump, bruise, shock, contusion… It also acts on sunburn, superficial burns, chafing or even nosebleeds. . The WHO recognizes its traditional use as a local treatment of pain and inflammation caused by minor bruises, bruises or bruises, insect bites and superficial phlebitis. Natural pain reliever and muscle relaxant, it also relieves muscle tension, joint pain, body aches, sprains, dislocations, tendinitis. It also has healing, vasoprotective, antioxidant properties and is also known to relieve venous insufficiency. Finally, used in mouthwashes and very diluted, it can relieve canker sores or gingivitis (do not swallow it).

Its active ingredients

Arnica has several molecules, present mainly in its flowers, which give it its many medicinal properties. Its active ingredients have anti-inflammatory and analgesic virtues, essential oil (antibacterial virtue), coumarins (protective vascular properties), carotenoids that give flowers their orange-yellow color, and substances with antioxidant properties (flavonoids, polyphenols, and vitamins C and E).

arnica essential oil

Arnica essential oil – Source: spm

In what ways to use arnica?

In homeopathic form (granules)

Arnica is only used orally in homeopathy (granules, doses, drops, ampoules, tablets, etc.), because otherwise it can cause respiratory problems or heart rhythm disturbances.

  • Low dilutions of arnica (4 or 5 CH, 6 DH)6 are recommended before minor muscular effort, during warm-up, to avoid soreness.
  • Medium dilutions (7 or 9 CH, 10 DH) are recommended during intense sports activity, to support effort and avoid cramps and pain.
  • High dilutions (15 or 30 CH, 30 DH) should be taken in case of violent shock, either physical or emotional. To promote sleep after unusual physical exertion, take 5 granules in 15 CH at night. Finally, homeopaths prescribe it before or after a tooth extraction (one dose in 15 CH the day before tooth extraction to limit the appearance of a bruise) or to prepare for a surgical operation (5 granules in 9 CH twice a day for 3 to 4 days before the operation and three times a day after the operation until complete recovery). Do not take if you are hypersensitive to arnica or allergic to other plants in the Asteraceae family.

In the form of ampoules, drops

Containing purified water and ethanol, they are used in cases of sports muscle overexertion, tendinitis or sprains. Dosage: one ampoule per day or 50 to 150 drops, depending on the person and the severity of the disorder. Always go to the doctor, and avoid pregnant women, children under 12 years of age, if you have liver disease or epilepsy.

mother tincture

Obtained by hydroalcoholic maceration of fresh flowers, it is used in the local treatment of minor trauma (blow, hematoma, contusion). Apply it to the painful area, two to four times a day on intact skin, never on an open wound. Avoid in pregnant women and children. We do not recommend taking it orally.

Oily macerate (or oil)

It is made from cold macerated arnica flowers in virgin vegetable oil (sunflower, olive), then filtered. Its richness in essential fatty acids (linoleic acid, oleic acid, etc.) and vitamin E give it antiseptic, healing and antioxidant properties. Choose a 100% natural macerate or an oil without preservatives, preferably organic. Use it for external use only: as a massage oil after a sports or gardening session, in case of body aches, sprains, muscle pain… It can also be suitable for sensitive skin with a tendency to redness, and protect the skin from aging. Store it in an opaque glass bottle away from heat and light.

gel, cream, balm

Whatever the texture, the result is the same. The important thing is to check the arnica content, because some products contain very little. A quality gel or cream should contain 7 to 10% arnica (Arnica montana flower extract or mother tincture), an ointment 25% tincture of arnica mixed with 75% vegetable oil. Prefer a product with as few ingredients as possible and above all natural (shea butter, beeswax, vegetable glycerin, essential oil, carrageenan, vitamin E, sesame oil, etc.). Prohibit allergenic preservatives (benzyl alcohol, dehydroacetic acid, sodium dehydroacetate), triethanolamine (toxic, its production results from the reaction of ethylene oxide with ammonia), synthetic polymers (carbomer), and mineral oils derived from petroleum (paraffin oil, vaseline). Apply your product two or three times a day until improvement, in a thin layer on a lump or bruise, in case of muscle or joint pain. Do not apply on open wounds, infected lesions, suppurating dermatoses as well as near the eyes and mouth. Use them occasionally, since a prolonged or excessively dosed application of an arnica-based product can cause irritation, redness, itching and eczema.

cold spray

Sprayed for three seconds with a sweep on the painful area from a minimum distance of 15 cm, it diffuses an intense cold that quickly relieves bruises or muscle pain. By creating heat shock, it reduces inflammation, slows blood flow to the trauma, and thus prevents the formation of a hematoma or edema. Please be careful when using it as aerosols are flammable aerosols (containing butane, propane, isobutane). Check carefully the composition of the product, since most of these sprays contain perfume (allergenic), methylal (solvent that can cause irritation of the skin, eyes and respiratory tract8), isopropyl myristate (comedogenic), derivative paraffin oil of hydrocarbons (not very biodegradable). Prefer those that combine arnica with natural ingredients (apricot kernel oil, menthol, witch hazel, harpagophytum, etc.).

in cosmetics

The arnica flower extract (obtained by maceration, distillation or CO2 extraction) is sometimes used in cosmetics, in the composition of hand creams, shampoos, body milks. On the INCI ingredients list, you will find it under the names Arnica montana flower extract or Arnica montana flower oil. But beware, it’s not just arnica! Read labels carefully and track synthetic components that are harmful to health or have an impact on the environment, such as polluting synthetic polymers (PEG-100 stearate, disodium EDTA). Be especially careful with arnica-based effervescent shower gels, bath oils, and bath pebbles, sometimes guaranteed free of preservatives, silicone, or mineral oil, but containing polysorbate 20 (a contaminant), synthetic dyes (CI 47005, CI 15 985…), allergenic synthetic fragrances or other toxic substances.

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