One of the most important ways to stay healthy doesn’t just involve eating a healthy diet; it includes getting plenty of regular exercise. A balanced diet coupled with a sedentary lifestyle simply isn’t enough. You need to be active. This may start out with simple activities like walking around the block, but over time, you may eventually be running for miles or lifting heavy weights. Exercise not only helps you feel healthy, it gives you the energy to tackle challenges in your life and may even improve your mood.
There is a potential downside, however. With increased exercise comes an increased risk for injury. You may end up straining a muscle or bruising an arm. Even if more serious injuries don’t occur, you may feel some soreness and stiffness. While some may turn to pain-relieving medication to help with these problems, an all-natural remedy may be just the thing to help. That remedy is arnica gel.
What is Arnica?
Arnica, or more appropriately Arnica montana, is a flowering plant that mainly grows in Siberia and central Europe, though it’s sometimes found in the northwest region of the U.S. The plant also goes by the nicknames leopard’s bane, wolf’s bane, and mountain tobacco. It’s well known for the beautiful yellow flower that grows at the top of the one- to two-foot plant. Arnica has been known for having healing properties from as early as the 12th century and has become popular as a homeopathic remedy all over the world.
When Arnica is used, it usually comes in one of two forms: either topical gel or oral pellets. The most common form is the Arnica gel, which is applied on the skin to the area that is in pain. Less common are the oral pellets, which takes the Arnica and places it in an easy-to-consume tablet or capsule. Both are used to relieve different types of pain.
Users of Arnica are advised to practice a degree of caution for one simple fact: the Arnica herb is toxic. More specifically, when eaten, Arnica is toxic to the liver, which can lead to death. This a particular concern for oral supplements. Due to Arnica’s toxic nature, homeopathic remedies make sure to dilute the Arnica. This low-dose approach then makes the supplement safe to use. The FDA still classifies Arnica as an unsafe herb, but the highly diluted form of the herb is still used by many throughout the world. If you’re interested in using Arnica, make sure you do your due diligence and ensure the supplement is diluted.
Arnica gel has become popular as a useful pain reliever. It should be noted, though, that Arnica gel is normally used to relieve different types of pain compared to oral supplements. The gel has certain anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce swelling and redness around a wound. But perhaps most well known is its ability to help with sore muscles and joints. By applying the gel to the area experiencing pain, users were able to feel noticeable relief. Arnica gel also has certain osteoarthritis pain-relief properties. With regular, daily application of the gel, users can move their joints more freely than before. Arnica gel is also used for bruises along with treating some skin disorders like insect bites, acne, rashes, and eczema.
One reason Arnica gel has received so much praise is how easy it is to use. All the user has to do is apply it to the skin of the affected area, and the results soon follow. The skin absorbs the gel quickly, so the effects don’t take long to show up. Arnica gel isn’t sticky and doesn’t have a strong smell. There are many Arnica gel products available. If you’re looking for one, be sure to check out the Arnicare Arnica Gel Value Pack from Thrive Market.
To receive the benefits of Arnica internally, it’s common to take Arnica pellets. Again, make sure this is in the diluted form. Much like Arnica gel, Arnica pellets are used for pain relief but usually for different kinds of pain. Some of the most common uses for taking Arnica orally are for headaches and mouth pain. People experiencing a headache will want to take an Arnica pellet much like they would a pill. It won’t be long before they begin to feel that pain relief work. The same goes for mouth and gum pain.
While these are the most common ways Arnica pellets can help people with their pain, there are some areas where pellets cross over with the gel variety. For example, Arnica pellets can be used to relieve muscle pains, only in the case of the pellets, this would be used more for minor back pain and other areas that may be hard to reach. Included in this category is for pain that’s more widespread, making the use of gel more impractical. It should also be noted that Arnica pellets and Arnica gel can be used together.
There are many varieties of Arnica oral supplements to look for, many of which are available from Thrive Market, including products from Boiron and Ollois.
Animals and Children
Due to Arnica’s toxicity, there are obvious questions about whether it is safe to use for animals and children. Much like for adult humans, Arnica is safe to use for dogs and cats. Again, proper precautions should be taken to ensure the Arnica is diluted. At no time should you ever increase a dosage. Pets should only be given Arnica about 15 minutes before or after food.
Arnica is also safe for children to use after proper dilution. Homeopathic Arnica is recommended for children ages two and up. For children younger than that, make sure you speak with your doctor.