Ingredient of the Month: Arnica
Arnica montana has been used as a healing herb for centuries. It’s a key ingredient in Kimberly Parry’s Skin Relief balm and Muscle Relief soothing oil, and when your skin is recovering from all that summer fun, arnica helps with healing and comfort.
Note that ingesting undiluted arnica can be toxic, and topical application should only be used on unbroken skin.
What Is Arnica Montana?
Arnica montana is an herb that grows wild in Europe and North America. The plant is sometimes called mountain tobacco, and sometimes wolf’s bane, and it looks like a yellow daisy with furry stems and leaves.
While there are multiple species of arnica, the most common (and the one that we use in our organic products) is arnica montana.
Since the 16th century, people have used arnica montana to treat pain, swelling, injuries, and bruises. While the herb itself is toxic when ingested, the distilled oil contains powerful ingredients such as helenalin, a potent anti-inflammatory, and thymol, a natural antibacterial compound.
Today, arnica is commonly used to fight muscle soreness, reduce pain and swelling from arthritis, and to treat other aches and pains.
Arnica tablets are a homeopathic pain remedy that contain a low enough dose to avoid toxicity – if you take arnica orally, follow all dosage instructions closely.
What Does Arnica Do?
When applied topically or taken orally in its homeopathic form, arnica relieves pain and reduces inflammation.
That’s why it’s such an important ingredient in Kimberly Parry Organics’ Skin Relief balm – when your skin is red, irritated, inflamed, and sore, arnica helps reduce that sensitivity so that you can feel comfortable in your skin again.
There’s evidence that arnica helps bruises heal faster when applied topically, and this is one of the most common uses for arnica in traditional medicine.
Many people swear that arnica is beneficial for everything from carpal tunnel syndrome to sports injuries and soreness, and from aching joints to post surgery recovery.
Some natural compounds in arnica have been shown to stimulate production of white blood cells, which may contribute to speedier healing processes and reduce some kinds of swelling.
Commercially, small amounts of arnica extracts are used to flavor candies, desserts, and beverages, add fragrance to cosmetics, and it’s a common ingredient in scalp tonics and anti-dandruff shampoos.