Arnica or waterfall grass is a perennial herb growing mainly in the mountainous regions of Europe and Asia. It is part of the botanical family of Asteraceae and responds to the scientific name of Arnica montana. This plant has many medicinal properties. Moreover, it is the main ingredient of several pharmaceutical preparations. It also contains a large amount of active substances. Among them, we distinguish terpene derivatives, polysaccharides, phenolic acids, sterols as well as carotenoids.
Common Therapeutic Uses
Arnica represents a excellent remedy for skin ailments caused by shocks, namely hematomas and bruises. In addition, it contributes to the treatment of other dermatological disorders such as boils or dermatoses. It also soothes chronic conditions of the joint tissues, especially those arising from trauma or surgery. Thus, it is effective in cases of rheumatism, tendonitis, neuralgia, sprains, strains and back pain. In sports, it reduces aches and muscle contractions.
This plant is also involved in the treatment of conditions affecting the ENT sphere. It allows, for example, to cleanse the oral flora and treats the inflammation of the respiratory tract. It is particularly useful for chasing tonsillitis, sore throats, oral inflammations and those of the gums.
Finally, it acts on the heart and blood vessels. It contributes to the reduction of risk of heart disease and vascular and tones the walls of the veins. Thus, it prevents the appearance of edema and varicose veins. It also limits chronic inflammation of the veins.
Dosage forms available
In phytotherapy, arnica is used in the form of infusion, gel, cream, balm, ointment, spray, mother tincture, vegetable oil and homeopathic granules.
Recommendations for use and dosage
For external use:
For the preparation of an infusion, you need 3 g of dried flowers and 100 ml of boiling water. Leave to infuse for about fifteen minutes then strain and leave to cool. With a compress, then apply the preparation to the areas to be treated.
For the other galenic forms (gel, balm, ointment, etc.), rub the parts to be treated daily until the symptoms disappear. For an optimal result, it is also possible to mix thearnica vegetable oil with a few drops of essential oil.
For internal use:
The only form of preparation intended for internal use is the homeopathic pellet. For all doses, it is strongly recommended to refer to medical advice.
Contraindications, adverse effects and precautions for use
I’arnica contains a toxic alkaloid called arnicine. Therefore, it is mainly used externally except for homeopathic granules. It should be noted that an ingestion of this medicinal plant can lead to digestive, cardiac and nervous disorders. In some cases, it can cause death. In addition, application through the skin may lead to the appearance of some allergic reactions.
To avoid these side effects, it is therefore important to consult a doctor before opting for an arnica-based treatment.