Certainly its splendid bright yellow flowers, its good smell and its characteristic "unkempt" petals have caught your attention if you have ever seen them. We are talking about the arnica plant, a perennial medicinal herb belonging to the Asteraceae (Composite) family, whose erect and fairly robust stem is between twenty and sixty centimeters in height. This shrub is particularly common in Europe, totally absent in the British Isles. It prefers poor soils and mountain areas. Flowers and leaves can be harvested in summer, while for the rhizome it is necessary to wait for the period from September to October. From its leaves, a gel is obtained known for its beneficial properties for the body. The origin of this use comes mainly from the Teutonic area. But let's analyze its features better.
Features and properties
Arnica has, in general, curative powers for muscular pains and traumas, sprains, bruises, tears, shocks and flu disorders.
Arnica gel is obtained from an infusion of the leaves, usually treated together with rosemary or calendula, and is used as a medical device to relieve pain caused by trauma and bruising. It is a self-medication for external use, applicable on the painful area but never directly on any wounds. It is also used for the treatment of rheumatic pains and alopecia. It can help you against annoying strains and dislocations.
Starting from the earliest applications, it greatly reduces swelling when present.
Arnica gel is also a guardian of muscle balance and tone. Which is why it can be helpful to sportsmen during periods of particular exercise, both as a regenerative and as a natural improvement of their muscular energies thanks also to its recovery action.
Several researches have been carried out on the curative properties of this plant. In particular, in a clinic, some patients had hand surgery because they had carpal tunnel syndrome and noticed significant improvements after only eight days of using the product.
How to use
We can apply it from two to three times a day on the affected area, massaging with care until the product is completely absorbed. Its composition is non-greasy and does not stain, but it is advisable to cover the bruised part with a bandage to locate the treatment in the best way. Its very high concentration of active ingredients, in particular anti-inflammatories and anti-edema (about 15% of total preparation), make this natural remedy particularly suitable for local treatments. It is the sesquiterpenlattioni in particular that carry out this activity, while other functions, such as antiseptic action, are the prerogative and specialty of flavonoids and essential oils. It is not recommended or necessary to store it in the refrigerator, but there are no particular contraindications if you prefer to put the preparation in a cool place. In the event of prolonged use, it will be advisable to consult your doctor for further indications on treatment. Certainly the arnica gel can be very useful in treating the aforementioned disorders, but in more serious cases it cannot be the only remedy, nor can it replace the precious advice of our family doctor in a total and indiscriminate manner.
The arnica plant, if not inserted and properly treated in specific homeopathic preparations, can cause intoxication if ingested, being poisonous to humans and animals. Just think that in ancient times this powerful shrub was used as a poison! In case of voluntary or accidental intake, the effects can be paralysis, tachycardia, in some cases even a cardiovascular collapse. Some useful countermeasures in cases of emergency that however do not constitute a remedy for poisoning can be the ingestion of vegetable carbon and liquids. The first has the effect of at least partially absorbing the toxins released into the intestine, and the second of diluting the concentration.
When we use the arnica gel, we must be careful to initially test it on a small strip of skin, to check that we are not allergic to it. In this case, our skin would be covered with tiny but annoying bubbles. Moreover, even for non-allergic subjects, it is advised not to expose oneself to the sun during the treatment to avoid similar disorders and not to exceed in use.
Where to find and how much arnica gel costs
Arnica gel is available without any difficulty in pharmacies and parapharmacies. In some cases, it can also be found on supermarket shelves if well supplied with homeopathic and natural products. The price of preparation, due to its widespread use, is not high, but within everyone's reach, and is around between eight and fifteen euros. Considering that due to the high concentration of active ingredients very small and reduced applications are necessary, it is possible that a single package of arnica gel has a rather long duration.