arnica montana side effects, benefits of arnica, arnica bruising
arnica review August 12, 2011
Arnica Montana [Leopards Bane, European Arnica]

Arnica Montana is native to Europe, Siberia and North West N. America. Some herbalists
use its flower heads for medical uses, they collect the flower in the summer. Arnica
Montana is a rich source of sesquiterpene lactones, flavonoids, volatile oil, mucilage,
polysaccharides, resins, bitters (arnicin), tannins, carotenes etc. Sesquiterpene lactones
are considered as their main active compounds for the treatment of inflammatory
diseases. [2]

This herb is toxic, it should not be taken internally. However, it may provides us with one
of the best remedies for external local healing such as bruises and sprains, rheumatic
pain, and inflammation of phlebitis. Thus, most of its preparations are cream, ointment,
tincture and gel. [1]


Arnica Tincture
Pour 1/2 liter of 70% alcohol over 50 grams of freshly picked flowers. Seal it tightly in a
clear glass container and let it stand for at least a week in the sun or in a warm place.
Filter it and it is ready for use.

Arnica Montana Extract
Arnica Montana Extract is an extract of dried flowerheads of the plant, Arnica montana.

Techniques for preparing Arnica Montana Extract include hydroalcoholic maceration,
gentle disintegration in soybean oil and propylene glycol and butylene glycol extractions.
The composition of these extracts can include fatty acids, especially palmitic, linoleic,
myristic, and linolenic acids, essential oil, triterpenic alcohols, sesquiterpene lactones,
sugars, phytosterols, phenol acids, tannins, choline, inulin, phulin, arnicin, flavonoids,
carotenoids, coumarins, and heavy metals. [3]

Other preparations include cream, pellets, pills or tablets, oil, gel, and tea. But, arnica
should be taken internally only in the extremely diluted form common to homeopathic
remedies, as it can cause serious side effects. Please, review the section of arnica side
effects in this article.

ANTI-Sesquiterpene lactones from Arnica have been shown to attack inflammatory
processes at a very central point by inhibiting the transcription factors NF-kappa B and
NF-AT. Both NF-kappa B and NF-AT transcription factors regulate the transcription of
genes encoding for many inflammatory mediators. A few clinical studies also show that
they may support the treatment of rheumatic diseases. [2]

A double blind, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial of forty patients showed that
treatment with homeopathic Arnica montana and Bellis perennis may reduce postpartum
blood loss. [4]

Arnica Benefits or Arinica Side Effects on treating muscle pain
The herb Arnica montana, in topical formulations, has been reputed to decrease
bruising and muscle pain. Adkison JD with co-workers from Memorial Family Medicine
Residency Program, TX, reported:
Rather than decreasing leg pain, arnica was found to
increase leg pain 24 hours after eccentric calf exercises
. [5]

Arnica Benefits ecchymosis?
Ecchymosis is commonly encountered after upper eyelid blepharoplasty. The use of
homeopathic preparations of Arnica montana, a flowering herb, has been advocated by
manufacturers for reduction of postsurgical ecchymosis. Kotlus BS at University of
Arizona Health Science Center found no evidence that homeopathic A. montana, as
used in this study, is beneficial in the reduction or the resolution of ecchymosis after
upper eyelid blepharoplasty. [6]

Arnica Side Effects and Safety
Arnica Montana Extract has been used in almost 100 cosmetic formulations across a
wide range of product types. Extracts of Arnica Montana were tested and found not toxic
in acute toxicity tests in rabbits, mice, and rats. [3] However, Arnica dermatitis is reported
in individuals who handle arnica flowers. [3] Arnica side effects are serious, if users
ingest high doses of arnica. Ingestion of Arnica montana-containing products has
induced severe gastroenteritis, nervousness, accelerated heart rate, muscular
weakness, and death. [3] Discuss with your medical doctors about arnica especially its
side effects, before use.


[1] The herbalist by David Hoffman, (c)1993 David Hoffman, Hopkins Technology
[2] Merfort I Arnica: new insights on the molecular mode of action of a traditional medicinal plant Forsch
Komplementarmed Klass Naturheilkd. 2003 Apr;10 Suppl 1:45-8.
[3] Final report on the safety assessment of Arnica montana extract and Arnica montana. Int J Toxicol. 2001;20 Suppl
[4] Oberbaum M. The effect of the homeopathic remedies Arnica montana and Bellis perennis on mild postpartum
bleeding--a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study--preliminary results. Complement Ther Med. 2005
Jun;13(2):87-90. [5] The effect of topical arnica on muscle pain. Ann Pharmacother. 2010 Oct;44(10):1579-84.  [6]
Evaluation of homeopathic Arnica montana for ecchymosis after upper blepharoplasty: a placebo-controlled,
randomized, double-blind study.Ophthal Plast Reconstr Surg. 2010 Nov-Dec;26(6):395-7.
Discuss with your doctor before taking any alternative medicine. This article is for
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