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Arnica is a genus of plant of which some species, most notably Arnica montana, have potent medical properties which relieve inflammation, pain, and may promote wound healing. References to medical use of the plant date back at least to the 12th century.
In modern times Arnica is most frequently used as a cream, gel, or ointment. In some areas it's also possible to buy Arnica in homeopathic preparations, but other areas have outlawed such products as Arnica, if ingested, can cause severe side effects and even death if not sufficiently diluted.
Topical lotions and homeopathic remedies carry little of the risk associated with ingesting undiluted Arnica. Topical solutions have been used for decades by athletes around the world to treat sport or exercise injuries, but patients also frequently buy Arnica lotions to treat everyday bumps, bruises and aches.
Arnica Topical Creams
Applied topically to the skin, Arnica creams are used to reduce pain and inflammation and promote healing in a quite large assortment of injuries:
The exact mechanism by which Arnica works is unknown, but it is speculated that, at least in part, compounds in the plant stimulate blood flow to the area, which in turn activates white blood cells and helps eliminate congested blood and fluids. This reduces pain and swelling, and reduces the discoloration of bruising.
There is much evidence that Arnica has other healing properties as well, but at this point in time they are poorly understood. What is known is that, for a very large number of people, Arnica reduces the pain and inflammation associated with the above conditions.
Using Arnica topically largely depends on the particular solution being applied. Many creams are applied liberally to the area, but relatively potent formulas may require smaller amounts. Instructions provided with a particular product should be followed.
Many patients begin to experience results within 30 minutes to several hours after application, but it may take 24 to 48 hours for full benefits to be felt. Most topical solutions are re-applied liberally several times per day, but again instructions may vary. Treatment may continue indefinitely, as long as it is providing benefit and no adverse effects develop.
As mentioned above, there is some evidence that Arnica promotes wound healing, and it is sometimes recommended to treat post-surgical wounds. Studies suggest it may promote healing of burns as well, and other research indicates it has anti-tumor and antibiotic applications also.
However, these uses are still largely experimental, and given the potential toxicity of the substance, patients are not advised to buy Arnica to self-treat such conditions without doctor involvement. Aside from the possibility of serious complications from Arnica itself, most solutions also contain inactive ingredients which may have negative effects on damaged skin or cause complications if absorbed into the bloodstream.
Warnings & Considerations
Used properly, topical Arnica creams and homeopathic solutions are unlikely to cause serious side effects and have no known drug interactions.
Avoid covering topical application sites with airtight dressings or clothing, and avoid applying topical solutions to open wounds or mucous membranes. Doing so will increase the amount of the medication absorbed into the bloodstream, which significantly increases risk of side effects.
Some individuals experience skin irritation with long-term use, which can cause blistering, peeling, rash and other local irritation. Discontinuing use should resolve the problem. Patients who are allergic to plants such as ragweed may have an allergic reaction to Arnica products.
The safety of using topical or homeopathic Arnica while pregnant or breast-feeding is disputed. Parents should speak with a trusted doctor before use.
Buy Arnica Products at New Zealand's Most Trusted Online Pharmacy
Kiwi Drug offers a range of topical and homeopathic products containing Arnica. All are high-quality, authentic products from licensed, regulated manufacturers---you can rest assured these products contain safe doses of Arnica.
Clients are not required to have a prescription to buy Arnica products, as they are available over-the-counter.
**Important note for patrons: The information on this page is not official label or safety information as written by the manufacturer or reviewed by the FDA. We only list for sale and refer orders to our affiliates for medications approved in the country where they are licensed, and any product requiring a prescription must be sold under the direction of a licensed physician.