Monday, 15 August 2016

Arnica Montana - Arnica Tincture - Pure magic

Arnica (Arnica montana) has been used for medicinal purposes since the 1500s and remains popular today. Applied topically as a cream, ointment, liniment, salve, or tincture, Europeans and Native Americans have used arnica to soothe muscle aches, reduce inflammation, and heal wounds. It is often the first remedy used for injuries such as sprains and bruises. A. montana is a perennial flower from the Asteraceae family, native to the mountains of Europe, as its name (montana) suggests. The yellow, daisy-like flower, seen from May to August in elevations of 3,500 to 10,000 feet, was mentioned first by Matthiolus, an Italian physician, in 1626. Folk remedies using arnica as a tea or tincture for wounds, bruises, rheumatic pains, heart weakness and even asthma, prevailed for centuries before that.
In Germany, Arnica is known commonly as wundkraut (wound herb), bruchkraut (fracture herb) and fallkraut (fall herb). In the mountains, where the steep paths make falling quite common, it was well-known that an application of fallkraut would help to heal any swelling or bruising to the body. Referred to in mountain dialect as “stand up and go home” (Stoh up un goh hen), arnica’s common names attest to its fast-healing properties.

Arnica’s Effectiveness


Arnica is now an ingredient in more than 100 herbal preparations in Germany, where plant-based medications are well-researched, highly respected and government-regulated. Germany’s Commission E, an expert committee on herbal drugs and preparations from medicinal plants, cites arnica as a treatment for various post-traumatic conditions, including bruises, sprains, contusions and rheumatic ailments.
Because arnica can cause adverse effects when taken internally (it is listed as a poisonous plant in the United States, where it has been cultivated since it was imported from Europe), home-brewed teas made from fresh preparations are not recommended by the Commission. It recommends tinctures for external use at a 3:1 to 10:1 dilution, and that salves contain a maximum of 20 to 25 percent tincture or 15 percent arnica oil.
In any case, arnica should be used only in dilute form — if internal use is too high, dizziness, diarrhea, heart arrhythmia and even death can occur. Likewise, topical preparations also can cause a reaction and, in some cases, may lead to skin allergy.
In Europe you can find arnica tincture in any pharmacy and it does not cost much.
For preparation is recommended: 1 part arnica flowers and 10 parts 96 percent alcohol should be put together in a bottle and left for a week, during which the bottle should be shaken. Then the flowers can be removed. It is important that this alcoholic solution must be diluted with water from three to ten fold when it is used, e.g. for compresses.
The main active compounds in arnica are sesquiterpene lactones. Additionally, flavonoids and the essential oil are also important. Sesquiterpene lactones influence a lot of inflammatory pathways resulting in the decrease of the inflammatory process. Research has found that sesquiterpene lactones inhibit the release of inflammatory mediators because they inhibit the transcription factor NF-kB, which is a central mediator in the immune system.
Alcoholic preparations are recommended for external treatment of bruises, sprains and inflammations caused by insect bites; gingivitis and aphthous ulcers (canker sores); symptomatic treatment of rheumatic complaints; and for surface phlebitis. A clinical study exists that shows arnica is effective for the treatment of rheumatic arthritis, and another study suggests that it has positive effects in phlebitis, in each instance when arnica preparations were used externally.
Some people can develop contact dermatitis; then they must prevent any contact with arnica and also with flowers that contain sesquiterpene lactones, e.g. Achillea species. Therefore, it is essential that arnica preparations be used as recommended and the tincture not in an undiluted form. People who have a contact allergy against arnica should not use arnica preparations. The number of users who have developed contact dermatitis is low.
Homeopathic use of arnica as a sports medicine has been praised by U.S. experts, as well. Steven Subotnick, D.P.M., N.D., D.C., author of Sports and Exercise Injuries: Conventional, Homeopathic and Alternative Treatments (North Atlantic, 1991), finds that among his patients with acute injuries and afflictions from overuse, homeopathic arnica decreases pain and speeds healing. Subotnick is so impressed with its results that he has referred to arnica as “the aspirin of homeopathy.”
Dr. Irmgard Merfort of Freiburg University in Germany knows that arnica works — but has discovered that it does so in a very different way from aspirin. Merfort’s studies confirm that it is the sesquiterpene lactones (ester derivatives of helenalin and dihydrohelenalin) that are considered to be the active compounds in arnica. These natural products work together to stop inflammation of the blood vessels. But the difference is that they work on a molecular level — by inhibiting the messages that tell the gene to encode for inflammation.
“They use a unique mechanism of NF-kappaB [a central mediator in the immune system] inactivation, which is quite different from that of other anti-inflammatory agents,” Merfort says. “Based on our results, sesquiterpene lactones could serve as lead compounds for the development of novel, potent anti-inflammatory drugs for the treatment of inflammatory disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis or inflammatory bowel diseases. These drugs also could be important in the treatment or prevention of adult respiratory distress syndrome or systemic immune response syndrome.”
Caution: Remember not to apply Arnica products to an open wound or broken skin.
Some medical conditions may interact with Arnica Tincture. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have cut, broken, scraped, or irritated skin
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Arnica Tincture.


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