Time to put down your aspirin and, instead, reach for nature's antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory agent: arnica. Used as a cure for everything from sprains to eczema, arnica has been used as a homeopathic remedy for centuries. Fast forward to today, this plant continues to be utilized for its healing properties.
What is arnica?
Known as arnica montana, arnica is a bright, yellow, daisy-like flower that is found in the mountains and upland meadows in Europe, Siberia, and North America. Legend has it that this plant was first discovered by humans after watching injured goats trek up a mountain in search of arnica to heal themselves. The first documented medical use of this flowering plant dates back to the 1500s; although, many historians believe arnica has been used for remedies since the Middle Ages.
How does arnica work?
Known for its anti-inflammatory properties, arnica is packed with the natural chemical, helenalin. This potent compound works to relieve trauma and speed up the healing time of bruises. Arnica reduces swelling by stimulating the body's white blood cells to break down fluid and excess blood that's trapped within muscles, joints, and bruises. But that's not all. To speed up recovery from bruises, it increases the number of white blood cells within the body to stop busted capillaries from bleeding into the surrounding tissue. Along with aiding in swelling, and bruises, arnica has been proven to treat and temporarily relieve pain. Recent studies even found that it's a safe alternative to treat arthritis pain.
Ask the professional.
To get the inside scoop on arnica, we asked our 2nd Street District massage therapist, Terri, how she uses our popular Arnica Balm during massages. "Arnica can be used in any massage, not just a Deep Tissue or Sports Massage," she says. When treating a client, Terri will ask them which specific areas need more attention. Before the massage, she'll pre-treat certain areas that clients have indicated as target spots in order to relax the muscles and alleviate any soreness they might feel after their treatment. After the massage, Terri will tell her clients how to use the balm to soothe muscle or joint pain. "I suggest that clients use the balm before working out or doing any type of physical activity to loosen up the joints and muscles. Then, after any strenuous workouts, I'll tell them to get a small amount of the balm and really work it into a particular area."
Which milk + honey products contain arnica?
Formulated with organic ginger extract, eucalyptus oil, and a high concentration of arnica flower oil and flower extract, our potent Arnica Balm increases blood circulation to heal aches, pains, and bruises faster.
Perfect in a bath or as a targeted spot treatment, Bath & Body Oil No. 18 soothes sore muscles while creating a hydrating protective barrier on your skin.
Relieve muscle and body tension with Muscle Soak No. 18. Sea salt and Epsom salt draw out toxins from the body while arnica promotes faster healing.
*Note: Arnica can be deadly if ingested by humans.