Arnica for Pain

canstockphoto0552079 Arnica good


With it being the May long weekend and many people just getting back into outdoor activities, I thought it would be timely to do a blog on pain relief for overworked muscles.  Well, and I also love to say Wolfs Bane or Leopards Bane as it is sometimes called. 

Wolfs Bane or Arnica as it is now commonly known is an amazingly effective treatment for tired aching muscles.  I use it a lot for aches and pains and even for chronic knee pain.  It targets the source of the pain rather than just the surface.  Best of all it doesn’t have that overpowering  liniment smell.  In fact it is almost unscented.  

In doing the research for this blog I found frightening information that some people are actually taking arnica by mouth and using it as a flavouring.  According to WebMD the Canadian Government is concerned enough about this that it has prohibited the use of arnica in food.  Here is an instance where I am in total agreement.  Arnica stimulates white blood cells and is generally poisonous and has been known to cause death. 

Although I would not recommend taking Arnica orally,  I highly recommend it for use as a topical solution.  The caveat here is Never use Arnica on broken skin! 

***Note that homeopathic Arnica remedies are considered safe because there is such a low amount of the actual herb***

With the warnings out of the way I will say that Arnica is extremely effective for pain from overworked muscles, ostearthritis, bursitis, pulled muscles, joint pain and chronic joint pain.  It is also effective on reducing swelling from broken bones and sprains. The one use of arnica that seems to be agreed upon in all the literature is that it is effective for osteoarthritis.  

Some articles I have looked at state that arnica is effective for pain caused by inflammation only.  While it is true that arnica is anti-inflammatory in nature I have personally used it for many types of pain and it has always worked.  Having said that, I do believe that not every remedy will work for every person regardless of whether it is herbal or pharmaceutical. 

At one time arnica was only available through health food stores and herbal drugstores.  Now many companies have jumped on the bandwagon and arnica gels and creams are available from most major drugstores. 

My favourite arnica salve comes from Passiflora Aromatics. They have an amazing salve called Magic 7 that I have been lucky enough to be the tester for.   Arnica is one of the ingredients and it is an amazingly amazingly effective product. 

Whether you are using Magic 7, arnica cream or arnica gel it takes about 20 minutes for the pain relief effects to kick in. 

One final warning, no matter what topical application you use for pain, never use it on a long term basis.  A day or two is fine but using a topical for an extended period of time can cause a buildup in your system that will lead to other health issues.