Home » Natural Remedies » Herbal Treatment

Arnica side effects

Arnica is a plant who’s fresh or dried flower head parts have been used in homeopathy and medicinal purposes since around the 1500’s. Popular with Europeans and Native Americans, it is almost always used in the form of salves, ointments and creams in a topical manner for muscle aches, inflammation, bruising and general healing. While it has been historically used for external purposes, internal preparations are available but must be taken only under the guidance of a medical professional due to potential severe side effects.

Also known as Leopards Bane, Wolf’s Bane, and Mountain Tobacco, Arnica is also available in tincture, pill and injectable forms for internal use. If considering an internal method of intake, your medical physician will advise you on the best option for you. A tincture preparation is a highly concentrated form of the medicine and must be used with caution.

While external topical use is generally safe, longer term use (three weeks or more) could cause a variety of skin conditions including peeling, blistering, general irritation and eczema. Those individuals with highly sensitive skin should probably not consider using topical Arnica. Arnica is often used in compresses as well as poultices.

While rarely taken internally, Arnica side effects as an internal herbal remedy are a different story. The effects can include: dizziness, heart palpitations or tremors, high blood pressure and mucus membrane irritations that can cause stomach distress and may lead to vomiting. Additional information on Arnica has associated it with liver and kidney damage and general internal organ failure. If taken in a large enough dosage, it can actually be fatal. While associated with fast healing, diabetics or those that take anticoagulant medication should not take Arnica due to the variety of side effects.

There have been mouthwash products produced using Arnica. One of the Arnica side effects that has been reported has included mouth lesions or ulcers.

One of the more historical uses of Arnica has been for the relief of the labor pains of childbirth. Administered in the beginning of labor, it has supposed effects to assist in preparing the body and muscles for the childbirth process. Several studies have also shown that Arnica can assist in relief of post surgery pain and assists in a more expedient healing process.

Arnica is generally useful for adults, however there are some preparations that are made for children. Only administer to children under the direct guidance of your pediatrician. Pregnant or women who are breast-feeding should probably not consider Arnica. Although there has not been any evidence that topical or homeopathic Arnica interacts with general medication, always advice your physician of any integrative and medicine you are taking before adding Arnica to your regiment.

The topic version is often used in situations where the person is in shock due to physical or mental trauma. Arnica has been shown to reduce swelling, assist in the reduction of bleeding in cuts and reduces bruising. Never place Arnica on an open wound without the specific advice of your medical physician.

The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.

One Response to “Arnica side effects”

  1. 1
    Claire Says:
    Are there any other uses for Arnica besides for the ease of labor? I've vaguely heard of it, but don't know much about it. Can anyone shed some light?