Expert Opinions

Expert Opinions Archive
I've heard that Arnica is good for bruises. Does it work?

S.S., via

In its homeopathic form, Arnica montana (Mountain daisy) is a popular addition to many first aid kits. It can be applied to the skin (but not open wounds) as a gel or cream for the treatment of bumps, bruises, and swelling. It can also be taken internally as homeopathic pellets, tablets, or drops.

For best results, practitioners suggest you try both the oral and topical homeopathic forms and use them as soon after your injury as possible.

Arnica is especially useful for first aid in a home with active toddlers, says WholeHealthMD physician John C. Reed, M.D. In homeopathic doses, it is very safe. If you use it for the usual bruising that kids get with minor falls and sports injuries, you'll be surprised at the rapid reduction in the signs of the injury.

Because homeopathic remedies such as arnica are so highly diluted, they are generally considered safe. However, there are few studies to confirm their effectiveness, and most conventional M.D.s doubt that homeopathy has any benefits at all.

In addition, it's essential to avoid ingesting nonhomeopathic tinctures or extracts of arnica. According to Commission E, an herbal authority in Germany, the undiluted herb can be toxic to the heart if swallowed.

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