What is Arnica Gel?
Arnica gel is a topical lotion or ointment derived from the flower petals and other parts of the Arnica plant. The Arnica plant, also called “leopard’s bane”, is a flower-bearing herb from the sunflower family. Similar to sunflowers, this plant also has yellow or orange flowers that are bright in color. Much of this plant can be found in the central parts of Europe and the warmer climates of the western North American continent.
One specie commonly found in Europe is Arnica montana. This specie is believed to have medicinal and health benefits. The plant roots are said to be used as preservative and as treatment for fungal infections. In topical form, like gels, arnica is said to have anti-inflammatory properties. Arnica gels are sourced from extracts from the petals and other parts of the plant. These extracts are then placed in oil to improve concentration of its healing benefits.
Arnica gels are commonly used for soft tissue injuries like bruises and swelling of a particular body part. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, arnica gels are also used for faster healing of fractures, muscle strains or sprains, and arthritis. Arnica gels and ointments are said to help decrease the pain and swelling or edema involved in various injuries to soft tissues. Care must be taken though not to put arnica gel on open wounds and cuts to avoid irritation and possible complications. Other people also claim that arnica gel may be used for pain from concussions or other traumatic injuries to the head that cause swelling. There are also people that use topical preparations of arnica to reduce bleeding and pain post-operatively.
But aside from its topical preparation, arnica is also widely used as a homeopathic remedy. Most common for homeopathic use are arnica plant extracts dissolved in water for proper ingestion. But for people who are not sure of the plant’s medicinal benefits, it is still best advice to consult with licensed physicians to avoid ill effects and complications.