Arnica: First Aid in a Flower
Remove the "Ben Gay" from your shelf and clear a space for an increasingly popular natural first aid remedy: homeopathic arnica. The flowering herb arnica (Arnica montana), available in the form of gels and ointments, has become one of the most popular medicines around for reducing shock and trauma.
Homeopathic arnica has traditionally been used to promote quick healing and to reduce the pain associated with physical activity: bruises, sprains, strains, muscular aches and trauma injuries, according to Kelly Uusitalo, a supervisor at Bastyr Dispensary.
You might want to take it along on your next hiking, biking or climbing expedition. But don't use it indiscriminately. While it is a healing herb, arnica can be used incorrectly. Homeopathic preparations of arnica are completely safe for internal as well as external use. Non-homeopathic tea and tincture preparations of arnica are toxic if taken internally or applied to open wounds and should therefore only be used topically on unbroken skin. It is never safe to take arnica tea or tincture internally!
Arnica comes in a variety of preparations ranging from homeopathic pellets to creams and ointments. The Bastyr Dispensary carries a selection of arnica-based products available to retail shoppers.
And, while it can be empowering and convenient to treat yourself with natural remedies, be sure to consult your health care professional regarding lingering or serious health concerns.
Writer: Sydney Maupin, Staff Writer
Contributor: Kelly Uusitalo
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