What is it?
Arnica montana is plant that produces a yellow flower similar to a daisy and is also related to the Dandelion, Marigolds and Sunflowers.
Arnica Infused oil is one of the main ingredients I use in my Joint & Muscle Rub. It is an infusion of the flower heads in a Sunflower Oil base.
While I am not infusing my own Arnica at the moment, mainly due to the fact that last season I didn't have enough of the plant to be able to harvest, this season will see me being able to produce a small amount but I wont be able to say that this oil is actually from Benson Lodge until next Summer.
The good news is that I am still able to source from a New Zealand manufacturer so I'm still looking after our local suppliers.
When you shouldn't use it..
What I love so much about Herbalism is that there are very few if any side effects from them due to the fact that the plant contains not only the active compound for which we are using it for but many others as well which often produce a counter affect too minimise the side effects the synthetic versions (Pharmaceutical drugs) produce.
This makes them safer as long as you take them correctly and make sure they wont interact with any current medications or existing conditions. Some people can be allergic and the best suggestion for this is to do a small patch test on the inside of your elbow before applying it liberally.
When it comes to pain killers the side effects can be terrible and include constipation and dependency to name a couple.
Don't use this Arnica or our Joint & Muscle Rub on broken skin and note that It is also not recommended to be used by anyone pregnant or breastfeeding because there has not been enough research on its effects on bubs so your best just to play it safe.
Do you take medications that slow blood clotting? If you answered yes then this product isn't for you. Because Arnica slows blood clotting which is a good thing when it comes to treating bruising, if you already have issues with this then using Arnica can counteract and cause bruising and bleeding.
Why do I use it?
As mentioned before Arnica is only used in my Joint & Muscle Rub, I chose it because its a proven performer when it comes to:
Muscle soreness and aches
This paper is a really good read written in plain English without all of the medical jargon and talks about different studies on Arnica and its effectiveness for sore, bruised and torn muscles.
Joint pain and swelling
Great news if you suffer from arthritis, this study goes into great detail on how it is an incredible anti-inflammatory
Early research shows that using an arnica gel product twice daily for 3 weeks reduces pain and stiffness and improves function in people with osteoarthritis in the hand or knee.
Aside from Arthritis, swelling can be caused by many things, torn tendons, surgery etc. This study shows that Arnica is effective in reducing inflammation and bruising as does this one. Did you know that Arnica is one of the main ingredients in Anti-Flam?
What do I Use It In?
Testing this product was fun, once it passed the standard microbial and stability testing it was out for use on anyone who was keen to try it. The feedback was amazing! out of the 10 people who tried it only 2 found that it didn't have any effectiveness for them. Anyone who had arthritis and tried it loved it and even those with general muscle aches and one person even had a torn ligament in her knee!
You will notice with this product that it doesn't have the same heated effect when you rub it in like Anti-Flam does. This is because I left out the menthol which causes this effect, it may of been selfish of me but I have never been able to use the stuff because my skin reacts to it. If you think you would like a version where this is included let me know, if majority rules I will manufacture it for you.