arnica topical (generic name)
- Auto Immune Conditions
- Bladder & Kidney Health
- Brain & Nervous System
- Care Transitions
- Dental Health
- Emotional Health
- Eye Health
- Falls Prevention
- Financial Planning
- General Safety
- Health Care Basics
- Healthy Living
- Hearing Loss
- Heart Health
- High Blood Pressure
- Life Transitions
- Lung Health
- Men's Health
- Nutrition & Weight Management
- Pain Management
- Preventive Health
- Sexual Health
- Stomach & Digestive Health
- Stress & Anxiety
- Women's Health
TraditionWARNING: DISCLAIMER: The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.
Abortifacient (inducing abortion), abscess (homeopathy), acne, alopecia (hair loss), angina pectoris (chest pain), antibacterial, antifungal, antihistamine, antiseptic, aphrodisiac, aphthous ulcers, asthma, atherosclerosis, back pain, bad breath, bed sores, blindness, blood loss (postpartum), boils (topical), breast tenderness, bronchitis, burns (post-laser treatment), cancer, canker sores, cardiac abnormalities, cardiotonic, carpal tunnel syndrome, chapped lips, chilblains (cold blisters), chronic venous insufficiency, concussions, contusions, corns, coronary artery disease, cough (smoker's cough), cramps, decongestant, dental caries, diabetes, diaphoretic (induces sweating), diarrhea, dislocations (topical), diuretic (increases urine flow), dysentery (severe diarrhea), exercise performance, exhaustion, eye strain/fatigue, fever (intermittent or traumatic), fibromyalgia, fractures, furunculosis (skin disease), gallstones, gingivitis, gonarthrosis (chronic wear of cartilage in knee joints), hepatitis, hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol), immunostimulant, inflammation, influenza, insect bites, irritated mucous membranes (nostrils), joint pain (topical), kidney problems, liver disorders, mastitis (breast infection/inflammation), miscarriage, musculoskeletal injury, myocarditis/ endocarditis (heart infections), nerve pain, paralysis (spinal), perineal trauma, pharyngitis (sore throat), pleural effusions, pulmonary embolism, respiratory problems, rheumatoid arthritis, sore throat, stimulant, surgical uses, swelling, tender feet, thirst, thrombophlebitis, tumors, varicose veins, whooping cough, wound healing.
Adults (18 years and older)
Arnica is toxic if taken internally except when diluted into homeopathic preparations. Homeopathic treatment is usually individualized to correspond specifically to the patient's symptoms. Typical homeopathic dosing uses either 5C or 30C potency tablets sublingually (under the tongue) three times a day. Doses can be taken for 24 hours or up to six months, although a qualified healthcare practitioner, including a pharmacist, should be consulted before making decisions about dosing.
Other forms of arnica dosing include tinctures taken by mouth, or ointments and fresh plant gel applied on the skin. There is not enough scientific evidence to give specific doses or times for these forms.
Children (younger than 18 years)
There is no proven safe or effective dose of arnica in children.
SafetyDISCLAIMER: Many complementary techniques are practiced by healthcare professionals with formal training, in accordance with the standards of national organizations. However, this is not universally the case, and adverse effects are possible. Due to limited research, in some cases only limited safety information is available.
Avoid in individuals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to arnica or any member of the Asteraceae or Compositae families. Possible cross-sensitivity can occur in those allergic to the Asteraceae or Compositae family (Achillea millefolium, Ambrosia species, Anthemis cotula asters, calendula, chamomile, chrysanthemum, dahlia, daisy, dandelion, dog fennel chicory, Matricaria chamomilla, mugwort, marigold, May weed, sunflower, tansy, and yarrow).
Side Effects and Warnings
Arnica is likely safe when used short-term in oral or sublingual (under tongue) homeopathic doses. It is possibly safe when applied topically/externally to unbroken skin for short-term use. Arnica is likely unsafe when taken by mouth in doses higher than homeopathic dilutions. It may also be unsafe when used topically (on the skin) long-term. Using full strength tinctures on hypersensitive or broken skin is also not recommended.
Ingestion of arnica extracts has been known to increase heartbeat and increase bleeding time.
Allergic reactions may occur when taking arnica in full strength preparations or when handling the plant. Reactions including Sweet's syndrome, facial eczema, oral lesions (mouth wounds), itchy erythema (reddening of the skin) of the legs, trunk (torso), and face, and dermatitis.
Taking Arnica montana-containing extracts by mouth has caused severe gastroenteritis (inflammation of the stomach), including gastrointestinal problems due to mucosal irritation nervousness, nausea, and vomiting.
Arnica may also cause muscle weakness, collapse, and death. High doses may impair urine flow and damage the kidneys and liver. There is also the potential for organ damage, coma, and death with the internal use of arnica.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Internal use of arnica is not recommended in pregnant women due to the potential for uterine stimulation and toxicity. Avoid if breastfeeding.