For it's unremarkable appearance, arnica packs a real anti-inflammatory punch.
Arnica is a small, thin-leaved member of the sunflower family that grows natively across Europe and is also cultivated in North America. The most commonly used variety is Arnica montana, commonly known as Wolf's bane or Mountain tobacco.
For hundreds of years it has been used to treat bruises, strains and sprains and a range of other ailments. The active chemical, helenalin has powerful anti-inflammatory properties.
Applied to the skin, arnica has many beneficial effects and is the perfect complement to massage. It is also a natural alternative to other anti-inflammatory creams such as Voltaren (which uses ibruprofen as its active ingredient).
When used in massage or gently applied to the skin arnica can help to:
- Improve blood circulation
- Reduce muscle pain and stiffness
- Reduce inflammation and swelling
- Speed up recovery from injuries and exercise
- Relieve symptoms of arthritis
- Assist with the healing of bruises
While arnica is safe to use, it shouldn't be used on broken skin. Allergic reactions to arnica are rare so if you do experience a reaction, stop using the product(s) and speak to your doctor.