Arnica montana has tall stems, 20–60 centimetres (7.9–24 in) high, supporting usually a single flower head. Most of the leaves are in a basal rosette, but one or two pairs may be found on the stem and are, unusually for composites, opposite. The flower heads are yellow, approximately 5 cm in diameter, and appear from May to August.
Arnica is currently used in liniment and ointment preparations used for strains, sprains, and bruises. Commercial arnica preparations are frequently used by professional athletes. The thymol derivatives concentrated in the plants' roots have been clinically shown to be effective vasodilators of subcutaneous blood capillaries. Arnica preparations used topically have been demonstrated to act as an anti-inflammatory and assist normal healing processes by facilitating transport of blood and fluid accumulations through a dilating action of subcutaneous blood capillaries. If ingested internally, the toxin helenalin produces severe gastroenteritis, and internal bleeding of the digestive tract if enough material is ingested.
Arnica gel is a constant product in my medicine cabinet. It works wonders for bruising, sprains and strains. If you apply it as soon as you are injured, chances are, you won't get a bruise at all, or the one you do get will be much less severe and fade much more quickly. A word of caution..... only apply it to unbroken skin, don't put it in open wounds as it is toxic in the bloodstream.
General Safety Advisory
The information in this document does not replace medical advice.
Before taking an herb or a botanical, consult a doctor or other health care provider -- especially if you have a disease or medical condition, take any medications, are pregnant or nursing, or are planning to have an operation.
Before treating a child with an herb or a botanical, consult with a doctor or other health care provider.
Like drugs, herbal or botanical preparations have chemical and biological activity. They may have side effects. They may interact with certain medications. These interactions can cause problems and can even be dangerous.
If you have any unexpected reactions to an herbal or a botanical preparation, inform your doctor or other health care provider