Arnica montana is native to the mountainous regions of Europe and Siberia. Bearing head-turning yellow flowers, the herb is extensively cultivated for medicinal and beauty purposes — it is an ingredient in a number of drugs and can be commonly found in a wide variety of personal care products, from shampoos to hand and body lotions.
There are numerous species of arnica found across the planet, some of which can be toxic when used in large amounts, but arnica montana is the one primarily used for beneficial reasons because it’s much safer than the rest. The following are a few of the perks associated with the use of arnica montana:
Reduced Pain and Inflammation
One of the most common uses of arnica montana is for the reduction of pain and inflammation. In oil form, the herb can be applied directly on problem areas, be it on stiff and achy joints or sore muscles. The nicest thing about using arnica montana topically for pain and inflammation is that it yields no unfavorable side effects such as dizziness, nausea and GI distress, unlike analgesics and NSAIDs that are notorious for producing them.
Elimination of Bruises
Traditional healers use arnica montana extracts to help in improving the appearance of bruises. The same method is also usually employed for the treatment of black eyes. Fingernails and toenails that are darkened due to local trauma may be regularly immersed in an infusion of arnica montana.
Reduction of Stress and Anxiety
Arnica montana is also capable of reducing stress levels as well as combating anxiety, thanks to the herb’s ability to calm the mind and body. In fact, there are arnica montana sachets available at some herbal and health food stores that can come in handy during bouts of stress and anxiety. Massage oils containing arnica montana are also proven beneficial for those who like to attain utmost relaxation most especially at the end of a hectic day or week.
Treatment of Depression, Too
Similarly, various products containing arnica montana oil or extracts are used for the reduction of mild to moderate cases of depression. The herb possesses certain compounds that are said to help in lifting the mood. When used topically, arnica montana is known to give a person a sense of emotional balance.
Prevention of Thinning Hair
There are numerous shampoos formulated to provide voluminous hair that actually contain arnica montana. That’s because the herb is known to strengthen hair strands, saving them from easily breaking which can contribute to thinning of hair. More importantly, arnica montana is scientifically proven to stimulate the growth of hair by means of scalp rejuvenation, which can then encourage the optimal functioning of the hair follicles.
Cures Greasy Scalp and Dandruff
Shampoos containing arnica montana are also commonly used for dealing with scalp that produces a lot of oils. Similarly, they are very effective in combating dandruff. That’s because arnica montana possesses antimicrobial properties, which makes it so effective in zapping the root cause of dandruff as well as other symptoms, such as scalp itchiness.
Maintenance of Healthy Skin
Numerous cosmetic products have arnica montana in them because of the herb’s ability to reduce inflammation and neutralize free radicals. Not only are those arnica montana-containing products excellent at warding off aging signs, but also great in providing relief from various skin disorders such as eczema. By the way, there are also many anti-stretch mark products on the current market that rely on arnica montana extracts to work.
A Few Words of Caution
When used in excessive amounts most especially orally, arnica montana can produce a bunch of side effects like vomiting, tremors and heart palpitations. See to it that you use the said herb with the assistance of an herbalist, someone who is knowledgeable in the use of potent herbs and herbal preparations.
Make sure that you let your doctor know about your plan on using arnica montana for therapeutic or medicinal reasons, most especially if you are diagnosed with a medical condition and/or taking prescribed drugs for it. Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers should refrain from using arnica montana in any way.