I’m sharing Nature’s Creation Arnica as came sharply and painfully to my attention last night when I spilled some water on my kitchen floor. I neglected to dry the floor completely and I found myself skating ungracefully across the floor and falling heavily on my terracotta tiles with my coccyx bone taking the brunt of the fall. I immediately applied arnica cream and ice and sat on the couch feeling sorry for myself and in a lot of pain.
Today, with the help of Arnica, I’m able to walk but still in pain. I will continue to use it until the deep bruising has diminished and I’m pain-free.
Reading the INSIGHT at the bottom reminded me that my focus and mind was on making my dinner and getting out of the kitchen as quickly as possible and not on AWARENESS. The accident would not have happened if I had been aware of my body and movements. A good lesson!
NATURE’S CREATION ARNICA
Family: Asteraceae (or Compositae) – Aster family
Botanical Names: Arnica montana, Arnica angustifolia
Flower of Reconnection
Planets: Saturn, Moon
Arnica species, known as Leopard’s Bane, Mountain Tobacco or Wolf’s Bane, are native to Europe and Siberia, northern and southwestern United States and parts of Canada. Arnica montana and Arnica angustifolia grow wild in the temperate mountain forests and grassy areas of the central part of the European continent and in the mountains of Siberia. The circumboreal and montane genus of Arnica montana is present mostly in the temperate regions of western North America and southern Canada. In countries where Arnica is indigenous, it has a long history as a potent herbal remedy.
A member of the aster (sunflower) group, Arnica is a genus of about 30 species in the Asteraceae (Compositae) family. The genus name Arnica is said to be derived from the Greek word arna meaning “lamb” … in reference to the soft leaves that resemble lambs’ ears. Greek , an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages, is the language of the Greeks. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. In its ancient form, it is the language of classical…
According to a European folk tale, the medicinal value of Arnica was first recognised by shepherds who observed that their injured animals were attracted to the Arnica plant. During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, countless physicians utilised Arnica preparations for contusions, bruises, sore muscles, and pain from arthritis and rheumatism.
Arnica montana is probably best known as an ointment for bruises and sprains. Its anti-inflammatory properties improve local blood supply and accelerate healing. Europeans first discovered the healing properties of Arnica in the sixteenth century. However, use of Arnica is thought to have prevailed for centuries before that. Native Americans were familiar with Arnica by the time the early settlers arrived in the “New World.” They were already applying poultices of Arnica to soothe and heal strained muscles and bruises. The settlers recognised the North American Arnica species (A. fulgens, A. sororia and A. cordifolia) and found their medicinal qualities to be closely related to those of the familiar European plant, Arnica montana.
Italian physician and naturalist Matthiolus (1501-1577) documented conclusive beneficial results from the use of Arnica as a tincture for bruises, rheumatic pains, heart weakness and asthma. German scientist and writer Goethe (1749-1832) claimed Arnica saved his life when he was overcome by a life-threatening illness and high fever. Arnica also has a long history of medicinal use in Russian and Swiss folk medicine.
In herbal form, Arnica is primarily restricted to external use. Arnica extracts, ointments and compresses are used to reduce inflammation and pain from bruises, sprains, tendons, dislocations and swelling. Plastic surgeons now recommend Arnica creams to their patients to reduce post-surgical bruising, and many athletes carry a tube in their gym bags.
Arnica must be consumed orally only under strict guidance from a health professional. The internal use of Arnica is limited to homoeopathic dosages due to its potential toxicity. Homoeopathic doses are extremely diluted with no detectable amount of the plant. Arnica in this form is considered safe for internal use when taken according to the directions of a homoeopath. It is most often the first homoeopathic remedy used for injuries such as sprains and bruises.
Samuel Hahnemann, M.D., (1755-1843) pioneered today’s system of homoeopathic medicine. Dr Hahnemann researched Arnica and experimented with it on hundreds of subjects. The subjects, who were unaware of what they were taking, were asked to document the effects of Arnica over a long period of time. The results were significant and he found that Arnica healed everything from physical injury trauma, gout and rheumatism to sleeping problems and emotional problems. Today, Arnica montana is one of the most effective sports medicines, referred to as “the aspirin of homoeopathy.”
Plant-based medications are well researched in Germany, where Arnica is extremely popular and well known and an ingredient in as many as 300 herbal preparations. Commission E (a therapeutic guide to herbal medicine), Germany’s authority on herbal medications and preparations, specifies Arnica as a treatment for various post-traumatic conditions such as bruises, sprains, contusions and rheumatic disorders. Once prevalent, wild Arnica is now on the decline in Europe and America. Since Arnica montana has become scarce in parts of Europe, the focus is now on cultivated crops.
Arnica contains numerous active chemical constituents. Recent studies confirm that terpenoids such as the sesquiterpene lactones helenalin and dihydrohelenalin are the major ingredients responsible for its beneficial effects, particularly the potent anti-inflammatory and antiseptic action. The alkaloid arnicin is another main active principle of Arnica. Other important constituents are 0.1 percent volatile oil containing thymol (antiseptic) and flavonoids (antioxidant).
Daisy-like plants from the Asteraceae family that contain a high percentage of sesquiterpenoid lactones such as helenalin can cause allergic dermatis in some people. Although Arnica is a valuable and dynamic herbal remedy, it is best to use it with caution and never take internally or apply to broken skin or open wounds. To avoid an allergic reaction, it is best to use Arnica ointments and creams containing not more than 20-25 percent Arnica tincture.
Parts Used Medicinally
The flowers, fresh or dried, are the parts most commonly used medicinally in tinctures, creams and ointments. The constituents in the stems, leaves and rootstocks have a different composition to those in the florets and are seldom used.
Studies show that 70 percent of human immune system response is connected to emotions. If one is discontented or depressed the immune system becomes susceptible to dis-ease. Modern Western philosophy and medicine are only just beginning to understand the relationship between the mind and physical health and how feelings, thoughts, attitudes and behaviour are interconnected with overall health. Psychological and social stress have a strong effect on the immune system. This knowledge is not new in Eastern philosophy.
Ayurveda is an ancient system of life (ayur) knowledge (veda) developed in India over 5000 years ago. Chinese philosophy follows a similar belief system.
Ayurvedic belief is that man is a complex structure of physical, biological, mental and spiritual factors. Disease or optimum health result from the interconnectedness between the self and the physical, mental and emotional environment. Balance and harmony (homeostasis) must exist in order for the body to remain in a healthy state. The goal of Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine is freedom from disease through a strong immune system. It is acknowledged that negative thoughts and lifestyle can result in dis-ease and that illness is often a direct result of the relationship between self, personality and everything that goes into our mental, emotional and spiritual being.
Nature has designed us all to maintain perfect health. Every day our immune system is exposed to millions of bacteria, viruses, allergens and other toxins. If we are balanced on physical, mental, emotional and spiritual levels, we are able to maintain homoeostatic equilibrium, and the immune system remains strong and resists infection. However, when stress, fatigue or poor nutrition weaken the immune system, ill health can develop. If you have chosen the Arnica card, you may be having some “ah ha!” moments at this time, possibly relating to this information.
Optimal health is our birthright and in large part up to each of us. Arnica teaches us this important lesson. Every day we’re given the option to reconnect with our intuitive knowledge and make either positive or negative choices. The body knows its own nature and what it requires to maintain proper balance. When we make wise choices, we maintain wellbeing and happiness. The universe has a way of giving us what we need and getting the message across in whatever manner necessary. Sometimes the learning process may appear negative and even harsh, but these lessons are actually a wake-up call and the Arnica card is letting you know it is worth listening.
Therefore, the lesson Arnica is imparting is to look to positive ways of releasing stress or negative patterns and find new or old (forgotten) ways of maintaining balance and good health. If it feels right, look into nurturing yourself with some Ayurvedic massages. Talk to an Ayurvedic practitioner for the best Ayurvedic treatment for you. Ayurveda and yoga go hand in hand. Taking up yoga and/or meditation along with Ayurvedic treatments would be ideal. Use Arnica as a homoeopathic remedy to help with reconnecting whilst moving through this process.
“Please keep in mind the distinction between healing and treatment: treatment originates from outside, whereas healing comes from within.”
— Andrew Weil