In regions of the world where Arnica is indigenous, it has long been used as a popular herbal remedy. It's believed that a tincture can be made for external application on sprains, bruises, and wounds. Repeated applications are not recommended as they may produce inflammation. Arnica is seldom used internally, but it does have certain applications in homeopathy. Homeopathic preparations of it are used for sore muscles, bruises, and other ailments caused by overexertion or injury. The pharmacological actions of Arnica is as a stimulant and a diuretic.
Arnica Montana is an herb that can be either a medicine or a poison. What many people don't know is there is a rule in medicine as solid as the law of gravity,
called "schulz law". This rule states, that any compound that is a known poison has positive effects on life processes in a dilute enough dosage. It is the foundation of logic behind how homeopathy works. Constituents produced b the Arnica Montana species can be either beneficial or harmful.
From a pharmacological stand-point the Arnica plant like many others is loaded with different constituents. Arnica produces a range of chemicals from the helenalin compound to thymol. Theses different compounds give Arnica multiple medicinal dimensions. The different chemicals produced by this plant have completely different classifications. - see Constituents
Constituents are chemicals produced by plants through their journey in life. These are the microscopic phytochemicals that actually give the herbs their medicinal value. So to all those folks out there who think natural medicine is a joke, you're wrong. Not only that, but there has been scientific research, knowledge, and industry fueled by the chemicals these plants produced for a long, long time now. Is anything ever really invented, or is it just discovered?
The main active constituent in Arnica is believed to be a bitter yellow crystalline compound known as Arnicin.
Helenalin - in sufficient dosages this constituent is poisonous. Even contact with the skin can trigger irritation of the skin.
There are also derivatives of thymol found in the roots. Thymol is a microscopic chemical, scientifically known as 2-isopropyl-5-methylphenol, that is produced by the thyme plant. The oils of the thyme plant and other plants that contain this thymol are used to extract the compound into a crystalline substance with a nice fragrance and anti-septic properties.
Thymol possesses antimicrobial activity, having a "phenolic structure". You will hear a lot about "phenolic" compounds on this website. A lot of plants with immune boosting properties contain different types of "phenols". The thymol compound also holds antibacterial power against such strains including Aeromoans hydrophila and Staphylococcus aureus. Other properties of thymol include: preservative, anesthetic, antiseptic. Finally, thymol exist in many plants and mostly that of Thyme.
Plant based compounds are hugely important in many of the common goods people buy in the stores every-day. From cough drops, to candy, or perfume to root-beer, there is a good chance a key ingredient came from a plant. I personally prefer the plant based medicines like sun tea's, tinctures ( spirits), and infusions, decoctions, etc. This information is intended to inform the public of the facts behind the many useful scientifically backed properties of these natural wonders. I just want everyone to know the truth about how these products come to be, and where the active ingredients came from.
Arnica Montana specifically, should only be uses with guidance from a highly trained professional because in a high enough dose the effects are toxic. Different plants or forms of alternative medicine all have different effects, a lack of toxicity , or a toxicity level. Different interactions with other plants, drugs, or foods, and should be thoroughly researched before consuming any products. Part of what makes certain holistic plants such powerful forms of medicine is the poisonous compounds within them used in dilute forms. Again, these facts point to "Schulz law", a medical rule that states any poison in a dilute enough dosage has effects that enhance life processes. Dosage counts. Consult your healthcare provider before use. These statements and items have not been evaluated nor approved by the FDA.
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