Arnica is one of the most popular homeopathic remedies in the United States today for the treatment of pain, inflammation and bruising.  Arnica Montana, commonly called leopard’s bane, is a perennial herb (bright yellow flower) that grows in Central Europe.  The flower is dried and processed, and turned into homeopathic tinctures, creams, pellets, gels, oils and sprays.

Arnica and its extracts have been widely used as a treatment for acne, boils, bruises, rashes, sprains, pains, and other wounds. Overall, there does not appear to be sufficient evidence to definitively support the use of Arnica as an anti-inflammatory or analgesic agent, or to prevent bruising; however differences in dosing and preparation in clinical studies makes generalizations difficult.

In cosmetic surgery we offer Arnica to patients to help with bruising after surgery.  While I cannot say for sure that it helps, I can say I have not seen any problems with its use.

Arnica and other plants are potentially potent medicinal agents.  Never assume because it’s not a prescription that it can’t be helpful or harmful.  Always be careful with the use of any medications including those that are homeopathic