Arnica is a medicinal plant which is used in skin ointments and homeopathic medicines. However, arnica has some side effects that you should be aware of.
Arnica is a flowering plant that belongs to the family of sunflowers. It finds its origin in Europe but now has adapted and flourished in other parts of the world as well. Arnica is known by many names. Some common ones are Arnica Montana, Mountain Snuff, Mountain tobacco and Wolf’s bane. Arnica is a medicinal herb that finds its use in curing a wide variety of illnesses. It is most commonly used for reducing swelling, pain and bruising. It gives fast relief from the discomfort of insect bites and skin irritation. Arnica is also known to make the muscles function effectively during labor and provides comfort from motion sickness. It is often prescribed by surgeons as it aids post-operative recovery. The benefits of Arnica are numerous but it is not devoid of side effects.
List of Possible Side Effects of Arnica
According to homeopaths, only dilute forms of Arnica are recommendable for usage. The maximum safe period of its consumption does not exceed 15 days. The dosage of Arnica depends on the type and severity of the sickness, and it differs from person to person. Therefore, a constant supervision from a homeopathy professional is required. High doses of arnica may result in a number of serious side effects.
- Applying Arnica montana topically on skin, for more than three weeks can cause skin irritation and eczema. It should also not be applied on broken skin. People who are known to be allergic to Asteraceae or Compositae plant families should not use arnica topically.
- Taking arnica orally might cause dizziness and nosebleeds. It can also cause mild tremors in hands and feet.
- Prolonged use of arnica might also cause a decrease in appetite.
- Mouthwash that contains arnica might cause mouth ulcers if used for longer time period.
- Higher doses of Arnica often causes gastrointestinal trouble like abdominal pain, diarrhea and cramps.
- Arnica is believed to relieve some discomfort during pregnancy. But as it is a uterus stimulant, any kind of self-medication containing arnica may cause a miscarriage or premature delivery. So it is best to use it only when prescribed by a doctor.
- Oral intake of arnica might also cause nausea and vomiting.
- Since arnica has blood thinning properties it should not be used by people who are prescribed anticoagulants and antiplatelet medications like Warfarin, Heparin and Plavix.
- Drugs that treat hypertension and diabetes might react with arnica. So arnica should not be taken by people who take such medications.
- If a person is suffering from severe kidney or liver disease, it is not advisable for such people to take arnica.
- Prolonged use of arnica can cause rapid or irregular heartbeats. Other side effects of arnica include difficulty in breathing, drowsiness and dizziness.
Arnica is very helpful in reducing bruising and swelling. However, before you take arnica, it is best that you consult your physician.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only and does not in any way attempt to replace the advice offered by an expert on the subject.