Traditionally Arnica is used as a poultice to treat sprains, bruises and wounds and low fevers and paralytic conditions. It is the most wonderful remedy, trusted through the ages and has been of great benefit to many people. However, research has shown that the herb also gives excellent results when used externally for arthritic conditions, as it is a potent anti-inflammatory.
The body possesses a compound known as NF-kB which has the ability to ‘switch on’ inflammation. Arnica contains substances known as sesquiterpene lactones. These have the ability to prevent NF-kB from being switched on.
Arnica is of course, very well known as a homoeopathic preparation for bruising and tissue damage.
Research is also showing us that the herb has a very promising role as an anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving herbal application for external use in the form of a gel. A recent study showed that Absolüt Arnica gel also has a chondroprotective effect. The sesquiterpene lactones inhibit, in low concentrations, the destructive processes in the cartilage.
This plant is for external use only. Do not apply on open wounds and broken skin. Avoid contact with eyes and mucous membranes. Do not bandage. Do not apply with external heat, such as an electric heating pad, as this may result in excessive skin irritation or skin burn. Do not use if allergic to Asteraceae/ Compositae (daisy) family and in case of known allergy to any of the ingredients in the product. Consult a healthcare practitioner if symptoms persist or worsen.
The Absolut Arnica has to be applied in a thin coat, and left to dry –do not rub in!
Devil’s Claw gets its name from the hooks that cover the fruit’s skin and that hang on animal’s hoofs, thus allowing the species to spread. Traditional African and European medicines use Devil’s Claw for its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties as well as its tonic activity on liver and stomach. Traditionally, it is used for arthritis, gout, muscle pain of all types (myalgia), lumbago, etc. as well as for loss of appetite, liver disorders and dyspepsia. In African pharmacopoeia, Devil’s Claw is used for urinary and menstrual problems.
Devil’s Claw has been the subject of many trials. These show that Devil’s Claw works just as well as conventional anti-inflammatory medication, but does not have the same side effects.
Basically, you can use Devil’s Claw for any condition where there is inflammatory pain. It is particularly appropriate for rheumatoid arthritis because, when taken long term, it can help rebalance the immune system.
The herb seems to work at a number of different points of the inflammatory pathway, rather than at just the one level, which is seen with conventional medication.
The great benefit of this herb is that it has little or no side effects, unlike conventional anti-inflammatory medication, which tends to destroy the stomach lining and adversely affect the kidneys.
Expect the pain-relieving effects within one to eight weeks (although it often works faster, especially when used for sports injuries).
It can be taken long term or short term – long term is usually necessary with musculoskeletal problems.