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A. Arnica is a herbaceous species, genus perennial, belonging to the family Asteraceae, antive to Europe and Asia. It has been used in herbal medicine for centuries to treat strains, sprains, and bruises.
B. Health Benefits
Combudoron, composed of extracts from arnica and stinging nettle, has been used to treat of partial thickness burns and insect bites, according to the study of "Arnica and stinging nettle for treating burns - A self-experiment" by Huber R, Bross F, Schempp C, Gründemann C., posted in PubMed(1)
2. Antibacterial and antifungal activity
Vegetal extracts from Arnica--Arnica montana has demonstrated antimicrobial activity preferentially directed against the planktonic fungal and bacterial growth, according to the study of "In vitro antimicrobial activity of Romanian medicinal plants hydroalcoholic extracts on planktonic and adhered cells" by Stanciuc AM, Gaspar A, Moldovan L, Saviuc C, Popa M, Măruţescu L., posted in PubMed(2)
3. Colon cancer
Lychnophora ericoides Mart. (Brazilian arnica) extract has shown inhibition of colon rectal mucosal epithelial cell proliferation in patients with colon cancer, according to the study of "The protective role of Lychnophora ericoides Mart. (Brazilian arnica) in 1,2-dimethylhydrazine-induced experimental colon carcinogenesis" by Fernandes CR, Turatti A, Gouvea DR, Gobbo-Neto L, Diniz A, Ribeiro-Silva A, Lopes NP, Garcia SB., posted in PubMed(3)
4. Anti-inflammatory activity
The ethanolic extract of aerial parts of L. passerina and its ethyl acetate and methanolic fractions had their abilities to modulate the production of NO, TNF-α and IL-10 inflammatory mediators in LPS/IFN-γ-stimulated J774.A1, according to the study of "Anti-inflammatory activity of Lychnophora passerina, Asteraceae (Brazilian "Arnica")" by Capelari-Oliveira P, Paula CA, Rezende SA, Campos FT, Grabe-Guimarães A, Lombardi JA, Saúde-Guimarães DA., posted in PubMed(4).
5. Relieve pain
Although there are conflict evidences of anise use in relieve pain in short and long term, some researchers found that Arnica administration affects recovery from hand surgery as a treatment for bruising and swelling, according to the study of "Use of Arnica to relieve pain after carpal-tunnel release surgery" by Jeffrey SL, Belcher HJ., posted in PubMed(5), researchers indicated that there was a significant reduction in pain experienced after 2 weeks in the Arnica-treated group (P<.03).
6. Pain, bruising and swelling
Arnica can help to control bruising, reduce swelling and promote recovery after local trauma, according to the study of "Homeopathic arnica for prevention of pain and bruising: randomized placebo-controlled trial in hand surgery" by Stevinson C, Devaraj VS, Fountain-Barber A, Hawkins S, Ernst E., posted in PubMed(6)
Arnica has demonstrated in relaxation of smooth muscle cells within the vessel walls, particularly in the large arteries, smaller arterioles and large veins, according to the article 'Ancient Remedies May Relieve Ailments', posted in BloodPressure.com(7)
8. Wound healing
Arnica also accelerate the process of wound healing after surgery, according to the study of "Arnica as Effective Alternative to Diclofenac to Reduce Wound Irritation" posted in VitaResearch, researchers found that after foot operations, Arnica D4 can be used instead of diclofenac to reduce wound irritation(8).
9. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Arnica has been used in Arnica is often used in homeopathic medicine as postoperative treatment of swelling reduction, the herb has sown a demonstration in treating Carpal Tunnel Syndrome by increasing blood circulation to the affect area, according to the article of "Arnica Montana for Treatment of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome" by By Moss Strohem, posted in Ehow(9)
C. Side effects
1. Arnica can increase leg pain in a short term, according to the study of "The effect of topical arnica on muscle pain" by Adkison JD, Bauer DW, Chang T., posted in PubMed(a).
Arnica used as Cosmetics and herbal remedies with Compositae plant extracts may cause allergic effect in Compositae-allergic patients, according to the study of "Cosmetics and herbal remedies with Compositae plant extracts - are they tolerated by Compositae-allergic patients?" by Paulsen E, Chistensen LP, Andersen KE., posted in PubMed(b)
3. Atopic dermatitis
Patient with atopic dermatitis should use Arnica with care as the herb may increase the risk of a risk factor for Compositae allergy, according to the study of "Contact allergy to Compositae plants in patients with atopic dermatitis. [Article in English, Serbian]" by Jovanović M, Poljacki M, Duran V, Vujanović L, Sente R, Stojanović S., posted in PubMed(c)
Arnica is toxic as it contains measurable amount of helenalin.
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