Arnica for Bruises And Contusions: Does it Work?


Arnica (Arnica Montana) is a flowering plant in the sunflower family. The name comes from Arnika, an old German word for “eagle”. It has yellow flowers and grows to about 24 inches high. The whole plant is used medicinally, but the flower head is most important.

Indigenous peoples of North America traditionally used the Arnica flower for bruises, muscle pain, wounds, and other conditions. It is still commonly used orally and topically as a homeopathic remedy for treating injuries such as contusions, sprains, and strains. There are more health and medical benefits of this plant. On, you can read more information and get one of the arnica products.

History of Arnica with Bruises

Arnica Montana, also known as Mountain Tobacco, has a long and varied history of use. The plant is native to Europe but can be found worldwide today. It grows in mountainous areas at high elevations and blooms between July and September. In traditional folk medicine, Arnica extracts have been used for centuries to treat bruises, muscle aches, pain relief, inflammation, wounds, skin conditions (such as eczema), and bug bites/stings.

Arnica was historically considered an important herb by many cultures – it was often taken internally or applied externally to speed healing after injuries or surgery. In the early 1900s, some doctors even used arnica ointment during childbirth because it helps prevent bruising! However, modern research has yet to confirm these claimed benefits; most scientific studies on arnica focus on its anti-inflammatory properties.

So, does this mean that arnica is useless? Not! Although further research is needed, mounting evidence suggests that topically applying concentrated forms of the extract (usually derived from the flowers) may help reduce swelling and improve healing time following various injuries (including sports-related ones).

The Benefits of Arnica for bruises and contusions

Arnica is a homeopathic remedy that effectively treats bruises and contusions. Bruises form when blood vessels beneath the skin are damaged, often from a bump or blow. The blood leaks into the tissues surrounding the vessel and causes a black-and-blue mark. Arnica applied early can help minimize bruising by speeding up the healing of the Blood capillaries.

Contusions, also called crush injuries, happen when body tissues like muscles or bones are injured but not broken. Contusions are common in contact sports such as football and wrestling and typically occur when one player falls on another’s arm or leg. Arnica may help reduce pain and swelling associated with these injuries: A 2006 study published in “The Journal of Family Practice” found that arnica was more effective than placebo at reducing inflammation after ankle surgery.

Several other studies have found that arnica helps treat pain related to bruises, carpal tunnel syndrome, sciatica, neck strains/sprains, toothache, postoperative edema (swelling), rheumatic conditions including osteoarthritis & fibromyalgia., headache & migraine. It seems to be most beneficial for treating pain and inflammation.

How to use arnica ointment or gel?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best way to use arnica ointment or gel may vary depending on the individual’s specific situation and needs. However, some tips on how to best utilize this natural remedy include:

  • Consulting healthcare professionals before taking arnica internally if pregnant or lactating.
  • Avoiding contact with mucous membranes (e.g., eyes, nose, mouth).
  • To minimize potential skin irritation, always do a patch test first by applying a small amount of the product to an inconspicuous area and waiting 24 hours for any adverse effects. Discontinue use if rash develops.
  • Start with low doses and increase gradually as needed until symptoms subside.
  • Rubbing in circular motions gently into affected areas two or three times daily should be sufficient for most people.

Are there any side effects?

Generally, arnica is safe to use and does not cause significant adverse effects. However, some people may experience skin irritation or a rash when using the product. To minimize this risk, always do a patch test first by applying a small amount of the product to an inconspicuous area and waiting 24 hours for any adverse effects.

If you notice a rash developing after using arnica cream, discontinue use immediately. Additionally, pregnant women should avoid contact with mucous membranes (e.g., eyes, nose, mouth) as accidental ingestion may result in nausea or other unwanted side effects.

Finally, it’s important to start with low doses and increase gradually as needed until symptoms subside; excessive use can worsen inflammation instead of relieving it. Moreover, this plant should be used according to a doctor’s recommendation to minimize the chance of side effects.


Arnica is a wonderful herb used to help relieve bruises and contusions. It works by improving blood circulation, which helps the body to heal these injuries faster. Arnica ointment or gel can be applied directly to the skin and should be started with low doses and increased gradually as needed. When used correctly, arnica has no known side effects, but it is important to consult a doctor before using this plant if you are pregnant or nursing.

Written by Mariapia Mastropietro

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