Little ABC for your spa-break questions ...
In their treatment discriptions, wellness hotels often use technical terms, which are hard to understand for potential guests. We have therefore collected and defined the most relevant terms in our small wellness ABC. A tip: Our wellness dictionary also supports word requests. You don't need to know the exact wording.
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The pale yellow, aromatically fragrant flower arnica (Arnica montana)
belongs to the genus of composite flowers and used to be a widespread flower in the low mountain ranges of Western Europe. It is characterized by its tousled and asymmetrical looking flowers. Arnica grows mainly in mountainous regions like the Alps and in the European lowlands.
However, since it was collected in large quantities for pharmacies - as Goethe reported - and was threatened with extinction, it was placed under nature protection and may not be picked. Only in the last few years has it been possible to grow the plant for high-yield field cultivation for medicinal purposes.
How is Arnica used?
The homeopathic medicine is available in the form of globules, drops, sprays or ointments. Arnica tinctures can also be purchased for envelopes or baths. Arnica contains substances such as:
- Tanning agents – fight pathogenic bacteria
- Essential oils – also combat pathogenic bacteria and have anti-inflammatory, disinfectant and wound healing properties
- Helenalin – antimicrobial effect against fungi and bacteria
- Flavonoids – positive effect on the cardiovascular system
- Choline – lowers blood pressure
Therefore, arnica is particularly suitable for all kinds of injuries, wounds, cuts and bruises. The flower has an inhibiting effect on the growth of bacteria and is said to reduce bleeding, swelling, pain and other external injuries, thus also supporting the healing process.
What does Arnica help against?
Arnica is used externally for various complaints and diseases. Only the flowers are used for the medical application of the medicinal plant, as these ingredients have anti-inflammatory, disinfecting and analgesic effects. The external use of arnica flowers is scientifically recognized for the treatment of bruises, contusions, contusions and sprains. In addition, the flowers of arnica are also used for the following complaints:
- Superficial phlebitis
- Inflammations after insect bites
- Inflammations of the mouth and throat mucosa
- Rheumatic muscle and joint pain
- Edema formation
Extracts from arnica flowers are usually processed into ointments and used externally. Envelopes with arnica tincture or an infusion have a pain-relieving effect, e.g. for rheumatic pains.
Why arnica must not be used internally
As arnica contains substances that are toxic to the body, it is not recommended to use it internally (e.g. in the form of tea). The application can cause severe side effects such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle weakness and nervousness. The heart can also be affected. The consequences of taking it can be cardiac arrhythmia and heart muscle paralysis. Homeopathic arnica globules are an exception to this, as the original substance has been so massively diluted that it no longer poses any danger to the body.