Bumps and Bruises? Seek Arnica!

Aug 9th 2012

It’s the time of year where we find ourselves on bikes, navigating tight corners to reach the lawn mower, or getting banged-into at crowded venues.  Later in the day, a black and blue mark emerges, with a dull pain radiating from the site.

Cartoon with black eyes and arm in sling surrendering waiving white flagAt a recent visit with my dear mother, I noticed that she had many bruises all over her body.  She has always been a very, labor-intensive person—having bruises on her arms or legs was a usual result of gardening, building, or boating.  This time, however, the bruising was enough to give her pause.  She came downstairs and lifted her arms up.  With a desperate look on her face, she pointed to the seemingly endless bruises that covered her inner arms.  I could see the fear in her and that caused me to get anxious, so I immediately went upstairs to the computer and typed in some key words.  It turns out that the steroid my mom uses to control her fibromyalgia, Prednisone, is known for causing bruises as a side effect of the medication.

At this, I remembered an ointment that I had bought at a health food store several years earlier after reading about it in a Spanish novel, arnica.   Arnica is a perennial herb native to the mountains of Europe and Siberia.  It has been cultivated in the United States.  This homeopathic has been in use since the 1500's and serves as a remedy for muscle soreness, inflammation and the healing of wounds.  It is applied topically to the skin and can be made into a liniment, an ointment, a tincture, a salve, or a cream.

The Arnica I found for my mom was an odorless, clear cream.  As soon as I came home with it, I took it out of the box, had my mom sit down and began to apply the cream gently all over her body. Within days of consistent use, my mother's bruises began to fade into a yellowish/green and then vanish completely.  The sense of relief brought about by Arnica and its superlative ability to heal wounds is extraordinary. Bumps and bruises, muscle aches are all part of the human condition.  It's very healing to know that ethnobotany has fostered such a cornucopia of treatments for all that ails us. As always, consult with your health care provider before using homeopathic drugs.

Here's to keeping your body feeling vibrant!

In good health!

Heidi Aspen Lauckhardt-Rhoades

Writer and Social Media Correspondent

Fitness Professional

Twitter: @ATweetFit