The anti-inflammatory no one told you about is Arnica.  How many times have you found yourself with a nasty looking black and blue bruise and very little patience for it to heal ?  Or, you’ve badly pulled a muscle in a quest to keep fit and are itching to get back on your feet quickly ?  Look no further, for the remedy lies in nature itself.
It’s an innocent looking thing : a pretty, orange-yellow, daisy-like flower —— one of the members of the sunflower clan.  Most commonly known as LEOPARD’S BANE, Arnica Montana, is a flower that packs more punch than you can ever imagine.  It is used by native Americans to treat muscular problems such as sprains.  It was prescribed for pain relief, for dislocations, bruises and also used as an antiseptic or wounds and insect bites.  19th and 20th Century European doctors also commonly used Arnica in much the same way.
So, although people have long sworn by the magical flower, it’s really the fashionable lot that has re-catapulted the usefulness of Arnica in recent years.  A natural anti-inflammatory flower has been used to relieve muscular aches after fitness classes.  It’s anti-bacterial property can bring down swellings, black-blue bruises and bleeding after surgeries of all kinds.  It is also very popular with catwalk models, who use it to relieve inflammation, flush out toxins and for glowing skin.  Sports medical experts also hand out Arnica to speed up recovery of bruised and sprained players.  It can also provide relief from and act as a preventive agent against cramping.
How do you use Arnica ?  Available in homeopathic pellet form —— where the tincture is diluted often into a base of acacia gum and the tiny pellets simply dissolve in a moment under the tongue.  This form is best for those looking to heal post-operative pain, muscular aches, sprains, bad bruises and even contusions.  Many swear by these pellets to relieve vertigo and car-sickness, as well as skin inflammation.
Arnica gel and cream preparations combat external swellings and insect bites and rashes on the body.  But it MUST NOT BE APPLIED DIRECTLY TO OPEN WOUNDS.  It is also available in a variety of shampoo and conditioning treatments, which aid in stimulating hair growth and prevent dandruff.  Tinctures of Arnica are used to cure throat infections, and are taken by those with low BP, those suffering from motion-sickness.  This form must be diluted in water before ingesting.  The flower is indigenous to North America and Europe and is also cultivated in North India.  However,, since it contains the compound HELENALIN, which is toxic if taken in large quantities.
Arnica SHOULD BE AVOIDED by THOSE WHO ARE PREGNANT, as well as those who suffer from HIGH BP, as it can over-stimulate their heart rates.
————– Ambika Behal.

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