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Sunday, 29 December 2013

Herbal Arnica and Bruising

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.
Bruising, also known as contusion, is defined as a condition of damage to capillaries and sometimes venules as a result of trauma of that allowing blood to seep, hemorrhage, or extravasate into the surrounding interstitial tissues.

The ingredients
Beside containing contain helenalin as it main ingredient used as anti-inflammatory agent in herbal medicine, it also contains 11,13- dihydrohelenaline, chamissonolid, Sesquiterpene lactone, lignans of the furofuran, dibenzylbutyrolactone, dibenzylbutyrolactol types, pinoresinol, epipinoresinol, phillygenin, matairesinol, nortrachelogenin, and nortracheloside, six dibenzylbutyrolactol derivative, etc.

The Benefits
Bruising happens quite often in our life and in most case it will resolve by itself. Painful brusing can be treated over-the-counter pain medicine, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), or naproxen (Aleve). In some cases, it may be result of certain medical conditions and attention of your doctor is necessary, such as an infection of the valves of the heart (endocarditis) or abnormal function of the blood-clotting elements (platelets), bleeding within the abdomen, etc.
Homeopathic arnica is widely believed to control bruising, reduce swelling and promote recovery after local trauma.  In a double (patient and rater) blinded randomized controlled study of dermatological procedures can result in disfiguring bruises that resolve slowly of healthy volunteers, age range 21-65 years, topical 20% arnica ointment may be able to reduce bruising more effectively than placebo and more effectively than low-concentration vitamin K formulations, such as 1% vitamin K with 0·3% retinol. In other double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial with three parallel arms. 64 adults undergoing elective surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome were randomized to take three tablets daily of homeopathic arnica 30C or 6C or placebo for seven days before surgery and fourteen days after surgery, showed that homeopathic arnica has an advantage over placebo in reducing postoperative pain, bruising and swelling in patients undergoing elective hand surgery.

The Side effects
1. Arnica can increase leg pain in a short term.
2. Allergy
Arnica used as Cosmetics and herbal remedies with Compositae plant extracts may cause allergic effect in Compositae-allergic patients.
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.
4. Toxicity
Arnica is toxic as it contains measurable amount of helenalin.
5. Etc.

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References
1. Arnica (Arnica montana) by Sigma Aldrich
2. Accelerated resolution of laser-induced bruising with topical 20% arnica: a rater-blinded randomized controlled trial. by Leu S, Havey J, White LE, Martin N, Yoo SS, Rademaker AW, Alam M.(PubMed)
3. 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.(Pubmed)
4. The effect of topical arnica on muscle pain" by Adkison JD, Bauer DW, Chang T., (PubMed).
5. Cosmetics and herbal remedies with Compositae plant extracts - are they tolerated by Compositae-allergic patients?" by Paulsen E, Chistensen LP, Andersen KE., (PubMed)
6. 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., (PubMed)