Monday, 6 January 2014

Herbal Arnica and Antiinflammatory activity

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.
Inflammation is a condition of Immune system self-protection to remove harmful stimuli, including damaged cells, irritants, pathogens... from our body.

The ingredients
Beside containing 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
Several species in the genus Arnica have been used in traditional medicine to treat inflammatory-related disorders. Arnica montana 6cH has exerted its anti-inflammatory effect within 6 hours after applying as it blocked the action of histamine in increasing vascular permeability. Other in the study of the helenalin, a flavonoid responsible for the anti-inflammatory activity of arnica montana extract, and aloin, an anthrone-C-glucosyls with antibacterial activity present in aloe vera extract, found that a microemulsion can be a good vehicle to increase the permeation of helenalin, while the gel formulation, containing Sepigel 305, proved able to reduce the release and permeation of aloin, with a consequent activity limited to the surface of application, without any permeation.

C. 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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Back to Herbal Therapy   References
1. The effect of topical arnica on muscle pain" by Adkison JD, Bauer DW, Chang T.(PubMed).
2. Cosmetics and herbal remedies with Compositae plant extracts - are they tolerated by Compositae-allergic patients?" by Paulsen E, Chistensen LP, Andersen KE.(PubMed)
(3) 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)
(4) Anti-inflammatory activity of Arnica montana 6cH: preclinical study in animals by Macêdo SB, Ferreira LR, Perazzo FF, Carvalho JC.(PubMed)
(5) Effect of vehicles on topical application of aloe vera and arnica montana components by Bergamante V, Ceschel GC, Marazzita S, Ronchi C, Fini A.(PubMed)