Arnica montana is a homeopathic remedy created from the arnica plant, which is native to Siberia and Europe but cultivated in North America as well. Homeopathy is a type of alternative medicine based on the principle that "similar cures similar." The 200 designation refers to the attenuation, or strength, of the homeopathic preparation. There are three ratios of potentization -- X, LM and C. When a remedy has a C potentization, this means the remedy is diluted in a ratio of 1 drop of substance to 100 drops of liquid.
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How Homeopathy Works
Homeopathic remedies are prepared from several sources, including plants and even bacteria or viruses. Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, born in 1755, was a German physician who developed the system of homeopathy. Homeopathy aims to maximize the healing potential of a remedy while removing all possible toxicity. This is achieved by dilution and strong shaking (succussion) to dilute the remedy to the lowest amount that will create the best results. In homeopathy, the higher the number, the stronger the remedy.
First Aid and Injuries
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, a homeopathic preparation of arnica montana is often used for bruises or sore muscles. In "An Introduction to Homeopathic Medicine in Primary Care," author Sidney Skinner states arnica montana 200C is usually the first remedy for contusions and also speculates it could be helpful for injuries to the brain's blood vessels because it might resorb blood to reduce swelling. The remedy might also be useful for trauma to the eyes or to speed healing of a broken bone.
Antioxidant and Anti-aging
A study published in the January 2013 issue of the journal "Homeopathy" looked at the effect of three attenuations -- 6, 12 or 30C -- of arnica montana on free radicals in the mitochondria of rats' livers. Free radicals cause cellular damage and contribute to aging. Mitochondria in the cells is where food is converted to energy, but it's also the primary site of the production of free radicals in the body. The strongest arnica montana preparation used in the study protected against the fragmenting of proteins and degradation of fat cells.
Warnings and Considerations
Homeopathic remedies are generally safe because they don't contain detectable levels of the original substance used to create the remedy. If a homeopathic remedy is used incorrectly, however, it can provoke symptoms, warns Simillimum.com. The University of Maryland Medical Center reminds you not to use arnica montana orally, unless it is diluted as a homeopathic remedy. Otherwise, it can cause heart palpitations, tremors, vomiting and dizziness. There are no known prescription drug interactions with homeopathic arnica montana. Avoid arnica montana while pregnant or breastfeeding.