In this article you will check the benefits and what the arnica plant and its tea are for, how to consume it and what precautions to take. Follow up!
Arnica is a plant native to temperate climate regions and usually grows in alpine meadows, pastures and European forests.
It is often confused with sunflower , as these two plants belong to the Asteraceae family. The word “ arnica ” means “ lamb skin ”, due to its hairy and soft leaves, which is precisely the factor that differentiates it from the Sunflower.
According to Carolina Monçôres, nutritionist specialized in phytotherapy, the arnica species most used for medicinal purposes are arnica montana ( Arnica montana L. ), of European origin; and the Brazilian arnica ( Solidago microglossa DC ), widely used to replace the former.
Popularly known for treating bruises and inflammation , arnica has been used for thousands of years in traditional medicine. Its roots and flowers have helped to treat different health problems. Carolina claims that it contains anti-inflammatory, cell protective, antioxidant and tissue regenerative properties. Even antitumor activities were observed.
“The plant’s roots contain a large amount of a substance derived from thymol, which are used as fungicides, preservatives and may be responsible for the anti-inflammatory effect”, explains the nutritionist and herbalist.
In addition to treating bruises, Carolina says the root extract can also be used externally on the skin to help treat joint damage, rheumatic pain, inflammation, distension, joint twisting and even increased immunity.
According to the professional, the topical veterinary use of this plant is also great, especially in acute inflammation of tendons and joints, cleaning and treatment of wounds on the skin and mucous membranes, eczema and cutaneous inflammation of the animals.
Benefits and what is this infusion for
Arnica tea is one of the most used forms of treatment with this plant. According to Carolina, it can be consumed both internally and externally. In the external form, it can be used in cotton swabs to improve bruises, rheumatism, leg swelling, improve circulation, and it can also be used to gargle for pain or inflammation in the throat. Its internal use helps in the recovery of post-operative wounds, reducing joint swelling and decreasing pain.
There is a line that argues that arnica tea cannot be ingested, as it is considered toxic. However, the nutritionist explains that it is not necessary to be so radical and that there is a right way to prepare it so that no one takes risks. “It is recommended to avoid internal use, but the tea can be used as an infusion, respecting the usual doses of up to 5 grams of plant for each liter of water and a maximum of two 200ml cups per day should be ingested. The main thing is to be prescribed by a doctor who understands medicinal plants and is highly confident and experienced with the prescription of the plant orally”, he advises .
Carolina confirms that external use is, in fact, more frequent, mainly as a first treatment for trauma and bruises. The application must be made directly on the affected area, with the aid of a cotton pad or compresses soaked in the dye or alcohol maceration of its leaves and rhizomes.
Correct and Effective Arnica Tea Recipes
If consumed correctly, drinking arnica tea can be very effective for different health problems. Some professionals, especially homeopaths, claim that a diluted solution can be taken orally to treat low-grade fever, flu, bronchitis, nausea, sore throat and even epilepsy. Carolina indicates the following recipes:
- Arnica montana tea : put water to boil in a container. When the water comes to a boil, add up to 5 grams of arnica flowers (1 tsp) to 1 liter of water. Turn off the heat, cover the container and let it rest for 5 minutes. Then just strain and drink it hot or cold. The maximum consumption is up to 2 cups of 200 mL a day or 2 cups of tea. It should be used until symptoms subside.
- Brazilian arnica tea : in this case, arnica flowers or leaves can be used to prepare the tea. The amount of plant to be used is 3 to 4 grams for every 150 ml of water, and we can drink it 2 to 3 times a day, also until the symptoms stop.
For external use, just soak the teas described above, at a warm temperature, in cotton and apply directly to bruises, pain and inflammation of the skin until the symptoms end.
Contraindications and care with consumption
Carolina states that both the internal and external use of arnica is contraindicated during pregnancy, as it can be abortifacient, and also during the lactation phase. It is also contraindicated for individuals with liver diseases and who are sensitive to the plant. Also, arnica compresses, either in ointment or gel form, should not be used on open wounds.
About possible side effects, the specialist adds: “Arnica contains a toxin called helenalin, which is responsible for side effects in its external use, such as: skin irritation, contact dermatitis and eczema. In internal use, if large amounts are ingested, symptoms such as muscle weakness, severe gastroenteritis, internal bleeding of the digestive tract and tachycardia may appear”. Therefore, never forget to consult a health specialist before starting any type of treatment.
Options beyond tea
For those who don’t like tea but would like to enjoy the benefits of arnica, there are other possible ways to consume it. “Arnica montana can be supplemented orally, in capsules, by highly qualified physicians and prescribers. The dose normally used is 250 milligrams to 500 milligrams a day. It is also possible to use arnica in hydroalcoholic tinctures, the famous droplet, 5 to 10 drops, 1 to 3 times a day”, explains Carolina.