Arnica Montana Flower Extract is a dark brown clear liquid made from the flowers of the plant Arnica montana. In cosmetics and personal care products, Arnica Montana and Arnica Montana Flower Extract are used in the formulation of a variety of product types, including skin care products, skin fresheners, shampoos, conditioners and hair care products.The flower of arnica is used to make medicine.
- Arnica is applied to the skin for pain and swelling associated with bruises, aches, sprains, and arthritis. It is also applied to the skin for insect bites, muscle and cartilage pain, chapped lips, and acne.
- It is also taken by mouth for sore mouth and throat, insect bites, painful and swollen veins near the surface of the skin (superficial phlebitis), sore gums after removal of wisdom teeth, and for causing abortions.
- In foods, arnica is a flavor ingredient in beverages, frozen dairy desserts, candy, baked goods, gelatins, and puddings.
- In manufacturing, arnica is used in hair tonics and anti-dandruff preparations. The oil is used in perfumes and cosmetics.
- Arnica Montana and its Flower Extract enhance the appearance of dry or damaged skin by reducing flaking and restoring suppleness.
Arnica montana is sometimes grown in herb gardens and historically has been used as medicine. It has been used in herbal medicine for centuries.
Clinical trials of Arnica montana have yielded mixed results:
- When used topically in a gel at 50% concentration, A. montana was found to have the same effect when compared to a 5% ibuprofen gel for treating the symptoms of hand osteoarthritis.
- A scientific study by FDA funded dermatologists found that the application of topical A. montana had no better effect than a placebo in the treatment of laser-induced bruising.
- In 1998, a systematic review of homeopathic A. montana at the University of Exeter concluded that there are no rigorous clinical trials that support the claim that it is efficacious beyond a placebo effect.
- A 2013 Cochrane Collaboration systematic review of topical herbal remedies for treating osteoarthritis concluded that “Arnica gel probably improves pain and function as well as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs do
- Arnica is possibly safe when used in the amounts commonly found in food or when applied to unbroken skin short-term. The Canadian government, however, is concerned enough about the safety of arnica to prohibit its use as a food ingredient.
- Amounts that are larger than the amount found in food are likely unsafe when taken by mouth. In fact, arnica is considered poisonous and has caused death. When taken by mouth it can also cause irritation of the mouth and throat, stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea, skin rashes, shortness of breath, a fast heartbeat, an increase in blood pressure, heart damage, organ failure, increased bleeding, coma, and death.
- Do not apply arnica to damaged or broken skin. Too much could be absorbed.
- Arnica is often listed as an ingredient in homeopathic products; however, these products are usually so dilute that they contain little or no detectable amount of arnica
- Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs) interacts with ARNICA
- Arnica might slow blood clotting. Taking arnica along with medications that also slow clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding.
- Some medications that slow blood clotting include aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, others), dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin, warfarin (Coumadin), and others.
Source: CosmeticsInfo, www.cosmeticsinfo.org/ingredient/arnica-montana-and-arnica-montana-flower-extract