May 6, 2016

Arnica

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How does Arnica work?

The active chemicals in arnica may reduce swelling, decrease pain, and act as antibiotics.

Are there safety concerns?

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.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Don't take arnica by mouth or apply to the skin if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. It is considered LIKELY UNSAFE.

Allergy to ragweed and related plants: Arnica may cause an allergic reaction in people who are sensitive to the Asteraceae/Compositae family. Members of this family include ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, daisies, and many others. If you have allergies, be sure to check with your healthcare provider before applying it to your skin. Do not take arnica by mouth.

Digestion problems: Arnica can irritate the digestive system. Don't take it if you have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), ulcers, Crohn's disease, or other stomach or intestinal conditions.

Fast heart rate: Arnica might increase your heart rate. Don't take arnica if you have a fast heart rate.

High blood pressure: Arnica might increase blood pressure. Don't take arnica if you have high blood pressure.

Surgery: Arnica might cause extra bleeding during and after surgery. Stop using it at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.


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Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.


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