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Arnica to the Rescue
6/21/2010 12:10:30 PM

It seems to be the same every year: Spring arrives, the days get longer, and I just can’t wait to get outside. For me, spring means the start of bicycling and rollerblading season. Even though hot yoga keeps me in shape during the winter months, the first bike ride of the season invariably brings with it some sore muscles. Fortunately, I have a well-stocked medicine cabinet (more on that in a future blog), so relief is not far away.

For muscle pain, my preferred treatment is the Weleda homeopathic Arnica Ointment . It’s also very useful for sprains and bruises. Of course, I always make a resolution to stretch more, but I’ve definitely got room for improvement. For patients who complain of joint stiffness, my recommendation is to massage the affected joint with our Arnica Massage Oil before working out. Doing so will increase circulation, bring warmth to that area and increase range of motion.

My first exposure to Arnica was as a child, while visiting family in the countryside, far from any doctor or hospital. My relatives’ Saint Bernard bit me, and although it wasn’t too serious—just some broken skin and mild bleeding—I was shaken. My uncle went to the medicine cabinet, pulled out an ancient-looking brown bottle and applied an arnica tincture he said had great powers. He said that I was going to be just fine. Needless to say, he was right. Only much later did I learn about the analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and wound-healing properties that the Herbal Physician’s Desk Reference ascribes to the arnica plant, and especially to the flowers. But that early experience is something that is still vivid in my memory.

So, perhaps I will see you out there on the bike trail, but first and foremost: Ride safely!

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