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What is arnicare? Homeopathic bruise treatment

Updated on October 9, 2013

Arnicare by Boiron for the Homeopathic Treatment of Bruises and Muscle Pain

I first discovered Arnicare after I had a big bruise on my forehead from an injury. I stood too close to a closed door and got whacked in the forehead when the door was opened, leaving a giant bruise on my forehead. Obviously I was anxious to have the bruise go away, so a friend suggested that I try using Arnicare to treat the bruise.

Arnicare is a homeopathic remedy for bruising that is made from the Arnica plant. Arnicare comes in a cream that you can rub into the bruise. It works best if you begin applying Arnicare to the bruised area right away, but is still effective if you do not begin treatment on the bruise immediately.

What is the Arnica Plant?

Homeopathic remedies are often made from the arnica plant

The Arnica plant looks like a daisy, but has a yellow flower. Different varieties of the plant grow wild in North America, Europe and Russia.

Variations of the Arnica plant have been used medicinally for hundreds of years.

The Arnica plant contains a compound called helenalin, which is known for its anti-inflamitory properties, but is also toxic in large quantities.

What is Arnicare?

Arnicare is a homeopathic bruise treatment

Arnicare is a homeopathic bruise cream manufactured by the company Boiron. Arnicare is available in many different forms such as pills and tablets, or topical creams.

The only type of Arnicare that I have used is the arnica cream. It comes in a 2.5 ounce tube similar to a toothpaste tube.

Arnicare cream is white and of similar consistency as hand lotion. It can be smoothed out and rubbed into the skin. You can apply Arnicare directly over the skin where the bruise is located. Lightly rubbing the area with the Arnicare cream is soothing and helps it feel better.

Arnicare for Bruises

Arnicare homeopathic bruise cream to make bruises go away faster

One of the primary uses of Arnicare is for the homeopathic treatment of bruises. If you rub the cream over a bruise, it will help the bruise go away faster. It apparently is more effective the sooner after the injury that you put it on.

In addition to helping remove the bruise, Arnicare is supposed to help relieve the pain as well.

When I first tried Arnicare cream I put it on my bruise first thing in the morning, and before bed at night. The directions indicate that it can be used up to three times per day, but I only used it twice because I did not want to be smearing cream on my face in the middle of the day.

I really noticed that the bruise began to fade after about three days. I think it was a severe enough bruise that it should have lasted at least a week. It quickly went away enough that I could easily cover it with a bit of makeup. I was glad, because I was kind of embarrassed about how bad it looked.

The bottle claimed that it also works to stop the pain of the bruise, but I didn't really notice that. I was more concerned about making sure my forehead was not all black and blue, and the bruise did not particularly hurt. So I can't really comment on if it makes the bruise less painful.

Overall I was very happy with how it worked to treat bruises. I have never tried another medicine for treating bruises, and thought it was kind of silly at first, but it worked.

Arnicare for muscle pain

Treat muscle pain with Arnicare

The bottle also suggests that another use for Arnicare is for temporary relief from "muscle pain and stiffness due to minor injuries, overexertion and falls."

I tried rubbing the Arnicare on sore calf muscles the day after going for a run. I rubbed quite a bit of the cream into the back of my legs, and found it mildly soothing. The massaging felt nice, and I think it made the muscle soreness end faster than it would have otherwise. However, I did not find that it provided significant pain relief.

I also put the Arnicare cream on a sore knee. My knee has been injured for several weeks, and is mildly swollen. The Arnicare mildly reduced the pain in the area, but not a much as just taking a painkiller would have. Rubbing the Arnicare medicine on the knee felt nice though. I would recommend this therapy for people who are uneasy taking pain medicine, or who want to supplement their pain medicine.

Additionally, when icing my knee a few days ago, I accidentally burned some of the skin from applying the ice directly to my knee without a towel in between. When the area warmed up, it remained bright red and is still visibly discolored. When I put the Arnicare on my knee, it noticeably reduced the discoloration. So the Arnicare seems to work better for making things heal faster than they would otherwise, but does not work as well as a pain reliever.

Other treatments for sore muscles

Comparison of Arnicare to other medicines

Often I do not chose to use Arnicare for the treatment of sore muscles and joints. Usually for these I try either Vicks VapoRub or Tiger Balm. Both of them have a strong menthol smell, and act as a stronger painkiller than Arnicare does.

I find that the menthol is smellier, but is more soothing for pain relief. The Arnicare cream has a very distinctive smell, but it is not as strong as the menthol smell.

I would only choose the Arnicare over Tiger Balm for this type of treatment if I had to go somewhere that I was concerned about smelling like menthol, or if I wanted to massage the area. The Arnicare lotion is a thin enough consistency that it works much better for massaging in to the skin. On the whole I do not think that Arnicare works as well as a pain reliever as Tiger Balm does.

Arnicare Review

Review of Arnicare Cream

Overall, I recommend Arnicare cream for the treatment of bruises. I think it works remarkably well for that.

I do not recommend Arnicare for the treatment of sore muscles, because I think other medicines are more effective.

I would still recommend Arnicare for the treatment of sore muscles for someone who had an allergy or other reason that they could not use traditional medicines for sore muscles.

One instance where I particularly recommend Arnicare is for people to take with them while traveling. Arnicare is great for backpackers and adventure travelers who have limited space for what they can bring with them. The Arnicare lotion has a lot of different uses, which makes it more efficient than getting individual products for each ailment. Also, although it is not marketed for this, I have used Arnicare on bug bites and found it to be effective, which is another use that backpackers might find helpful.

Arnicare Review

Have you tried Arnicare cream? Leave a message in the comments to let me know how your experience was.

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    • LynetteBell profile image

      LynetteBell 5 years ago from Christchurch, New Zealand

      I have used Arnica cream