Used to treat bruising, muscular strains, wounds and swelling, Arnica is one of the most popular homeopathic remedies in Britain. Arnica tablets are currently the top selling Homoeopathic remedy at Country Living Health Store and healthstore.uk.com.
Derived from the European plant, Arnica Montana, the little white Arnica tablets - containing Arnica solution watered down hundreds of times to form a homeopathic 'ultra-dilution' - are one of the few 'alternative' medicines to have found their way on to most people's bathroom shelves.
Proponents claim Arnica tablets can reduce swelling dramatically, prevent muscular soreness and alleviate postoperative trauma.
Based on the theory that 'like cures like' homeopathy has always been controversial - it treats illness by giving patients substances that cause the very same symptoms. However, the remedies are given in minute amounts and are often so diluted that there is little or no active ingredient in them.
Yet the fact remains that thousands of practitioners and patients swear by the remarkable curative powers of Arnica tablets. Theresa Hale, founder of London's Hale Clinic, a pioneering centre for complementary medicine, has relied on it for years. 'I use it at home all the time for bruises and sprains,' she says. 'I gave arnica tablets to my mother just two weeks ago when she fell over and her leg began to swell - it went back down within three hours.' (Mail on Sunday) Arnica tablets are widely used in Germany and France by medically qualified doctors, and they are also routinely administered in casualty units in hospitals.
Made from a yellow daisy-like flower, the active components of arnica include sesquiterpene lactones and flavonoids which are known to reduce inflammation and ease pain. It also contains thymol, an essential oil that fights infection, and carotenoid, a powerful antioxidant. Arnica tablets are believed to work by stimulating the activity of white blood cells and dispersing fluid that accumulates around damaged, swollen joints.
Country Living Health Store and www.healthstore.uk.com have arnica tablets by the manufacturers Weleda and Nelsons. The Arnica tablets are available in the 6c and 30c potency. In addition to arnica tablets, Arnica cream, gel and lotion is also available for topical use.