Arnica is a well-known medicinal herb that grows throughout Europe and in western North America. It has been used since the early 16th century as a popular German folk remedy for injuries, bruising, inflammation, pain and skin lesions.
Topical application of arnica ointment or gel has shown to decrease bruising and muscle soreness, making arnica a popular choice for athletes (and clumsy people). Its power is thanks to the presence of anti-inflammatory compounds called sesquiterpene lactones, as well as flavonoids, which strengthen blood vessels therefore reducing the leakage of blood beneath the skin which causes bruising.
Today, arnica is commonly used to speed healing of bruises; reduce swelling; provide pain relief when applied topically to the site of the injury (especially good for strains and sprains); and soothe the pain of arthritis.
We have included arnica extract in our zenYoga Soothe Muscle Balm along with the heavy hitters birch essential oil and cayenne extract, all of which help to soothe muscle soreness due to over-exertion, a new workout routine or just plain heavy lifting.