Pain control is a major issue for Americans, and millions across the country suffer from it on a daily basis. In recent years, the solution for many doctors has been to prescribe massive amounts of pain killers like hydrocodone and similar analgesics, with the result that prescription drugs have become the drugs of choice for addicts all over. What is needed for those suffering from chronic pain is not heavy opiates, but effective, natural pain relief that will take care of the pain issue without causing dependency or other unwanted side effects. Read on to find out more about this amazing natural analgesic.
More about Arnica
Arnica is actually a member of the sunflower family, and its use as an analgesic is nothing new: there is evidence that is has been employed for pain control since at least the fifteenth century. Native Americans and Europeans both employed at by rubbing the fresh leaves onto bruises, sprain, wounds and similar injuries. While it can only be taken topically (ingestion can cause serious side effects), it certainly appears to be a very effective remedy.
As modern medicine continues to look for methods of pain control that do not involve controlled substances, arnica (find it here) has gotten a fair amount of attention. In one study, men in good physical condition were asked to do a downhill running exercise intended to induce post-workout muscle soreness. Arnica was applied to the major muscles in the legs immediately after the workout, then every four hours thereafter for the first 96 hours. The research team measured athletic performance and performed pain assessments and found that while arnica did not improve performance, it did significant reduce reports of pain among the men studied.
Researchers also wanted to find out about arnica’s (find it here) efficacy at treating one of the most common causes of chronic pain, arthritis. One study, which is currently under review, treated 174 patients with osteoarthritis, the most common form of the disease. A gel containing arnica was used in the treatment and after three weeks of this, significant pain reduction was reported as well as improved use of the hands.
In short, it appears that arnica not only has the power to help improve sore muscles in athletes and people who exercise and keep fit, it can also help reduce the pain, stiffness and lack of mobility which can happen with arthritis and which makes it such a problem for the elderly in particular. Arnica is increasingly in popularity and while it is often found in health food stores and shops dedicated to natural health and healing, it can also frequently be found on the shelves of regular supermarkets. It is generally inexpensive and is well worth trying if chronic pain happens to be an issue for you or someone in your family.
How to Use:
To make Arnica infusion:
Place a handful of dried Arnica flowers in a bowl. If you are using powdered dry flowers, use one tablespoon per cup. Pour a cup of boiling water over the flowers and cover it with a cloth. Allow to sit for 5 minutes. Filter the infusion.
For bruises or areas with pain or swelling, wring out a towel in the warm infusion and apply. You can make a larger quantity of this tea to soak swollen feet.