Scientific name: Arnica Montana
Arnica contains a variety of bioactive phytochemicals with many properties and applications in relieving muscle pain, reducing stiffness and local swelling from stress or injury. Specifically, the ingredients helenalin and dihydorhelenalin and their ester derivatives, which are naturally identified in arnica and in combination with the various flavonoids and carotenoids also contained in arnica flowers, act as a complement and enhancer to the anti-inflammatory properties of plants and especially animals (Alonso J., 2004).
Furthermore, these ingredients contained in the flowers of arnica have a preventive effect on inflammation affecting cellular functions by delaying the activators of inflammatory processes (Lyss G. et al. (1997) and Klaas C.A. et al. (2002) as well as the enzymatic actions involved in inflammatory processes (Manthey J.A., 2000).
The flavonoids contained in arnica flowers improve the strength of capillaries due to their high affinity for elastin and collagen, which are structural components of blood vessels and veins, thus preventing swelling of the limbs. Arnica also contains essential oils, terpene lactones, alkaloids, flavonoids, polyacetylenes and tannins, active ingredients with anti-inflammatory and strong analgesic action. The anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties of arnica are derived from the thymol derivatives in its composition. Thymol is effective in vasodilation, which in turn facilitates the circulation of blood and fluids in areas that need it, thus acting as a powerful anti-inflammatory in the body’s natural healing processes.
Arnica stimulates the circulation of white blood cells that have a key role in healing and relieving the accumulation of fluid in injured joints, swollen muscles and bruised tissues. The oils it contains act as a powerful disinfectant that help heal wounds, while flavonoids synergistically with other ingredients are very beneficial to the circulatory system. For these reasons, arnica is very common among athletes who choose it for its effectiveness before and after exercise.
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