I have been using Arnicare for muscle soreness and, as I have recently discovered, it is a marvelous product, works well and with no known drug interactions or contraindications. This is a product that I have been interested in for a long time, as it has a devoted, loyal following among knowledgeable professionals. I have had chiropractors, massage therapists, and bodyworkers enthusiastically speak about the benefits of Arnicare cream over the years but, as with all of homeopathy, it was a bit of a mystery to me.
How does it work? Last week I had an extensive conversation with Christophe Merville, a French-born pharmacist with extensive knowledge of homeopathic medicines who serves as the director of education and pharmacy development for Boiron, the maker of Arnicare. In France, pharmacists prescribe medications in a similar manner that doctors here can prescribe them. They also have a much closer relationship with patients there than in the US, or the UK, asking their patients about their symptoms, prescribing medications, and then staying in touch to follow up on the effectiveness of treatments. In France, homeopathic medicines are considered on par with pharmaceuticals in terms of what can be selected to treat a condition.
In France, homeopathic medicines are considered on par with pharmaceuticals in terms of what can be selected to treat a condition
Christophe, when he was first introduced to homeopathy, was unsure but, after witnessing the success of homeopathic medicines on his patients, became enthusiastic about their usefulness in treating a wide range of issues. As he explained to me, homeopathic medicines work by sending a signal to the body to react, or not react in a certain way. The intensity of the signal is less important than in pharmaceuticals, where a higher dosage will usually have a greater effect, although often a dangerous one. Homeopathic medicines work at what most of us would consider very high dilutions. In the words of Christophe, “If I show you a password on a piece of paper you will understand it just as well if I write it large on the side of a building.” It is the signal that matters, not the volume. Because it is a signaling compound, there is little chance of homeopathic medications interfering with other medications. There is more than one way to avoid being sore.
The active ingredient in Arnicare is Arnica montana, a perennial that grows 1 to 2 feet tall with bright yellow daisy-like flowers that appear in July and August. It is found on the moist, grassy upland meadows in the hills and mountains of northern and central Europe and Siberia. Laboratory experiments on Arnica montana have shown that it can decrease inflammation. It is also found sparsely in the northwestern United States. More common names for Arnica are mountain daisy, leopard’s bane, and mountain tobacco.
Putting Arnicare to the Test
I wanted to put Arnicare to a test. True, this would be a single test of just me on one part of my body, but I was super curious to see what we would find. The one part of my body that I know I can always make sore to the point of not being able to move well is my legs. Christophe recommended the following regimen to reduce the onset of muscle soreness: Take 5 pellets of Arnica montana 30C before and after the workout. After the completion of the workout, immediately rub Arnicare gel onto the affected muscles, and then use again the following day if the soreness persists. He also recommends Arnicare cream to be used when massaging sore muscles.
This week, I did an extreme leg workout, the sort of session that left my legs trembling and the muscles completely exhausted — heavy squats, leg presses, weighted lunges, and leg extensions — all to the point of failure. My quads were wrecked, I was trembling as I left the gym floor. I fully expected for the next 24-48 hours to be limping as I went about my day. But it didn’t happen. I followed Christophe’s recommendations exactly, leveraging the three Arnicare products: Arnicare cream, Arnicare gel, and Arnica montana 30C pellets.
At the 48-hour mark, when I would normally be whimpering with painful stiffness, my legs felt like they did 20 years ago. The muscles felt exercised, but not in a bad way. This was astonishing. But I wanted to be sure, so I repeated the experiment the following week with the same response: no soreness in my legs. Then, this last weekend I did the leg workout again without using Christophe’s suggestions, and guess what? I had some very sore and stiff legs the next day.
Arnicare really worked to relieve the onset of muscle soreness, something all of us this age are very familiar with. This is huge. Now when I know I will be doing an activity that would otherwise cause me to have some stiffness or soreness due to overexertion, which is a lot of what I like to do, I will take Arnica pellets followed by using Arnicare gel or cream, and greatly reduce the discomfort. Why be sore when you don’t have to be?
Arnicare is made by Boiron. Since 1932, the Boiron family has been committed to providing the purest medicines using sustainable practices. As world leader in homeopathic medicines, quality has always been their passion and the well-being of all people is their goal. Learn more at BoironUSA.com