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Arnicare, Does It Work? Absolutely. A Real-World Test of This Homeopathic Medicine

How does it work and how should we best use it? We test this homeopathic medicine by creating real-world aches-and-pains-producing conditions.

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

This is what worked for me.

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

 

16 COMMENTS

  1. This is a very irresponsible and dangerous article. Homeopathy is pseudoscience, and anecdotal evidence is not evidence.

    Homeopathy is based on two ideas: first, that “like cures like” so for example something that might cause you to have a fever can therefore cure a fever in small doses; and secondly that high dilutions are best — so much so that sometimes no trace of the “active” ingredient can even be found anymore but that’s okay because the molecules of the substrate it’s diluted in have a “memory” of the active ingredient. All of this is pseudoscientific bull.

    The idea also that “in France” or some other exotic location they know the secrets we don’t (see also ancient Chinese practices), or that old traditions are better than modern science, is also dangerous.

    People read articles like this and stop taking their medications, stop trusting doctors, stop wearing masks, don’t get vaccinated, etc. I hope you do some further research and retract this article before it does some real harm.

    • Hi David-

      Thanks so much for raising a super important point! Homeopathy is indeed currently considered to be a pseudoscience by such “authorities” as Wikipedia.

      Similar to how the earth was considered to be flat and to be the center of the universe based on the science of that time.

      Medical and scientific knowledge doubles every 7 years. I guarantee that what we “know” today in medicine physics and science in general, will be waaay different in 25 years.

      In the introduction to Norman Cousins’ classic about natural healing and the mind-body connection, eminent scientist Rene Dubos concludes that Norman’s “far out” (50+ years ago) ideas were likely to bear out in time. Which they have indeed done as seen by research at UCLA’s Norman Cousins Center of Psychoneuroimmunology.

      Dr. Dubos says the “the only problem with science is that it is not scientific enough”.. He knew that experience and observation, not always current science, lead to paradigm shifts in medicine all the time.

      I also agree that any healing method that delays a medical evaluation can be dangerous. However, homeopathy and other integrative therapies, work beautifully along with early intervention. In fact, homeopathic patients are taught to be so observant to subtle shifts in their health, that insurance companies used to give discounts to policy holders who had a homeopath as their primary doc.

      I could write tons more, but suffice it to say, the One Health-One Medicine paradigm that is almost here (thanks in part to the research in molecular individuality and susceptibility of the exposome) will be based on the homeopathic healing framework. i2 medicine (individuality and information/energy flow) and homeopathy will play an integral role in preventing future pandemics and epidemics.

      If David’s sharing of great info, his experience (and the truth) is “irresponsible, then I agree with you 100%.

  2. Thank you for your comments I understand what you mean. In no way am I saying to not get a vaccine, not see an MD or take any other treatments. That is nuts. Modern science based medicine is tremendous, it saved my life, and I am probably the most vaccinated person around. I have also lived in France, and homeopathy there is regarded with the same effectiveness as pharmaceuticals. It is a different culture, but not one that shuns science. I too was skeptical, and if you listen to my podcast with Christophe Merville, who is an expert on the subject, even he is not exactly sure how it works. What I can tell you is that on me, N=1, I tried 3 experiments the results of which I write about. I may perhaps be highly suggestible, who knows, but what I write about here was my experience. I will only write about what I feel actually works. For instance, you will never see me write about topical CBD, as it doesn’t do anything for me. This product had a positive effect on preventing muscle sorenss in my legs. How exactly, I am not sure. But I have come to except that I don’t need to understand how something works in order for it to be effective. I really appreciate you sharing your thoughts here and allowing me the opportunity to respond. All my best, David

  3. Hi David,

    Important to note here that Arnicare Gel is prepared as 1X HPUS-7% which means there is 7 percent of tincture (1X) of arnica montana in Arnicare Gel, as indicated by Homeopathic Pharmacopœia of the United States. 1X means the initial dilution of the basic substance from plant, animal or mineral origin. (1 part material/9 parts diluent)

    So, unlike most homeopathic preparations (say 1C or 1M), this product actually has detectable levels of the plant tincture.

    Have you tried herbal preparations of Arnica and compared your experience with Arnicare?

    https://www.herbalgram.org/resources/herbalgram/issues/107/table-of-contents/hg107-herbpro-arnica/

    Best,

    Aras Erekul, MD, MMH

    • Hi Aras,

      Thank you for this valuable information. I am new to homeopathy, and chose to follow the exact protocol recommended by Christophe. My self-experiments were limited, as it was just me, and I know I need about a week to reach full muscle recovery. As such as I would like to gather more data, that would mean a very long run way for collecting experiences for other Arnica preparations.
      Thank you, and I welcome any other thoughts you may have.
      David

  4. Perhaps an article on the power of the placebo would be helpful. I’d appreciate a more balanced article that states the what US studies have found as well as the anecdotal experience. To cover Arnica and not CBD on the principal of what works for the individual writer/editor make this pretty much a blog.

    • Yes, that is a brilliant idea. Placebo is often thought of as a negative indicatory, whereas I view as evidence of the power of the mind to influence epigenetic expressions. I have spoken to experts in both CBD and Homeopathy, and with both of these, what I am told is that the science of why these work or don’t work is not clearly understood. They also seem to work or not work depending very much on the person. The only data that actually matters is if they work on the person taking them. Homeopathy, from I can tell, if taken as perscribed, seems to have no downside interactions. I would not suggest self-experimenting with some like Rapamycin, but my feeling with homeopathy is that becuase it seems very safe, an N=1 experiment for anyone with aches and pains has littel downside.

    • Hi Laura,
      Thanks for writing in and for the opportunity to clarify how we work. We only accept partners that we believe in and are able to test. My experience with Arnicare is authentic. If the product had not worked, and we receive many that we test which do not meet this standard, we would not have accepted them. Our credibity with you and all our readers is priceless, and you will never see anything in AGEIST that does not meet our standards. We always mark our sponsored posts as such at the very top of the post. If you ever have any questions about what we write about, please reach out to me personally and I will do my best to get you the information you request. We very much appreciate your time and attention.
      David

  5. Arnica is also amazing for bruises. If you have a bump that is hard enough to leave a bruise and you put arnica gel on the area as soon as possible, a bruise often doesn’t develop- or it is much lighter and smaller than it would have otherwise been. It also helps to speed the healing of existing bruises. The arnica gel was given to me by a pharmacy in France after a nasty fall and it worked!

  6. Hi David,
    I was dismayed to see your recent articles on homeopathy. The science behind homeopathy is essentially non-existent and in many cases the “active ingredient” in a homeopathic preparation is present at such a low concentration it cannot be reliably measured. Even the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (a part of the NIH that supports research and provides information about complementary health products and practices) takes the position that there is little science to support homeopathy. Anecdotal evidence (individual testimonials) and non-controlled studies (no placebo or control group) are generally not strong enough evidence to recommend any medicinal product or treatment. Without control groups, it is essentially impossible to determine whether or not the condition being treated would improve at the same rate with no treatment or a placebo treatment.

    • Hi Mike,
      Thanks for this, and hope you are well. There is defiantly some controversy on this topic. I am only reporting what I found happened with me. Coincidentally, I had diner with the Chief Medical Officer for a chain of hospitals here last night. I was mentioning Arnica and she told me they have all their cosmetic surgery patients take it 3 days before and after surgery as they find it to be highly effective in reducing the swelling and recovery times. She also told me that she uses the cream on her own kids and finds it works well at reducing bruising. I questioned her if she understood how it worked, and she says it is unclear, but in her experience it was a useful and effective product. This is from a highly qualified MD who is responsible for medical procedures for a large number of physicians. I am not saying this validates the product for all uses for everyone, but it is what she told me.

      All my best,

      David

      • Hi David,
        Hope you are well. I think to some extent we are talking about two different things regarding arnica. The homeopathic medication taken orally and the cream applied topically. My doubts are about the oral homeopathic medication. There is some evidence that the topical medication, which contains much higher concentrations of arnica, may be effective.

        Keep fighting the good fight with all of us over 50!

        Best regards,
        Mike

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David Stewart
David Stewart
David is the founder and face of AGEIST. He is an expert on, and a passionate champion of the emerging global over-50 lifestyle. A dynamic speaker, he is available for panels, keynotes and informational talks at david@agei.st.

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