4 Uses For Arnica in an All-Natural First-Aid Kit Category: Bruise Prevention
Build a natural first aid kit to take on minor healthcare issues without the use of harmful synthetics. While there are many great all-natural substances to use in a DIY first aid kit, Arnica may be among the most versatile. While it’s widely embraced as a remedy for bruises, Arnica is effective in a variety of other first-aid contexts as well.
1. Swollen Feet
Swollen feet can come about unexpectedly. All it takes is a bad pair of shoes or an accidental wrong turn to transform an enjoyable hike into an nightmarish climb. In these cases, swelling can result from small tissue injuries to the muscles, tendons and ligaments in the feet. No matter what’s to blame for your swollen feet, a topical Arnica massage can help.
Expert herbalist Lorraine Hughes of Empowered by Nature praises Arnica for its ability to relieve pain by getting the blood flowing, noting that Arnica “helps provide circulation to the tissues” in an affected area. Circulation can be of particular concern in the extremities, so if you frequently have cold feet, getting an extra blood flow boost could be a major benefit when you’re suffering from painful swelling.
2. Poison Oak and Ivy Rashes
Home remedies for rashes often focus on soothing rather than healing, but when you’re experiencing an itchy rash after contact with a toxic plant such as poison oak or ivy, you need something more. Rashes caused by these plants often retain the toxic oils from the plant, so if you happen to idly itch the affected area and touch a different part of your body with the same hand, the rash could end up spreading. This means that you need to reduce your healing time and bring about long-term relief as quickly as possible.
Arnica’s pain-relieving and soothing effects help by reducing your desire to scratch, which can prevent the rash from spreading further. Meanwhile, the increased circulatory effect resulting from a topical Arnica application calms the histamine reaction that triggers itchiness and swelling. Make sure to wash your hands after applying, and consider patting the Arnica gel onto a rash rather than rubbing to keep the affected area contained.
3. Muscle Pain
If you experience a vigorous workout or sudden movement that overextends or strains a major muscle, muscle soreness can seriously limit your range of motion. To get your muscles back into prime condition and banish the pain, apply Arnica directly to the affected area as part of a pain-relief massage. The massage and the Arnica work together to smooth out muscle fibers and get healing blood flowing through the affected area, which helps produce muscle pain relief below the surface of the skin. When you move the blood, Hughes says, you alleviate the pain.
4. Insect Bites
Steroid creams aren’t your only option when you get attacked by mosquitoes and other itch-inducing insects. The combination of a raised bump and localized itchiness often means that insect bites turn into open wounds that take even longer to clear up.
Absentminded scratching at insect bites often results from inadequate treatment. Applying Arnica can help calm the inflammation around the bite and make the bump disappear more quickly, reducing your risk of scratching through the skin. Once again, increased circulation helps clear out the extra histamine that causes the allergic reaction to occur in the first place.
Add Arnica to your collection of natural first aid remedies as a topical solution for pain, swelling and soreness. Arnica is all-natural and safe, meaning you can experiment with confidence to see how this herbal ingredient can enhance your DIY first aid routine — just make sure to avoid using Arnica on open wounds and around the eyes. For a convenient topical source of Arnica, add PROcure’s Bruise Remedy Gel to your medicine cabinet or first-aid drawer.