When used as a topical ointment as a homeopathic preparation, the side effects of Arnica montana are uncommon and mild, and they usually occur only with extended use. Minor skin irritation at the site of treatment is most likely. The side effects are much more severe when the substance is taken orally, and they are potentially life-threatening.
Arnica montana has been used for centuries as a traditional herbal remedy. Also known as arnica, mountain arnica, wolf’s bane, leopard’s bane, and mountain tobacco, this perennial herb is primarily found in Europe, where it has been used medicinally since the 16th century. As a cream or ointment, it is most often used to treat minor injuries, such as bruising. Sprains, insect bites, muscle pain, swelling, and rheumatoid arthritis have all been treated with this herb.
The dangers of Arnica montana side effects are most serious when it is ingested. Tremors, dizziness, and vomiting are possible reactions, and, when taken over time, patients risk damage to the liver and kidneys. The most serious side effects affect the heart and might include high blood pressure, irregular or rapid heart rate, and even heart failure. Oral doses of Arnica montana should never be taken except under the direction and supervision of a medical professional.
Homeopathic preparations may use Arnica montana as well, but as with all such treatments, the preparation is diluted so much that the herb is present only in trace amounts. Some preparations are diluted so heavily that the ingredient is chemically absent, so any side effects resulting from homeopathic treatments are not likely.
Topical use of this herb is generally considered safe, and most people don't have any reaction to an ointment. Allergic reactions are a possibility as well, and Arnica montana should be avoided by people who have known allergies to the substance. Regular topical use can irritate the skin, and blistering, eczema, peeling and rashes are all possible side effects. If any of these conditions are observed at the site of treatment, individuals should stop using the ointment. Skin conditions that do not clear after treatment is discontinued might require a visit to a medical professional.
When is it used on or around an open wound, Arnica montana side effects become more likely and more severe. Arnica montana should not be used near the eyes or mouth, and care should be taken when treating very small children so that there is no chance of them chewing or sucking on the injured area. Experts do not recommend that women who are pregnant use of this herb.