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Arnica D6 is a homeopathic dilution of the herb Arnica montana. When prepared for homeopathic use, arnica is safe to consume for both long and short term treatment. In most cases, arnica D6 is taken a few times a day for as long as pain, swelling or bruising are apparent. With a localized, external injury, homeopathic arnica can be supplemented with a topical preparation of the herb. This plant has been used in Western medicine for hundreds of years and by Native Americans for much longer.
A member of the daisy family, arnica's healing properties have been known for a long time. When crushed and diluted, the flowers of the plant are believed to act as an anti-inflammatory and pain reliever. An ointment or cream of arnica blossoms can be placed directly onto an injury or bruise to promote healing and relieve bruising, swelling, and pain. Using this medication for an extended period of time or on an open wound can cause irritation and is not recommended.
Though arnica is safe to use on the skin, the plant itself is highly toxic. When eaten, arnica can cause gastrointestinal discomfort, dizziness, an irregular heart beat, and if enough of the plant is consumed, death. In order to make arnica safe for human consumption, arnica D6 was developed. This medication is available in liquid or tablet form and is safe for people of any age or condition of health to consume.
A homeopathic medicine, arnica D6 is diluted to one part arnica per 1,000,000 parts water. The D in D6 refers to dilution while the 6 refers to the exponent of 10 to the -6, which is how much arnica is present in the dilution compared to the amount of water. Medically, this and other D6 dilutions are considered to have the same physiological effect as water, which is why they are safe for people to consume, even though some of the components are poisonous.
Though homeopathic medications like this are not considered effective treatments by most medical doctors, they are considered safe for patients to use. Anecdotal evidence suggests that taking arnica D6 can relieve pain, swelling, and bruising that cannot be treated by a topical herbal arnica remedy. Patients who have recently undergone surgery or who have sustained injuries over the entire body can use this remedy along with traditional medications. Arnica D6 is not known to interfere with any medication, so there is no possible harm in taking it, even if there is no official medical research that confirms its effectiveness.