What is Arnica Montana and Why We Use it in Our Under Eye Cream?
Arnica (calendula) is an anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving topical cream. It comes from arnica montana plant and the use of the plant dates back as far as 1500s. Back then, the Europeans used the plant as natural remedies for treating stomach aches and skin problems.
Now, as it was discovered by the Native Americans, the plant has been applied to relieve any muscular pains including sprains and strains as well as bruises.
The arnica plant is of the sunflower plant family. Large yellow flowers blossom from it which produces the medicinal substance. The preparation of the cream involves drying of the blossoms although the extracts can also be taken directly from the fresh flowers.
Arnica montana plants are also known in other places as “leopard’s bane” and “mountaintop tobacco.” They grow to a height of 2 feet tall and the stalks are hairy and thick.
The value of the arnica plant comes from its main active component which is sesquiterpene lactone. This gives the soothing and anti-inflammatory effects, which makes it ideal for treating under eye puffiness, or eye bags. The plant is also rich with other therapeutic components such as thymol (an essential oil), inulin, carotenoids, flavonoids, and tannins.
Because it is compact with these active healing ingredients, arnica cream is effective for tissue repair, soothing and lessening of swelling and inflammation as well as pain relief. This natural wonder plant is the component of many creams, ointments, tincture and salves in the markets today. Athletes mostly keep products that contain arnica and many of the elderly find temporary relief from the pain of arthritis by using such products too.
Generally, arnica cream as a topical treatment is safe for use. However, when taken for a long time, you can expect some skin reactions to occur such as redness and irritation and even itching and blisters. When these appear, try to stop the application momentarily. However, if these reactions persist, better discontinue using the product.
Some people happen to have adverse reaction to arnica so using the cream would only lead to some skin problems for them. For instance, Arnica cream is known to worsen eczema. In this case, it is advisable not to use Arnica for treatment.
The good thing about Arnica manufactured in the form of creams is that some manufacturers add other substances to add to its potency. In some creams, arnica goes well with geranium and lavender essential oils which also have soothing effect. Applying these creams does not only produce soothing but calming and relaxing effect as complemented by the other properties found in the cream.