Naturopathica Arnica Muscle Gel

One of the reasons I finally decided to try barefoot running is that, on and off, I’ve had some foot and ankle problems, so maybe, through some barefoot training, I could strengthen the muscles, fibers, tendons, ligaments, and o on. Well, since I’ve just started and haven’t done much of it, the jury is out.
I’ve always been interested in holistic healing, trying to use natural remedies in lieu of pharmaceutically-created drugs. It’s been hit or miss, so, while a fan, usually I’m pretty skeptical. On some other blogs, I’ve read about arnica, which can be used to soothe aches and pains. I was intrigued, so I started looking into it as a possible path of relief.

From Wikipedia: Arnica (Ár-ni-ca) is a genus with about 30 perennial, herbaceous species, belonging to the sunflower family. The genus name Arnica may be derived from the Greek arna, “lamb”, in reference to the soft, hairy leaves. Arnica is currently used in liniment and ointment preparations used for strains, sprains, and bruises. Commercial arnica preparations are frequently used by professional athletes. A systematic review of clinical trials showed that arnica was no more effective than a placebo. With respect to the range of homoeopathic Arnica creams available on the market, these are generally formulated using the mother tincture rather than a dilution, and they therefore do in fact contain measurable quantities of the medicinally active substance.”

Quite serendipitously, Naturopathica contacted me to try out their Arnica Muscle Gel. I’ve been using it for several weeks on what feels like ankle tendonitis (admittedly not its intended use) and frankly, I’m amazed. It definitely has not healed the tendons, but it gives instantaneous relief, which is more than I expected. The sensation is like rubbing on a cool breeze, I kid you not, even with socks and long pants it felt like cold air was blowing across my ankle and heel. According to Naturopathica, the anti-inflammatory muscle and joint gel contains Arnica, Menthol and Magnesium to help reduce muscle pain and stiffness in overworked muscles. Featured ingredients include:

  • ARNICA: homeopathic treatment for muscles soreness, bruises and sprains;
  • WILLOW BARK EXTRACT: a natural source of Salicylic Acid and rich in tannins which helps to exfoliate skin and improve appearance;
  • MENTHOL: works to instantly cool inflammation; and
  • ZINC, COPPER and MAGNESIUM: multi-mineral cocktail supplies the necessary elements for healthy skin function.
So, skepticism aside, and possibly a placebo, but this gel really works. I’ll keep this around for times when I just can’t tough it out or when that coolness would give welcome relief. I would think this product would be the ideal thing to massage in after a more difficult workout or endurance event.

For more information on Naturopathica and their line of holistic health products, visit their website, find them on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter.

Disclaimer: This product was sent to me for review purposes, courtesy of Naturopathica. I was not compensated in any other way for the review, was not obligated to give it a positive review, and all opinions are my own. Some information in this review was taken from the company website.

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12 thoughts on “Naturopathica Arnica Muscle Gel

  1. I have used Arnica many times and it worked wonders. I found out it is an ancient remedy and if it worked for Roman soldiers… 🙂
    Barefoot running rocks. It takes time and care to get all the benefits and care not to rip one's Achilles tendon (some of us did) but if one starts wisely (unlike moi), it is a great way to run.

  2. I really love arnica. I use the gel and cream for on-spot muscle soreness and take the homeopathic pellets (made by Boiron and available at Whole Foods) for any trauma or excessive muscle soreness. My family has visited homeopaths and I treat naturally almost exclusively (myself, my daughter and our animals). Glad you were able to cure some of your skepticism!

  3. I've been using Arnica for awhile. I'm not sure I've taken even a Tylenol in the last 3 years.

    Happy National Running Day. And as a barefoot runner in training you probably get to celebrate running twice this month – the Summer Solstice must have some significance to those people.

    The loincloth is in the mail. There's nothing like the smell of leather and Arnica at dawn.

  4. The sensation of a cool breeze would have been most welcome on that run on Monday. This review (and the comments) definitely make me interested in trying arnica.

  5. Nice. Definitely going to hook me up with some of this magic juice. Getting tired of that icy-hot menthol business after every run.

  6. I didn't know about this, thanks. There's a company out of Moab, Sore No More, that makes a similar naturopathic product. It's a go to after most races.

  7. “It's medicinal!!! MEDICINAL!!!”

    Honestly though, I'm really going to look into some of this. I'm dealing with some low grade heel stuff and need something to help out.

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