Friday, September 26, 2014

Arnica Montana - All You Need to Know!

Arnica Montana - All You Need to Know!


Arnica Montana, commonly known as Leopard’s bane, is a European flowering (bright yellow flowers similar to daisy, bright green leaves) plant. Today, Arnica is the darling homeopathic medicine used throughout the world. It is used by homeopaths, herbalists, surgeons, physicians and physiotherapists. Arnica is so much popular in Europe that there is a Hotel ‘Madonna di Campiglio’ in its name in the mountain ranges ‘Dolomites’ in North-East Italy [1].


Arnica is used to make both herbal and homeopathic medicine. Herbally the plant has been used as a cardiac tonic for weak and weary heart [1]. In Homeopathy, as a polychrest remedy, it was first introduced and potentised by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann. The whole plant is used for the homeopathic remedy.

The plant is rich in inulin which is used as a natural sweetener. Its ash is rich in manganese which is used as natural anti-oxidant. Generations of Swiss mountain guides chewed arnica leaves to prevent fatigue induced by climbing [1]. At least the 16th century, people in the Alpine mountain ranges in Europe have used it to relieve muscle aches and bruises [2].

1. Pain and Inflammation: The roots of Arnica plant contains derivative of thymol which has anti-inflammatory effect [3]. Arnica is applied topically to the unbroken skin as a cream, ointment, gel, lotion and tincture for pain and swelling associated with aches, wounds, broken bones [4] and muscle/cartilage/joint pains as well as treatment of burns [4]. It is also taken orally by mouth for sore throat, sore gums and insect bites.

[1] As Dr. Massimo Mangialavori (from Italy) so eloquently phrased it, it is a remedy for “someone who does not forget pains”. Indeed the Arnica constitution is one who attracts pain on every level.

2. Injuries: Arnica lessens the tenderness of sprains and bruises. It reduces bruise discolourisation. It is also used for soft tissue injuries. Arnica should be called for After traumatic injuries of the organs of body when the concussed part becomes ecchymosed and there is diffusion of blood from capillaries arnica should be called for [5].

3. Trauma and Accidents:  [6] Arnica is a big shock remedy and often the person needing it will say they are fine and that nothing is wrong when there clearly is, and when spoken to will answer slowly with effort. The classic arnica will have a terrible accident then get up saying ‘I am all right’ and maybe order a taxi home… whilst their head gushes blood.

4. Oversue/overexertion: [7] One of the most important symptoms of Arnica one should remember is- pain in the part/organ that is used a lot more. The fatigue from this overuse leads to sore pain. For example- if a person develops sore throat after talking incessantly for long hours, Arnica will help him get rid of this soreness almost immediately.

5. Cosmetics: As hair oil and shampoo, as mouthwash for mouth ulcers, etc.


The sensation of pain of Arnica is as if beaten and bruised [8]. Movement makes the pain worse [9]. In contortion and sprain Arnica is indicated where there is the specific restlessness and a feeling of being battered [10]. In dislocation and luxation with violent pains, swelling, impaired mobility where the extremity is deformed or altered direction Arnica is indicated [11]. In tennis elbow Arnica is indicated, as well as Ruta [12]. Read the details….

KeyNotes by Dr. H C Allen

Clinical Materia Medica by Dr. E A Farrington

Materia Medica and Repertory by Dr. C. Boenninghausen

Materia Medica by Dr. A.Lippe

Materia Medica and Repertory by Dr. W Boericke

Materia Medica by Dr Nash

Materia Medica by George Vithoulkas


In research trials, Arnica has been used in Mother Tincture form and upto 30X and 20C potency. Those studies where arnica is used along with other remedies have been excluded.

1. Bruising

Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery
Effect of Homeopathic Arnica montana on Bruising in Face-lifts (2006) FULL TEXT
DBRPCT, n=129, Arnica every 8 hours for 4days    post-operation , significant difference in favour of homeopathy on day 1 (p<0.005) and day 7 (p<0.001), SIGN level=1-

2. Pain

Arnica montana 30C for post-tonsillectomy analgesia (2007) FULL TEXT
DBRPCTpainaftertonsilss  removal

Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine
Use of Arnica 6x to relieve pain after carpal-tunnel release surgery (2002)
DBRPCT, n=37 , time= 2 weeks, Oxford Quality score=5/5, arnica 3 times per day

3. Inflammation

Complementary Therapies in Medicine
Arnica 30x vs placebo for patients receiving knee ligament reconstruction surgery (2006)
DBRPCT, n=57, p=0.019, Oxford Qualityscore=5/5

4. Fibromyalgia (Pain and Inflammation in muscles) (earlier called as fibrostis)

British Homoeopathic Journal
(Arnica or Bryonia 6c or Rhus Tox) vs placebo for fibrostis (1986)
DBPCT, n=24, t=3 months, significant improvement in pain (p<0.05) and sleep (p<0.05Jadad    score=3

5. Muscle Soreness

Effect of Arnica 30X on muscle soreness in marathon runners (2003) // DBRPCT

Complementary Therapies in Medicine
Effects of the Arnica 30X vs placebo on 1995 Oslo marathon runners (1998) FULL TEXT
DBRPCT, n=71, reduces muscle soreness immediately after the marathon (p=0.017). Sign level=1+, Arnica 30x 5 pills twice a day for 3 days

Journal of the American Institute of Homeopathy
Arnica montana 1X and 6C Applied Topically to Subcutaneous Mechanical Injuries (1996)
DBPCT, n=141, effective at relieving post-exercise muscle soreness

6. Tooth Extraction

Ärztezeitschrift fuer Naturheilverfahren
Effect of Arnica montana 6 cH on edema, mouth opening and pain in patients submitted to extraction of impacted third molars (2005) FULL TEXT // DBRPCT

7. OsteoArthritis

Advanced Therapies
Arnica montana gel in osteoarthritis of the knee (2002)
Primary Health Care StudReducttiiiion in pain and stiffness, and a significant improvement in the functional ability of the knee

8. Surgical Conditions

The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine
Arnica montana 4X for Healing of Wounds After Hallux Valgus (foot) Surgery Compared to Diclofenac 50 mg (2008)
DBRCT, n=88, t=4 days, Arnica 10 globules 3 times a day for 4 days, Diclofenac 50 mg 3 times a day for 4 days, Both Arnica and Diclofenac therapeutically equivalent in wound irritation (p=0.049), swelling and patient mobility, arnica 60 % cost-effective than diclofenac, Arnica better tolerable in Homeopathy group (intolerance of 2/44meopathygrouppppppp compared to 9/44diclofenaaaccc group), SIGN level=1-

Forschende Komplementärmedizin und Klassische Naturheilkunde
Efficacy of Arnica 12X in varicose vein surgery (2003)
Primary Health Care Study, placebo-controlled

9. DNA Damage

Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine
Arnica 30c reduces DNA damage in E.coli (2012)


Arnica Montana is part of Relief-Aid for many athletes, sports doctor and coaches.

“I explained how and why homeopathy acts. The greatest value in sports? Its speed of action. I can use it directly on the soccer field, within seconds of the trauma, and note the results almost immediately. For example, in traumatology with Arnica, and without any adverse reactions on the stomach or liver”. [14]
-Jean-Marcel Ferret, doctor to the French soccer team from 1993 to 2004, the period which included their World Cup win

I use remedies such as Ruta grav, which helps treat sprained ligaments, Gelsemium for pre-race jitters, Arnica for bruising and Bellis perennis to treat exertion. They all offer athletes a natural ­alternative to traditional and sometimes harmful medicines.” [15]

-James Ellington, British Olympic sprinter and 2nd fastest sprinter in UK

“I am a fan of arnica and recommend all the Athletes in my Street Athletics programme have it in their kit bag to help with sprains and strains.” [16]
-Linford Christie, UK, 1992 Barcelona Olympic 100m sprint Champion

“And at home we all rely on homeopathic medicine. When I or one of the children [Amber, Charlie, 13, and Lily, 11] have a cold, we take pulsatilla. And I always have handy some arnica for bruises, calendula for cuts and grazes, belladonna for a throbbing head, and nux vomica which I take after the occasional over-indulgence. It gets rid of that ‘uhhh’ feeling in the morning.” [17]
- Annabel Croft, Lawn Tennis Player, UK

“When I fall on the ice, I treat my bruises with arnica tablets or cream, which seems to help” [18]
- Jayne Torvill, Skating

“On the field, with the slightest trauma, I prescribe Arnica. I always have tubes and doses on me.” [14]
- Dr. Philippe Lageyre, sports doctor, he accompanies the rugby teams

Zaheer Khan, player of indian Cricket Team, used arnica for “tightening of quadriceps” [19]


[20] Most of the sports injuries are of traumatic type such as bruise, muscle strain, ligament sprain, fractures, etc. Others include muscle soreness, muscle cramps, stiffness, cuts and abrasions. Homeopathic medicines speed up the healing process and get the sportsperson back to training and performing more quickly. The evidence of benefit of homeopathic medicines as a leading sports medicine all throughout the world is well established.


Arnica: UK Parents’ Support Network


Arnica Montana awarded “Best Homeoapthic Remedy”, Vity Awards 2013 as well as Vity Awards 2014, Vitamin Retailer Magazine

2006: Arnica gel (Atrogel) was the first homeopathic product to be registered by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency in UK

If a surgeon knows the use of few remedies like veratrum album, arnica and camphora,m any deaths from surgical shock can be prevented.

— Venkatesh.K.N. (@22venkateshN) May 16, 2012


  1. Arnica Montana
  2. Arnica Montana
  3. Anti-inflammatory activity of thymol
  4. Arnica
  5. Arnica: a wondeerful medicine
  6. An Athletes Relief Aid
  7. Arnica Montana- Lot More than Mere an Injury Medicine
  8. Uta Mittelstadt. Materia Medica of common Remedies for Sports Injuries
  9. Clarke J. A Dictionary of Practical Materia Medica. B. Jain Publishers, New Delhi, 1994
  10. Beuchelt H Praxis Homöopathie. Leipzig: Georg Thieme, 1949
  11. Laurie J. Elements of Homeopathic Practice of Physic
  12. Morgan L. Homeopathic treatment of Sports injuries. Vermont: Healing Arts Press, 1988
  13. Nancy Malik. Scientific Research in Homeopathy. Science-based Homeopathy
  14. Homeopathy in Medicine
  15. Homeopathic healing: The stars who swear by alternative medicine
  16. Homeopathy Awareness Week 2012
  17. Annabel Croft: Why I have come to rely on homeopathic medicine
  18. Closer magazine, 24-30 January 2009, p.73
  19. Zaheer Khan takes to Homeopathy
  20. Nancy Malik. Which Sports Persons uses Homeopathy and Why? Science-based Homeopathy


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Genes Connection: TNF-a gene and PANDAS

Genes and PANDAS (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections)


PANDAS has been found to often show up in family lineage. Identifying the root cause of this syndrome is pivotal for our children's future and grandchildren's future.

New Study: Association between pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with streptococcal infections disease and tumor necrosis factor-α gene−308 g/a, −850 c/t polymorphisms in 4-12-year-old children in Adana/Turkey


Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections (PANDAS) is a newly defined disease in neuropsychiatry and occurs with an autoimmune mechanism after Group A Beta Hemolytic Streptococcus (GABHS) infection. Tumor necrosis factor (TNF), encoded by TNF-α gene has an important role in the apoptotic mechanisms of autoimmune diseases. Recently, TNF-α polymorphisms and autoimmune/psychiatric disorders have been reported to be related. In this regard, we focused on to investigate a possible relation between the TNF-α gene promoter region−308 G/A and − 850 C/T polymorphisms and PANDAS.


This is small study of 38 children of Turkish descent identified a gene many nationalities carry. This TNF-a gene has been found to be related to many autoimmune diseases. When this gene is present, a child's immature immune system is even more likely to overreact during an infection. 


The research states: "...the most compelling aspect of our research is the finding that TNF-a -308 ...polymorphysim was detected in 86.5% of (PANDAS) patients but not in controls..."  


They also point out that damage to the psychiatric well being of children may increase if treatment is not administered. This gene rests on a "fragile site" in a chromosomal region which likely increases susceptibility issues to autoimmune illness.


Conclusion: They propose that TNF-α −308 AA polymorphism can be regarded as a definitive and molecular indicator of PANDAS, however  findings should be supported by further research on this issue.


To learn more about the TNF-a gene, visit



Thursday, September 11, 2014

Vitamin D important for good health

Vitamin D important for good health by Terrie McArthur

Okay, I'm older now and the brain seems a little uncooperative sometimes.

I hate it when the data just seems to be lost, but my spouse says I just need a new hard drive.

But maybe there is more to it.

I came across an article by Dr. Joseph Mercola, alternative medicine proponent and osteopathic physician, who has a website and writes about health and nutrition. This article was about vitamin D.

"Vitamin D research has repeatedly shown that vitamin D can improve a number of brain disorders, including depression and dementia — the most devastating form of which is Alzheimer's disease," Mercola writes. "Vitamin D receptors appear in a wide variety of brain tissue early in the fetal development, and activated vitamin D receptors increase nerve growth in your brain.

"Researchers believe that optimal vitamin D levels may enhance the amount of important chemicals in your brain and protect brain cells by increasing the effectiveness of the glial cells in nursing damaged neurons back to health," Mercola says in his article. "Vitamin D may also exert some of its beneficial effects on your brain through its anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties. So, all of us need to get a little more vitamin D."

Vitamin D deficiency drastically raises your risk for dementia.

Mercola says a recent study shows seniors who have low vitamin D may have double the risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease compared to those with vitamin D levels in the normal range.

Mercola says

Those with low levels of had a 53 percent increased risk for dementia, and a 70 percent higher risk of Alzheimer's.

Severely deficient individuals had a 125 percent higher risk for dementia and 120 percent higher risk for Alzheimer's.

Mercola says that research has found a link between depression and dementia and between depression and dementia and vitamin D deficiency and depression. One significant study found that higher levels of depression translated into greater risk for dementia later on.

"The severity of the depression was also linked to the speed of memory decline—the worse the depression, the faster the decline in memory," Mercola says, quoting lead researcher Robert S. Wilson.

"These findings are exciting because they suggest depression truly is a risk factor for dementia, and if we can target and prevent or treat depression and causes of stress we may have the potential to help people maintain their thinking and memory abilities into old age," Mercola says.

This explains why people who live in northern climates where the sun rarely shines suffer from greater levels of depression. I know I do. The root of the problem is likely to be lack of vitamin D, a vitamin produced by your body when exposed to sunlight.

In one previous study, seniors with the lowest levels of vitamin D were found to be 11 times more prone to be depressed than those who had normal levels.

More recent research was discussed in a Times Online article.

"The Amsterdam research, which tracked over 1,200 people aged 65 to 95, showed that blood vitamin D levels were 14 percent lower in individuals with major and minor depression compared with non-depressed participants," says the article. "A study in the United States indicated that vitamin D deficiency occurred more often in certain people, including African-Americans, city dwellers, the obese, and those suffering from depression.

"People with vitamin D levels below 20 ng/mL had an 85 percent increased risk of depression compared to those with vitamin D levels greater than 30 ng/mL," says the article.

Not only is lack of vitamin D associated with seasonal affective disorder, but also with fibromyalgia. High doses of vitamin D seem to help with these problems.

It may also help with diabetic pain and depression. In one study participants who reported neuropathic pain were given 50,000 IUs of vitamin D2 once a week for six months. At follow-up, both depression and pain scores had improved.

Researcher Todd Doyle, Ph.D., says vitamin D supplements are "a promising treatment for both pain and depression in type 2 diabetes."

Mercola encourages those looking to supplement to use vitamin D3 rather than the prescribed D2, saying, "previous research suggests vitamin D2 might do more harm than good in the long term."

He goes on to describe an Indian study that found vitamin D and calcium supplements combined with exercise can prevent a complete onset of diabetes.

In any case, both are part of diabetes prevention.

Other sources back Mercola up. Nephrology News reported in an article the deficiency has been linked to high blood sugar levels, though not enough to be considered diabetes. This condition is known as prediabetes.

It's unclear whether or not bringing up vitamin D levels will affect the progression to diabetes, according to Nephrology News.

Mercola's interpretation of the study is that supplements decreased the risks by 8 percent.

"Without healthy lifestyle changes, nothing works to prevent diabetes in at-risk individuals," wrote the lead author of the study Deep Dutta.

Mercola points out the addition of the supplements of vitamin D and calcium is easy and a low-cost option.

Sadly a www.MedicineNet article reported findings that a percentage of senior citizens seen in American emergency rooms are malnourished or at risk of being malnourished. Having primary care physicians and health insurance didn't seem to make a difference.

www.MedicineNet reported seniors most likely to suffer from the lack of proper vitamin intake were those who suffered from depression, were in assisted-living, had difficulties with their dentures or dental pain or had problems shopping for food.

I take this to mean those seniors who are malnourished also suffer from a lack of vitamin D. These are important to health, including to seniors.

Everyone is in charge of their bodies. Do the research and decide for yourself if you are vitamin D deficient.

I take some as a matter of course.

Just because we live in the desert with lots of sun doesn't mean we are immune to the deficiency.

Go online to to read more.

If seniors are malnourished, then they most likely have a vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D and calcium are inexpensive and import to senior health. You are in charge of your body, so you need to do the research and see if you are in need of more vitamin D. I take some as a matter of course.

You will have people tell you that because we live in a climate with lots of sun this isn't necessary, but remember that ancient humans were mostly naked, so their skin was always exposed to the sun.


Thursday, September 4, 2014

How to reduce your mercury exposure from seafood from Consumer Reports

How to reduce your mercury exposure from seafood

This resources page will help you make safer choices

Published: August 21, 2014 06:00 AM


How much mercury is in your favorite seafood?   |  Mercury calculator 

Will eating grilled swordfish or tuna sushi expose you to too much mercury? Find out by using the Got Mercury? calculator, provided by Turtle Island Restoration Network. Just enter your body weight, along with the type and amount of fish or shellfish you’re considering eating for the week, and you’ll see how much you will be over or under the maximum acceptable dietary limit for mercury set by the Environmental Protection Agency.

What you find out may surprise you. Just one 6-ounce serving of swordfish would expose a 195-pound adult to more than two and a half times the safety limit for mercury. A 150-pound adult would get about three and half times the limit.

Read our special report on seafood and mercury. And check out "Sick From Sushi," which details how one fish lover felt the effects of mercury.

The FDA’s “avoid” list for the most vulnerable groups such as young children currently includes swordfish, shark, King mackerel and Gulf tilefish,  but some fish that aren't even on that list can pose significant overexposure risks. For instance, a child weighing 46 pounds (about the average weight for 5-year-olds in the U.S.) would get double the EPA limit for mercury in a 3-ounce serving of Chilean sea bass and more than triple that limit for a 5-ounce serving, both of which are within the weekly fish consumption amounts the FDA suggests for children under age 6.

To see how much mercury exposure you’d get from eating a mix of different types of seafood during the week, select the advanced mode option on the calculator. For example, a 150-pound woman who eats 4 ounces of bigeye tuna (also known as ahi, it's often used in tuna sushi), 4 ounces of Chilean sea bass, and 4 ounces of halibut during the week would get a dose of mercury that is nearly triple the EPA limit. Simply by switching to sushi made with 4 ounces of salmon rather than tuna, and opting for 4-ounce servings of haddock and flounder instead of the sea bass and halibut, she would be at 29 percent of the maximum acceptable intake for mercury. 

Consumer Reports has prepared a list of 20 low-mercury fish that consumers can eat frequently and still remain with safe mercury levels. You'll find safer seafood choices in our special report "Can Eating the Wrong Fish Put You at Higher Risk for Mercury Exposure?"

How much mercury is in your favorite seafood?

Check out the databases listed here for more detailed information on the amounts of mercury found in various types of fish and shellfish sold at fish markets, grocery stores, and other commercial locations. Tables display the average (mean) as well as minimum and maximum mercury levels detected for each type of fish:

FDA data on mercury levels in commercial fish and shellfish

Shows results of the agency's tests for mercury in fish from 1990 through 2010, which our food safety experts analyzed as the basis for making our recommendations. FDA data is commonly used as a basis for mercury risk assessment and exposure estimates by scientific researchers and some state government officials.

Stony Brook University Seafood Mercury Database (PDF)

This resource combines the FDA’s results with data from other federal and state reports, along with mercury test results from studies published in scientific journals. The average (mean), minimum and maximum mercury levels displayed for each type of fish are based on aggregated test results from approximately 300 different sources, and the table includes some species of fish not found in the FDA’s data.

Learn more about the health effects of mercury in fish

The EPA provides helpful details on the sources of mercury exposure and an explanation of the EPA “reference dose” for methylmercury, which is the maximum acceptable daily exposure that the agency estimates is unlikely to cause harmful effects over a lifetime:

Get information about the health effects that could be caused by eating too much high-mercury seafood.

What you need to know about locally caught fish

If you catch your own fish or eat seafood caught by others at local streams, lakes, or beaches, check to see whether state or local health authorities have issued any advisories about PCBs or other seafood contaminants in nearby waters.

In various parts of the U.S., there is little or no monitoring for contaminants in fish in some local waters. If no current local fish-advisory information is available for your area, federal officials recommend that adults eat no more than 6 ounces per week. For children under the age of 6 years old, the recommended limit is 1 to 2 ounces per week, for 6-to-12-year-olds, the limit is 2 to 3 ounces per week. (Both of these age groups and adults should avoid eating any other type of fish that week.)

Get more safety tips about eating fish that you catch yourself.


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Remove Vaccine Safety Oversight from DHHS by Barbara Loe Fisher

Remove Vaccine Safety Oversight from DHHS by Barbara Loe Fisher 


On Aug. 27, 2014 a senior scientist at the Centers for Disease Control publicly admitted that he and other CDC officials, including the current CDC's Director of Immunization Safety, published a study about MMR vaccine safety in 2004 that "omitted statistically significant information" and "did not follow the final study protocol." He said the study "omitted relevant findings in a particular study for a particular sub group for a particular vaccine" and added that "there have always been recognized risks for vaccination" and "it is the responsibility for the CDC to properly convey [vaccine] risks."


CDC: A History of Limiting Transparency


We couldn't agree more. CDC officials should not be in the business of deliberately withholding information from the public about vaccine risks that may be greater for some children than other children. Unfortunately, CDC officials have a long history of limiting transparency and being less than honest with the American people about what it does and does not know about vaccine risks.


Read the rest of this commentary, watch a video, access references and make a comment here.


Click here to read NVIC's Sept. 2, 2014 Press Release "National Vaccine Information Center Calls for Removal of Vaccine Safety Oversight from Department of Health and Human Services."


New research indicates vitamin D may help slow progression of Alzheimer's disease

New research indicates vitamin D may help slow progression of Alzheimer’s disease


Researchers out of Argentina have found that patients treated with vitamin D experienced a slower progression to more severe stages of Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) affects one in nine people older than 65 years old and is characterized by a loss of memory and changes in behavior. AD is a progressive condition meaning that it develops slowly and gets worse over time.

Receptors for vitamin D in the brain have led researchers to become interested in how vitamin D affects the development and the management of AD.

Vitamin D deficiency is reported to increase risk of developing AD, while maintaining sufficient vitamin D levels may reduce the number of plaques that develop with AD.

To help understand vitamin D’s complete role in AD, Dr. Marcelo Chaves and colleagues looked at how treatment of vitamin D affects the progression of the disease.

They recruited 202 patients with mild AD who had at least four years of follow-up data. The researchers were interested if vitamin D treatment, cardiovascular risk factors, osteoporosis, treatment with memantine, or acetylcholinesterase inhibitors (ACE inhibitor) drugs affected the progression of AD.

Memantine is a drug specifically designed to treat AD, and ACE inhibitors are drugs used to treat the symptoms of dementia in general. The researchers looked at these factors over the course of four years to determine how they were related to disease progression.

They found that vitamin D affected time of AD progression independently of the other factors analyzed. Patients treated with vitamin D had slower AD progression and took one year longer to develop to a more severe stage compared to those not treated with vitamin D.

“Treatment with vitamin D may be an independent protecting factor in the progression of Alzheimer’s disease,” the researchers concluded.


Chaves, M. et al. Treatment with vitamin D and slowing of progression of severe stage of Alzheimer’s disease. Vertex, 2014.