Arnica poisoning

Arnica is a potent herbal medicine for bruises and inflammation. When using one as a treatment option, the dosage of arnica is a vital factor. You have to bear in mind not to ingest any form of preparation with arnica should except for homeopathic pills. When using the topical form, arnica is safe if with water or oil.

Arnica poisoning can cause irreversible damage to the health and even coma or death in severe cases. Always see a doctor before using arnica. If you want to learn more about arnica, click here.

What is arnica?

Arnica is basically an herbaceous perennial plant native to central Europe. The basal leaves are smooth and usually cluster while the stem is hairy and round with opposite-tooth leaves. The plant can grow up to a height of up to 2 feet and it typically has three yellow-colored flower stalks.

The flowers and roots are oftentimes harvested for medicine. Always remember that the whole plant is toxic upon ingestion and less so in topical form.

Arnica poisoning

Arnica is a potent herbal medicine for bruises and inflammation.

Toxic components and the possible symptoms

Helanin is a component in arnica that is considered cardiac-toxic and can trigger severe gastroenteritis. The symptoms of arnica poisoning include diarrhea, irritation of the mucous membranes, nausea, fever, dizziness, arrhythmia, erratic pulse rate, paralysis of the cardiac and skeletal muscles and abortion if pregnant. Additionally, arnica can also trigger skin reactions such as dermatitis and necrosis.

Treatment for arnica poisoning

If arnica poisoning is likely, call poison control right away or emergency assistance. If ingestion occurs, induce vomiting to eliminate some of the poison.

When available, you can provide activated charcoal capsule while waiting for the medical team to arrive. Take note that activated charcoal works by binding to the poison and delays it from harming the body.

When it comes to skin irritation, you have to wash the affected area using water and soap and coat it with aloe vera until the irritation is reduced. The individual should avoid any future contact with arnica.


Always follow the correct dosage to avoid arnica poisoning. Once taken correctly, arnica is an effective healing agent. For the safe dosage, there are considerations to bear in mind. For the washes, you have to dilute the arnica tincture with 3-5 parts water. You can utilize arnica tincture as a mouthwash to relieve the inflammation due to canker sores.  Dilute it with 10 parts water and do not swallow. When using arnica oil or salve, you can add 25% arnica tincture and mix it with a carrier oil or ointment.


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