I mentioned to my sibs that I was using arnica oil to help fade some bruises, and had an email exchange worth sharing:
From esteemed scientist Bro:
Since I work in a chemical biology department, let me me chime in for a second and remind everyone that just because something is “natural” doesn’t mean that it’s safe or without side-effects. A quick google search brought up these precautions for arnica:
Arnica is generally safe when used topically (externally). However, prolonged use may irritate the skin, causing eczema, peeling, blisters, or other skin conditions. Arnica should not be used on broken skin, such as leg ulcers. Also, people who are hypersensitive or allergic to the herb should avoid it.
Arnica is rarely used as an internal herbal remedy because it can cause dizziness, tremors, and heart irregularities. It may also irritate mucous membranes and cause vomiting. Large doses can even be fatal. Do not take arnica internally except under close supervision of your doctor. Homeopathic remedies, which use very small amounts of arnica, can usually be taken safely.
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, talk to your doctor before taking any medication, including herbs.
Then, later, from same Bro:
i saw that it has another name: mountain tobacco
so, by the WoW, tobacco can be used as “an herb for bruises and all sick cattle, to be used with judgement and skill.” (italics added).
[Note: WoW=Word of Wisdom, is the Mormon health code. Not to be confused with World of Warcraft tobacco, which is not good for bruises]
From librarian Sis:
I just happen to be cataloging of handbook of natural herbs and supplements today, and I can tell you that Arnica also affectionately known as Leopard’s bane, sneezewort, mountain snuff, and wolf’s bane. I think Jana should tell people she rubs sneezewort on her leg. Sounds more Harry Potterish.
Also, be sure not to use any of the following to apply it, no matter how tempting it may be: celery, ginger, onion, licorice, wild carrots, or wild lettuce, as they may react with Arnica. Also, you shouldn’t use Arnica if you are allergic the chrysanthemums (or if you have trouble spelling chrysanthemum).