Original Research

The use of arnica for the treatment of soft-tissue damage

C. M. Bauer, L. Weight, M. I. Lambert
South African Journal of Physiotherapy | Vol 58, No 1 | a485 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajp.v58i1.485 | © 2018 C. M. Bauer, L. Weight, M. I. Lambert | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 30 August 2018 | Published: 28 February 2002

About the author(s)

C. M. Bauer, Department of Physiotherapy, University of Cape Town, South Africa
L. Weight, Department of Human Biology, University of Cape Town, South Africa
M. I. Lambert, MRC/UCT Research Unit for Exercise Science and Sports Medicine, Department of Human Biology, University of Cape Town, Sports Science Institute of South Africa, South Africa

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There is growing anecdotal evidence of the use of homeopathy among sports participants. Arnica Montana [also known as Leopard ’s Bane] is frequently used as a prophylactic agent both before and after long distance running in the belief that it reduces delayed onset muscle soreness [DOMS]. There is equivocal evidence of its efficacy. The lack of convincing scientific proof is a major reason for homeopathy not being embraced by the medical community. The aim of this review is to discuss the principles of homeopathy in general, followed by a more detailed analysis of the use of arnica in the treatment of soft tissue trauma. Clinical trials published since 1982 were identified using the Medline database. Based on these data it was concluded that there is no overwhelming evidence that treatment with a homeopathic remedy, specifically Arnica Montana, consistently reduces the severity of, or the rate of, healing of soft tissue damage.


homeopathy, arnica tablets, delayed onset muscle soreness, long distance running


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