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Herbs for Health/arnica oil and devils claw


QUESTION: To start with thank you so much for taking the time to read this. I am really grateful.I have recently (since last November) had pain in my upper inner thigh and groin. Originally I started applying pure arnica oil in this because I didn't know I may have perhaps not washed my hand after massaging and may have because it area (and on my neck was stiff)for several weeks, and now notice that I can hear my heart beating loudly which is very disconcerting. I have now read that arnica oil is toxic but which was advertised as massage oil.Also eaten an apple or something and possibly ingested some. I really don't remember but am quite panicked.

regarding the pain, the Dr thought I pulled a muscle and prescribed a low dose of cortisone which caused me to have really high blood pressure. Anyway an MRI has now been done and has diagnosed a hip impingement causing the groin pain. This causes inflammation, and is possibly due to loss of some cartilage. The dr has now prescribed a higher dose of cortisone 3mg of cortisone two times a day for 5 days and half that dose for another 5 days together with an anti inflammatory non steroid anti inflammatory. However because I am loathe to take cortisone I have started a tincture of devils claw, 18 drops 3 x a day and am taking tumeric and glucosamine. I have been taking this for 5 days now but have seen no change in the pain yet. I am a 58 year old woman with no other health problems Any thoughts please on these two matters. Thankyou

ANSWER: Hi Polly,

I just received your message.

Number One. Do not take any more cortisone. If it has already elevated your BP, it will only get worse.

For a safe pain reliever, try cayenne pepper, it contains capsaicin, a compound that stimulates the release  of the body's natural painkillers called endorphins. It can be used both internally and externally.

I am a firm believer in chiropractors, they have done much to keep my body pain-free. An adjustment may be just what you need to align your body and eliminate your groin pain.

Turmeric and glucosamine help combat inflammation.

Best wishes,

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QUESTION: Thank you for your answer. I am already taking glucosomine (the one that is not glucosomine sulphates which increase blood pressure)and tumeric supplements and adding cayenne to food. I wonder if you can also answer the first part of my question regarding the arnica use and devils claw. Thank you again so much, you have no idea how much I appreciate your input as I am really stressed out at the moment. Thank you

Hi Polly,

Sorry I misunderstood. I thought you had eliminated the use of arnica and devil's claw. Arnica is primarily used for external use. It is used as a tincture or salve and in very dilute solutions in a tincture. It should not be used internally unless under the careful watch of a physician. An overdose of arnica would most likely have caused you to vomit. If you are experiencing elevated BP or heart palpitations, discontinue all self-medications.

I have not heard of any adverse effects with the use of Devil's Claw in the treatment of gout but it does have some anti-inflammatory properties.

I hope this clarifies your concerns.


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Dennis Leppanen


I can answer most questions on herb usage and and am very familiar with (gras) herbs, generally recognized as safe. I am very knowlegible in nutritional healing. I have extended education in detoxing the body and fasting for health. I believe in the Naturopathic belief, the body get sick in only two ways; either because it is too toxic, or it is malnurished. I grow, wildcraft, and make most of my herbal remedies.


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