GHENT, NY – Bioforce USA is pleased with both industry and consumer coverage of its A. Vogel Arnica Rub, a non-homeopathic topical herbal product, and wishes to provide an in-depth clarification between this distinctive herbal topical product and the traditional homeopathic arnica products.
Arnica is usually associated with the traditional homeopathic claims for bruises, swelling, strains and sprains. That is one of the reasons why the new clinical study on A. Vogel Arnica Rub is so newsworthy. It is not homeopathic and the proven efficacy is for arthritis and pain. Arnica Rub is a full-potency herbal product made with Arnica mother tincture.
So what is the difference between an herbal arnica product and a homeopathic arnica product?
Homeopathic products generally start as herbal mother tinctures. A Vogel’s mother tincture is produced by extracting the fresh, organic Arnica flowers with alcohol. Once it has been allowed the appropriate amount of time for the extraction process, the liquid is drained off. The liquid now contains a chemical profile quite similar to the fresh arnica. It is this mother tincture that is used in the Arnica Rub. It contains all the power of the fresh herb.
It is the mother tincture that is used to begin the homeopathic process. Either fresh or dried plant can be used. Of course, Bioforce uses only fresh Arnica for its mother tincture. Once the mother tincture is ready, the homeopathic process can begin. To make a homeopathic 1X you take 1 part mother tincture and 9 parts alcohol and it goes through a process known as succussion. After completion of succussion, the product becomes a 1X homeopathic dilution. To make a 2X you take 1 part of the 2X and succuss it with 9 parts alcohol, and so on. By about 4X there are no remaining molecules of the original mother tincture.
It is thought that homeopathy works more on the nervous system, while herbs directly affect the cells and organs, much like traditional medicines do.
Why is this important?
The mode of action has been uncovered for the herbal product known as Arnica Rub, while the mode of action on a homeopathic arnica topical is still not clearly understood.
Clinical research has shown that non-homeopathic Arnica inhibits the way that NF-kB works in the body. NF-kB can be compared to a switch that gets switched to “on” at the very beginning of the inflammatory process. When activated in this way the whole inflammatory cascade is switched on. By inactivating Nf-kB, inflammatory process can be stopped at the very beginning. This is why A Vogel Arnica Rub is so effective. One clinical study showed Arnica Rub to be as effective as Ibuprofen Gel in relieving stiffness and pain associated with osteoarthritis of the fingers. (Widrig R, Suter A, Saller R 2007 Choosing between NSAID and Arnica for topical treatment of hand osteoarthritis in a randomized, double-bland study, Rheumatol Int; 27:585-591.) A previous study proved Arnica Rub to reduce pain and stiffness in osteoarthritis of the knee.(Knusel O, Weber M, Suter A (2002) Arnica Montana Gel in Osteoarthritis of the Knee: An Open, Multicenter Clinical Trial, Advances in Therapy; 19(5) 209-218)
“To our knowledge, A Vogel Arnica Rub is the first topical arnica gel to contain full the full strength of fresh Arnica,” says Eileen Sheets, managing director of Bioforce USA. “It is the first arnica gel to have proven efficacy for pain and arthritis. It is important for consumers to know that the arnica gel vs ibuprofen gel study was done using a non-homeopathic herbal product. If they use a homeopathic arnica gel for arthritis and pain relief, they will likely be disappointed as they will be expecting the same results. This may then taint the perception and reputation of ALL arnica products. A Vogel Arnica Rub does not replace the homeopathic arnica gels since it has its own unique, proven claim,” she emphasizes.
Sheets adds that many customers who shop health food stores know about the benefits of arnica, as it has been around a long time and has a steady following. Arnica in a topical form falls under the regulatory category of cosmetic or skin care, unless it is in homeopathic form, the packaging of which will then carry the homeopathic claims such as ‘for relief of bruising, swelling, and/or pain.’ Conversely, a full potency herbal topical such as A. Vogel Arnica Rub does not have such indications on the packaging, due to FDA and FTC regulations.
Adds Pierce Sioussat, president of Bioforce USA, “We have been rewarded with tremendous consumer support of our A. Vogel Arnica Rub, and are grateful for the press coverage we have received for the product, bringing more retailers and consumers on board. We understand that arnica in and of itself has a history of association with homeopathy, and we are proud that our Arnica Rub has been shown, as a topical non-homeopathic product, to be as effective in managing joint comfort as ibuprofen in a recent study.”