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Is Arnica supplement safe to use while on Tamoxifen?

August 30, 20232 min read

Is Arnica supplement safe to use while on Tamoxifen? It was recommended by my surgeon to fight inflammation following a surgery. Surgery is unrelated to breast cancer. Thank you.

What a great question!
Short answer: Homeopathic Arnica should be safe to take while on Tamoxifen.

To read the long answer, head over to our Question and Answer Board. 

Long Answer:
There isn't anything in the scientific literature that I could find regarding interactions between Arnica and Tamoxifen. Here are some points to consider.

Arnica is a plant in the Daisy family and is sometimes called "wolf's bane". The flowers are used for the homeopathic preparation. Extracts made from the leaves and flowers are also used directly to make teas or various remedies. Arnica is used to decrease bruising and inflammation and is used both topically and ingested.

There is a big difference in the homeopathic preparations vs extracts from the flowers or leaves in their concentrations of chemicals. The extracts have much higher concentrations of medicinal compounds.

Homeopathic principles call for dilution of the active chemicals to trace amounts. This is why homeopathic remedies are considered safe: you're ingesting trace amounts of the active substance. Why would that be effective? There are lots of attempts to explain how homeopathic medications work. From my reading I have concluded that no one really knows, but results are observed. This leaves most medical professionals in the cold. They dismiss it without further consideration.

My thought is the opposite: if one person benefited, it should at least be explained or further researched. If thousands are benefited, it should not be brushed off as placebo effect. 

One recent study: Arnica study post-op concluded:

Homeopathic Arnica has a small effect size over and against placebo in preventing excessive hematoma (bruising) and other sequelae (inflammation) of surgeries. The effect is comparable to that of anti-inflammatory substances.

Here's another article using it in cosmetic surgery: Arnica

I like to make the science readily available to you because I like you to have the same information your surgeon has so you can confidently participate in the discussion.

What would Dr Sally do? Take the Arnica.

Would you like to send your own question? Check out our Question and Answer Board.

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