Arnica is common in many of our bathroom cabinets or medicine boxes. It's one of those age old homeopathic remedies that have been used for thousands of years but it was only fairly recently that it was discovered to contain highly powerful anti-inflammatory properties.

Arnica works by stimulating white blood cells. One of the functions of white blood cells is to disperse congested blood. So when bruising occurs arnica helps to release fluid from the hurt area. It also stimulates circulation and fight bacterial infection.

It's used externally as a balm or gel but you can also find tablets to ingest that do help to reduce bruising and swelling of say a torn ligament or inflamed muscle injury (which I has the pleasure of testing recently following repetitive strain on my knee from running so I can vouch for its effectiveness).

The best bit of arnica's activating properties - it's a good, natural pain killer. Even better you can now get organic arnica! Spiezia make a great organic arnica ointment but you can also find this ingredient in natural toothpaste, body creams, shampoos and bath oils.