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Thousands Of People Swear By This Cream For Pain And Bruising

Boiron Arnicare Cream's thousands of devoted fans swear it's the scentless, homeopathic pain-relief remedy of your (bruise-free) dreams.

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I recently rolled off a rusty dock like the world's least graceful seal and scraped and bruised the shit out of both my legs (please hold your applause).

BBC Earth / Via YouTube

But something beautiful came out of this accident: I discovered Boiron Arnicare Cream, an analgesic and bruise-reducer that thousands of people swear by.

Arnica montana, a mountain flower that is the active ingredient in the cream, is a homeopathic remedy people use to relieve sore muscles, swelling, and bruising. It seems to have anti-inflammatory properties, so presumably Tom Brady and Gisele really like it (nb: entirely unconfirmed). (This New York Times article also notes that while there's a minor risk of skin allergies with arnica montana (as with any skin cream), it is "generally safe when used topically".)
Amazon

Arnica montana, a mountain flower that is the active ingredient in the cream, is a homeopathic remedy people use to relieve sore muscles, swelling, and bruising. It seems to have anti-inflammatory properties, so presumably Tom Brady and Gisele really like it (nb: entirely unconfirmed).

(This New York Times article also notes that while there's a minor risk of skin allergies with arnica montana (as with any skin cream), it is "generally safe when used topically".)

Reviewers (more than 2,400 of whom give this stuff ive stars) say it's the bee's (sore) knees for alleviating aches and pains (from exercise, arthritis, clumsiness, etc.), as well as reducing swelling and bruising (even for those of us who bruise as easily ripe peaches).

"I have never written a review for anything, and with that I say this deserves more than five stars. I bruise very easily and up until I found Arnicare I let bruises heal the old-fashioned way, usually for weeks. I just got a nice black-and-blue, and using this gel twice a day it was gone in 10 days! Given the severity of the discoloration I will count that as a win!" —Amazon Customer"I fractured my foot in October and was able to walk again five weeks later...but the swelling would not go down, especially at night. I tried essential oils and raising my foot up and it didn't seem to be helping. I was recommended this cream and thought I'd give it a chance. The results were almost immediate! The next day the swelling was down by half and a week later there's virtually no swelling that I can detect. I can almost walk normally now." —Hillbilly"I love this stuff. It was recommended to me seven years ago by a coworker to help a foot injury heal faster. It worked so well. I was impressed. I have another injured foot tendon and will be using this to speed and aid healing. Good formulation. Not greasy nor smelly." —valemar
Amazon Customer / Via amazon.com

"I have never written a review for anything, and with that I say this deserves more than five stars. I bruise very easily and up until I found Arnicare I let bruises heal the old-fashioned way, usually for weeks. I just got a nice black-and-blue, and using this gel twice a day it was gone in 10 days! Given the severity of the discoloration I will count that as a win!" —Amazon Customer

"I fractured my foot in October and was able to walk again five weeks later...but the swelling would not go down, especially at night. I tried essential oils and raising my foot up and it didn't seem to be helping. I was recommended this cream and thought I'd give it a chance. The results were almost immediate! The next day the swelling was down by half and a week later there's virtually no swelling that I can detect. I can almost walk normally now." —Hillbilly

"I love this stuff. It was recommended to me seven years ago by a coworker to help a foot injury heal faster. It worked so well. I was impressed. I have another injured foot tendon and will be using this to speed and aid healing. Good formulation. Not greasy nor smelly." —valemar

One reviewer used this stuff on the advice of their doctor as part of their surgical recovery, and OH MAN, the before-and-after pics, while not for the faint of heart, are really something.

Amazon Customer / Via amazon.com

"A MUST-buy! I bought three tubes of the Arnica cream as instructed by my surgeon. After surgery I was very bruised, I attached photos (although my abdomen is still swollen). I spread this on twice daily, within a week all my bruising turned yellow, 10 days it's all gone! I bruise easily, and normally bruises take time to heal for me. I wish I had known about this cream before. Will definitely keep this always handy now! A great buy, shipped fast and packaged well." —Amazon Customer

If you've been around the topical analgesic block, you know that they tend to have fairly pungent smells (in my experience: menthol, but angrier). Not so for this stuff!

HBO / Via giphy.com

"One of the few scentless (or unnoticeable to our noses) pain relief solutions that actually works for a good long while! Background: I am dealing with pinched nerves in my neck and upper spine and can't get into my doctor for quite some time yet. I've been losing my mind, since it effects my upper back, but really tortures my neck, shoulder, arm, and even my palm at times. Because this is long-term, I was pretty sick of creams that smell like menthol or camphor, which made me feel geriatric before my time. My love used this tonight; he was in a car accident over two years ago and still gets a deep ache where he tore the cartridge in his chest. It is the ONLY thing that's worked for him other than Tiger Balm (which is great, but has a strong scent, so not good for work!)." —Yasue

"Toss out your Bengay, Aspercreme, Biofreeze, and anything else you have! This stuff is GOLD! My friend recommended this to me as I was having a lot of inflammation in my arms from over-coaching at the gym. I really love this stuff — it works almost instantly for me and there is no smell or burning!" —Jessica Lynn

"I was so skeptical, after trying so many products which promised to give pain relief from my arthritis. I've tried all of those other products, the ones that smell so strong, the ones that burn my skin to trick me into thinking I am having pain relief... Well, this product does not have a smell — at all! And it doesn't burn my skin — at all! And it is not greasy — at all! I just rub a very small amount onto the areas where I have pain — knees, hips, and shoulders — and within minutes, the pain is gone for a few hours. This is a great product! If you have pain from arthritis, give it a try!" —Karlsruhe Frau

Get a 2.5 ounce tube for $7.99+ from Amazon (available as a cream or a gel) or a 1.3 ounce tube from Walmart for $6.28.

Some reviews in this post have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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Allison Krausman