Strained muscles: 3 alleviating plants to use for first aid 

If you've hurt yourself by bumping into something, or even strained a muscle, these three plants can help you get back on track in no time at all.

Strained muscles: 3 alleviating plants to use for first aid 

1. Comfrey

Traditionally used to treat sprains, bruised muscles and fractures

Comfrey was once used internally, as well as externally applied, to accelerate the reduction of fractures. However, it was found that certain varieties of comfrey contain compounds which can be toxic (pyrrolizidine alkaloids), and now its use is strictly limited to local applications.

Besides the healing of fractures, comfrey also helps to relieve pain and reduce swelling in sprains and bruised muscles.


  • Extract the juice from the fresh aerial parts of the plant and mix it in a basic cream or ointment (one part juice to five parts cream).
  • Apply to the area to be treated.
  • It is also possible to reduce a few fresh leaves of comfrey into paste and make a poultice.
  • Creams and ointments are also available on the market.

2. Arnica

Reduces bruising and heals damaged and swollen tissue

Arnica is traditionally used in a topical application to reduce bruising and to speed the healing of muscles and other soft tissues after trauma.

In the absence of wounds, arnica may be applied by massaging sprains, strained muscles, aching joints, fractures and dislocations.

It can also be administered internally in extremely diluted homeopathic preparations.

Although part of the medical community would question its efficacy, the results of several clinical trials tend to show that homeopathic arnica could have beneficial effects.

Thus, marathon runners who took homeopathic granules of this plant a few days before and after a race reported less muscle pain.


Apply arnica in the form of a cream, ointment, or massage oil on the part to be treated three times daily. Internally, take arnica in 30DH doses of homeopathic granules or oral solution.

3. Devil's claw

Very effective anti-inflammatory

This African plant, long used to relieve muscle and joint pain and inflammation, is generally prescribed to treat joint, back or tendon pain caused by injury or overuse.

Scientific studies have confirmed its efficacy by showing that devil's claw is effective in reducing muscle stiffness when taken for four weeks, and it alleviates back pain and makes it possible to obtain greater mobility in four to eight weeks.


The most important active principle of devil's claw is a compound called harpagoside.

According to researchers, harpagoside standardized extracts are more effective than non-standardized extracts. Purchase on the market tablets or capsules delivering at least 50 milligrams of harpagoside per day and refer to the instructions.

To be taken between meals, so that the active ingredients are not altered by gastric juices.

Do not underestimate the power of plants! Remember these three herbal preparations: comfrey, arnica, and devil's claw. After your next unfortunate incident, you will know how to soothe your pain more efficiently.

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