I’m no marathon runner but I have run a few 5k races and my gorgeous daughter competed in the kids mini-marathon in London a couple of years ago, so I’ve spent a fair few hours in the company of runners.  But what surprises me is that many runners don’t know such about such a special plant that could help improve performance.

What if I told you that Usain Bolt knows about it?  What if I told you that David Beckham also knows about it, would that help persuade you that there is really something to be learnt from the wisdom of plants. Even doctors regularly tell patients on the NHS that nothing can beat it!  Yes, you read that right, doctors actually recommend it as one of the best plants on the market for helping heal muscles and relieving trauma from soft tissue.   Go on, can you guess…?

Well, those of you who know me well will have heard me talk endlessly about the power of Arnica.  I think for many homeopaths, the power of this beautiful yellow flower is where many of our journeys have begun.  Arnica is infamous for helping the body to relieve bruising and trauma, whether that be a bump, a fall, an injury or to the more serious end of the scale, recovering from childbirth and post-surgical relief.  In my case I have used it after I fractured my cheekbone (ouch) and managed to achieve the most rainbow-shaded bruise ever, after having a caesarean, and many a small injury that comes with not being the most co-ordinated of people (ha!).  I’ve even written a blog about how arnica was crucial in my daughter’s recovery pre- and post-surgery for a life-changing operation for scoliosis.

However, let’s get back to running.  So, you know that feeling that you have before you need to do a long run and you’ve got that thought in your head about how much you’re going to ache afterwards.  Well, rub some arnica massage oil into your legs before you run.  It will really improve that sensation.  It is as simple as that.  Just before you put your running leggings on just rub arnica in your calves and thighs and anywhere else you feel the burn.

You know that feeling you get whilst you are running a long distance (and for new runners or 5k runners like me, after about 15 minutes if you ache) when you feel lacking in energy but you want to keep going, take an arnica tablet or muscular relief spray.  It will give you a boost and help the muscles while you are running.  And you know how exhausted you feel after you finish, well you could try rubbing some arnica massage balm into your legs after a soak in the wonderful arnica bath milk that is quite possibly my favourite arnica product ever.

Injuries, hey, some of you will get them, let’s be realistic, but imagine if I told you that there was a way to recover quicker, more naturally… you’ve guessed it, then rub some arnica cooling gel in to that swollen ankle, bruised ligament or achey shoulder.

Now at the top of this article I said you may not need a physio and I’d like to think that you were so fit that you didn’t need one. However, they do a good job as do massage therapists.  But I’ll share with you my other secret that has saved me money; I take my own arnica massage oil or balm with me so that they can rub it where I need it so that I recover quicker, (plus I’m really pedantic about where I get my products from so only buy ethically sourced)!

So, if you are after a helping hand this marathon then reach for these products and I promise you you won’t be disappointed in it’s ability to help you recover.


“About 150 pharmaceutically active ingredients are found in arnica’s flower clusters. Among these are valuable and effective substances such as flavonoids, carotenoids, sesquiterpen lactones and precious essential oils. The fine silica content gives the arnica structuring and shaping forces and helps to regenerate tissue after blunt injuries such as bruises, bumps or contusions. In the 18th century, arnica was often used for the treatment of ailments such as gout, rheumatism, varicose veins and phlebitis. In modern times extracts from arnica have been shown to have an antiseptic effect and they promote blood circulation, relieve pain and speed up the healing process. These uses and others are frequently reviewed and clinically well-documented. Due to these characteristics, arnica is also called the ‘The guardian and healer of muscles and bruises’.”  (Weleda UK).