A.Vogel Blog


Flowering Arnica helps Rheumatism

It took more than ten years of intensive work to cultivate the special variety of Arnica whose fresh flowers are used in the manufacture of  A.Vogel’s highly effective gel. Arnica is, for many, a really helpful plant which is used whenever there is pain. 

The 19th century hydrotherapist, Sebastian Kneipp, was taken with it.  He wrote, “I think that Arnica is the best remedy for wounds and for that reason, I cannot recommend it enough”.  Alfred Vogel (1902-1996) passed similar judgement on this small, bright mountain plant. 

Today, all experts agree that in therapies for contusion, bruising, haematoma, sprains, as well as rheumatic muscle and joint complaints, Arnica plays an indispensable role. But this popularity has its downside. The stock of Arnica has been drastically reduced over the years by intensive farming and excessive wild collection and as a result, the plant must be protected.  For A.Vogel/Bioforce, the raw material for natural Absolüt Arnica Gel was only viable if it were possible for it to be cultivated completely organically.  Experts shook their heads in disbelief as the rare mountain plant, Arnica montana had so far resisted all attempts at cultivation.  Could it be otherwise?

Twenty Fresh Flower Heads for One Tube of Gel

Professor Ulrich Bomme from the Bavarian Regional Institute of Agriculture in Freising (Germany) took up the challenge in 1983.  “We had to start with nothing,” he recalls. “All previous attempts to cultivate the much sought-after healing plant had failed miserably.”  Fifteen years later, his work bore the most wonderful fruit.  In 1998 it became possible for the first time to cultivate a large crop of mountain Arnica with a high content of active ingredients.  During these years, A.Vogel/Bioforce had worked closely with an organic farmer who, for his part, followed Professor Bomme’s direction.  Through his enthusiasm and his own development work, the farmer succeeded in achieving the same quality in his cultivated crop for Bioforce as could be found in wild Arnica. And so it is today. 

In the summer when the flowers are in full bloom and the yellow Arnica fields sway visibly in the wind, the golden blooms are picked at a carefully chosen time and used to make the natural A.Vogel Absolüt Arnica Gel within, at the most, 24 hours.  Only flowers which are selected and picked by hand are good enough! 

Twenty fresh flowers are required to make a single tube!

Fresh Plant Gel: It doesn’t get any fresher The flowers are delivered in a fresh, naturally pure condition to the manufacturer, Bioforce, in Roggwil in the canton of Thurgau.  Arnica flowers which have been overheated or discoloured during transportation are not accepted.  Only fully fresh, bright yellow flowers are used in Absolüt Arnica Gel!  Even with its organic origins, A.Vogel/Bioforce likes to be doubly sure so Bioforce laboratory personnel take samples from the valuable harvest and examine the raw material using tried and tested protocols. These ensure its true identity, condition and purity from contaminants such as heavy metals, pesticides, aflatoxine as well as freedom from any microbiological contamination.  When the Arnica flowers have undergone this detailed examination, production of the natural remedy can begin. At the same time, the plant material undergoes quality control. It is examined not only to check if it is actually the correct type (and not for example Arnica chamissonis which has fewer active ingredients) but also that the plant material meets with the required level of freshness and quality of active ingredients.

Seamless quality control from seed to end product is a crucial feature of all A.Vogel/Bioforce products. A conveyer belt then transports the fresh flower heads to the macerator where they are chopped up.  The alcohol and water mixture, into which the plant material is put, gently releases the valuable active ingredients and preserves them. The remaining tincture forms the base for Absolüt Arnica Gel. The highest content of active ingredients In conventional gels, extracts of dried flowers or the dried aerial parts or roots are used.  It is different with A.Vogel Absolüt Arnica Gel. 

The freshly prepared flower heads exhibit a higher content of active ingredients than all the other plant parts.  It comes as no surprise then that comparative laboratory tests with other gels have shown that A.Vogel Rheum Gel/Absolüt Arnica Gel exhibits the highest concentration of active ingredients and consequently the highest content of anti-inflammatory ingredients.  Indeed, the effectiveness of the Arnica fresh plant gel was impressively recorded in a recent clinical study under the direction of Dr Otto Knüsel, Chief Physician at the Rheumatism Clinic in Valens (Switzerland).  After only three weeks of therapy there was a clear reduction in pain and an improvement in joint movement.

Thanks to the high concentration of active ingredients in Arnica, the gel fights both the symptoms and the causes of rheumatism.  It can be used whenever required to successfully fight inflammation and pain, particularly in cases of rheumatic inflammation in the joints, in arthritis, arthrosis and gout, muscle tension, muscle stiffness and a stiff neck, as well as for back pains and lumbago.  A.Vogel Absolüt Arnica Gel should be applied lightly and sparingly and, since no perfumes are added, the gel has the pleasant aroma of fresh Arnica. Absolüt Arnica Gel – considered to be holistic Rheumatism is not simply ‘a gout’ and Alfred Vogel (1902-1996) knew that.  Due to the complexity of the ailment, he came to the conclusion that rheumatism, as with many other illnesses, can only be fought successfully through the interplay of various factors.  Apart from the treatment with effective remedies such as Absolüt Arnica Gel, a carefully chosen diet coupled with an exercise programme and naturopathic therapies is extremely important.  Healthy living can be learned.  Vogel, the naturopathic pioneer, was convinced of that!  He always put the correct natural remedy alongside natural nutrition and reliable, sound information and advice. It was clear to Alfred Vogel that rheumatism can also be overcome, above all, in the mind.


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