Calico Says: Arnica Is Fail

It’s a frequently-heard item of folk medicine in the Spanking community that arnica concoctions can help spanking bruises heal faster. However, a good herbalist will tell you that arnica is also fairly toxic stuff, making its use for this purpose somewhat controversial.

I am therefore amused to pass on the link to Calico’s arnica experiment. You know Calico; she counts among her accomplishments a ton of BDSM modeling, including a lot for

So what did she do? She marked out four-inch circles on her thighs, got “helpers” to cane the heck out of the marked areas, and then used an arnica cream on just one of the two bruised areas. Then, she watched the healing to determine whether the arnica bruise healed faster than the control. Her conclusion? Nope, nada, nothing, bunko.

The one trouble I see with her experiment is that she used what looks like a homeopathic arnica preparation. I do not propose to comment on The Great Homeopathy Debate here (nor will I allow that debate to take root in my comment section) but I will observe that homeopathic preparations are enormously dilute by design and intention. So testing a homeopathic arnica product in this fashion is not at all the same test as testing a genuine arnica cream that has some significant amount of actual arnica in it. There remains room for more bruised science to be done!

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  1. Ms. Betty commented on February 28th, 2011:

    Well, results do vary.

    I do the spanking rather than receiving so I don’t get spanking bruises, but being a redhead I do get them from everything else. All I can say is that it does help me heal faster.

    And it has helped those I spank. Then again I use the pure gel. Not creams.

    Still, sounds like an awfully fun experiment…

  2. Mr. Canada commented on March 3rd, 2011:

    Oh my, I guess I just wasted $20 bucks on a tube of Arnica gel. Can you offer a suggestion of something else to rub onto a loved one’s sore welted bottom? I always hear about rubbing “cold cream” onto it…but I”m not sure what cold cream is. When I go to the pharmacy, I see dozens of different creams, but non called “cold cream”… I being dumb?


  3. SpankBoss commented on March 3rd, 2011:

    As long as your gel isn’t homeopathic, you might as well try it … it’s only the homeopathic ones that have been diluted so far they don’t actually have measurable amounts of arnica in ’em any more.

    Cold cream, so far as I know, is a cosmetic that you’d find with the health and beauty aids — it’s rather old-fashioned, but women used to use it to remove makeup and such (perhaps they still do) for various lotioning purposes before more modern and specific lotions sort of took over that market. But I think you can still find “cold cream” so marked in the area that has all the little astringent pads and cotton balls and stuff.

  4. Subgirl commented on April 7th, 2011:

    As a sub who does bruise my Dom(absolutely wonderful man that he is) started looking at what could keep me from bruising in the first place. I also happen to be a Massage therapist who uses a lot of essential oils and other herbs for my clients. When he asked me about arnica I knew exactly why he was asking. I fomulated a lotion rather than a creme of Arnica,Mynthol,Peppermint. However we use this before the spanking to keep from bruising. If you want to help heal the bruising faster use essential oils that increase blood flow like ginger and cinnamon. And Dragons Blood, which is a resin from a south American tree. Hope this helps all you other lovely bruisers out there. Happy Spanking!!

  5. kristinnnnnn commented on September 13th, 2011:

    Oh, lord. Do NOT go putting cinnamon or ginger on your bum, or you’ll be seriously sorry. Especially in an area so near the tender bits!

  6. SpankBoss commented on September 13th, 2011:

    Some people like that sort of thing

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