If It’s Good Enough for John Wayne, It’s Good Enough for Me

Sherri Woodbridge avatar

by Sherri Woodbridge |

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Sherri Journeying Through

There are so many prescription and nonprescription medications out there for Parkinson’s disease and other illnesses that it’s hard to tell what is good and what is not. It’s often difficult to determine what is worth your time and money.

My mother-in-law introduced me to arnica, an over-the-counter medication that comes as a gel or a cream. She used it on bruises she got from falling, and the pain and swelling that previously had taken weeks to disappear vanished within days.

Some days my neck and shoulders are so stiff and painful that I cannot move them. So, I asked myself what I had to lose by trying arnica.


That was two years ago. Now I have a tube in the bathroom and a tube by my bedside. I try to keep one in my purse, and the other day, my husband suggested I keep one in the car. Plus, I’ve probably given a handful away. It’s that good for me, anyhow.

Want to learn more about the latest research in Parkinson’s Disease? Ask your questions in our research forum.

What is arnica? Arnica montana, the botanical name for the yellow plant, is also known by the names wolf’s bane, leopard’s bane, mountain tobacco, and mountain arnica. Although a pretty little plant in the sunflower family, it is fairly poisonous.

Although it can be harmful, it also is used for medicinal purposes as an herbal analgesic and for anti-inflammatory purposes.

As with any prescription or nonprescription medication, there are precautions to consider. More information about arnica can be found here.

Arnica has often relieved my stiffening pain after a dystonia attack. But remember, it will work differently for everyone. However, you can at least try it and see if it helps.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, so to be safe, check with your physician. If they’ve never heard of it, tell them to watch John Wayne’s movie, “McLintock!” In one scene, he mentions tincture of arnica. I guess he even kept some in his saddle bag.


Note: Parkinson’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Parkinson’s News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Parkinson’s disease.


Gerry Haines avatar

Gerry Haines

I am so impressed with your articles, my husband passed away 10 years ago, after 24 years of Parkinson's, diagnosed at 46(Early Onset), if all this information had been available then, our lives would have been much easier. I still run Parkinson's groups, and all your information I gather, is given to them in our meetings.
Thank you for this service.

Sherri Woodbridge avatar

Sherri Woodbridge

Gerry - thank YOU for what you continue to do for PD’ers everywhere!!!

Kai avatar


Sherri, what brand of arnica cream do you use? Thanks for all you do.

Sherri Woodbridge avatar

Sherri Woodbridge

Usually a generic - Usually WalMart. I have tried probably at least five different brands and they all work good.



Hello Sherri

I have never heard of arnica until now and as usual doing the research on it, the medical facilities try to demonize it because it is not a Big Pharma drug. Is this your experience? My wife of 67 was diagnosed 2 1/2 years ago with PD and has numerous pain issues, mostly in her legs.(Muscle and tendon tightness). I would like to get her to try some. Do you think that is advisable?


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