May 11, 2016
Horse Medicine Aids Barbosa’s Recovery

Leandro Barbosa, a guard for the Golden State Warriors, said he recovered from knee surgery and has avoided further injuries as a result of working hard, healthy living, and the use of a green liquid extract made from a South American plant known as arnica do mato, a medicine originally intended for horses.

According to The New York Times, while Barbosa was recovering from an ACL tear in his right knee in 2013, Alex Evangelista, his personal trainer, introduced him to arnica do mato, saying that if racehorses consumed it, it might be beneficial for humans.

Barbosa describes the extract as foul-tasting, and said that while he has obtained permission from his team’s medical staff to drink it, he has not succeeded in convincing any of his teammates to give it a try.

“It burns going down,” Barbosa said. “You kind of feel dizzy if you’re not used to it. I got used to it.”

Some medical professionals who spoke with the Times, such as James Gladstone, co-chief of sports medicine for the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, said they were unfamiliar with arnica do mato.

“Athletes are always looking to get an edge — on recovery, on muscle strains, on anything,” Gladstone said. “As long as they know they’re not performance-enhancing drugs or whatever, why wouldn’t they try it?”

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