07 May Herb of the Month: Arnica Montana
The May magickal moon herb goes to.. Arnica Montana, better known as arnica, mountain arnica, leaopard’s bane or wolf’s bane from the sunflower family.
Native to: Europe, Northern highland regions
Arnica is one of the most honest, reliable, and steady herbs in the family apothecary. It’s history goes way back yonder due to its speedy ability to heal tissue damage. As a result, I would always recommend arnica in the family first aid kit, in the car, or on the shelf at home ready to go when it’s arnica’s time.
Arnica in action:
Anti-inflammatory (partially due to the active sesquiterpene helenalin). In contrast to an ibuprofen gel for topical arthritis and joint swelling, arnica is the bomb. Yes please to plant options to help reduce pain and swelling! Arnica can quicken up the healing of bruises, sprains and sports injuries.
Analgesic (again, helenalin to thank). First of all, this is now making more sense why you might use an herbal arnica cream on your sprained ankle or tight shoulders, am I right? Because it’s reducing inflammation and aiding in the pain directly, this herb is perfect for injuries!
Circulatory stimulant. Therefore when can combine this with its anti-inflammatory actions and you have a helpful herb to aid in varicose veins, headaches (depending on their origin), & venous insufficiency.
Just to name a few…
Other Medicinal Actions: Wound antiseptic, vulnerary, immuno-stimulant, astringent, counter-irritant, anti-rheumatic, antineuralgic.
Constituents: Sesquiterpene lactones (0.2%-0.8%, helenalin and its esters), flavonoids, volatile oil (thymol), coumarins, CHO (mucilage, inulin), amines, trace alkaloids.
Arnica is safe topically in small quantities, however it can be toxic in large doses, so use under guidance, to standardised dosing. This makes homeopathic arnica a great option too.