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 plants in the family apothecary. It’s history goes way back yonder due to its speedy ability to heal tissue damage.
Arnica in action:
Anti-inflammatory (partially due to the active sesquiterpene helenalin): can be comparable to an ibuprofen gel for topical arthritis and joint swelling. 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): Making more sense why you might use an arnica cream on your sprained ankle or tight shoulders? Reducing inflammation and aiding in the pain
Circulatory stimulant; combine this with its anti-inflammatory actions and you have a helpful 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.