Happy March! Here in Portland the flowers are blooming, the daphne smells fragrant, and the bees are coming to life. Many people are also starting new exercise regimens, which has prompted us to bring to you the benefits of Arnica.
Although we highlighted this herb last March, once again it seemed like the perfect time to remind readers how they can benefit from this amazing plant. So, here goes...
Meet Arnica Montana, commonly known as Arnica, but often referred to as wolf's bane, mountain tobacco, and mountain arnica. It is a bright yellow flower that looks similar to a daisy. But don't let it's beauty fool you. This herb packs a punch! Arnica is know for it's analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and bruise healing properties. What this means in laymen's terms is that people use this sweet little plant to relieve pain, eliminate inflammation, and get rid of bruising quickly.
Arnica is native to the mountainous regions of Europe, the western United States, and British Columbia. The plant flowers usually in late July. Typically it is the aerial portion of the plant that is harvested, dried, and used as an herbal remedy. The flower should not be taken internally.
Onto my personal testimony. It all started back in 2004 when I was preparing for my first marathon. I had been a runner since middle school, but had never trained for 26.2 miles. A couple months in my knees started to really feel it. In the past I had used Arnica cream, so I figured I could make my own now that I had Arnica available to me in herb form. I did a 30 day solar infusion of Arnica into a blend of base oils and voila, my new remedy! I called it Trauma Healer, and it really helped get me through the pain and inflammation of those long runs. A couple years later I added it to the Molly Muriel line and it has taken off. I decided to make a similar product in lotion form for those who prefer a cream to an oil.
Arnica is also known to be used for painful joints from arthritis, or inflammation from injury.