I can tell this may end up being something of a trend... I go out for a walk in the mountains or wherever, find a flower and find it's something very medicinal - as happened on the 3rd of June, when we went for a drive (and several walks) around the dams near Alcova, Wyoming.
This beautiful flower was behind me as I was taking pictures Near Alcova Dam .
As I usually do (and successfully as often as not), I used the Google image search to try and find a match for this wildflower.
I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I had found an old friend: Arnica. Not the arnica that we are most familiar with in herbalism, but almost certainly has the same healing properties.
Here's the Wikipedia article about this plant.
So, what is this plant good for? And how does one use it?
The most common way for people to use arnica seems to be as an essential oil (extracted from the flowers/seed heads) which is then added to creams, salves, liniments, etc.
Helenalin, the active ingredient in arnica can cause allergic symptoms in some people - especially if you're allergic to other members of the daisy family. These people should consider using arnica homeopathically.
However, helenalin is a toxin and can be dangerous in large doses. For your typical day-to-day usage, I wouldn't worry too much about it, but if you're using a lot (especially orally), be aware of possible overdose issues - and/or consider using it homeopathically instead.
Additionally, people on blood thinners should seek further advice before using arnica.
As I've done before, here is a graphic detailing all the uses I have found for Arnica today. I'm going to work with this plant more in the future, I can tell.
(Feel free to print this out for your own use.)
Past issues of Health and Healing
Wild Healing & Foraging
Plants to Avoid
I am not a medical doctor. I am a solver of problems. I do the best I can to research and come up with possibilities that you may find useful, but I cannot diagnose your medical issue, nor can I tell you the best way to handle your situation. If in doubt, seek professional assistance.
When turning to nature, especially in the wild, you must take all responsibility to do due diligence. Using the wrong plant/herb/fungi can be extremely harmful or even fatal. When in doubt, seek experienced help. Note that identical plants/fungi found in a different country may be very different.
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