Arnica is a wonderful little flower. This is the ultimate anti-trauma herb. Arnica stimulates the movement of blood, whether it be the circulation to alleviate pain or the removal of old blood in the form of a bruise. I have found this easy to grow-this is not the "official" species but a related species. I started with 4 plants in 2006, now I have about 20 plants. Last year I got 3 flowers from each plant-the one in the picture has 9 flower buds on it.
It is well worth the effort. Arnica is powerful and it doesn't take much of it to get the job done. To make an herbal oil you should infuse 1 part flowers to 5 parts carrier oil. To make an extract macerate 1 part flowers to 10 parts 80 proof vodka. You only need a few drops of extract in a little water and the oil can be mixed with other oils (like St. John's wort or comfrey) to make an anti-trauma blend for external use. I don't recommend using the essential oil because it is so potent and down-right dangerous.
Since Arnica promotes the movement of blood it should not be used on open wounds. I use this in all my anti-trauma blends and sports rubs because it relieves pain and actually prevents pain if used before strenuous activity. I have found that it heals bruises in half the time-even less if you add helichrysum essential oil.
Feel free to leave comments if you want to find out more about this wonderful plant. Also leave a comment to be eligible for the monthly giveaway. Scroll down for more details.