By Janelle Eklund
Rows of proud little suns stood rooted in the earth throwing their brightness to the winds of summer. Deep yellow centers cast their color creating a pinwheel of contrasting yellow. Each pin of the wheel radiated beams with three toothed ends. Rays of sun cast shimmering light through this pinwheel of bright yellow petals imparting its intense magic. Surely the suns wand chose this plant to mimic its powers. The faces of Arnica laughed with joy and gave me pause to drink in its happiness.
This sunny plant not only heals the spirit but also the body. It is used in homeopathic pills to reduce the effects of trauma. Árnica montana is the species usually used in homeopathy. I had a dentist who recommended taking the homeopathic pills before and after dental work to reduce the trauma - and it worked! Internally it should only be taken in homeopathic form as it has irritants that can cause undesirable symptoms. There are many other species of Arnica and they all seem to have the same medicinal qualities.
Richo Cech in his book, Making Plant Medicine, says you can make an oil, salve or cream with Arnica and use it "for external application as an anti-inflammatory and resolvent for reducing swelling and bruising caused by traumatic injury, pulled muscles or ligaments, and for treating arthritic joints". He says you can use the stems, leaves and especially the flowers of Arnica, drying them before infusing in the oil. Externally it should not be used on open wounds or broken skin.
Enjoy sunny Arnica and give thanks for the therapy it imparts to the spirit and body.
From my light to yours-
References: Making Plant medicine by Richo Cech (an excellent book if you are into making plant medicines.)
Who We Are
WISEfriends are several writers connected with Wrangell Institute for Science and Environment, a nonprofit organization located in Alaska's Copper River Valley. Most of these articles originally appeared in our local newspaper, the Copper River Record.