It is spectacular how the Greek language has given so many words to science. When it comes to botany, the story begins with Greek mythology, words evolving along with the Greece language, then through the development of the sciences of botany and medicine.
Arnica montana is a plant around 60 cm tall with magnificent yellow-orange flowers. If you touch the little sepals with soft hair around the flower they evoke memories of the soft skin of a lamp (‘arni’ in Greek language), hence the name.
Stretching from the Iberian peninsula to Scandinavia, Siberia, and the Carpathian mountains, wild daisies have been curing wounds from ancient times. Essential oil of Arnica has been used from ancient times for edema, muscle fractures, rheumatoid pain, and bruises.
The key element of arnica is thymol, which helps spur vasodilation, hence better blood circulation. This is how all the above problems are healed. Also, it helps the circulation of white blood cells and this is how it also has an anti-inflammatory action.
Its effect on blood circulation led to its antitoxic use for any kind of external trauma. It can be used for burns as it seems that it rejuvenates skin cells.
Alternatively, you can use tincture of arnica. It is very powerful so be careful! Always dissolve it before use and follow the instructions. If you want to make a compress, dissolve 1 ml of arnica in 9 ml of water on a cloth.
Internal use of the plant should be avoided however, because it can be toxic. It should not be used in open wounds and pregnant or breastfeeding women should also avoid the use of the essential oil.
Evropi-Sofia Dalampira holds a PhD in Agricultural Economics and an MSc in Botany-Biology.
* The above is not medical advice but mere suggestions for improving your diet. Before reach herbal use you should consult your doctor, especially those who have health issues, are pregnant or are under the age of 6.