A long time ago, in a Nordic village surrounded by snow-capped mountains, there lived a farmer, an honest person who was appreciated by all. One day the farmer, while he was in the woods to collect herbs and seeds, saw a woman of extraordinary beauty in a clearing and fell in love with her. This woman had a peculiarity, her hair was so long and shiny because it was made of sun rays! The farmer asked the woman to marry him and she agreed, as long as he never touched her hair. The two married and led a happy life for many years, had three daughters and felt that nothing really lacked in their existence. But one evening, the farmer forgot his promise and touched his wife's hair, the woman disappeared in an instant. So it was that one of the daughters decided to ask a witch for help in order to have her mother back. The witch decided to help the girl and gave her a spell. The spell brought the woman back home but, as she approached the door with her light step, the hair of sun rays fell to the ground, replaced by human hair. Each ray of sun that touched the ground was transformed into a plant with a yellow-orange flower, the arnica. This is why arnica is called the herb of the sun and its precious petals with fiery colors that seem to have taken their energy directly from the sun pour out their healing power in the remedies prepared with this plant. In fact, arnica has always been used as a remedy in case of pain, muscle pain and tension. But it's not just about tradition, science has also proven the benefits of this very special plant, to which legends have been dedicated! So let's see how to prepare small but powerful remedies that contain all the power of the sun's rays! But first let's see what science says about the properties of arnica.
The well-known French herbalist Maurice Messegue speaks of the Arnica in his book My herbarium describing it as an excellent remedy in case of trauma and bruises. Arnica, in fact, helps the skin to heal and regenerate, fights bruising and helps in case of sprains. According to Messegue, the arnica tincture, if applied externally, heals even the most resistant form of acne. According to scientific studies, arnica is an effective remedy with an anti-inflammatory action and useful in case of trauma and bruising since it helps to counteract pain and to reabsorb edema (Iannitti et al, Am J Ther, 2016 - Kawakami et al, Evid Based Complement Alternat Med., 2011). Not only that, arnica applications can also help to soothe or ward off muscle pain but also to counteract joint stiffness (Pumpa et al, Eur J Spor Sci, 2014).
Arnica, the best remedies
Get dried arnica flowers, you can buy them at herbalist's shop or online, if you are an expert you can also collect and dry the arnica yourself. Macerate 10 pinches of dried arnica flowers for two weeks in a glass of alcohol at 90°. Then filter and dilute in 10 glasses of distilled water, or you can boil normal water and then let it cool down. Do not drink the tincture but use it only externally on trauma and bruises. If you do not want a preparation with alcohol, you can prepare arnica infused oil. For this, get some dried arnica flowers. Pour them into a glass jar and cover with sunflower oil. Close the jar and let it rest for a month in a warm place but away from direct sunlight. After this time, filter and press the flowers, pour the infused oil into dark glass bottles. You can massage the oil on bruises, sprains, neck, in case of stiff neck or headache due to tension in the cervical area, back, to counteract pain in this part, hands or knees in case of stiffness.