An Aster and A First Responder

Credit: Beautiful Photo by Graziano Propetto
Credit: Beautiful Photo by Graziano Propetto

Some miracle stories exist about the healing powers of plants; people who were healed from cancers, gangrenous limbs, infections, and other debilitating diseases from herbal preparations.  I do think that it is possible, in many cases, for plant medicine to make an extraordinary difference in people’s lives.  While the heroic uses of herbs are possibly, it is beneficial and, even, essential to be aware of the plants which are first responders in everyday life and are an addition to any first aid kit. One such plant is Arnica.

There are several different species of Arnica (Arnica sp.), which are classified in the Aster family, scientifically known as Asteraceae or Compositeae.  Other plants in this family include: calendula, chicory, dandelion, goldenrod, and yarrow.  While I was under the impression that Arnica flowers are purple, I learned that they are YELLOW, with broad leaves at the base of the plant.  Arnica is native to most areas of North America and grows in sandy soil. While I didn’t find this in my research, I believe that this wild plant likes to grow at high altitude.

I almost always have Arnica within reach, in the form of homeopathic beads to take internally and cream for external use.  More than a handful of times since I discovered this remedy, I have relied on it for healing for sprains, bruises, sudden impacts/falls.  While Arnica is helpful for external use, it is not recommended if the skin is broken.  I also find that it helps most when taken immediately from the injury.  The healing properties of Arnica stimulate circulation, so an increased blood supply to the damaged area as soon as possible is crucial in healing.  It is good to carry Arnica on your person when out for a hike, bike ride, or other possibly dangerous activity.

Since this remedy comes to me in the form of a homeopathic remedy, I feel strangely disconnected from the medicine as a plant. But I know that it is happily growing all over the country (and the world, ie: Europe).  Majestically yellow, and with the bumps, bruises, strains, and sprains along life’s journey, Arnica is a companion.  This plant is one I have yet to meet face to face, but I look forward to the day when we do!

Post Script Notes about homeopathic remedies: There are different dosages available in the homeopathic pellet form, smaller is usually better but in cases of sever trauma (car crash, for example) a large does would be helpful.  Avoid caffeine, coffee, or tea as this is a contraindication.  Store in a cool-dark location away from radiating frequencies.

Thank you to all of the sources for this article:

The New Age Herbalist. By: Richard Mabey, Anne McIntyre, Michael McIntyre

Photos from:


5 thoughts on “An Aster and A First Responder

  1. I didn’t know that arnica was an aster but that is because like you, I have not met it personally. Now what I see it in photos I wonder though if its around me as I don’t have the identification skills that some have as of now. I’ll have to take a look around for it. I bought a salve from an Amish friend once and it did nothing for me so I stayed away from it but an herbalist friend mentioned that it could of been harvested or processed wrong so I might give it another chance.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Indeed, I think that preparations need to be precise to have ultimate effectiveness with extracts. Also, I notice that people have different responses to different doses of plant remedies, start small and increase. Other things may be a contraindication such as medications or even some vitamins, this is something I hope to learn more about in the future. Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You brought up something actually-I was taking blood thinner shots to the belly at the time and the bruising was getting out of hand so I thought to try the salve to help ease that issue. It didn’t work very well, even on older bruises however, but maybe it had something to do with the medication which is injected into body fat so perhaps leaves traces behind as the body absorbes it. I will have to look into that. Arnica may have been the wrong thing for me at the time altogether due to the bloodthinners.
    The salve in question didn’t work on other areas either, so it was probably too weak. I’d love to know if you find reliable sources for contraindications.


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