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The yellow, daisy like flowers of the arnica plant make a cheerful addition to the herb or perennial garden. A member of the sunflower family, arnica is easy to grow and quite adaptable, preferring moist but well drained soil, but tolerant of both clay and sandy soils, partial or full sun. It is hardy to all temperate zones.
While the European species, Arnica montana, is considered the official species and most often used in commercial products, there are 28 North American native species of arnica. At higher altitudes, you may have luck growing Arnica montana (Mountain Arnica).
For more information about growing arnica, visit: http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Arnica+montana
Regarded by herbalists as one of the best remedies for external healing, arnica has been used since the 15th century to treat bruises, sprains, strains and torn ligaments, as well as inflammation and pain due to arthritis, rheumatism and similar conditions.
Today arnica is used topically in over-the-counter creams, salves and ointments that are formulated to treat muscle pain and spasms from sports injuries, arthritis, bruises and muscle and joint inflammation. It can also be taken internally, but only in very small homeopathic doses.
By Elizabeth Scholl