Chickweed

ChickweedStellaria media

Chickweed (Other common names include Little Star Lady and Starweed)

Caryophyllaceae family

This nutritive plant has a cooling action that is beneficial in many medical conditions. The herba or aerial parts of the plant contain the active medicinal properties.  This herb has cooling and drying tendencies lending it especially helpful in treating skin conditions. Topically, this plant can relieve itching or discomfort of eczema, psoriasis, cuts, burns, and poison oak exposure.  It may also be of benefit in relieving the pain of sun overexposure. 

 Some of the active constituents of this plant include Vitamin C and flavonoids, which are highly nutritive. Taken internally chickweed enhances nourishment and is beneficial in the recovery phase of illness, and can benefit individuals in a weakened state.

Always seek professional medical advice in diagnosing any skin condition, and use of any medicinal plants in treatment.

Arnica

ArnicaArnica  Arnica montana

Asteraceae family

Arnica is an excellent herb to remember during the summer months.  Outdoor sports and activities are common this time of year, sometimes resulting in the occasional bruising or sprain.  Arnica is an important 1st aid remedy and can offer much relief.

This plant is generally taken internally as a homeopathic remedy, as it is toxic as a tincture or full strength preparation.  Externally, arnica can be used as a poultice, oil, lotion, or ointment. This is safe for people of all ages including children. Every family could benefit from having this in their home 1st aid kits. 

The main uses are externally for bruises, trauma, swelling, muscle and joint pains. Arnica has anti-inflammatory activity and stimulates the peripheral blood supply.  Apply the plant topically at the 1st sign of bruising or trauma. Avoid use over open wounds or near the eyes or mouth.  It is important that you seek medical care if your injury is more than a simple bruise.