My husband and I started taking a djembe drumming class a few months ago. It has helped us to feel less isolated and meet people over the age of 45. Our teacher is great fun and so creative. I can’t leave the circle without having experienced lots of laughter. We are now advanced beginners and have purchased our first drum. This allows more regular practice to be done at home. With more progress comes sore hands. I created this salve for myself and fellow drummers. I was fortunate to find some cute drum shaped jars down in my basement too.
I made an oil infusion of Arnica flowers, Poplar buds, Skullcap tops, Mugwort tops , St. John’s wort flowers, and Comfrey leaves. As I made the salve I added a small amount of my pain, exercise, arthritis, and muscle rub formulas.
Latin Name: Arnica montana
Botanical Family: Compositae/aster
Parts used: flower heads
Emotional/Spiritual uses: for any kind trauma. To prevent disassociation. To support the release of shock when there has been an accident or violent experience so that the energy does not become locked in the body or repeated in “cycles” of fight/flight/freeze unconsciously. To encourage healing, recovery, and soul embodiment after “loss”.
Contraindications: Most herbalists consider this plant for external use only, on unbroken skin. It is considered poisonous internally except in its homeopathic form. May cause a rash in sensitive individuals.
Arnica is a perennial plant found in the mountains of Canada and the US. It is often found growing underneath trees in the conifer family. The rootstock/rhizome is horizontal, dark brown/black, slender and branches into numerous filiform roots. The simple, erect, hairy, rough, striated stem can grow 6-12 inches high. Basal leaves have short petioles, are 2-3 inches long, opposite, and have an oblong/ovate shape. Upper leaves are smaller and have a sessile attachment on the stem possibly at the base of one pair of opposite branches. 1-9 yellow, daisy like flower heads appear during summer. The 15 ray flowers are notched on the outer tips, while the disk flowers form a yellow center. Arnica blooms in July or August.
Historically this plant has been used to make a liniment for aching joints, sore muscles, strains, broken bones, injuries, rheumatism, swollen feet and inflammation. It can be used as a poultice/compress on the stomach to relieve abdominal discomfort or for a headache. A salve can be used on chapped lips, inflamed nostrils, and bruises. Arnica dilates blood vessels near the skin’s surface improving circulation to the injured area.