All About Herbs
If you have ever had sore muscles, back pain, or aching feet cured by a Moon Valley product; chances are, arnica played a big role in your relief. Since the 16th century, when an indigenous North American tribe used it to prepare tea for easing back pain, arnica has been an integral part of folk and homeopathic remedies for various ailments. The happy, bright yellow, daisy-like flower also referred to as Wolf’s Bane and mountain tobacco is a perennial native to central Europe, Siberian Mountains, and the majestic mountains of British Columbia. There are multiple types of arnica grown worldwide, but the most common used medicinally is Arnica montana.
Arnica is such a versatile herb that the ailments it heals are almost endless. It has been touted for its amazing anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. Common uses for arnica include: treating bone fractures, traumatic injury, bruises, rashes, sore muscles, sprains, and shock associated with burns and injury. In Russian medicine, it has also been used to treat uterine hemorrhage, myocarditis, angina pectoris, and cardiac insufficiency. Famous writer Goethe once credited the herb for saving his life when it brought down his fever.
While Arnica montana is an amazing remedy for all types of aches, pains and ailments; it is also gaining popularity in the beauty and personal care world. Arnica infused products are being used by chiropractors, massage therapists, and pedicurists around the world to help bring relief to patients and clients. It is also frequently used by professional athletes as a pre-activity supplement to thwart muscle and joint soreness. The anti-inflammatory properties are an effective way to reduce under-eye puffiness, and in turn is being added to some modern eye creams. There are also new reports of arnica being used in hair tonics and dandruff preparations.
A variety of methods are available to utilize arnica; by making a tea, ointment, or tincture; though ingesting arnica orally should only be done with supervision from an herbalist or physician. Here at Moon Valley, we capture the essence of arnica by steeping it in in safflower seed oil for 24-48 hours. We the strain the bulk of the oil out and then run the leftover arnica through an herb press to extract every last bit possible.
Often the effectiveness of an ingredient depends on what it is paired with and the synergy those elements create. Moon Valley adores arnica for its remarkable healing powers, and we are proud to include it in three of our most loved products. In our Muscle Rub, arnica is combined with the warming, pain-relieving qualities of clove bud oil and ginger root, the circulatory powers of safflower flowers and orange essential oil, the calming quality of lobelia leaf, and the heating, pain-reducing properties of cayenne and habanero. This unique blend allows for penetration to bring relief deep into the muscles. The uplifting Rejuvenating Rub and invigorating Peppermint Foot Rub pair arnica with the anti-inflammatory, healing, and soothing abilities of calendula, the soothing and regenerating properties of comfrey, the pain relieving and circulation stimulating powers of lavender essential oil and the ability of mint essential oil to assist with the absorption of herbs into the body. Rejuvenating Rub eases aches and pains from injury, exertion, and arthritis. Here on the herb farm, we also use it for less conventional ailments than a sore back: when applied to the shoulders, neck, and temples it works as a wonderful headache remedy, and also an instant relief for sunburns.
If you’ve read Moon Valley Organics’ charismatic product packaging, you’ve seen organic Calendula in the ingredient list or description. Calendula, more commonly known as the Marigold, has been widely used as a delicious culinary and an effective medicinal herb since the beginning of time.
The rich, golden petals of the Calendula flower are used in traditional Greek, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes. The opulent dye from the petals has customarily been used to color various butters and cheeses. When different mediums are used, lush yellows, browns and orange tones are extracted to dye fabric.
During the Civil War and World War I, Calendula was used to curb hemorrhaging and as an antiseptic on the battlefield. Today, it is more vastly used for a number of skin conditions such as Eczema and Psoriasis due to its superb healing properties. Our organic Calendula can be used safely wherever there is an inflammation of the skin, whether due to infection or physical damage. The multiuse herb is ideal for first-aid treatment of minor burns, and scalds. When ingested orally, Calendula can decrease muscle spasms, reduce fever, and oral inflammation. In our topical formulas, our organic Calendula provides anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-septic, and anti-inflammatory relief as well amplifying wound healing.
Every spring, the sea horse shaped seeds are planted and given time to sprout in our greenhouse. After the last frost, 9000 plants are transplanted by hand into the rich soil of our charming valley. The lush orange flowers come into bloom during the months of July and August, and the flowers are then handpicked, providing us with the highest quality organic Calendula. The buds are then laid out on screensfor drying in our turn of the century barn loft and cared for by our devout herbalists to preserve the essence of summer.
After our organic Calendula has been dried, it is steeped at a low temperature in a safflower oil for up to 72 hours. Once the steeping is completed, the oil is strained from the herbs and the herbs are put in a press to extract every last little bit of the herb’s essence. The press extraction provides the most potent and concentrated oil, similar to pressing a tea bag after steeping to pull out the richest darkest tea. The byproduct of this process is then composted and the organic Calendula infused safflower oil is used as the base for most of our products.
Whether you’re looking for much needed comforting & healing for dry, cracked lips or an essential, versatile must-have wound healer for your first-aid kit or medicine cabinet, Moon Valley Organics’ resident herbalists have created just what your organic body care loving heart desires!