© 2017 Mantra Yoga + Health

Our First Arnica Harvest Near the French Alps

The Beauty and Power of Plants to Heal & Restore Our Bodies 

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By @MarandaPleasant

 

Nestled in the picture-book landscape of Le Markstein near the French Alps, less than two hours from the charming yet inconspicuous town of Mulhouse, you’ll find rolling green hills spotted with a vibrant yellow flowers, Arnica Montana. The journey there was almost as exciting as the harvest itself; up a winding forest road dotted with local farms and steepled churches, past a glorious turquoise lake ringed with pine trees and local hikers; and despite all those pitstop-worthy sites, the Arnica harvest is still unmistakable. Rounding that final turn on the forest road and seeing a sea of yellow, set against the backdrop of the Vosges mountains was, suffice to say, dreamlike. This flower, also known as the mountain daisy is capable of aiding recovery for everything from nasty aches to pains and bruises, this is the ultimate herbal remedy necessary in all medicine cabinets, first aid kits and gym bags. We don’t travel without it. 

 

 

The Harvesting Process

 

This delicate yet powerful plant only blooms between June and July, requiring the harvest to be as efficient as possible. In many places, they must harvest in one day! It’s important to note that quality is not compromised for the sake of efficiency; the pickers are all carefully trained to preserve the biodiversity of the plants and land. One flower is left behind per square meter of soil and the roots are left in the ground, to ensure that this perennial plant makes its comeback next harvest. Similar to trees, their roots make up a vast interconnect - ed network spreading across entire fields, as far as the eye can see. Nature is so fascinating.

 

The entire harvesting process is done by hand to ensure the company’s standards are fully met; Boiron even signs a quality agreement with the landowners, and they’ve worked with the same partners for more than 30 years. In short, every possible measure is taken to ensure the preservation of the species. Once the plants are picked and bundled, they’re transported via cooled trucks at 4 degrees Celsius and must be processed within 48 hours to retain potency and freshness. They arrive at Boiron Laboratories, a sprawling com - pound outside Lyon, France. Even their labs respect natural wildlife when landscaping.

 

The plants are thoroughly checked for botanical and quality control, and extracted of all active components for their mother tincture, the base product from which all dilutions for their products are made; absolutely nothing from the harvest goes to waste. This dark mixture is soaked in a hydro-alcoholic solution in stainless steel vats for 15-21 days. Once the solution is ready, the old plants are recycled into compost. Additional painstakingly steps are followed to ensure quality and proper composition. Finally, depending on the type of product being made, a dilution is added to a water-based gel or made into pellets.

 

 

Arnica + The Power of Plant Medicine 

 

These delicate perennials with bright yellow petals contain a European pain relief secret that is centuries old but is just now catching on throughout the United States. Twin pharmacists Jean and Henri Boiron caringly harvested the mountain daisies shortly after founding the pharmaceutical laboratory in 1932.

 

Arnica has been used for healing aches and pains for hundreds of years, and plant medicine is our primary resource for healing around here. When made into homeopathic pellets and gels, it’s regularly used in a diverse range of lifestyles; aching athletes, children, yogis and weary travelers; whether you’re looking to speed up muscle recovery after an intense workout or fell off your bike and sport a nasty bruise; arnica is here to help. As a perennial plant, it grows back naturally every year so long as the land stays fertile. This natural recurrence helps make harvests sustainable, because they’re not having to re-plant—instead, with the help of carefully trained botanists and pickers, these incredible flowers continue to grow and help countless people around the world. 

 

Our safest option for dealing with everyday post running and yoga aches and pains. Arnica can also be taken orally in the form of pellets that dissolve under the tongue or used topically as a gel or cream for spot relief of muscle pain and stiffness. The active ingredient found in Arnicare can also relieve swelling from injuries and reduce discoloration from bruises; and unlike menthol rubs, Arnicare’s topicals are odorless. Thank goodness! Arnicare helps reduce discoloration from bruising if used quickly after an injury and it is paraben free, which we love.

 

 

What is Homeopathy? 

Homeopathy is a 200-year old practice of alternative medicine, using solely natural ingredients from plants and minerals to help treat everything from bug bites to rheumatoid arthritis.

 

Learn more: boironusa.com | @boironUSA 

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