Arnica (Arnica montana)
General Information: Also called Leopard’s bane or mountain tobacco.
Uses: Externally used as an anti-inflammatory, pain reliever, and anti-septic for sprains, bruises, acne, injuries, and swelling caused by bone fractures, insect bites, rheumatic pains, and chilblains.
Caution: Do not use internally as it is considered toxic. Avoid during pregnancy.
Aloe (Aloe vera)
General Information: Also called Cape aloe, it is native to Africa but is grown commercially in southern Texas and Mexico. The stems of the plant can be bent and cracked in half to reveal the gel which resides inside; the gel and leaf juice are the useful parts.
Uses: Primarily used externally for the healing of minor burns, wounds, and abrasions; also used for relieving associated pain and inflammation.
Caution: At higher doses and concentration Aloe can produce a laxative effect so it is advisable to avoid if there’s a pre-existing GI disorder or similar ailment.