Nationality: Hispanic (product of Spanish rule in the Americas)
Occupation: student, front desk worker/ website translator
Residence: Los Angeles
Date of Performance/Collection: 4/25/2012
Primary Language: Spanish
Other Language(s): English
My informant told me that a tea can be made from the dried leaves of arnica flowers. If you have a cut, you put that tea on it so it doesn’t get infected. You have to put it on as hot as you can bear it to make sure it will work. My informant learned this from his mother, who learned it from her mother. He said he doesn’t know what’s in it the flowers, but that it works and his mother would make it for him as a child whenever he got a cut.
Arnica flowers have yellow and orange petals and have been used medically for centuries before being incorporated into Western medicine. After doing some research, I was surprised by how many things it was used to treat. Not just external wounds, but also uterine hemorrhage, sprains, cardiac insufficiency. The flowers were native to the mountains of Russia and Europe. My informant was born in Mexico, but he is of Spanish descent, which explains why this treatment has been passed down in his family.
More information can be found here: http://www.herbco.com/p-1282-arnica-flower-whole.aspx