Danger in the Herb and Spice Isle: Beware!

HerbDoc has a warning for you, our dear readers:

A very disturbing report aired on our local news recently.  Apparently the Price Rite grocery store in Cranston, RI,  was carrying quarter ounce bags of the flower heads of Arnica right in the aisle with culinary herbs and spices.

Arnica is related to the perennial herbs of the family Asteraceae and has orange-yellow daisy like flowers.  It is used in homeopathic medicine as an external tincture or ointment to relieve the pain associated with bruises, sprains and aches.  Taken internally it can be very toxic, causing nausea, dizziness, vomiting and heart irregularities, including high blood pressure!  In high doses, it can be fatal.

Arnica latifolia

Just a friendly word of caution…if you come across an “herb” or a “spice” which is unknown to you, don’t purchase or use it until you research it carefully.  Be aware that there is a wealth of misinformation out there and that an herb isn’t necessarily safe because it’s touted as a natural product.

In this case the packages were incorrectly labeled by the manufacturer/distributor and could have caused real problems for consumers.  Fortunately these have been recalled and no illnesses have yet been reported, but in my humble opinion, there is no way they should have found themselves in the culinary herb and spice section in the first place!

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About dirtynailz

Writer for a daily newspaper, gardener, tree hugger, orchid-grower, photographer, animal lover, hiker, wilderness seeker. Proponent of clover in the lawn and a dog on the bed.
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6 Responses to Danger in the Herb and Spice Isle: Beware!

  1. gardenpest says:

    Solid advice, DN. Frightening to think of what could have happened to vulnerable folks.

    Didn’t peer-reviewed medical clinical trials indicate that Arnica didn’t live up to vendor claims? I read this in a mainstream source (?Mayo Clinic)a few months ago …..

    I never found it helpful for injuries and found that time was just as effective a healer. But that is just me. I know others swear by it……

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    • dirtynailz says:

      I have never used it. Perhaps HerbDoc will weigh in on its benefits.
      Of course, the scary thing is how it ended up on a shelf where uninformed consumers might buy it.

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  2. HerbDoc says:

    Arnica has pain-relieving, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties according to Commission E, the German body of experts who advises their government on herbs. They say it’s helpful in the treatmentment of bruises. Of course we use A.latifolia here while Europeans use A. montana. It should NEVER be taken internally, but a healing solution is 1 tsp. of the dried herb in 1 c. of boiling water. Steep until cool and then apply with a clean cloth. Arnica ointment can also be purchased at the health food store; the product can contain up to 15% arnica oil to be effective. It can cause a rash in folks with sensitive skin. Whether one chooses to use it externally or not is up to the individual. My main concern in writing the post was to warn everyone that it was placed in the culinary section of the market and was also mislabelled which could have been disastrous! Please, please be extremely cautious when using any “herb” in cooking or as an internal medicine.

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  3. Joyce C. Torrice says:

    thank goodness I have never used this product….thanks for the information …very important….you are a “wealth of knowledge” for sure.
    Also, I never shop at that store thankfully…if they are that careless with their product distribution it is definitely a NO NO

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  4. HerbDoc says:

    You’re so right…and don’t you wonder what else is lurking in that store that could be dangerous?

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  5. Thanks for finally writing about >Danger in the Herb and Spice Isle:
    Beware! | Digging RI <Liked it!

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