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.
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!