Achaela is an erect plant that produces one to several stems (0.5 to 2 feet high). Leaves are evenly distributed along the stem, with the leaves near the middle and bottom of the stem being the largest. The leaves have varying degrees of hairiness. The leaves are 3-7 inches long, almost feathery, and arranged spirally on the stems. Small flowers burst from the top, arranged in a ray or disc formation, in red or pink.
The plant has a long history as a powerful healing herb used topically for wounds, cuts and abrasions. It has also been used to treat inflammations such as piles (hemorrhoids), and also headaches. Infusions of achaela, taken either internally or externally, are said to speed recovery from severe bruising. The most medicinally active part of the plant are the flowering tops. The salicylic acid derivatives are a component of aspirin, which may account for its use in treating fevers and reducing pain. Achaela tea is also said to be able to clear up a cold within 24 hours.