The outstanding botanist Font Quer was impressed by “the fact that such a widely used arnica plant, which has had such an unusual fame among physicians and common people, was not known by the great ancient pharmacists.”
Arnica Scientific Facts
- Scientific name: Arnica montana.
- Other names: Mountain arnica, mountain tobacco.
- French: Arnica.
- Spanish: Árnica.
- Environment: This plant grows in meadows and forests in mountainous areas. It can be found in cold, mountainous regions of Europe and North and South America.
- Description: Herb of the Compositae family, growing from 30 to 50 cm high, with a composed flower, bright yellow, very exuberant. It can be easily mistaken with Inula (Inula Montana L.), whose medicinal properties have not been exhaustively studied. Unlike these false arnicas, true arnica (Arnica montana L.) has only one or two pairs of leaves, which grow in opposite pairs.
- Parts of the plant used medicinally: The flower and the root.
Arnica Plant Healing Properties
The plant contains essential oil, phenolic substances, flavonoids, and tannin. It has remarkable stimulating properties on the heart and blood circulation. However, it is highly poisonous to the nervous system, and its internal use is no longer recommended. Arnica must be considered a toxic plant.
Externally applied, as a TINCTURE, on the skin, it has excellent vulnerary and anti-inflammatory properties, a traditional remedy for bumps, bruises, sprains, and hematomas. It is also used for furuncles and abscesses.
ARNICA TINCTURE is prepared with 20 grams of dry flowers and roots, steeping them for 15 days into 100 ml of 90% ethyl alcohol to prepare an alcoholic cold extract. The Cold extract can also be prepared with oil.
This plant can only be used in an external application since it has toxic effects on the nervous system when taken internally.
How to use Arnica
- Tincture. Soak a compress with drops of arnica tincture dissolved in water, then apply to the affected skin area. A pure (undissolved) tincture can irritate the skin.
George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. “Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants.” George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants. Ed. Francesc X. Gelabert. vols. 2 San Fernando de Henares: Editorial Safeliz, 2000. 662. Print. [Arnica plant]