The Medicinal Herb Info site was created to help educate visitors about the often forgotten wisdom of the old ways of treating illnesses. Many of today's drugs and medicines were originally derived from natural ingredients, combinations of plants and other items found in nature.

We are not suggesting that you ignore the help of trained medical professionals, simply that you have additional options available for treating illnesses. Often the most effective treatment involves a responsible blend of both modern and traditional treatments.

We wish you peace and health!

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Arnica

Scientific Names

Arnica

  • Arnica montana L.
  • Compositae
  • Composite family

Common Names

  • Arnica flowers
  • Arnica root
  • Common arnica
  • Leopard’s bane
  • Mountain arnica
  • Mountain tobacco
  • Wolfsbane

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Parts Usually Used

Flowers, rootstock
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Description of Plant(s) and Culture

Arnica Flowers

Arnica is a perennial plant; the horizontal, brown, branched rootstock sends up a slightly hairy, simple or lightly branched stem that reaches a height of 1-2 feet. The basal leaves are oblong-ovate and short-petioled; the upper leaves are smaller and sessile. Each plant has 1 to 9 large, yellow, daisy-like flowerheads, 2-2 1/2 inches wide, whose rays are notched on the outer tips. The flowers appear from June to August.
Other varieties: A. fulgens, A. sororia, A. cordifolia, etc.
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Where Found

Found in mountainous areas of Canada, the northern United States, and Europe. A European native.
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Medicinal Properties

Diaphoretic, diuretic, emollient, expectorant, stimulant, vulnerary
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Legends, Myths and Stories

Arnica montana was used in Russian Folk medicine.

Arnica is on the list of strictly protected plants since it is threatened with extinction. Please respect this.
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Uses

Arnica is used externally mostly. Used as a salve or tincture, helps heal wounds, bruises, arthritis, and irritations. Only very dilute solutions of the tincture should be used (the herb can cause blistering and inflammation). Used as a poultice but not often. Native Americans used the ointment for stiffened, cramped muscles, poor appetite, hair loss, and arnica tincture to open wounds and gashes, sprains.
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Formulas or Dosages

Use professionally prepared remedies when possible.

Infusion: use 1 tsp. dried flowers with 1/2 cup boiling water. Take in 3 equal portions during the day for diaphoretic, diuretic, or expectorant action.

External wash: steep 2 heaping tsp. flowers in 1 cup boiling water. Use cold.

Tincture: use a dilute solution of 1 to 2 tbsp. to a cup of water.

Ointment: heat 1 oz. flowers in 1 oz. olive oil or lard in a water bath (in a double boiler) for a few hours. Strain through several layers of cheesecloth.
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Warning

One reference cautions not to use arnica on broken skin.

The herb can cause blistering and inflammation. An irritant to the stomach and intestines, can cause serious damage to the heart; and fatalities from poisoning have been reported.

Arnica should not be used for any purpose without medical supervision.
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Bibliography

Buy It! American Folk Medicine, by Clarence Meyer, Meyerbooks, publisher, PO Box 427, Glenwood, Illinois 60425, 1973

Buy It! The Complete Medicinal Herbal, by Penelope Ody, Dorling Kindersley, Inc, 232 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016, First American Edition, copyright 1993

Buy It! The Healing Plants, by Mannfried Pahlow, Barron’s Educational Series, Inc. 250 Wireless Blvd., Hauppauge, NY 11788, 1992

Buy It! The Herb Book, by John Lust, Bantam Books, 666 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY. copyright 1974.

Buy It! Earl Mindell’s Herb Bible, by Earl Mindell, R.Ph., Ph.D., Simon & Schuster/Fireside, Rockefeller Center 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, New York 10020

Herbal Gardening, compiled by The Robison York State Herb Garden, Cornell Plantations, Matthaei Botanical Gardens of the University of Michigan, University of California Botanical Garden, Berkeley., Pantheon Books, Knopf Publishing Group, New York, 1994, first edition

Buy It! Indian Herbalogy of North America, by Alma R. Hutchens, Shambala Publications, Inc., Horticultural Hall, 300 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, 1973

Buy It! The Nature Doctor: A Manual of Traditional and Complementary Medicine, by Dr. H.C.A. Vogel; Keats Publishing, Inc., 27 Pine Street (Box 876) New Canaan, CT. 06840-0876. Copyright Verlag A. Vogel, Teufen (AR) Switzerland 1952, 1991

Buy It! The Rodale Herb Book: How to Use, Grow, and Buy Nature’s Miracle Plants (An Organic gardening and farming book), edited by William H. Hylton, Rodale Press, Inc. Emmaus, PA, 18049., 1974

Buy It! Webster’s New World Dictionary, Third College Edition, Victoria Neufeldt, Editor in Chief, New World Dictionaries: A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 15 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10023

Buy It! The Yoga of Herbs: An Ayurvedic Guide to Herbal Medicine, by Dr. David Frawley & Dr. Vasant Lad, Lotus Press, Twin Lakes, Wisconsin, Second edition, 1988.

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