Arnica Montana Flowers
Veterinarian Reviewed on June 15, 2012 by Paulina Nelega, RH
Posted in Uncategorized
Arnica Montana Flowers
Arnica Montana flowers (Arnica Montana Compositae), are flowers that grow in the wild in alpine meadows. The flowers are colored orange-yellow that look like daisies with tall stems and few leaves. This plant can grow in high places up to 8,500 feet in height, which gave it its other name of ‘Mountain Tobacco’. Other names for Arnica Montana flowers are Leopard’s Bane, Wolf’s Bane and Mountain Arnica. The plant can grow as tall as two feet and Arnica Montana flowers produce oil used for therapy, such as massage therapy and aromatherapy.
Arnica Montana flowers contain sesquiterpene lactones, flavonoids, volatile oil, phenol carbonic acid, and coumarins. The flowers are about five centimeters in diameter and supported by a tall stem of about twenty to sixty centimeters. Arnica Montana flowers are in bloom during the months of May until late August.
History and Origin
Arnica Montana flowers, is a plant used since the 16th century as medication for muscular aches and pains, bruises, and rheumatism. These plants used to cover the entire regions of America and Europe, particularly from Iberia to Scandinavia and Carpathians. However, Arnica Montana flowers are now becoming rare since it has become increasingly difficult to grow them successfully. It takes a lot of patience and watchful cultivation in a particular type of soil to make them grow properly.
Arnica Montana flowers were used both externally and internally in the past. However, it is presently used more externally than internally. The remaining use of Arnica Montana flowers internally is for homoeopathic remedies.
For several centuries, extracts from Arnica Montana flowers were used for external treatment of black eyes, wounds, contusions, and sprains because of its anti-inflammatory properties. In Russian traditional medicine, Arnica Montana flowers extracts were used for the treatment of myocarditis, angina pectoris, uterine hemorrhage, cardiac insufficiency, and many more uses.
The dark brown and clear liquid extracts from the Arnica Montana flowers are used in the production of numerous types of products such as skin care products, shampoos, skin fresheners, hair products, and hair conditioners. Extracts from Arnica Montana flowers have also been listed by the Food and Drug Administration as natural flavoring essence for food production. The techniques used in preparing the extracts from Arnica Montana flowers are gentle disintegration and hydroalcoholic maceration.
Arnica Montana flowers are also used externally for edema due to fracture, joint problems, dislocations, rheumatic muscle pains, and hematoma. It is also used as a remedy for furunculosis and superficial phlebitis. The different preparations from Arnica Montana flowers have antiphlogistic activity when applied as topical medicine and analgesic and antiseptic activity when used for inflammations. Recent clinical tests have showed that a gel made from fresh flowers is beneficial for the osteoarthritis of the knee.
Prolonged use of Arnica Montana flowers in treating damaged skin, such as injuries, may sometimes cause edematous dermatitis and eczema. Higher concentrates applied to the skin may cause the formation of vesicles or necroses. Toxicologists claim that oral use of Arnica Montana flowers is possibly unsafe due to the presence of helenalin, which may cause poisoning when eaten in large amounts.
Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan