Arnica (Arnica montana L.) belongs to the botanical family of Asteraceae, also known as Compositae. It is a perennial herbaceous plant, erect and slightly branched, which can reach seventy centimeters in height. It features large orange-colored capsules with characteristic “spottinati” petals and a pleasant aromatic odor.
The Arnica montana systematically belongs to the Eukaryota Domain, the Kingdom Plantae, the Spermatophyta Superdivision, the Magnoliophyta Division, the Magnoliopsida Class, the Asteridae Subclass, the Asterales Order, the Asteraceae Family, the Asteroideae Subfamily, the Heliantheae Tribes, the Madiinae Subtribution and then the Arnica Genera And the A. montana Species.
Arnica’s etymology is quite controversial. According to some, it may result from an alteration of the late-Latin (phdrmica) which in turn derived from the Greek ptarmikos (sneezing), referring to the sneezing properties associated with the smell of the plant. According to others, however, it would come from the Greek word arnakis (lambskin) referring to the delicate texture of its leaves.
Geographic Distribution and Habitat –
The Arnica mountain grows spontaneously in the Alpine and Prealpine regions. It is located, for example, on the Trentino Alps, the Stelvio National Park, and the Dolomites, but not only. It also grows in Siberia, in several regions of Central Europe and the temperate areas of North America. In general, this medicinal herb loves the damp mountain meadows.
However it is endemic in Europe, from the Iberian Peninsula to Scandinavia and the Carpathians. It is absent from the British Isles and is relatively rare in Italy. It grows in poor soil (thin pastures, heaths and tall peat bogs) and siliceous (acidic substrate); In mountainous areas from 500 to 2500 m. S.l.m. It is absent in the plain.
Unfortunately, because of the increase in intensive crops, it is becoming rare especially in northern regions and is why this plant belongs to the protected flora.
Mountain arnica is a herbaceous plant, perennial, with snow-covered, snow-covered gemstones (emicryptophytes); Its leaves arranged to form a basal rosette (browned).
It is also recognized by rhizomes with horizontal, truncated and blackish roots (fibroids).
The epigenetic part is occasionally branched up with 1-2 pairs of opposite branches. There are two types of hair around the stem: simple, long and patent hair; And short and glandular hairs. In this plant there are two types of leaves: basal and cauline ones.
The inflorescence is characterized by generally solitary heads, or at most 2-3 on opposite branches. The flowering outbreak is viscous. The casing has up to 3 series (usually one) of lanceolate and wicker scales (otherwise called involucral brattees) of length less than that of ligulated flowers; Even this is slightly viscous.
The flowers are on average 5 to 8 cm wide. The receptacle is flat or slightly concave. The headstones are composed of two parts: the zigomorphic flowers (outer part of the peacock) are yellow-golden, long (40 mm), arranged in radius and tridentated at the end; These are often disordered and folded in all directions; The amorphous tubular flowers (the inside of the capolinum) are hermaphrodites and orange or yellow-brown.
The Arnica mountain flowering takes place according to the environment where it grows between May and August.
The fruits are achens of a brown-blackish, pubescent and wrinkled color surmounted by a small yellowish feathered pappo.
For the cultivation technique read the following card.
Uses and Traditions –
Although arnica produces beautiful flowers in the meadows where this plant grows, however, it is best known and used for its medicinal properties. Inside, they contain essential substances and essential oils allied with well-being.
The flowers, completely yellow and daisy-form, are the part used in phytotherapy and herbal medicine.
The lovers of symbology recognize in their color the energy of the sun’s rays. From a more scientific point of view, the properties of arnica flowers and the health benefits associated with their use have caused this herb to gain the title of “panacea lapadosum”.
Among the other natural remedies, arnica is distinguished for its ability to relieve pain with its anti-inflammatory effect and to promote healing from the most diverse injuries, bruises and bruises to the distortions that can be the victim when practicing A sport or even simply distracting your feet on a clumsy or unstable surface.
It is no coincidence that according to the advice of the tradition its uses include the preparation of fresh flowering infusions to treat inflammations, burns, bruises and hematomas with wounds. The ointment has also been used in the treatment of the Fire of St. Anthony.
The active substances contained in the arnica (flavonoids, triterpenes, sesquiterpene lattas such as helenalin and essential oil) confer anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antidolourising and stimulant properties on the circulation, but must only be used externally.
The whole plant (flowers and rhizomes) contains a glucoside (the arnicin with formula C12H22O2) which is similar, as an action, to the camphor. It produces two different essential oils, one located in the flowers and the other in the dried rhizomes. From the plant you can also extract fitisterine, gallic acid and tannins. The roots to taste are very fond of.
In the United Kingdom, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has first registered an arnica based drug called Artrogel.
Internal use has in fact been abandoned because arnica intake in medicinal doses can trigger gastric irritations and other side effects, and currently oral treatments are based on homeopathic remedies of the remedy.
In addition to reducing pain due to trauma such as bumps and falls, arnica also favors the re-absorption of bruises. In addition, some of the substances present in it have been attributed the ability to stimulate cardiac activity, alleviate the pain of angina pectoris and counteract the pressure drops associated with weather changes.
The most frequent uses of arnica are in the event of dimentions, slumps, contusions, hematomas and superficial flea. It can also be used against osteoarthritis and, more generally, muscle and joint pains, fracture edema and hemorrhoids.
Although it is only applied externally, according to some preliminary studies it reduces the pain associated with arthrosis and improves the functionality of the joints affected by the disease as well as a painkiller. Used twice a day for 3 weeks reduces joint stiffness in both knee arthritis and arthritic arthritis.
An infusion of leaves is used as a treatment for external use of traumas and bruises but should not be used on wounds. For this purpose arnica is also used in the form of ointment. In the form of diluted cream or dye, it is used in rheumatic pains and alopecia.
Thanks to its antiseptic properties, it is also used in inflammation of the skin and for local treatment of acne, burns, chapped lips and insect bites. Finally, arnica is sometimes proposed against sore throat and other disorders, often in the form of a homeopathic remedy.
It is a poisonous plant if swallowed. In fact, if swallowed, undiluted dye can cause tachycardia, enteritis, and even a cardiovascular collapse. For these properties, once this plant was used as a poison. Contraindications for accidental ingestion include the ingestion of coal to absorb traces of toxins in the intestine and the ingestion of liquids to dilute the concentration. No antidotes are known.
Arnica is mainly used in the form of ointments, creams or gels, ingestion is contraindicated due to possible side effects.
Products that can be taken orally are homeopathic. In their case arnica treatment is proposed in the case of bruising, muscle pain or associated with surgical procedures (including the extraction of the tooth of the judgment) and diabetes-related visual problems, but evidence of its effectiveness is not sufficient To certify their benefits.
The possibility of taking arnica by mouth in the form of homeopathic products depends on the fact that in these remedies arnica is diluted to such an extent that it is not present in detectable quantities. This feature is the same which generally makes homeopathic remedies safe in children as well, and according to homeopathic items it prevents homeopathic remedies from being effective.
Precautions may be recommended to avoid oral arnica in case of high blood pressure, as it may increase it further.
For the same reason, arnica should not be taken in the event of an accelerated heart rate (could further accelerate) or disturbances to the digestive system such as irritable bowel syndrome, ulcers and Crohn’s disease (because it may irritate the digestive system) .
Generally arnica is considered a safe remedy, at least until it is applied to the skin for short periods of time. In sensitive subjects, however, can cause contact dermatitis.
However, doubts remain regarding the safety of his or her oral intake; Based on these concerns, the Canadian government has even forbidden the use of arsenic as an ingredient in foods.
In fact, if ingestion of arnica can cause liver problems, gastritis, nausea, mouth and throat irritation, vomiting, diarrhea, enterocolitis, headache, arterial hypotension, shortness of breath and palpitations. In the most severe cases, intake of excessively high doses of arnica can damage the heart, increase bleeding and lead to organ failure.
Therefore, oral arnica intake is considered safe only until it is limited to the doses normally found in foods.
Arnica is not only used for medicinal purposes. Its uses also lie in the food industry, which uses arnica to give a flavor to drinks, cold desserts made from dairy products, sweets, jellies and baked goods.
Arnica oil is instead used in cosmetics, where it is used as an ingredient in both perfume and cosmetic products, hair tonics and anti-dandruff preparations.
In some mountainous populations, Arnica is also known as “mountain tobacco” as in the past its leaves were dried and used as nose tobacco.
The name Arnica in antiquity was used several times for different species with generally large yellow capsules (such as Doronico, Senecio and Telekia genres). The first documentation of the Arnica mountain dates back to 1731 with regard to a gardening manual. In France, the name Tabac des Vosges is very common in that the inhabitants of the mountain regions serve as snuff.
Arnica was chosen as a medicinal plant of the year 2001 by the Institute of the History of Medicine in Würzburg, Germany.
Preparation Method –
For its preparation it is necessary to start from the special harvesting times: leaves and flowers in summer; The rhizomes in September-October. During flowering, the whole plant is used.
The yellow flower, which is technically called “peppermint”, is harvested and left to dry in the shade. Flowers will not be ready until they are completely dried.
If flowers are purchased, it is necessary to check that there are no larvae in the so-called arctic fly.
This insect, known to scientists like Phytomyza arnicae, lays its eggs right in the flowers of the arctic, where larvae can grow undisturbed.
Their presence may increase the irritating effect of arena in the skin and may trigger similar reactions to allergies.
For this flower that is contaminated by Phytomizae arnicae larvae, recognizable as tiny black dots, must be discarded.
Another insect which is often referred to as “archaic fly” is Artificial Tephritis (or Trypeta arnicivora). His larvae are also accused of compromising the beneficial properties of the arena.
With arnica you can use the drug in the form of mother tincture (dilution factor 1:10) for rinsing of the oral cavity, ointments, oils and ointments.
An arnica based dye can also be prepared by macerating 10 grams of dried roots in an arnica bowl for 20 days, taking care to blot the infusion once a day.
The liquid obtained after filtration of the macerate must be stored in the dark and the need can be mixed with glycerine and water (in ratio 1: 2: 3) to obtain a solution to make wraps on skin not injured by skin sores or wounds .
Another homemade use of marble is to mix 1 tablespoon of dye with 2 tablespoons of honey to get a kind of cream or ointment for the care of foruncules.
Preparing home made arnica flower remedies is a little less straightforward. The lovers should get water, 30 grams of flowers, half a liter of pure alcohol, a camphor nut and a turpentine.
The recipe plans to let macerate flowers in alcohol for 8 to 10 days. After pouring them, add trementin and camphor, shake until the latter has dissolved and diluted with water.
The ointment obtained is recommended for a massage on areas subjected to stress by rheumatism, but given the methods of preparation there is no guarantee of its effectiveness.
Different is the case with products in which the active ingredients of the marble are quantified precisely. From the flowers, you get the dry extract titrated in a minimum 1% routine, for exterior use only, which can also be used in conjunction with other remedies offered by
No interactions with drugs or other plants are known.
No interactions between arnica and that of particular foods or nutrients are known.
In homeopathic dilation montana arnica, it provides excellent support for the treatment of neurological disorders, depression, and to reduce birth pains.
– Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
– Treben M., 2000. The Health of the Lord’s Pharmacy, Tips and Experiences with Medicinal Herbs, Ennsthaler Publisher
– Pignatti S., 1982. Flora d’Italia, Edagricole, Bologna.
– Conti F., Abbate G., Alessandrini A., Blasi C. (eds.), 2005. An annotated checklist of the Italian vascular flora, Palombi Editore.
Caution: Pharmaceutical applications and surgical uses are indicated for information purposes only; they are not prescription-related in any way; Therefore, no liability is accepted for their use for any aesthetic or food purpose.