Herbaceous plant 20-70 cm high; ground rhizome
and only one erect stem. Leaves group in basal rosettes and are displayed in
pairs of opposite shoots at right angles to pair below. The lymb is oval and
with a whole margin. The flowers are terminal and start in the upper leave
axil. They are long hemispheral peduncles in cymose groups. Involucre is of
lanceolate bracts, sharp and hairy. Flowers are tubulous and ligulate in
yellow-orange color. The flowers in the peripheral with a ligule are female.
The inner ones have an actinomorphic corolla and are hermaphrodite. Fruit is a
black pilose achenium about 6-10
mm long topped by a row of simple setae that form the
pappus. Fruit is covered with hairs. It belongs to the Compositae (Ateraceae)
This plant is native to Europe and Asia. It is found in 700 to 2,500 mts above sea level
(Alps, Pyrenees and Cantabric Mountains), in woods and
mountain pastures on acid, siliceous soil in cold weather and snow in the
winter. It may become extinct in part of its range in many
European countries due to the ecological damage to its habitat. It is harvested
during blooming (June and August). Flowers should be collected immediately once
they bloom before they die and flies attack them. As insects are likely to
oviposit in them right after blooming, they should be collected as soon as
possible, it is, by the end of spring. Sometimes, roots are also collected as
they are rich in some active principles. They might be collected in September.
arnica is scarce and hard to find, therefore rooting out the plant means to
lose the whole plant. That’s why in countries where arnica is not an abundant
plant, it is recommended to use only the head, and leave the roots safe for a
new harvest the following year.
Flowers. Sometimes, from the Arnica montana L. or Arnica chamissonis Less. ssp. foliosa [(Nutt.) Maguire] the root is
used as well.
In general, it is recommended to use it
traumatisms, hematomas, ecchymosis, bruises, sprains, dislocations.
> Rheumatic originated
musculoskeletal disorders: neuralgias, tendonitis, myalgias, arthrosis,
arthritis, and arthralgias.
> Mucosa inflammation:
stomatitis, gingivitis, aphthous ulcer, tonsillitis and pharyngitis
(mouthwashes or gargles).
> Edema by fractures
and chronic venous deficiency.
> Acne, itch, hives,
furunculosis and inflammations caused by insect bites.
phlebitis, thrombophlebitis, chilblains.
> Nervous alopecia
(when hair loss is due to an anxiety state).
Some authors do not recommend arnica internal
use orally taken due to its irritant effect in the mucosa (helenalin) and might
produce even hemorrhage and for its heart stimulant effect. On the other hand,
some authors state there is no risk involved in using arnica internally.
> Fever, common cold, unproductive coughing,
> Uterine hemorrhages.
> Phlebitis, arteriosclerosis, heart