Mountain Arnica

Arnica Montana is the scientific name of this plant, but it also have a lot of other common names, such as wolf’s bane, leopard’s bane or mountain tobacco.

The Arnica is spread across Europe, Asia and temperate zones of North America. There are about eight varieties of this plant. It usually grow in sandy and rocky soil in hilly areas, but also in the mountain meadows with much sun, but up to a maximum altitude of 2500 meters.

Arnica is a plant species of the genus Arnica, the Asteraceae family, growing in mountain regions, adorning the pastures with its golden-yellow flowers. The people also call it wolf’s bane, leopard’s bane, mountain tobacco. From this plant are used the flowers, rarely the entire plant or even the root.

The plant is made up of a simple 10-40 cm air stalk on which the leaves and branches are oppositely arranged. The stem ends with a yellow-orange inflorescence of 4-6 cm, the middle having a grayish tint. The flowers are surrounded by harsh and glossy bristles. From the plant, the flowers are harvested for the preparation of oils, tinctures and ointments. Fruits are hairy achene with pappus.

From the arnica flowers, in particular, a tincture is prepared which, diluted with water in the proportion of 10-20g per 100g of water, is used as dressing, antiseptic and healing of the wounds. When mixed with lead water, this tincture has the property of decongesting bumps and blows. To one liter of lead water is added 100 g of tincture, making compresses to be applied on swollen or injured places. A 4% infusion, in the form of compresses, refreshes pale skin. With doctor’s advice, it can be used internally as nerves stimulant, 25-50 drops of tincture (purchased from the pharmacy), in the morning and evening, mixed with sweetened water, sugar or tea. Generally, it is not recommended to be used internally, because it causes gastro-enteritis, raises blood pressure, and, in too large amounts, paralyzes nerve centers.

Since 6th century, it was used for its calming proprieties in North America, Germany and Russia. They contain volatile oils, colina, triterpentic alcohols, carotenoidic colorant substances. From the flowers of this plant it’s prepared a tea that is used as gargle for laryngitis.