Arnica montana is a tall stemmed, daisy-like plant with a single, yellow flower head. The flowers are approximately two inches in diameter and bloom between May and August. Arnica montana grows as a native perennial throughout Europe, southward into Spain and northward into Scandinavia. Arnica montana favors nutrient-poor, sandy soil at elevations from 4,000 to 9,000 feet above sea level.
Arnica, also known as Leopard’s Bane, Mountain Tobacco, and Wolf’s Bane, has been used for centuries to alleviate muscular pain, bruising, sprains, and inflammation. Applied topically, Arnica montana is believed to disperse stagnant, disorganized fluids from bruised tissue. Arnica montana stimulates white blood cell activity and increases circulation, boosting the body’s self healing mechanism.
Arnica can be used to ease conditions such as tendonitis, carpal tunnel, whiplash, plantar fasciitis, peripheral neuropathy, bruising, or sprains. It can also be used in more dilute forms to boost muscular recovery and enhance circulatory massage.
First Aid For sprained ankle, wrist, knee, etc., use approximately 40 drops of Pure Pro Arnica Therapeutic Concentrate to saturate gauze or cloth to make a poultice. Wrap or pack the joint with the poultice. Apply poultice as quickly as possible after sprain occurs. Alternate every 10 minutes with ice.
Acute ConditionsFor carpal tunnel, whiplash, tendonitis, sports injuries, etc., combine 10 drops of Pure Pro Arnica Therapeutic Concentrate into 1 ounce of carrier oil or lotion and shake well to mix. Massage into injury site 2-3x per day.
General Purpose Combine 5 drops of Pure Pro Arnica Therapeutic Concentrate into 1 ounce of carrier oil or lotion and shake well to mix. Use for massage, minor aches, and relief from the symptoms of fibromyalgia.
Foot Bath In a large basin combine 15 drops of Pure Pro Arnica Therapeutic Concentrate, 1 ounce of pure Dead Sea Salts, 1 ounce of Baking Soda, and 2 gallons of warm water. Stir to mix.
Sunburn After sun or for mild sunburn pain soothe the skin by gently applying Pure Pro Arnica Therapeutic Massage Oil. This oil can be applied directly without diluting.
Acne Combine 4 drops of Pure Pro Arnica Therapeutic Concentrate with 2 drops of Tea Tree essential oil into 1 ounce of Witch Hazel. Shake well to mix before each use. Apply with cotton swab or wash cloth to tone and cleanse the skin. This is a great way to end a treatment when your client has acne prone or oily skin. You can use it anywhere on the body where acne occurs such as the back or shoulders.
Bruising On intact skin only, gently apply 2 or 3 drops of Pure Pro Arnica Therapeutic Concentrate to the bruised tissue 2-3 times a day.
Extracts of Arnica montana can be found in oil, gel, alcohol, or essential oil form and as herbal or homeopathic preparations. The herbal oilextracts are favored most for their potency and efficacy. Gel and alcohol based extracts can be effective but evaporate from the skin much more quickly rather than absorbing in for lasting effects. Topical homeopathic arnica remedies in gel or alcohol form have limited efficacy since they are very dilute. Arnica essential oil is not an oil extract – it is only the volatile essence (fragrance) of the plant and does not contain the complete array of healing constituents found in a whole flower oil infusion such as our Pure Pro Arnica Therapeutic Massage Oil.
Diaphoretic – promotes perspiration
Diuretic – increases secretion of urine
Emollient – softens, soothes skin
Expectorant – promotes discharge of mucous from respiratory tract
Stimulant – speeds physiological processes
Plant actives are extracted from both the flower and the rhizome (root) of the plant. A typical extract will contain the following chemical components:
• Sesquiterpene lactones – known to reduce inflammation and decrease pain
• Tannin – rhizome extract only
• Thymol – antibacterial properties
As with any botanical extract it is important to know the Latin name to insure you are getting the correct healing product. Listed below is the correct botanical categorization for Arnica montana.
Kingdom: Plantae (Plants)
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta (Vascular plants)
Superdivision: Spermatophyta (Seed plants)
Division: Magnoliophyta (Flowering plants)
Class: Magnoliopsida (Dicotyledons)
Family: Asteraceae (Aster family)
Genus: Arnica L. (arnica)
Species: Arnica montana L. (mountain arnica)
** Information given in this presentation handout is provided for informational purposes and is not meant to supercede advice provided by a physician or other medical professionals.
Photo credit: Garden Web’s HortiPlex Plant Database http://hortiplex.gardenweb.com/plants/p1/gw1002968.html
Chiej, R. Encyclopaedia of Medicinal Plants. MacDonald 1984 ISBN 0-356-10541-5
Launert, E. Edible and Medicinal Plants. Hamlyn 1981 ISBN 0-600-37216-2
Mills, S. Y. The Dictionary of Modern Herbalism.
Castro, M. The Complete Homeopathy Handbook. Macmillan. London. 1990 ISBN 0-333-55581-3