Arnica spp. – Arnica

ArnicaArnica spp.

= ar-ni-ka, from Greek arnakis (lambskin) from the texture of the leaves;

montana = mon-tah-na, “of the mountains”;

Identification: Arnicas are perennial herbs growing from a rootstock 2 – 5 cm long. They have erect stems and stand 15 – 60 cm tall. The leaves are opposite, simple, entire or toothed. The composite flower head is yellow and flowering is from July – August.

Distribution & Habitat: It can be found in mountainous regions throughout the Rocky Mountains. There are many species, all of which have similar properties, even though Arnica montana is usually considered the official herb.

Preparation & Uses: Arnica is well known to both herbalists and homeopaths as a stimulant and nervine. This herb is almost always used in the form of a tincture. Once you´ve had need to use it, you will never want to be far away from it. It is the best remedy I known for taking the pain out of sprains, bruises, and breaks. Used as an external liniment it will do wonders and everyone is always amazed at how fast it works. It should not be used if the skin is broken and the area is bleeding as it is toxic if it enters the bloodstream.

This herb should not be use internally, except under special conditions, because it can cause blistering of the intestinal tract. Homeopathic preparations can be taken internally and give similar sorts of results.