Arnica montana: properties and uses

Arnica montana: properties and uses

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Arnica montana, a protected medicinal plant and one of the most used in the world, protected and therefore difficult to produce industrially. Too bad, given its numerous and valid benefits, but let's not despair. If we really cannot take the opportunity of mountain arnica, there are other species of arnica, such as the Arnica Chamissonis, on which to fall back without being disappointed.

Returning to our protected area, which remains the best, the period for leaves and flowers is summer, while for the part of the roots it runs in September-October. It is curious that in France the mountain arnica is often called Tabac des Vosges, because of the "fault" of the inhabitants of the mountain regions who use it as a snuff.

The name has Greek origins, most likely. There are those who lead it back to ptarmikos (sneezing) alluding to the smell of the plant, there are those who always prefer the word in Greek arnakis (lambskin) to describe the delicate texture of the leaves. The first official news of the presence of mountain arnica dates back to 1731 when it appeared in a gardening manual.

Arnica montana: the plant

L'Arnica montana belongs to the family of Asteraceae, is a plant defined glandular and with an erect and moderately robust stem, reaches a height of 60 cm and produces flowers formed by large flower heads. They are yellow, deep yellow tending towards orange, and a little "disheveled" but fragrant.

On a biological level themountain arnica it is browned hemicryptophyte. Hemicryptophilic means that it is perennial and with buds that are at ground level, protected from snow. Rosolata refers to the leaves that form a sort of rose at the base of the plant. Then there are the roots, filiform rhizomes tending to the horizontal and blackish in color.

The leaves ofmountain arnica they are of two types of leaves, those at the base are oval and leathery, a little hairy on top, while the others, not always present, are lanceolate and smaller. Coming to the flowers, which appear in May and remain until August, there are flower heads, 5 to 8 cm wide. Outside there is a sort of sunburst with small, golden yellow flowers, inside this golden embrace the so-called "tubular" flowers sprout: they are hermaphroditic and orange or yellow-brown in color.

Finally, the fruits, of mountain arnica: they are blackish-brown achenes, wrinkled and with a small yellowish feathery pappus: the flowers are better. Find themountain arnica it is not very simple, in Italy it is a plant considered rare. It is endemic in Europe, from the Iberian Peninsula to Scandinavia and the Carpathians, in the British Isles it is not seen. In general, it prefers poor and siliceous soils, altitudes between 500 and 2500 m and the climate is not hot.

Arnica montana: properties and what it is for

Often used as a remedy in herbal medicine, for example,mountain arnica it has many interesting properties also for trauma and pain but it is poisonous if ingested. This must be remembered and will repeat it several times. When we use it, external use I mean, by trauma and bruises we must be very careful not to use it directly on wounds: we can make an infusion of leaves or apply it in the form of ointment.

For rheumatic pains and alopecia themountain arnica In the form of a cream or diluted tincture, it is perfect, and in homeopathy, it is one of the favorite remedies for muscle aches and in the long-term treatment of trauma, for shock, bruises, tears, arthritis and flu pains.

Furthermore, both the flowers and the roots ofmountain arnica have a similar effect to that of camphor, because they both contain glucoside. It is also possible to obtain essential oils, one from the flowers and the other from the dried rhizomes, while phytisterin, gallic acid and tannin are also extracted from the plant.

Arnica in pregnancy

Being recommended as a homeopathic medicine for various types of trauma and pain, themountain arnica it is also excellent during pregnancy and childbirth: it prevents bleeding and improves the general recovery. Excellent not only for labor, it can be stocked up because recovery during post partum may require it, even in the case of a cesarean, indeed!

In sweet waiting, if there are not very sweet moments due to the movements of the fetus, this medicinal plant can be a good friend. At the birth of the child and while taking the first steps and the first falls, themountain arnica it is more and more useful, in a homeopathic form, in case of “tumbles” that cause bruises or bruises, or of sprains and blows taken while running or playing.

Arnica gel

Thinking of children and their banging a little everywhere sometimes without even saying "ouch" because they are playing, I recommend this gel to themountain arnica for less than 10 euros. That's 100ml of cure-all in case of bruises and bumps. It doesn't just work with children but with all of us. And in all cases it should never be applied to abrasions, wounds or cuts. Only on intact skin.

Arnica tablets

Another way to take mountain arnica and enjoy its benefits, in this case more long-term and for less "bump" pain, is through tablets to swallow.

Arnica warnings

If ingested, the tincture of mountain arnica undiluted can cause tachycardia, enteritis and even cardiovascular collapse. In general it is poisonous if ingested, we avoid doing it and the reasons are well explained in our article "Arnica montana: natural anti-inflammatory“ .

The other side of the coin, and of mountain arnica, is its use, in other eras, as a poison voluntarily administered to who knows what enemy. Things from "The Name of the Rose", let's just spread it on our bumps or those of relatives and friends.

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Video: How To Use Arnica (February 2023).