Also known as arnica flowers, arnica root,
common arnica, leopardsbane, mountain arnica, mountin tobacco and wolfsbane.
Arnica is a perennial plant found in mountainous regions of Canada, the
north of the United States, and in Europe. It has horizontal, dark brown
roots and a hairy, stem which is occasionally lightly branched. The plant
grows to a height of 1 to 2 feet, and has rounded oblong leaves. Yellow,
daisy-like flowers bloom between June and August, with anywhere between 1
and 9 flowers on each plant. The outer tips of the petals are
Arnica is diaphoretic, diuretic, emollient, expectorant,
stimulant and vulnerary. It is mainly used externally as a tincture or salve
to aid in the healing of wounds, bruises and skin irritation. When using a
tincture of the plant, it should be very dilute, as it can sometimes cause
blistering and inflammation when applied to the skin. A tea made from arnica
flowers can be used on the stomach in a compress to relieve abdominal pains.
Some doctors use arnica for internal bleeding and as a cardiac agent. This
plant should never be used medicinally without first seeking medical advice.