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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Arnica montana
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Arnica
Species: A. montana
Binomial name
Arnica montana
Synonyms [1]
  • Doronicum montanum Lam.
  • Doronicum arnica Desf.
  • Doronicum arnica Garsault
  • Doronicum oppositifolium Lam.
  • Arnica helvetica Loudon
  • Arnica petiolata Schur
  • Arnica plantaginisfolia Gilib.

Arnica montana (also known as leopard's bane, wolf's bane, mountain tobacco and mountain arnica),[1] is a European flowering plant with large yellow capitula.


Distribution and habitat

Arnica montana

A. montana is endemic to Europe, from southern Iberia to southern Scandinavia and the Carpathians. It is absent from the British Isles and the Italian and Balkan Peninsulas. A. montana grows in nutrient-poor silicaceous meadows up to nearly 3,000 metres (9,800 ft). It is rare overall, but may be locally abundant. It is becoming rarer, particularly in the north of its distribution, largely due to increasingly intensive agriculture. In more upland regions, it may also be found on nutrient-poor moors and heaths.


A. montana has tall stems, 20–60 centimetres (7.9–24 in) high, supporting usually a single flower head. Most of the leaves are in a basal rosette, but one or two pairs may be found on the stem and are, unusually for composites, opposite. The flower heads are yellow, approximately 5 cm in diameter, and appear from May to August.

Uses and toxicity


Arnica montana is sometimes grown in herb gardens and has long been used medicinally.[2][3] It contains the toxin helenalin, which can be poisonous if large amounts of the plant are eaten. Contact with the plant can also cause skin irritation.[4][5] The roots contain derivatives of thymol,[6] which are used as fungicides and preservatives and may have some anti-inflammatory effect.[7] When used topically in a gel, Arnica was found to have the same effect as the use of NSAIDs (ibuprofen) in treating the symptoms of hand osteoarthritis.[8] A study found that the application of topical Arnica had no better effect than a placebo in the treatment of laser-induced bruising.[9]

Arnica is currently used in liniment and ointment preparations used for strains, sprains, and bruises. Commercial arnica preparations are frequently used by professional athletes. The thymol derivatives concentrated in the plants' roots have been clinically shown to be effective vasodilators of subcutaneous blood capillaries. Arnica preparations used topically have been demonstrated to act as an anti-inflammatory and assist normal healing processes by facilitating transport of blood and fluid accumulations through a dilating action of subcutaneous blood capillaries. If ingested internally, the toxin helenalin produces severe gastroenteritis, and internal bleeding of the digestive tract if enough material is ingested.[10]


  1. ^ a b Judith Ladner. "Arnica montana". Food and Agriculture Organization. Retrieved March 16, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Arnica". Flora of North America. Retrieved March 16, 2010. 
  3. ^ A. L. Butiuc-Keul & C. Deliu (2001). "Clonal propagation of Arnica montana L., a medicinal plant". In Vitro Cellular and Development Biology - Plant 37 (5): 581–585. 
  4. ^ "Poisonous Plants: Arnica montana". North Carolina State University. 
  5. ^ Rudzki E, Grzywa Z (October 1977). "Dermatitis from Arnica montana". Contact Dermatitis 3 (5): 281–282. doi:10.1111/j.1600-0536.1977.tb03682.x. PMID 145351. 
  6. ^ I. Weremczuk-Jezyna, W. Kisiel & H. Wysokińska (2006). "Thymol derivatives from hairy roots of Arnica montana". Plant Cell Reports 25 (9): 993–996. doi:10.1007/s00299-006-0157-y. PMID 16586074. 
  7. ^ P. C. Braga, M. Dal Sasso, M. Culici, T. Bianchi, L. Bordoni & L. Marabini (2006). "Anti-inflammatory activity of thymol: inhibitory effect on the release of human neutrophil elastase". Pharmacology 77 (3): 130–136. doi:10.1159/000093790. PMID 16763380. Retrieved Jnuary 27, 2008. 
  8. ^ R. Widrig, A. Suter, R. Saller & J. Melzer (2007). "Choosing between NSAID and arnica for topical treatment of hand osteoarthritis in a randomised, double-blind study". Rheumatology International 27 (6): 585–591. doi:10.1007/s00296-007-0304-y. PMID 17318618. 
  9. ^ Delilah Alonso, Melissa C. Lazarus & Leslie Baumann (2002). "Effects of topical arnica gel on post-laser treatment bruises". Dermatologic Surgery 28 (8): 686–688. doi:10.1046/j.1524-4725.2002.02011.x. PMID 12174058. Retrieved January 27, 2008. 
  10. ^ Gregory L. Tilford (1997). Edible and Medicinal Plants of the West. Mountain Press. ISBN 0-87842-359-1. 

External links


Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikispecies

Arnica montana


Classification System: APG II (down to family level)

Main Page
Cladus: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiospermae
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: core eudicots
Cladus: Asterids
Cladus: Euasterids II
Ordo: Asterales
Familia: Asteraceae
Subfamilia: Asteroideae
Tribus: Madieae
Genus: Arnica
Species: Arnica montana


Arnica montana L.

Vernacular names

Galego: Árnica, Herba cheirenta
Nederlands: Valkruid, Wolverlei
Русский: Арника горная
Suomi: Etelänarnikki


Data compiled from various sources by Mark W. Skinner. National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.

  • Species Plantarum 2:884. 1753 (type species)
  • USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN) [Online Database]. [1]
Wikimedia Commons For more multimedia, look at Arnica montana on Wikimedia Commons.

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