Scientific name: Arnica montana

Common names: Leopards Bane, Wolfs Bane, Mountain Tobacco, Arnikabluten, Berwolverleih (German)

Ayurvedic names:

Chinese names: shan jin che

Bangladesh names: Arnica

Arabic names:    زهرة العطاس (zahratu al’ittas)

Rain Forest names:

Family: Asteraceae

Approximate number of species known: 30

Common parts used: Flower

Collection: Summer (leaves); Autumn (root)

Annual/Perennial: Perennial

Height: Up to 1 foot

Actions: Bitter, anti-inflammatory, vulnerary

Known Constituents: 1% (usually 0.3%) viscous volatile oil, fatty acids, palmitic acid, linoleic acid, myristic acid, linolenic acid; terpenes, thymol, thymol methyl ether, 4- hydroxy-thymol dimethyl ether, isobutyric acid thymyl ether; resins, arnicin (bitter principle), sesquiterpene lactones (helenalin, 11α,13-dihydrohelenalin, 11α,13-dihydrohelenalin esters, 2β-ethoxy-6-O-isobutyryl 1-2, 3-dihydrohelenalin, 6-O-isobutyryltetrahydrohelenalin); tannin, arnisterin sterol, carotenoids (α- and β-carotene, cryptoxanthin, lutein); flavonoids (astragalin, betuletol, 6-methoxy-kaempferol, hispidulin, isoquercetin, jaceosidin, pectolinarigenin); coumarins (umbelliferone, scopoletin), phenolic acids (p-hydroxybenzoic, p-coumaric, gentisic, ferulic, caffeic, vanillic); the leaves include pseudoguaianolides (arnifolin, arnicolides A, B, C, and D, loliolide); glycosides, alkaloids, polyacetylenes

Constituents Explained:


A wildflower native to Europe and Western Asia, indigenous to temperate zones of western North America and the mountains of Europe and Siberia. 

Located in loam, peat and sandy areas.

Leaves are downy, egg-shaped and bright yellow arranged in a rosette with a slightly leathery surface. The higher leaves are toothed on the edges; the lower leaves are more rounded in shape.

Flowers are big, daisy-like, yellow and orange, about 7cm wide with lots of flat florets and about a dozen rayed ones. They are slightly fragrant, and in general the entire plant is aromatic, especially when the leaves are torn and rubbed. Harvested in full bloom. 

Rhizomes are unearthed after the plant has died back in the fall.

Root is deep, the stem usually branch-less, reaching 30 to 60 centimetres high. 

Arnica has been harvested in many countries round the word and is now a protected species in Germany.

Traditional Use: 

Arnica is valued for its external treatment of bruises and sprains, for improving the local blood supply, and speeding up healing. It increases the rate of absorption of internal bleeding.

Generally, the plant is now taken only as a homeopathic remedy for shock, injury, or pain. 

has been used successfully in the treatment of epilepsy; also for seasickness, 3 X before sailing, and every hour on board till comfortable. 

For tender feet a foot-bath of hot water containing 1/2 oz. of the tineture has brought great relief. Applied to the scalp it will make the hair grow

Long before, it was used in the treatment of angina and a weak or failing heart, but it is rarely used because of its toxicity risk.

Herbalists worldwide find it effective in treating wounds, hemorrhoids, toothache, sore muscles, bronchitis, stomachache, diarrhea, and menstrual cramps.

In Russian folk medicine, it is used to treat uterine hemorrhaging, myocarditis, arteriosclerosis, angina, exhaustion, cardiac insufficiency, sprains, contusions, and hair loss from psychological causes.

It is also widely used for such conditions as rheumatic pain, superficial phlebitis, muscle aches, swellings, skin reactions to insect bites, and on the scalp to promote circulation to the scalp.

In some cases irritation to the skin can arise from external use.

Clinical Studies: 

The use of topical preparations for symptom relief is common in osteoarthritis. The effects of ibuprofen (5%) and arnica (50 g tincture/100 g), as gel preparations in patients with radiologically confirmed and symptomatically active osteoarthritis of interphalangeal joints of hands, were evaluated in a randomised, double-blind study in 204 patients, to ascertain differences in pain relief and hand function after 21 days’ treatment. 

Diagnosis was according to established criteria; primary endpoints were pain intensity and hand function; statistical design was as per current regulatory guidelines for testing topical preparations.

There were no differences between the two groups in pain and hand function improvements, or in any secondary end points evaluated. Adverse events were reported by six patients (6.1%) on ibuprofen and by five patients (4.8%) on arnica. The results confirmed that this preparation of arnica is not inferior to ibuprofen when treating osteoarthritis of hands.

Another study was undertaken to understand how Arnica D4 is as efficacious as diclofenac in relation to symptoms and wound healing after foot surgery. 

In this randomized double-blinded, parallel-group study, the efficacy of Arnica D4 10 pillules (taken orally, 3 times per day) and diclofenac sodium, 50 mg (taken orally, 3 times per day) were investigated for equivalence in 88 patients 4 days after hallux valgus surgery. 

Outcome parameters were postoperative irritation, patient mobility, rated pain, and use of analgesics. The hierarchic equivalence test based on one-sided Wilcoxon-Mann-Whitney-U confidence intervals (CIs) was used.

The result of the study was Arnica D4 and diclofenac were equivalent for wound irritation and patient mobility. A descriptive analysis showed the superiority of Arnica D4 with respect to patient mobility. With respect to pain, Arnica D4 was inferior to diclofenac. No significant differences were found regarding the use of additional analgesics during the 4 postoperative days. 

Arnica D4 was significantly better tolerated than diclofenac. Nine patients (20.45%) of the diclofenac group and 2 (4.5%) of the Arnica D4 group reported intolerance. There was no disturbance in wound healing in any of the patients. Arnica D4 is 60% cheaper than diclofenac. After foot operations, Arnica D4 can be used instead of diclofenac to reduce wound irritation.


Widrig R, Suter A, Saller R, Melzer J. “Choosing Between NSAIDs And Arnica For Topical Treatment Of Han Osteoarthritis In A Randomized, Double-Blind Study.” 2007 April.

Karow JH, Abt HP, Frohling M, Ackermann H. “Efficacy Of Arnica Montana D4 For Healing Of Wounds After Hallux Valgus Surgery Compared To Diclofenac.” 2008 January-February.

Source material:


Other names: leopard’s bane, mountain tobacco

Latin name: Arnica montana

Family: Compositae

Common part used: roots, flowers

Arnica plant is a perennial herb, indigenous to temperate zones of western North America and the mountains of Europe and Siberia. 

The root of the arnica plant is deep, the stem is usually without branches and thirty to sixty centimeters high. The leaves are arranged in a rosette; they are opposite and have a kind of leathery surface. The higher leaves are toothed on the edges and a little bit hairy, and the lower leaves have a more rounded shape.

The flowers are big, yellow and orange in color; around seven centimeters wide, with lots of flat florets and about a dozen rayed ones.  The flowers of this plant have a slight fragrance. In general, the entire plant is quite aromatic, especially if onr tears the leaves and rubs them. 

The plant has great medicinal value, though they are seldom used as an internal remedy, because of their negative effect on the stomach. As for external use, it has been employed for a long time, especially in the countries where the arnica plants are indigenous. It is famous for its healing qualities when it comes to applications on the wounds, sprains, scratches, bruises and other kinds of external injures. It is also widely used for such conditions as rheumatic pain, superficial phlebitis, muscle aches, swellings and skin reactions on insect bites. 

Also Arnica is often used in homeopathy, including internal use, though one should be very careful with that and follow the instructions carefully.  

Adding the extract of the arnica plant into a bath tub with warm water will help to relax while having a bath, and applying it to the scalp will reduce hair loss and will make the hair grow.