Photos of Arnica montana, Arnica

Arnica is a genus in the aster family with 32 species in northern temperate regions in mountains. The vast majority of arnica species occur in the mountains of western North America, with at least 27 known species. Arnica montana, native to Europe, is the primary species used. The whole plant is used, but most often the flowers. Preparations of arnica flowers have long been a popular folk remedy, used externally in the form of creams, ointments or tinctures for the treatment of sprains, bruises, and in helping to accelerate wound-healing (once the wound is closed). It is seldom used internally because of potential toxicity. Arnica, often associated with homeopathic topical products, is widely used in Europe externally as an antiphlogistic, anti-inflammatory, mild pain reliever, and antiseptic for injuries, sprains, bruising, swelling related to bone fractures, insect bites, rheumatic pains, arthralgia and occasionally for the external treatment of phlebitis. In short, in Europe it is the number one herbal first aid cream, with over 300 products available.

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