Arnica montana

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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
L.
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, known commonly as leopard's bane, wolf's bane, mountain tobacco and mountain arnica,[1] is a European flowering plant with large yellow capitula.

Arnica has been used in herbal medicine.[2]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

Arnica montana

Arnica 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 siliceous 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.

Form[edit]

A. montana has tall stems, 20–60 centimetres (7.9–23.6 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[edit]

Arnica montana is sometimes grown in herb gardens and has long been used medicinally.[3][4] It contains the toxin helenalin, which can be poisonous if large amounts of the plant are eaten. It produces severe gastroenteritis and internal bleeding of the digestive tract if enough material is ingested.[5][medical citation needed] Contact with the plant can also cause skin irritation.[6][7] The roots contain derivatives of thymol,[8] which are used as fungicides and preservatives and may have some anti-inflammatory effect.[9] When used topically in a gel at 50% concentration, Arnica montana was found to have the same effect when compared to a 5% ibuprofen gel for treating the symptoms of hand osteoarthritis.[10][non-primary source needed]

Arnica gel is often sold as a homeopathic medicine, in which case the concentration of arnica within it is lower than an undiluted gel.[11] For example, Boiron's version of the gel is indicated as "1X" concentration (see homeopathic dilutions), which would result in a 1/10 dilution of the actual arnica.[12]

Arnica montana fruits and seeds

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Judith Ladner. "Arnica montana". Food and Agriculture Organization. Archived from the original on February 13, 2010. Retrieved March 16, 2010. 
  2. ^ Knuesel, O.; Weber, M.; Suter, A. (2002). "Arnica montana gel in osteoarthritis of the knee: An open, multicenter clinical trial". Advances in Therapy 19 (5): 209–218. doi:10.1007/BF02850361. PMID 12539881.  edit
  3. ^ "Arnica". Flora of North America. efloras.org. Archived from the original on April 4, 2010. Retrieved March 16, 2010. 
  4. ^ 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. doi:10.1007/s11627-001-0102-2. JSTOR 4293517. 
  5. ^ Gregory L. Tilford (1997). Edible and Medicinal Plants of the West. Mountain Press. ISBN 0-87842-359-1. 
  6. ^ "Poisonous Plants: Arnica montana". North Carolina State University. 
  7. ^ Rudzki E, Grzywa Z (October 1977). "Dermatitis from Arnica montana". Contact Dermatitis 3 (5): 281–2. doi:10.1111/j.1600-0536.1977.tb03682.x. PMID 145351. 
  8. ^ I. Weremczuk-Jezyna, W. Kisiel & H. Wysokińska (2006). "Thymol derivatives from hairy roots of Arnica montana". Plant Cell Reports 25 (9): 993–6. doi:10.1007/s00299-006-0157-y. PMID 16586074. 
  9. ^ 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): 130–6. doi:10.1159/000093790. PMID 16763380. Retrieved January 27, 2008. 
  10. ^ 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): 585–91. doi:10.1007/s00296-007-0304-y. PMID 17318618. 
  11. ^ http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-160090/Does-Arnica-really-work.html
  12. ^ http://www.boironusa.com/info/

External links[edit]