Mountain Daisy (Arnica)
Mountain Daisy, Wolf’s Bane, Leopard’s Bane, Mountain Tobacco
Europe, Estonia, Siberia, Northwestern United States
Arnica Montana is a European flowering plant recognized by its large, yellow flower heads that bloom in July and August. Although uncommon in the United States, it is found in the grassy meadows of central Europe and Siberia. It is most commonly used as an herbal medicine, due to its analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. Although beneficial in small quantities, large doses are toxic and can result in sudden death. Tiny amounts of arnica are used to flavor beverages, desserts, gelatins and puddings. It is also found in hair tonics and anti-dandruff products.
St. Hildegard, a German nun known for her passion for nature, wrote about the healing properties of Arnica Montana in the 12th century. Since then, mountain people in that area have used the plant to treat and relieve aches and bruises.
Arnica Montana has been used as an herbal medicine for centuries. Due to its analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties, it can be applied topically to treat symptoms of osteoarthritis, bruising, and swelling. It is used
by professional athletes to soothe sore muscles, by cosmetic surgeons to relieve post-surgery pain, and to treat bruises and bumps. Its toxicity makes it safe for topical use only – although it can be used internally in an extreme dilution.