Arnica Arnica montana

Arnica flower

Arnica montana

Common Name(s): Arnica flos, Leopard's bane, Mountain snuff, Mountain tobacco, Sneezewort

Parts used:  Root, flower


Arnica and its extracts have been widely used in folk and homeopathic medicine as a treatment for acne, boils, bruises, rashes, sprains, pains, and wounds. 

It has been found to contain a collection of sesquiterpene lactones, which include helenalin, dihydrohelenalin, arnifolin, and arnicolide and are thought to be responsible for its anti-inflammatory action. Both helenalin and dihydrohelenalin have been found to reduce edema (swelling) and inflammation. When one has an injury, the site quickly becomes swollen and painful. Arnica has been shown to reduce this inflammation, thereby speeding the healing process and reducing discomfort.


Arnica is classified as an unsafe herb by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) because of its toxicity and should not be administered orally or applied to broken skin where absorption can occur. No consensus exists on topical dosing, and evidence from clinical trials is lacking to support therapeutic dosing. In homeopathic use, less concentrated strengths, such as 12C, 200C, 1M (1,000C), and 10M (10,000C) (C = centisimal dilution [1 part in 100]; M = millesimal dilution [1 part in 1,000]), are recommended for use before and after surgery.


Contraindications have not been identified.

Science has also revealed that Arnica contains liver toxic compounds! This means that it should only be used externally and should not be used internally.


Avoid use. Uterine stimulation has been documented.


None well documented.

Adverse Reactions

Homeopathic doses of arnica are unlikely to result in any adverse reactions because of the small amount ingested. Arnica irritates mucous membranes and causes stomach pain, diarrhea, and vomiting. Allergy and contact dermatitis have been reported.

Arnica Uses, Benefits & Dosage - Herbal Database

Common Name: Arnica | Scientific Name: Arnica Montana -