Arnica Flowers - Arnica Montana
Botanical Name: Arnica Montana
Common Names: European arnica, mountain daisy, leopard's bane, mountain tobacco
What parts of arnica flowers are used?
The flower heads of the plant are used either fresh or dried.
How do you identify arnica flowers and where are they from?
If you see a golden field of daisies thriving along the side of a mountain in Switzerland, the bright green stems swaying in the breeze, you may actually be viewing Arnica Flowers. Similar to daisies, arnica is a perennial with bright yellow-orange flowers that are two to three inches wide.
It gets its name from the Greek word arnica—which means lamb—because of its soft leaves, which apparently reminded the Greeks of the soft fur of a lamb.
This perennial herb thrives at higher elevation, with abundant sunlight, in moist, acidic soils. Originally from the mountains of Europe and Siberia, this flowering shrub is also grown in Western North America.
What do arnica flowers smell like?
Arnica has a faint aroma and spicy flavor.
Generally Prepared: Arnica is most often taken topically, also in homeopathic applications.
Arnica oil is prepared with a 1:5 extraction of Arnica flower blossoms with olive oil or another fine grade oil as a solar infusion.
The ointment is generally prepared with 1 ounce of Arnica flowers and one ounce of olive oil in a double boiler or crock pot for several hours. Then strained through several layers of cheesecloth before decanting into a glass container.
Arnica Flower Bath: Add a handful of Arnica flowers, along with Chamomile or Rosemary placed in bath water.
External Wash: Prepare two teaspoons of dried Arnica flowers with one cup boiling water then strain and cool before use.
Usually Prepared With: Arnica flowers have historically been combined in topical balms, salves and infused oils with other plants such as chamomile, lavender, meadowsweet flowers, poplar buds, red osier dogwood, rosemary, St. John's Wort flowers, willow leaves and bark, to name a few. Other traditional combinations include Arnica with hawthorn berries and valerian root.