Medicinal plants

Arnica: medicinal and poisonous plant

Arnica: medicinal and poisonous plant

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Arnica plant: knowledge from naturopathy

The arnica belongs to the daisy family and combines medicinal plants and poisonous plants. They can be found in the Carpathians, Pyrenees and in the Alps. Another name of the arnica is also “mountain wellness rental”. The leaves are elongated, rosette-like and very close to the ground. Very few, small and round leaves are still on the up to 60 cm long, hairy stem. The flower is yellow and the flower head has a diameter of about six to eight centimeters. It reminds you very much of the flower head of a margarite.


The arnica has tubular flowers. This means that the individual flowers that are close together in the flower head have a long and tubular shape.

The arnica blooms from May to August. This is useful for pollination. Usually the plants are cross-pollinated by butterflies, various beetles, bees, bumblebees and hoverflies. However, if this should not be the case, the arnica is able to pollinate itself. The wind spreads the seeds. Unfortunately, this useful and beautiful plant is considered very endangered and is under nature protection.

A valuable medicinal plant

Their positive effects have long been known for their essential oils and flavonoids. It is considered anti-inflammatory, wound healing and helps the tissue to regenerate. The arnica is said to be useful for all injuries caused by falling and impact. It also relieves joint and muscle problems, phlebitis, bruising and problems with varicose veins. Arnica is used internally as a potency in homeopathy, otherwise internal use as self-medication is not advisable. The external application takes place in a diluted form and even here you should pay attention to the compatibility with the skin.

In Germany, only the extracted tubular flowers are allowed for processing, because careful reading of the plant parts also reduces the allergies among consumers. The arnica fly puts its larvae in the flower. These can increase the risk of allergy, so they must be removed.

Arnica ointment

Arnica is best known for its arnica ointment. The herbal medicinal product consists of oily extracts of arnica flowers and is used for external treatment. For example, it helps with:

  • blunt injuries,
  • Sprains,
  • Bruises,
  • Bruising,
  • Muscle aches,
  • Joint pain.

Arnica oil: recipe

Half fill a jar with screw cap with arnica flowers. Now pour in olive or sunflower oil and put in a sunny place for 2-3 weeks. Strain after this time and pour into a dark bottle. For external use only.

Arnica: myth

The arnica is considered an old magic plant. That is why it bears the popular names Donnerwurz and Johannisblume. On St. John's Day, June 24th at the summer solstice, the flowers are said to have a particularly strong healing power. On the eve of St. John's Day, the farmers marked their fields with bouquets of St. John's wort. This was supposed to protect against the bilge cutter, a grain demon that often made sure the grain was knocked over. However, this should also bring another advantage to the farmers, because the aforementioned arnica fly lays its eggs in the flowers. The arnica is a very strong plant with very strong properties. If you have ruled out an allergic skin reaction, however, it can give you a very strong positive effect. (sb)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.

Sebastian Bertram, Barbara Schindewolf-Lensch


  • Ben-Erik van Wyk, Coralie Wink, Michael Wink: Handbook of Medicinal Plants, Scientific Publishing Company, 3rd edition, 2015
  • Ursel Bühring: Practical textbook on medicinal plants: basics - application - therapy, Karl F. Haug, 4th edition, 2014
  • Thomas Schöpke: Arnica blossoms - Arnicae flos, Institute for Pharmacy, Ernst Moritz Arndt University Greifswald, as of April 2008,
  • Julie D Adkison, David W Bauer, Terence Chang: The Effect of Topical Arnica on Muscle Pain, Annals of Pharmacotherapy, 2010,

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