We are still researching and writing the content for this herb entry in our Herb Reference Guide. Thanks for your patience as we compile useful information on the more than 150 herbs in our materia medica.

What is Arnica?

As the species name indicates this perennial herb can be found growing in Montana as well as other parts of the northwestern United States. It is native to Europe and is sometimes called Leopard’s Bane or Wolfbane. It’s a member of the Asteraceae family and has brightly colored golden flowers that appear from May through September in its mountainous habitat. It has been used as an herbal medicine historically in all places it grows.

What is Arnica Used For?

The flowers of this plant have been prepared in several ways in order to promote the restoration of overworked muscles and to support the relaxation of muscles.* Tinctures, Homeopathic dilutions, creams, oils, salves and gels can all be found. It is not recommended to use this plant internally without the help of a qualified practitioner. Topical applications have been used to effectively help carry off damaged material in the tissues from trauma or impact.*

Uses and Benefits of Arnica


This information in our Herbal Reference Guide is intended only as a general reference for further exploration, and is not a replacement for professional health advice. This content does not provide dosage information, format recommendations, toxicity levels, or possible interactions with prescription drugs. Accordingly, this information should be used only under the direct supervision of a qualified health practitioner such as a naturopathic physician.

Active Constituents of Arnica

Sesquiterpene lactones (helanalin, dihydrohelanalin), arnicin, flavonoids, volatile oil, mucilage and polysaccharides, and tannins.

Parts Used

  • Flowers

Important Precautions

For topical use only. Do not apply to broken skin.

Additional Resources

Lyss G, Knorre A, Schmidt TJ, Pahl HL, Merfort I. J Biol Chem. 1998 Dec 11;273(50):33508-16.

Schmidt TJ, Brun R, Willuhn G, Khalid SA. Anti-trypanosomal activity of helenalin and some structurally related sesquiterpene lactones. Planta Med. 2002 Aug;68(8):750-1.

*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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