Arnica Montana – All you need to know

Alternative Health

 Arnica Montana


Arnica Montana, commonly known as Leopard’s bane, is a European flowering (bright yellow flowers similar to daisy, bright green leaves) plant.

See how Arnica Mont is prepared by Boiroin

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Homeopathic Arnica Montana is US FDA approved and regulated.

[24] The German Commission E approved the external (topical) use of arnica preparations for injuries and for consequences of accidents, e.g., hematoma, dislocations, contusions, edema due to fracture, rheumatic muscle and joint problems. It is also approved for use in inflammation of the oral and throat region, furunculosis, inflammation caused by insect bites, and superficial phlebitis. The Commission reports that Arnica has shown antiseptic activity.


The plant is rich in inulin which is used as a natural sweetener. Its ash is rich in manganese which is used as natural anti-oxidant. The other components of the plant include [25]:

Antioxidant compounds (flavonoids, polyphenols, lignans, carotenoids, and chlorogenic acid derivatives).

Flowers are rich in flavonoids (0.4-0.6%) and essential oils (0.2-0.5%). The sesquiterpene lactone composition in flowers (0.5-0.9%) strongly depends on the geography and its amount increases with flower maturity. Flowers from high altitudes mainly contain helenalin, while those from lower meadows are richer in dihydrohelenalin.

Seeds are richest in polyphenols and flavonoids.

Roots and underground stems mainly contain essential oils.


Arnica, the queen of plants in Homeopathy, is one of the greatest medicine ever known to mankind. Today, Arnica is the darling homeopathic medicine used throughout the world. It is used by homeopaths, herbalists, surgeons, physicians and physiotherapists.

Arnica is used to make both herbal and homeopathic medicine. Herbally the plant has been used as a cardiac tonic for weak and weary heart [1]. In Homeopathy, as a polychrest remedy, it was first introduced and potentised by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann. The whole plant is used for the homeopathic remedy.

Generations of Swiss mountain guides chewed arnica leaves to prevent fatigue induced by climbing [1]. At least the 16th century, people in the Alpine mountain ranges in Europe have used it to relieve muscle aches and bruises [2].

1. Pain and Inflammation: The roots of Arnica plant contains derivative of thymol which has anti-inflammatory effect [3]. Arnica is applied topically to the unbroken skin as a cream, ointment, gel, lotion and tincture for pain and swelling associated with aches, wounds, broken bones [4] and muscle/cartilage/joint pains as well as treatment of burns [4]. It is also taken orally by mouth for a sore throat, sore gums and insect bites.

[1] As Dr. Massimo Mangialavori (from Italy) so eloquently phrased it, it is a remedy for “someone who does not forget pains” [click to tweet]. Indeed the Arnica constitution is one who attracts pain on every level.

2. Injuries: Arnica lessens the tenderness of sprains and contusions. It reduces bruise discolourisation. It is also used for soft tissue injuries (e.g. smashed fingers). Arnica should be called for after traumatic injuries of the organs of the body when the concussed part becomes ecchymosed and there is diffusion of blood from capillaries arnica should be called for [5].

3. Trauma and Accidents:  [6] Arnica is a big shock remedy and often the person needing it will say they are fine and that nothing is wrong when there clearly is, and when spoken to will answer slowly with effort. The classic arnica will have a terrible accident then get up saying ‘I am all right’ and maybe order a taxi home… whilst their head gushes blood.

Most homeopathic physicians would concur that homeopathic Arnica can significantly reduce morbidity in trauma patients and can reduce complications and help speed recovery even in cases of internal bleeding [21].

4. Oversue/overexertion: [7] One of the most important symptoms of Arnica one should remember is- pain in the part/organ that is used a lot more. The fatigue from this overuse leads to sore pain. For example- if a person develops a sore throat after talking incessantly for long hours, Arnica will help him get rid of this soreness almost immediately.

5. Cosmetics: As hair oil and shampoo, as a mouthwash for mouth ulcers, etc.

Caution: Since arnica is used to thin blood it should not be used before the surgery otherwise it may lead to excessive bleeding

Arnica is so much popular in Europe that there is a Hotel ‘Madonna di Campiglio’ in its name in the mountain ranges ‘Dolomites’ in North-East Italy [1].


The sensation of pain of Arnica is as if beaten and bruised [8]. Movement makes the pain worse [9]. In contortion and sprain, Arnica is indicated where there is the specific restlessness and a feeling of being battered [10]. In dislocation and luxation with violent pains, swelling, impaired mobility where the extremity is deformed or altered direction Arnica is indicated [11]. In tennis elbow, Arnica is indicated, as well as Ruta [12].

For fever, Arnica may be the right choice if there is shivering and cold all over the body, but the head is red and hot, or where there is coldness of the extremities, but internally the sensation is one of heat.  Arnica is for nosebleed after coughing, for swelling of the throat in acute tonsillitis, and the hoarseness of the voice after an extensive talk. [22].

Read the details about Arnica Montana in the following Materia Medicas.

KeyNotes by Dr. H C Allen

Clinical Materia Medica by Dr. E A Farrington

Materia Medica and Repertory by Dr. C. Boenninghausen

Materia Medica by Dr. A.Lippe

Materia Medica and Repertory by Dr. W Boericke

Materia Medica by Dr Nash

Materia Medica by George Vithoulkas

Arnica Montana – The Essential Features , Materia Medica Viva, Volume 1 by George Vithoulkas

ARNICA – Top remedy for any bruising injury, ragged cut, head injury, broken bones. ~ Lotus Materia Medica by Robin Murphy


As per CORE-Hom Database of clinical trials in Homeopathy, Arnica Montana is most often used remedy (n=103). In research trials, Arnica has been used in Mother Tincture form and up to 30X/200C potency. Those studies where arnica is used along with other remedies have been excluded.

1. Bruising

Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery
Effect of Homeopathic Arnica montana on Bruising in Face-lifts (2006) FULL TEXT
DBRPCT, n=129, Arnica every 8 hours for 4days    post-operation , significant difference in favour of homeopathy on day 1 (p<0.005) and day 7 (p<0.001), SIGN level=1-

2. Pain

Arnica montana 30C for post-tonsillectomy analgesia (2007) FULL TEXT
DBRPCT, pain after tonsils  removal, Arnica group had a significantly larger drop in pain score from day 1 to day 14 (28.3) compared to the placebo group (23.8)

Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine
Use of Arnica 6x to relieve pain after carpal-tunnel release surgery (2002)
DBRPCT, n=37 , time= 2 weeks, Oxford Quality score=5/5, arnica 3 times per day

3. Inflammation

Complementary Therapies in Medicine
Arnica 30x vs placebo for patients receiving knee ligament reconstruction surgery (2006)
DBRPCT, n=57, p=0.019, Oxford Quality score=5/5

4. Fibromyalgia (Pain and Inflammation in muscles) (earlier called as fibrostis)

British Homoeopathic Journal
(Arnica or Bryonia 6c or Rhus Tox) vs placebo for fibrostis (1986)
DBPCT, n=24, t=3 months, significant improvement in pain (p<0.05) and sleep (p<0.05Jadad    score=3

5. Muscle Soreness

Effect of Arnica 30X on muscle soreness in marathon runners (2003) // DBRPCT

Complementary Therapies in Medicine
Effects of the Arnica 30X vs placebo on 1995 Oslo marathon runners (1998) FULL TEXT
DBRPCT, n=71, reduces muscle soreness immediately after the marathon (p=0.017). Sign level=1+, Arnica 30x 5 pills twice a day for 3 days

Journal of the American Institute of Homeopathy
Arnica montana 1X and 6C Applied Topically to Subcutaneous Mechanical Injuries (1996)
DBPCT, n=141, effective at relieving post-exercise muscle soreness

6. Tooth Extraction

Ärztezeitschrift fuer Naturheilverfahren
Effect of Arnica montana 6 cH on edema, mouth opening and pain in patients submitted to extraction of impacted third molars (2005) FULL TEXT // DBRPCT

7. OsteoArthritis

Advanced Therapies
Arnica montana gel in osteoarthritis of the knee (2002)
Primary Health Care Study, Reduction in pain and stiffness, and a significant improvement in the functional ability of the knee

8. Surgical Conditions

The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine
Arnica montana 4X for Healing of Wounds After Hallux Valgus (foot) Surgery Compared to Diclofenac 50 mg (2008)
DBRCT, n=88, t=4 days, Arnica 10 globules 3 times a day for 4 days, Diclofenac 50 mg 3 times a day for 4 days, Both Arnica and Diclofenac therapeutically equivalent in wound irritation (p=0.049), swelling and patient mobility, arnica 60 % cost-effective than diclofenac, Arnica better tolerable in Homeopathy group (intolerance of 2/44 in Homeopathy group compared to 9/44 in diclofenac group), SIGN level=1-

9. DNA Damage

Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine
Arnica 30c reduces DNA damage in E.coli (2012)


Arnica Montana is part of Relief-Aid for many athletes, sports doctor and coaches.

“I explained how and why homeopathy acts. The greatest value in sports? Its speed of action. I can use it directly on the soccer field, within seconds of the trauma, and note the results almost immediately. For example, in traumatology with Arnica, and without any adverse reactions on the stomach or liver”. [14]
-Jean-Marcel Ferret, doctor to the French soccer team from 1993 to 2004, the period which included their World Cup win

“I use remedies such as Ruta grav, which helps treat sprained ligaments, Gelsemium for pre-race jitters, Arnica for bruising and Bellis perennis to treat exertion. They all offer athletes a natural ­alternative to traditional and sometimes harmful medicines.” [15] -James Ellington, British Olympic sprinter and 2nd fastest sprinter in UK

“I am a fan of arnica and recommend all the Athletes in my Street Athletics programme have it in their kit bag to help with sprains and strains.” [16]
-Linford Christie, UK, 1992 Barcelona Olympic 100m sprint Champion

“And at home we all rely on homeopathic medicine. When I or one of the children [Amber, Charlie, 13, and Lily, 11] have a cold, we take pulsatilla. And I always have handy some arnica for bruises, calendula for cuts and grazes, belladonna for a throbbing head, and nux vomica which I take after the occasional over-indulgence. It gets rid of that ‘uhhh’ feeling in the morning.” [17]
– Annabel Croft, Lawn Tennis Player, UK

“When I fall on the ice, I treat my bruises with arnica tablets or cream, which seems to help” [18]
– Jayne Torvill, Skating

“On the field, with the slightest trauma, I prescribe Arnica. I always have tubes and doses on me.” [14]
– Dr. Philippe Lageyre, sports doctor, he accompanies the rugby teams

Zaheer Khan, a player of Indian Cricket Team, used arnica for “tightening of quadriceps” [19]

Pierre Barrieu, a former head fitness coach for the United States Men’s National Soccer Team, had been treating players with arnica pellets and topical formulations since 2002. “Basically, it was to relieve the effects of blows and bruises (i.e., prevent swelling and bleeding) when applied in a timely manner,” he wrote in an e-mail. “It’s best to apply as early as possible after the traumatic event. We also used it to accelerate the recovery, because arnica decreases the inflammation. And finally, it was used to prevent cramps.” [23]


[20] Most of the sports injuries are of the traumatic type such as a bruise, muscle strain, ligament sprain, fractures, etc. Others include muscle soreness, muscle cramps, stiffness, cuts and abrasions. Homeopathic medicines speed up the healing process and get the sportsperson back to training and performing more quickly. The evidence of the benefit of homeopathic medicines as a leading sports medicine all throughout the world is well established.


“Do not forget Arnica to combat the shock we get in terrible accidents; it is better than an opiate”. ~ Dr. Charles A Dixon


Arnica: UK Parents’ Support Network


Arnica Montana awarded “Best Homeopathic Remedy”, Vity Awards 2013 as well as Vity Awards 2014, Vitamin Retailer Magazine

2006: Arnica gel (Atrogel) was the first homeopathic product to be registered by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency in UK


  1. Arnica Montana
  2. Arnica Montana
  3. Anti-inflammatory activity of thymol
  4. Arnica
  5. Arnica: a wonderful medicine
  6. An Athletes Relief Aid
  7. Arnica Montana- Lot More than Mere an Injury Medicine
  8. Uta Mittelstadt. Materia Medica of common Remedies for Sports Injuries
  9. Clarke J. A Dictionary of Practical Materia Medica. B. Jain Publishers, New Delhi, 1994
  10. Beuchelt H Praxis Homöopathie. Leipzig: Georg Thieme, 1949
  11. Laurie J. Elements of Homeopathic Practice of Physic
  12. Morgan L. Homeopathic treatment of Sports injuries. Vermont: Healing Arts Press, 1988
  13. Nancy Malik. Scientific Research in Homeopathy. Science-based Homeopathy
  14. Homeopathy in Medicine
  15. Homeopathic healing: The stars who swear by alternative medicine
  16. Homeopathy Awareness Week 2012
  17. Annabel Croft: Why I have come to rely on homeopathic medicine
  18. Closer magazine, 24-30 January 2009, p.73
  19. Zaheer Khan takes to Homeopathy
  20. Nancy Malik. Which Sports Persons uses Homeopathy and Why? Science-based Homeopathy
  21. Larry Malerba, Homeopathic Arnica to the Rescue, 11 Nov 2011
  22. Uta Mittelstadt, Must Have Arnica
  23. Seeking Relief Through Arnica, Sept 14, 2011
  24. Herbal Medicine: American Botanical Council
  25. Arnica cream and Homoeopathic Pills

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