Specification & Spread
Arnica flowers — flores arnicae, mountain arnica — arnica montana l.
Chamisso arnica – arnica chamissonis less.
Arnica — arnica foliosa nutt.
Composite family – asteraceae (compositae)
It is a perennial herbaceous plant 20-35 (60) cm tall, with an obliquely ascending short, weakly branched rhizome, up to 1 cm in diameter and 15 cm long.
The rhizome is on a break white. Thin, cord-like roots depart from it. In the first year of life, the plant forms a rosette of 6-8 large leaves, from the second year - generative shoots. The rosette leaves broad and oblong-elliptic, entire, pubescent.
The stem is one, erect, weakly branched at the top.
The pedicellate leaves are opposite, sessile, lanceolate or oblong-obovate, entire, pubescent on top, naked below. On the tops of the stem and branches inflorescences are formed - baskets up to 5 cm in diameter, resembling a yellow chamomile.
The marginal flowers are false-lingual, pistillate, including 14–20, orange or yellow.
The median flowers are numerous (up to 100), tubular, yellow, lighter than marginal.
The fruit is a pubescent dark grey achene with a tuft of grey-yellowish fine setae.
It blooms in June - July, the fruits ripen in July - the first half of August. Arnica is breeding vegetatively.
Arnica and Chamisso arnica
Arnica and Chamisso arnica differ from mountain arnica by the absence of basal rosette of leaves.
Arnica is a perennial herb 60-70 cm tall with numerous baskets with a diameter of 5-6 cm, well propagated by vegetative and seminal; with vegetative propagation, it blooms on the first, with seed - in the second year of life.
Chamisso arnica is a perennial herb up to 45-50 cm in height, with smaller baskets about 2 cm in diameter, blooms in the first year of life, both in seed and in vegetative propagation.
Spreading and habitat. Mountain arnica has a European type of range. The species is common in the lowlands of Central Europe. The main part of the range is located in Transcarpathia, the Carpathians and the Carpathian region, in small quantities found in Belarus. It grows in the mountain forest belt at an altitude of 500-2000 m above sea level, in meadows, forest glades, in thickets of shrubs, on stony slopes.
Chamisso arnica grows in the Far East, arnica leafy comes from the steppe regions of North America. Both species are cultivated.
For medical purposes, all three types of arnica are used: mountain arnica, Chamisso arnica and leaf arnica. Medically, the last two types of arnica act similarly to mountain arnica. All three species are cultivated in the culture.
The chemical composition of arnica
Arnica inflorescences contain
- flavonoids (up to 3%); essential oil (0.04-0.07%) with sesquiterpene lactone arnifolin (0.2%);
- up to 4% bitter arycin, consisting of a mixture of two triterpenoids: arnidiol and its isomer faradiol;
- organic acids.
Essential oil is a dark red or blue-green oily mass.
Harvesting and storage of raw materials
Harvesting. The inflorescences are harvested at the beginning of flowering (June - July), tearing or cutting off them with peduncles no longer than 3 cm.
Security measures. The harvesting of mountain arnica in nature is limited due to the inclusion of plants in the Red Book of the USSR (1978). To ensure renewal, it is necessary to leave 5-10 m2 thickets of 5-10 plants intact.
Drying. It is dried as quickly as possible, spreading out a thin layer on paper or cloth, in attics, in sheds, under sheds with good ventilation, or in dryers at a temperature of 55-60 °C.
Storage. The raw materials are stored in well-ventilated areas on the shelves.
External signs of raw materials
The baskets are with a diameter of 2-6 cm (with marginal flowers) and 1.2-3.2 cm (without edge flowers) with remains of peduncles up to 3 cm long or without it, as well as individual false-tongued and tubular flowers, seeds with a tuft and a bed of broken inflorescences.
The cover baskets are bell-shaped, double-row, consists of elongated-lanceolate, acuminate greenish-brown leaves. The bed of the inflorescence is weakly convex, pit-like, with short bristly hairs around the dimples. The boundary fallopian-tongued flowers are up to 2.5 cm long with a three-toothed limb, the middle tubular flowers are up to 1.5 cm long, pentamerous. The ovary is inferior, hairy, in these and other flowers with a single-row tuft of grey or yellowish, unbranched, fragile, thin bristles are up to 1 cm long.
The colour of the flowers is orange-yellow, the covers are greenish-brown.
Properties and application
Pharmacotherapeutic group. Choleretic agent.
The pharmacological properties of arnica
Arnica preparations are having:
- uterotonic action.
In small doses, arnica has a tonic effect on the central nervous system,
and in large doses - sedative, prevents the development of seizures.
When administered orally, it acts hemostatically:
- accelerates blood clotting,
- reduces the amount of blood loss and bleeding time, in the hemostatic effect plays a significant role arnitsin.
Arnica acts as a uterine remedy, enhancing the contraction of the horns of the uterus.
This effect is associated with arnifolin.
It has a choleretic property, due mainly to flavonoids, has an antitoxic effect.
When applied to the skin, the tincture of arnica flowers has some local irritating properties, contributes to the resorption of bruises, which is associated with the action of faradiol.
When applied externally, arnica tincture has:
- analgesic and
- wound healing action.
- reflex excitability of the cortex and medulla,
- dilates the cerebral vessels;
- dilates the coronary vessels
- increases the strength of the heartbeat.
Application of arnica
Arnica tincture is used:
- in obstetric and gynecological practice as a styptic,
- with postpartum and other bleeding due to insufficient uterine contraction,
- with bleeding in patients with uterine fibroids, inflammatory processes.
In contrast, arnica lowers blood pressure.
For faster resorption of hematomas:
- with concussions,
- retinal hemorrhage,
- for muscle pain after overloading,
- in acute infections with hemorrhages, arnica is taken orally.
Arnica tincture is also used as a choleretic and anti-inflammatory agent with:
- chronic cholecystitis,
- gallstone disease,
Arnica tincture smears bruises, abrasions, hematomas, sprains and injuries of joints, skin during frostbite.
In the form of cold lotions, water infusion of arnica is used in the first hours after joint injuries, with large subcutaneous hematomas.
The compresses are used for injuries as an absorbing agent in more distant periods after injury for 3-4 days.
For stomatitis, gingivitis, periodontal disease, and toothache, there are used an infusion of arnica flowers to rinse.
With an overdose of arnica preparations increases sweating, there is aching pain in the limbs, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, increased diuresis. There are possible violations of the cardiovascular system.
- Increased blood clotting,
- individual intolerance.