Herbs & Plants

Arnica angustifolia alpina

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Botanical Name : Arnica angustifolia alpina
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Heliantheae
Genus: Arnica
Species: A. angustifolia
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms: A. alpina. (L.)Olin.

Common Name: Mountain Tobacco

Other Name: Narrowleaf Arnica

Habitat : Arnica angustifolia alpina is native to N. Europe. N. Asia and Northern N. America. It grows in pasture and open woodland on neutral to calcareous soils. Bare rocky alpine slopes and summits.

Arnica angustifolia alpina is a perennial herb growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in)

*Rootstock: Rootstock long. Forms stands.

*Stem: Stem quite delicate, densely haired especially at top, also with glandular hairs.

*Flower: Flowers 3.5–5 cm (1.4–2 in.) broad, single flower-like capitula surrounded by involucral bracts. Capitulum flowers yellow, ray-florets tongue-like; disc-florets tubular, small. Stamens 5. Gynoecium composed of 2 fused carpels. Involucral bracts in 2 rows, same length, lanceolate, base densely haired, with purple tips. Solitary capitulum terminating stem, often nodding, sometimes with additional 1–4 capitula in stem-leaf axils.

*Leaves: In basal rosette and on stem usually 1–2 pairs opposite, stalkless. Blade lanceolate–lanceolately ovate, long-tipped, with entire margins, almost parallel-veined, short-haired.

*Fruit: Ridged achene, tip with white unbranched hairs.

*Flowering time: July-August.


The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Prefers a moist, well-drained humus rich soil, preferably lime-free. This species is more lime tolerant than other members of the genus[200]. Prefers a mixture of sand, loam and peat. Closely related to A. montana.

Seed – sow early spring in a cold frame. Only just cover the seed and make sure that the compost does not dry out. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse or cold frame for their first winter. Plant out in late spring or early summer. Division in spring

Medicinal Uses:
The whole flowering plant is antiecchymotic, antiphlogistic, nervine, sternutatory and vulnerary. This species is closely related to A. montana and is included in that species by some botanists. The medicinal uses of that plant are as follows:- Arnica has a long history of herbal use, especially as an external treatment for bruises and sprains – it is an ingredient of a number of proprietary preparations[238]. Internally, it has been used in the treatment of heart complaints and as a booster for the immune system. Arnica increases local blood supply and accelerates healing, it is anti-inflammatory and increases the rate of absorption of internal bleeding. Generally the plant is nowadays only recommended for internal use as a homeopathic medicine, principally for treating shock, injury and pain. If used as a decoction or tincture it stimulates the circulation and is valuable in the treatment of angina and a weak or failing heart, but it can be toxic even at quite low doses and so is rarely used this way. The flowers are the part most commonly used, they are harvested when fully open and dried – the receptacles are sometimes removed since these are liable to be attacked by insects. The root is also used, it is harvested after the leaves have died down in the autumn and dried for later use. The whole plant is antiecchymotic, antiphlogistic, nervine, sternutatory, vulnerary. Although a very valuable remedy, it should be used with caution. It has been known to cause contact dermatitis when used externally and collapse when taken internally. Only take it internally under the supervision of a qualified practitioner. The freshly crushed flowers cause sneezing if inhaled. The leaves have also been smoked as a tobacco, though it is unclear whether this was for medicinal reasons The whole plant, harvested when in flower, is used in homeopathic remedies. It is especially useful in the treatment of traumatic injuries, sores and bruises. The homeopathic dose has also been used effectively in the treatment of epilepsy and seasickness, and it might be of use as a hair growth stimulant.

Other Uses : This plant is used as a hair conditioner. No further details are  available.

Known Hazards: The whole plant is toxic and should only be used for external applications to unbroken skin.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


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