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Botanical Name : Arnica fulgens
Species: A. fulgens
Common Names: Hoothill arnica and Hillside arnica
Habitat : Arnica fulgens is native to western North America, from British Columbia east to Saskatchewan and south as far as Inyo County, California, and McKinley County, New Mexico. It grows in open, grassy areas.
Arnica fulgens is a perennial herb growing from a short, tough rhizome and producing one or more hairy, glandular, mostly naked stems to heights between 10 and 60 centimeters. The leaves are mainly located around the base of the plant. They are broadly lance-shaped to oval-shaped and have tufts of woolly fibers in their axils. They are up to 12 centimeters long, and there may be a few much shorter ones further up the stem.
The inflorescence holds usually one, but sometimes 2 or 3, daisylike flower heads lined in hairy phyllaries. Each head has a center of glandular golden disc florets lined with golden ray florets which are 1 to 3 centimeters long. The fruit is an achene with a hairy body half a centimeter long and a light-colored pappus.
Prefers a moist, well-drained humus rich soil, preferably lime-free. Prefers a mixture of sand, loam and peat.
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.
The whole plant, but especially the flowers and the root, is antiecchymotic, antiphlogistic, irritant, nervine, sternutatory, tonic and vulnerary. This plant is used in North America in much the same way as A. montana is used in Europe. These uses 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. 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.
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.