Description: Arnicas are perennial herbs growing from a rootstock 2 - 5 cm long. They have erect stems and stand 15 - 60 cm tall. The leaves are opposite, simple, entire or toothed. The composite flower head is yellow and flowering is from July - August.
Distribution & Habitat: It can be found in mountainous regions throughout the Rocky Mountains. There are many species with similar properties.
Preparation & Uses: Arnica is well known as a stimulant. This herb is almost always used in the form of a tincture. It is one of the best painkillers to use for sprains, fractures, and bruising. It is effective as an external liniment and is extremely fast acting.. It should not be used if the skin is broken and the area is bleeding as it is toxic if it enters the bloodstream.
This herb should not be use internally, except under special conditions, because it can cause, among other effects, blistering of the intestinal tract.