Arnica Montana Flower

About Arnica Montana Flower

Arnica montana, which is sometimes called leopard’s bane or mountain arnica, is native to Europe and found primarily in the mountainous regions. Identified by its large yellow flower, similar to a small sunflower, Arnica Montana typically grows in nutrient-poor areas such as a meadow or heath.

This dried flower has long been used in herbal medicines, as an astringent, and to help treat various skin conditions. It was said that the German poet and philosopher Goethe consumed arnica tea to relieve chest pain. Smoking the leaves was also a popular therapeutic practice. Today, however, great caution is advised when using arnica, especially in its pure essential oil form.


How It Works

A 2013 Cochrane Collaboration systematic review of topical herbal remedies for treating osteoarthritis concluded that, “Arnica gel probably improves pain and function as well as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs”. The roots contain derivatives of thymol, which are used as fungicides and preservatives, and may have some anti-inflammatory effects.

In manufacturing, Arnica is used in hair tonics and anti-dandruff preparations with the oil being used in perfumes and cosmetics. The active chemicals in Arnica may reduce swelling, decrease pain, and act as an antibiotic.


Common Concerns

When applied topically as part of a cosmetic formulation, Arnica montana is considered safe to use, non-toxic and a non-irritant. Direct contact with the plant can cause irritation in some people. In large, concentrated quantities, Arnica may be toxic and using the pure form of the essential oil is not advised. When consumed orally, it can cause irritation of the mouth and throat, stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea, skin rashes, shortness of breath, a fast heartbeat, an increase in blood pressure, heart damage, organ failure, increased bleeding, coma, and death. Arnica montana should not be applied to open wounds.


Quick Facts

Binomial Name: Arnica Montana
Common Name: Leopard’s Bane, Mountain Arnica
Source: Flower of the Arnica montana plant
EWG Score: 1


Proven and Possible Benefits


Anti-dandruff Hair care Acne Hair loss


Pain reduction Swelling reduction Sore muscles and joints Insect bites




Information contained in this website is intended for educational purposes only and is in no way intended for diagnosis. The Food and Drug Administration or Health Canada have not evaluated this information. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. For health problems, please refer to a qualified health practitioner.


  • Arnica leaves in white bowl
  • Arnica flowers (Arnica montana) on a background of mountains and blue sky