Arnica Montana Flower Extract is used in natural skin care products for it’s antiseptic, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties. Arnica Montana flowers grow in the wild in alpine meadows. The flowers are colored orange-yellow that look like daisies with tall stems and few leaves.
This plant can grow in high places up to 8,500 feet in height, which gave it its other name of ‘Mountain Tobacco’. Other names for Arnica Montana flowers are Leopard’s Bane, Wolf’s Bane and Mountain Arnica. The plant can grow as tall as two feet and Arnica Montana flowers produce oil used for therapy, such as massage therapy and aromatherapy.
Arnica Montana flowers contain sesquiterpene lactones, flavonoids, volatile oil, phenol carbonic acid, and coumarins. The flowers are about five centimeters in diameter and supported by a tall stem of about twenty to sixty centimeters. Arnica Montana flowers are in bloom during the months of May until late August.
Arnica Montana flowers, is a plant used since the 16th century as medication for muscular aches and pains, bruises, and rheumatism. These plants used to cover the entire regions of America and Europe, particularly from Iberia to Scandinavia and Carpathians. However, Arnica Montana flowers are now becoming rare since it has become increasingly difficult to grow them successfully. It takes a lot of patience and watchful cultivation in a particular type of soil to make them grow properly.
Arnica Montana flowers were used both externally and internally in the past. However, it is presently used more externally than internally. The remaining use of Arnica Montana flowers internally is for homeopathic remedies.
For several centuries, extracts from Arnica Montana flowers were used for external treatment of black eyes, wounds, contusions, and sprains because of its anti-inflammatory properties. In Russian traditional medicine, Arnica Montana flowers extracts were used for the treatment of myocarditis, angina pectoris, uterine hemorrhage, cardiac insufficiency, and many more uses.
The dark brown and clear liquid extracts from the Arnica Montana flowers are used in the production of numerous types of products such as skin care products, shampoos, skin fresheners, hair products, and hair conditioners. Extracts from Arnica Montana flowers have also been listed by the Food and Drug Administration as natural flavoring essence for food production. The techniques used in preparing the extracts from Arnica Montana flowers are gentle disintegration and hydroalcoholic maceration.
Arnica Montana flowers are also used externally for edema due to fracture, joint problems, dislocations, rheumatic muscle pains, and hematoma. It is also used as a remedy for furunculosis and superficial phlebitis. The different preparations from Arnica Montana flowers have antiphlogistic (anti-inflammatory) activity when applied as topical medicine and analgesic and antiseptic activity when used for inflammations. Recent clinical tests have showed that a gel made from fresh flowers is beneficial for the osteoarthritis of the knee.
Prolonged use of Arnica Montana flowers in treating damaged skin, such as injuries, may sometimes cause edematous dermatitis and eczema. Higher concentrates applied to the skin may cause the formation of vesicles or necroses. Toxicologists claim that oral use of Arnica Montana flowers is possibly unsafe due to the presence of helenalin, which may cause poisoning when eaten in large amounts.
Helenalin, a sesquiterpene lactone, is the main restorative compound in Arnica Montana, along with flavoids, help soothe and renew the skin after exposure to stress.
Arnica’s antiseptic, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties may be of some benefit to those with inflammatory skin disorders. It also stimulates the forming the granular tissues and thus accelerating the healing process. Because of its healing properties, Arnica can be used on bruises, sunburn, minor burns, as well as superficial phlebitis.
According to recent studies Triterpene from flowers of Arnica montana is one of the most potent among known plant inhibitors of melanin biosynthesis in cultured cells, being 50 times more potent than 4-methoxyphenol, which is used as an anti-pigmentation agent.
A novel melanin inhibitor: hydroperoxy traxastane-type triterpene from flowers of Arnica montana
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) includes Arnica Montana flowers on its list of natural flavoring substances permitted for direct addition to food. The safety of Arnica Montana and its Flower Extract has been assessed by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel. The CIR Expert Panel evaluated the scientific data and concluded that additional data were needed to determine whether Arnica Montana Flower Extract and Arnica Montana were either safe or unsafe for use in cosmetics and personal care products.
Arnica Montana and its Flower Extract may be used in cosmetics and personal care products marketed in Europe according to the general provisions of the Cosmetics.