Useful information

Arnica is the guarantee of the great Goethe's longevity

Mountain arnica (Arnica montana) from the family Astrovye - a perennial herb 15-80 cm high with a short, weakly branched rhizome. Thin, cordlike roots extend from it. In the first year of life, the plant forms a rosette of 6-8 large leaves, from the second year - a stem and flower baskets. The stem is more often one, weakly branched in the upper part. Stem leaves are opposite, lanceolate or obovate, pubescent above, glabrous below. At the tops of the stem and branches, flower baskets up to 5 cm in diameter are formed, resembling a yellow chamomile. Blooms in June-July; fruits ripen in July-August. The wild mountain arnica is distributed mainly in the high-mountainous meadows of the Carpathians, as well as in the dry meadows of the Upper Dnieper, Upper Dniester and Baltic regions. Mountain arnica is demanding on soil fertility and moisture. She is photophilous, does not tolerate strong shading. In culture, it is capricious, often drops out after winter. But this does not mean at all that it is impossible to grow this plant. Sometimes it takes root well and begins to grow actively.

Mountain arnica (Arnica montana)

But in the pharmaceutical garden, it can be successfully replaced by more unpretentious species. Arnica Chamisso (Arnica chamissonis) and leafy arnica(Arnica foliosa) differ from mountain arnica lanceolate leaves and smaller and more numerous baskets. These species are native to North America. For example, the Shamisso arnica is found throughout the Pacific coast from Alaska to California.

Plants look good in a mixborder. When selecting a site, it is necessary that it is well drained and in the spring, water does not stagnate in place with plantings of arnica. The area intended for arnica must be carefully dug up and cleaned of perennial weeds such as wheatgrass, sow thistle and dandelion, which will greatly complicate care in the future.

Arnica chamissonisArnica leafy (Arnica foliosa)

Planting and breeding arnica

Arnica can be propagated by seeds and vegetatively, by pieces of rhizomes. Seeds in a year or two lose their germination, so it is better to use fresh seeds for sowing. They are sown in early spring, without prior preparation. The distance between the rows depends on whether you are replanting and replanting the plants after germination. If not, the distance between the rows should be at least 45 cm. The planting depth is 1-1.5 cm. Seedlings appear in 2-3 weeks under favorable weather conditions.

It is more efficient, albeit more labor intensive, to grow arnica through seedlings. But at the same time, the need for seeds is significantly reduced. Seeds are sown 2.5 months before the intended planting in the ground, that is, in mid-March. It is advisable to process the seeds with potassium permanganate, since the seedlings are strongly affected by the black leg. In the phase of 2-3 true leaves, the plants dive into boxes. In early June, young plants are planted in open ground at a distance of 20-25 cm from each other.

In the presence of planting material, it is convenient to propagate arnica vegetatively. It is better to choose rhizomes at the beginning of regrowth, when the shoot length has reached 5-7 cm. If the growing shoots are too long, then they break off when planting. The selected rhizomes are poorly stored, so they are planted as quickly as possible in the soil. After planting, watering is required, and if the weather is very hot, then the site can be covered with agril for several days.

Care in the first year of life includes 3-4 weeding, but you need to be careful with loosening. The root system of arnica, especially mountainous, is very superficial and can be damaged when loosening. Arnica cannot stand the abundance of mineral fertilizers. Therefore, it is better to add a large amount of compost before planting and limit yourself to this. You can further feed either with a diluted mullein, or with small doses of ammophoska or nitrophoska.

With vegetative propagation, plants bloom in the first year.

After 3-4 years, it is better to plant the plants in a new area, since they are usually overgrown with weeds, which are quite difficult to control.

Arnica leafy (Arnica foliosa)

 

Medicinal properties of arnica

All three types of arnica are used as medicinal plants. As shown by pharmacological studies, they completely replace each other. Flower baskets are harvested by hand as they bloom, with stems no more than 1 cm.Dry the raw materials as quickly as possible, spreading them in a thin layer on paper or fabric, in attics, in sheds, under sheds, or in dryers at a temperature not higher than 50-60 ° С ... Both the herb and the roots are used in folk medicine.

The inflorescences contain up to 4% of the coloring matter - arnicine, arnifoline, choline, betaine, alkaloids, cynarin, essential oil (0.04-0.07%), which is dark red or blue-green oily mass. Fatty oil, resinous substances and the red dye lutein were also isolated from the flowers. Found organic acids: fumaric, malic and lactic, both in a free state and in the form of calcium and potassium salts.

Arnica roots contain a small amount of phytosterols, essential oil (up to 1.5% - in fresh raw materials and 0.4-0.6% - in dried ones), organic acids: isobutyric, formic and angelic.

The shelf life of raw materials is 2 years.

Arnica has long been widely used in European medicine. According to legend, I.V. Goethe in old age took an infusion of arnica to raise the tone of the body and improve memory. In Germany, it is one of the favorite medicinal plants.

In flower baskets and roots, substances of various chemical composition are contained, therefore the spectrum of pharmacological properties is very wide. Preparations from arnica flowers in small doses have a tonic effect on the central nervous system, and in large doses - sedative. Scientific medicine widely uses it as a uterine hemostatic agent in patients with uterine fibroids, inflammatory processes, and dysfunctional menstrual irregularities, including in menopause.

This effect has been attributed to arnifoline. The tincture also has a choleretic property, mainly due to flavonoids and cinarin, and has an antitoxic effect. When applied to the skin, the tincture of arnica flowers has some local irritating properties, promotes the resorption of hematomas (or, more simply, bruises). And if you apply the tincture immediately after the injury, then the formation of a bruise can be avoided. For faster resorption of hematomas in case of concussions, hemorrhages in the brain, in the retina, for pain in the muscles after overstrain, lumbago, arthritis, arnica is taken orally.

In low doses, it is used in the recovery period after strokes. In action, it is similar to the drug "Cerebrolysin" used in such cases.

Arnica root preparations work differently. They excite the cardiovascular system, increase the amplitude of the heart contractions, dilate the coronary vessels, improve the nutrition of the heart muscle, and increase the coronary blood flow.

Arnica tincture is also used as a choleretic and anti-inflammatory agent for chronic cholecystitis, cholangitis, cholelithiasis, hepatitis.

Arnica tincture is used to lubricate bruises, abrasions, bruises, sprains and joint injuries, skin with fresh frostbite. In the form of cold lotions, an aqueous infusion of arnica is used in the first hours after joint injuries, with large subcutaneous hematomas. Compresses are used for injuries as a resorption agent in the more distant periods after the injury - on the 3-4th day. Arnica tincture is applied topically with periodontal disease, for which mix equally 10 ml of arnica, eucalyptus and calendula tinctures, adding 100 ml of peach oil. The mixture is used for applications in the tooth-gingival pockets and for irrigating the gums.

For stomatitis, gingivitis, periodontal disease, neuralgia and toothache, the local hemostatic, anti-inflammatory, analgesic and epithelial properties of arnica are used. An infusion of arnica flowers is used: 1 tablespoon of flowers is brewed with 1 cup of boiling water, infused for 30 minutes, filtered and used for rinsing.

Arnica flower tincture prepared from finely cut flowers in 70% alcohol in the ratio of raw materials to alcohol 1:10. Insist 2-3 weeks in a dark place, and then filter. The tincture is stored in dark glass bottles and in the dark. Apply 30-40 drops in water or milk before meals 2-3 times a day. When applied topically, in order to avoid irritating effects, the tincture is diluted with water 1: 5 or 1:10.

For skin diseases, pustular rash, inflammatory skin conditions, for burns, frostbite use lotions or washing with water infusion of arnica flowers.

Arnica flower infusion prepared at the rate of 10 g of flowers per 200 ml of water. Administered orally 1 tablespoon 3 times a day with milk or water. Indications for use are the same as for arnica tincture.

Arnica is a very powerful remedy, so be sure to take it strictly. In case of an overdose of arnica preparations, sweating increases, aching pain in the limbs, chills, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, increases diuresis. Possible dysfunctions of the cardiovascular system, tachycardia.