Arnica is a perennial grass, creeping rhizome and erect stem, branched and glandular, at the apex there is a flower head of yellow flowers. It is an herb that grows in meadows and coniferous forests more or less moist, preferably on land decalcified. In the Peninsula can be found along the Pyrenees, in the Galician mountains and across the Cantabrian Mountains. It is a very popular species in the mountain villages for its curative properties. In some villages, a pipe is smoked or inhaled into the form of rape.
The plant flowers in June. Interesting collection of flower heads, which are to be caught just opened as soon wither and are colonized by insects that destroy them. Occasionally also collected the roots, rich in certain active ingredients, these can take from September. But in our country is a very scarce plant root and boot is to lose the plant, which is why here in Spain is only recommended the use of the capitulum, freeing the roots, ensuring the following year a new collection.
The pharmacological activity of arnica has been attributed to the presence of traces of essence in flowers and roots, as well as a compound called arnicina. It should be noted that the plant is highly toxic via internal: it is known that can cause nervous system and serious digestive problems, also have allergic reactions. Therefore is only recommended for use by external means and always with the caution that is used in dilute concentrations. It has important anti-inflammatory properties. For the flavonoids found, is also attributed an astringent and protective mucous membranes.
In general, only recommended as an antiinflammatory and vulnerary external application in bruises, contusions and hematomas. To exploit its other virtues is necessary under strict prescription.
We must not forget their high toxicity, therefore, must respect the dosage and administered only by external means.
Pasta. Arnica extract, honey and marshmallow dust prepare a thick paste, apply and spread over boils and covered with gauze. Do not apply if the boil is open, closed only on grains.
Tincture. Macerated 40 gr. Roots and flowers in 200 gr. Of alcohol at 60 grados CelsiusC. After 10 days, filtered and bottled liquid. For use previously must be diluted before applying it to contusions and bruises without open wound.
The plant can be purchased at pharmacies, both cut and in plant extract, tincture and ointment. Also found in compound form of presentations, such as creams, ointments, salts and bags for infusion.
FAMILY: Composite tubulifloras
HABITAT: Mountain meadows and forests
PART USED: Flowers and roots
CASTILIAN: Tabaco de montaña
CATALAN: Tabac de pastor, talpa
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