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medicinal herbs

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continuing series on medicinal herbs

arnica   arnica montana

Synonyms ..   mountain tobacco eopaeds bone
 
Parts used ..   root and flowers
 
Habitat  ..      arnica montana or leopards bone is a perenial herb, indienous to Central Europe, in woods and mountain pastures. It has been found in England but is probably  and escape. it grows in most countries.

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Description .. The leaves form a flat rosette, from the centre of which rises a flower stalk. 1 to 2 feet high, bearing orange - yellow flowers. The rhizome is dark brown, cylindrical, usually curved, and bears brittle wiry rootlets on the surface.

Medicinal Action and Uses .. Arnica is a popular remedy. The flowers are use in preference to the rhizome.They have a discutient property. The tincture is used for external applicationto sprains, bruises, and wounds, and as a paint for chilblains when the skin is unbroken. repeated applications may produce severe inflamation. It is seldom used internally, because of it's irritant effect on the stomach. It's action is stimulant and diuretic, and it is chiefly used in low fevers and paralytic affections.

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herb of the month 

arnica

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Constituents ..  A bitter yellow crystalline principle, Arnicin, and a volitile oil. Tannin and phulin are also present. The flowers are said to contain more Arnicin then rhizome, but no tannin.

Cultivation ..  Arnica thrives in a mixture of loam, peat, and sand. It may be propagated by root division or from seed. Divide in spring. Sow in early spring in a cold frame, plant out in May.
 
The flowers are collected entire and dried, but the receptacles are sometimes removed as they liable to be attacked by insects.
 
The root is collected in autumn after the leaves have died down.

Psoriasis Ezine copyright infoplus 2006