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arnica (ärˈnəkə), any plant of the genus Arnica, yellow-flowered perennials of the family Asteraceae (aster family), native to north temperate and arctic regions. In North America, arnicas grow in woody areas of the plains region and the Pacific coast, northward to arctic Alaska. Medicinal preparations for the treatment of wounds and bruises are sometimes made from arnica plants, chiefly A. montana of the European Alps. Arnica is classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Asterales, family Asteraceae.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a genus of perennial herbs of the family Compositae.

There are more than 30 species of Arnica, most of which are found in North America. Some are found in Europe and Asia. In the USSR there are eight species. The best known is mountain tobacco (A. montana). It has a short, thick rhizome, is up to 60 cm high, and has a single involucrate head of yellow orange flowers. Mountain tobacco is found in Byelorussia, Lithuania, and the western Ukraine in forests and mountain meadows. As a rule, it grows in moist soils. In medicine an alcohol infusion made from the dried flower heads is used as a cholagogue and an antihemorrhagic (in uterine hemorrhaging). Mountain tobacco, A. foliosa, and A. chamissonis are cultivated as medicinal plants.


Atlas lekarstvennykh rastenii SSSR. Moscow, 1962.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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In Estonian ethnomedicine, arnica was mostly used to treat straining, being mentioned among medicines for straining by O.A.
If five of the six listed plants are quite similar to mountain arnica, then one (goldenrod) resembles arnica only by the colour of its flowers.
Crepis tectorum was mostly known as arnica and possessed no other names indicating its usage in folk medicine.
and also karnarohi (scab herb), which may be another initial indication of mountain arnica (Jannau 1857).
The following gives an overview of the use of mountain arnica and the other plants mentioned in folk medicine of other nations and/or their phytochemical components.
From mountain arnica, mostly its flowers (Arnicae flos) are used.
The dried rhizome and roots of mountain arnica are also used, although seldom; their constituents are similar to those of the flowers (Evans 2000).
Even the external use of mountain arnica may cause allergic reactions, and the application of its tincture has triggered allergic skin reactions.
Among the species discussed above, only mountain arnica and, to some extent, goldenrod are known as classical medicinal plants.