A Fresh Look at Arnica Montana

Last updated on July 22nd, 2022 at 03:44 pm

If you’ve ever used an Arnicare pain reliever, then you’ve already experienced the healing power of homeopathic Arnica montana. And as a reader of this blog, you probably know a thing or two about the flower that it’s made from. In this post, we’re digging deeper into the history of this legendary plant that so many rely on for pain relief.

Arnica montana is the Latin name for a perennial that grows 1 to 2 feet tall with yellow, daisy-like flowers that appear in July and August. Its common names include mountain daisy, leopard’s bane, and mountain tobacco. While the origin of the name “arnica” is uncertain, it likely comes from the Greek word for lamb’s skin, “arnakis,” in reference to the soft, fuzzy hairs on the plant’s leaves and stem. If you want to find Arnica in the wild, then you’ll need to climb high. This variety only flourishes in the mountain meadows of northern and central Europe and Siberia.

The History Behind Arnica

The first mention of Arnica’s medicinal properties was in the 12th century by German nun and herbalist St. Hildegard of Bingen. In her folk remedy book, Physica, she says, “If spots and blisters erupt between the skin and flesh, then let the person cook the herb in water and wrap the blemishes, and then the person will be healed.”

For centuries, European herbalists used fresh and dried Arnica flowers in salves, poultices, and teas to treat a variety of conditions. It became popular among Swiss mountain climbers who sought it to relieve muscle fatigue. We now know that Arnica’s healing power comes from unique anti-inflammatory compounds like helenalin and flavonoids.

A Superb Herb in Homeopathy

Pure Arnica oils and extracts can be dangerous, and they should never be ingested or taken orally due to their high concentration of active compounds. Fortunately, Arnica’s healing history lives on in homeopathy, where it’s safely used in a microdosed form.

From root to petal, the entire Arnica plant is used in homeopathic preparations. Boiron goes to great lengths to ensure it is responsibly sourced. The harvesting process is done by hand to preserve the survival of this species and the land on which it grows. When fresh Arnica arrives at the Boiron lab, teams of botanists and pharmacists examine and clean every flower. Moisture levels are checked, and other tests are conducted to verify health and quality before the plants are prepared into a homeopathic tincture.

As a homeopathic medicine, Arnica montana relieves muscle pain, stiffness, and swelling, and also reduces discoloration from bruises.* It can be found as the active ingredient in Arnicare pain relief products. Boiron also offers oral Arnica pellets as part of our “blue tube” single medicine line. For pain or bruises from minor injuries, overexertion, or falls, take 5 pellets of Arnica montana three times a day or as directed by a health care professional. Arnica pellets may also be prescribed after surgery or cosmetic procedures.

Learn more about homeopathic uses of Boiron Arnica montana in this video featuring pharmacist Gary Kracoff, NMD, RPh.

*Claims based on traditional homeopathic practice, not accepted medical evidence. Not FDA evaluated.

Just for our blog readers! Get 10% off this medicine with coupon code BLOG when you order from the Boiron Shop.

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24 thoughts on “A Fresh Look at Arnica Montana”

  1. Looking for something that helps with Restless Legs Syndrome. We are using it…just wondering if you have a different option. We bought the Arnicare Gel.

    any help you can provide would be appreciated.

    Do you have anything that helps promote sound sleep?

  2. I took the pellets as prescribed, but they make me a bit sick to my stomach. Are these supposed to be dissolved under the tongue and spat out or do they go down to he gut? Should I be doing something different?
    I have blurry vision and taking this herb clears it up quite a bit so I would like to continue taking it.
    Thank you.

    1. Hello Bela, thank you for your question. You don’t need to chew or swallow the pellets. They are designed to melt under your tongue, so the medicine is abosrbed in your mouth and not your stomach, and therefore should not have any effect on your digestive system.

  3. I’m trying to control swelling for a broken ankle after surgery. I noticed the arnica gel says not to wrap or bandage an area where arnica is used. Do you know what the issue is with using a wrap or bandage with arnica? Thank you.

  4. I have terrible pain in my neck and at the base of my skull. Recent MRI revealed several bulging disc and cervical stenosis. Would this and what else would possibly help me with the constant pain. Thank you so much.

    1. Hi Gigi, there are quite a few homeopathic medicines for pain. Hypericum perforatum is a popular medicine for nerve pain associated with back injuries and sciatic pain for example. Because of the nature of your condition, it would be best to work with a homeopath to can determine the right medicine for you. You can find one near you on the National Center for Homeopathy website.

    1. Thanks for your question, Bianca, but Boiron does not offer any OTC weight loss medicines at this current time. We urge you to visit a practitioner skilled in homeopathy who can better investigate your facial swelling and redness and determine the best treatment. You can find one in your area by visiting the National Center for Homeopathy website at https://www.homeopathycenter.org/.

  5. Joyce Cacchione

    Many years ago, my physician prescribed Boiron Arnica in 10M dilution. However, it was a short tube which was single dose. Inside were crystals (teeny tiny pellets) not the regular pellets in standard remedies taken 5 at a time.

    Please advise as to which product this is. I now live on the west coast and no longer see this physician and no one out here knows what I am talking about.

    Thank you.

    1. Hi Joyce, yes those short individual dose tubes are referred to as “unit dose tubes.” We may have offered Arnica in a unit dose at one time, but it is no longer available. However, you can still purchase an Arnica 10M dilution in our regular multidose tube and pellets.

  6. Grace E Cummings

    I am interested in purchasing a few remedies in 200c and even in 1M. I don’t seem to find anything on your site much except 30’s. I really prefer NOT to order from Amazon.

    1. Hi Janet! Most single homeopathic medicines are available in several dilutions. The letter indicates which dilution process was chosen, while the number indicates how many times that dilution process was used, and consequently, which symptoms the medicine is meant to treat. Here’s a quick guide to using homeopathic medicines: Low dilutions, such as 6X or 6C, will relieve local symptoms— symptom you can point a finger at (i.e., an insect bite or bruise). Medium dilutions, such as 12X, 9C or 12C, will relieve general symptoms—more than one symptom in more than one location (i.e., muscle aches and pains). High dilutions, such as 30X or 30C, will relieve general symptoms—more than one symptom in more than one location with possible behavioral or emotional symptoms (i.e., a very high fever and chills, accompanied by agitation or sleeplessness). If a person has the right medicine, no matter what the dilution, he will see a lessening of symptoms. For most medicines, choosing the right dilution is merely fine tuning. It may be helpful for you to use the Boiron Medicine Finder to decide which medicines/dilutions are best to relieve your symptoms.

  7. My physician recommended that I take Arnica 1m diluted in water followed in a few days by Ruta Gravalens 1M also diluted in water. Both tubes recommend that I click the cap to release 5 pellets. Do I need to dilute 5 pellets or 1 pellet to achieve 1M strength.
    Thank you.

    1. Hi Ayla, the dosage is 5 pellets under the tongue. There is no need to dilute in water unless recommended by your doctor.

  8. Hi, love your products. I usually purchase them from homeopathic markets and such. Recently noticed that they are available on Amazon from your “storefront”. Are these safe to trust as true Boiron products?

  9. I took the Arnicare arthritis melt away tablets as directed and felt great for a day or two.. I have arthritis in my fingers that is painful. Is it safe to take every day? It says “until symptoms are gone “… but In my case, they are daily . Thank you

    1. Hi Teresa, we’re so glad Arnicare Arthritis Tablets have helped you and thanks for sharing. Arnicare Tablets can be taken safely for short periods (seven days) only. They are not intended to be taken continuously. However, it is possible to take them at the onset of pain flare-ups for a few days, then stop, then start again when needed. In general, drug facts written on all over-the-counter medicines, including Arnicare Tablets, must be observed to limit the possibility of delaying a diagnosis.


    I have used Boiron’s Arnica gel for years for bruises, saddle sores, and muscle strain. As I age I am plagued by osteoarthritis in thumb and knee joints, and have begun to try Arnica Arthritis, which includes devil’s claw as well as arnica. I have noticed online that Boiron is now promoting arnica taken orally for pain, but I understood from an encyclopedia of homeopathic medicines that oral arnica is not considered safe, and can sometimes have lethal effects. Please clarify for me. I would feel safer just using the topical arnica arthritis cream; is that as effective for joint pain?

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