Arnica montana (NL: Valkruid, Wolverlei / EN: leopard's bane, wolf's bane, mountain tobacco, mountain arnica / DE: Arnika, Bergwohlverleih / Fr: Arnica des montagnes) is a European flowering plant with large yellow capitula in the Asteraceae family. Arnica montana is endemic to Europe and grows in nutrient-poor silicaceous meadows up to nearly 3,000 metres. It is rare overall, but may be locally abundant. It is becoming rarer, particularly in the north of its distribution, largely due to increasingly intensive agriculture. In more upland regions, it may also be found on nutrient-poor moors and heaths. It has been used in herbal medicine, but lacks any evidence of statistically demonstrated benefits in rigorous studies. The roots contain derivatives of thymol, which are used as fungicides and preservatives and may have some anti-inflammatory effect. In Belgium the plant is on the red list and protected by law.
Image: Dahlem (DE) - 11/06/2011
© Johan Dierckx
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