Summer is an exciting time for Boiron. It’s when Arnica montana, the plant used to make the active ingredient in our Arnicare products, is ready for harvesting. Any day now when the conditions are right, pickers will gather together in the meadows of the Vosges, Alps, Pyrenees, and other French mountains to select the best of this remarkable plant.
Arnica montana is the Latin name for a perennial that grows 1 to 2 feet tall with yellow, daisy-like flowers. You might be familiar with its common names — mountain daisy, leopard’s bane, and mountain tobacco. This variety flourishes in only a few locations, including the mountainsides of central Europe, where it blooms between July and August.
With its unique habitat and growing requirements, Arnica is fragile and hard to cultivate. In Europe, the limited wild supply is protected to avoid overharvesting. Boiron goes to great lengths to ensure that the Arnica we use is responsibly sourced. Our harvesting process is done completely by hand to preserve the survival of this species and the land on which it grows.
This freshly picked Arnica is then delivered in cooled trucks to our laboratories in Lyon, where it must be processed within 48 hours to retain potency. 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 tinctures for medicine. From root to petal, the whole plant is used to make the homeopathic creams, gels, ointments, tablets, and pellets you love and rely on for pain relief.