The Leopard's Bane has got many names, like Cure all , Fallherb, Golden-fleece, Lambskin , Mountain daisy, Mountain Tobacco, Sneezewort, Tumblers and Wolf's Bane. It is also called by the Latin name Arnica. In Denmark is it known as Guldblomme, Volverlej and Arnica.
The Arnica is an about 50 cm tall herbaceous plant with flowers of a warm golden yellow colour in May and June. The plant has a strong aromatic scent. The genuine Arnica is often found growing wild in moors and upon dry hills. It contains several more etheric oils than the garden species and its scent is more aromatic.
In the 1600s was the plant entered into the pharmacopoeia and recommended by physicians in fevers, epilepsy, paralysis and rheumatism. If someone suffered from rheumatism, broncitis or heart-sclerosis they could drink a tea from flowers, leaves and roots. A thinned essence from the plant was dabbed upon blue bruises and sprains, and a thinned essence was used as a gargling-water in inflammation of the mouth and in parodontal disease. The plant has an old reputation as a means of fetal expulsion but is fatal if consumed in large amounts.
|Torup, Mid Jutland . Here was the Arnica.|
Today is the plant used in ointments upon pulled muscles and sore blue bruises. See: Arnica montana
Arnica-tinctur has been sold from the pharmacy to treat spavin in heifers.
The juice from the plant irritates the skin. Big doses of the plant-content has proved a poisonous effect on heart and circulation in clinical tests with rabbits.
If the plant is drunk in wine it strengthens love and promotes love-making. People had an ancient belief that the plant worked as a means to fertility. In Jutland they fed the cow with the flowers shortly before it was covered by the bull. In Himmerland gave the young guy an Arnica to his chosen girl. If she accepted it, she was bound.
Arnica was once used in beer-brewing. The spicy-scented flowers were an ingredience in Benedictine-liqueur. In Jutland was the dried plant used as a snuff - and French shepherds used the leaves for tobacco.
Goethe used Arnica to easen pain in heart attacks.
The Arnica is especially known in Denmark as a kloster-herb by the ancient name Volverlej.