Anti-Inflammatory Flower Power of Arnica

Hot off the lab's desk!

At NATIVE, we love a challenge to put our science to the test. Recently we were asked to do an Arnica extract and the sesquiterpene lactone content is through the roof - it is nearly 3 times what we needed to hit (and much higher than the British Pharmacopoeia standard)! Arnica montana, you never looked so good! ..and Organic!

While we sell huge volumes of NATIVE EXTRACTS' Arnica montana Cellular Extract in a glycerin format, and deliver a beautiful plant profile; it has been fun to work on a TGA standard tincture of this special flower. Extracting with different solvents delivers different compound profiles reflected in their solubility. When we are focusing on a targeted compound of value we start with the compound and application objectives, most relevant solvent, extraction protocols, and of course confirm raw material quality for the job.


We have always known that our Arnica Cellular Extract was special, but as we expected, our recent test results on our tincture show higher concentrations of sesquiterpene lactones. We were surprised to see over double the specification defined in the European/British Pharmacopoeia for Arnica Tincture! There are monographs for tinctures, and we can meet them – which is why we have been asked to do custom extractions to certain specifications. This year especially with supply chain issues, impacted brands are coming to us for custom extracts  – and are pleasantly surprised by our team’s ability to put science to practice for superior results!


Arnica montana is well known, traditionally used as a topical application for bruises, sprains and treatment of minor injuries. In some cases, this can extend to treating symptoms of swelling, pain and inflammation associated with rheumatic and arthritic conditions. Literature supports sesquiterpene lactones contributing to these treatment indications through significant anti-inflammatory action and antimicrobial activity.

Currently, due to global short supply, we are fielding several enquiries a week concerning availability of Arnica montana extracts and those with sesquiterpene lactones. This tiny flower grows on alpine meadows up nearly 3000m and is mainly still wild harvested. Its compound profile is well represented in therapeutic preparations, homeopathic remedies and it is featured in many beauty, health and wellness formulations. 

This extract has been made using our proprietary extraction process - CELLULAR EXTRACTION™, which delivers the water-soluble phyto-compound profile, delivering a species’ unique entourage of synergistic bio-actives. Although most of our Cellular Extracts use a glycerin-based extractant medium, we also do custom ethanol extractions (aka tinctures). Want to learn more about how Cellular Extraction works? Learn how we transfer natural compounds across the cell membrane and suspend them in a liquid matrix HERE.


Tinctures have been a prominent extraction method for herbal medicines for centuries. The use of ethanol-based extractions is minimal in the cosmetic industry due to the drying effects of ethanol on the skin. At NATIVE EXTRACTS, we can manufacture ethanol-based extractions upon customer request. The benefit of tinctures is that the ethanol acts as a preservative, so no additional preservatives need to be added. Ethanol, like Glycerin (a sugar alcohol - we use plant-derived glycerin in our Cellular Extracts), is an advantageous solvent that can extract both polar and non-polar compounds, providing extracts with a diverse range of compounds from the raw material. In addition, like the case of Arnica montana, the European pharmacopeia provides monographs on specific tinctures and specification requirements to meet for standardisation and dose requirements for medical use.

We can’t exactly pinpoint one reason why our tincture shows such high Sesquiterpene lactone content, but we can confidently hypothesize that the top quality of our raw material and our advanced extraction techniques play a part.

Our science starts with nature, delivering high value compounds in their entourage, and leveraging the brilliance of nature’s design. We love creating ingredients that convey this 'True to Nature' magic: unadulterated, not isolated or synthetic compounds, but pure nutrients from within some of the world's most powerful plant species. 

Contact us to learn more or request a datasheet on our Arnica Cellular Extract.

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