Quantitative analysis of active compounds found in Arnica montana and Arnica chamissonis in relation to varied provenance, environmental and agronomic factors.

  • Elizabeth Barron-Majerik

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy (awarded by OU/Aberdeen)


The northern hemisphere plant Arnica montana L. can be found across Europe on high alpine slopes with acidic soils. The flowers are well documented as a source of natural products, particularly, active compounds associated with antiinflammatory properties. The high demand for this extract has meant that wild plant numbers have reduced dramatically and now in many countries, it is illegal to harvest A. montana from the wild. As a result, flowers from the non-endangered A. chamissonis Less. have been employed for the production of extracts with similar properties. A. montana and A. chamissonis were both grown during the period 2004 to 2007 in the North of Scotland (Orkney) in order to determine whether this environment was condusive to high yield. The qualitative and quantitative effects of weeding, fertiliser, mulch, seed source and species on yield were also studied. This research found that A. montana had high quality extract but was prone to crown rot and was less robust than initial trials suggested. Conversely, while A. chamissonis grew vigorously, the extract contained approximately a third of the sesquiterpene lactone content.
Date of Award3 Jul 2011
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Edinburgh
SupervisorMelanie Smith (Supervisor), Peter Martin (Supervisor) & Alexander Gray (Supervisor)

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