How to harvest Arnica ?

Harvest Conditions

Harvesting Arnica requires know‑how and experience. However, the species is threatened by human activity. To preserve it, all of the people involved in its growth have signed an exemplary agreement.

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Adjust to Nature’s Rhythm

From the season to the weather to the harvesting equipment—everything you need to know about the conditions for harvesting Arnica.

Harvesting Arnica montana is something that is earned. First of all, you must not miss your window of opportunity: this wildflower is harvested in high‑altitude meadows (above 800 m), between approximately June 1 and July 20. The harvest period varies depending on the maturity of the plant, which depends on the regions and climate conditions. Nature also imposes its rhythm on the harvesters, who must follow the progression of the vegetation geographically: they start in the south of France and finish high up in the Alps.

In addition, the harvest greatly depends on the weather. “We have to adjust to the various climate changes; we change regions when the temperature drops to freezing, and we go higher in altitude when it is too hot in a region and we arrive too late for blooming,” explains Régis Buffière, a medicinal plant gatherer for 30 years.

“Sometimes, the weather can stop gathering for 3 to 4 days, or even longer, even though we know that the plants are at the optimal harvesting point,” adds Vincent Deschandol, a professional picker from Ardèche.

As far as picking is concerned, it requires a suitable tool (like a knife or pruning knife) only if the client’s order concerns the upper part of the plant or the flower. For Laboratoires Boiron, Arnica montana is hand‑picked by picking teams, which harvest the entire plant with several centimetres of roots (part of the rhizome is left in the ground). In this case, a pair of gloves is all you need to avoid blisters!

Finally, the pickers make sure that the plant has no weeds, dirt or insects in it; it must be as clean as possible.