Boiron’s Good Practice

Preserving Arnica, a Constant Commitment For Boiron

To preserve Arnica, a wild plant threatened with extinction, Laboratoires Boiron has set up good practices for picking with detailed specifications.

Each year, between approximately June 1 and July 20, twenty or so professional pickers harvest Arnica for Laboratoires Boiron. They pick the entire plant with a part of the root in the high‑altitude meadows of six mountainous regions: the Vosges, the Alps, the Massif Central, Ardèche, the Pyrenees and Aveyron.

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To preserve wild plants, promote biodiversity and ensure an Arnica montana crop of excellent quality, Laboratoires Boiron has set up detailed specifications. They require strict picking conditions, such as:

  • Only 30% of a picking site’s potential is to be harvested to ensure the sustainability of the species.
  • Botanical species must be harvested or grown away from industrial or urban zones, intensive or traditional farms, or roads in order to avoid pollution as much as possible.
  • The plants must be sorted from all other plant species and cleaned of anything else foreign to the ordered plant (dirt, wood debris, stones, etc.).
  • The health condition of the plants must also be perfect (aphid attacks, diseases, rust and powdery mildew, etc.).
  • The plants must be harvested and delivered immediately after harvesting (within 48 hours), in aerated packaging and via refrigerated trucks.

“We require that our pickers are also botanists. They must know a large part of the plant species and know how to recognize plants in their natural habitat,” explains Françoise Merceron, a pharmacist and head of plant purchasing for Laboratoires Boiron. She adds, “It is also important for the pickers to respect nature. Arnica montana is a species where you really have to pay attention when picking it to always leave part of the plant in place so that it can renew itself, and we can have the necessary resources for future years.”