Gradual Disappearance

How to Preserve Arnica ?

Arnica montana, which has been weakened by human activity, must be protected to survive. Signed by all the people involved in production, the Markstein Agreement is exemplary.

Arnica montana is caught between a rock and a hard place. On one side, there is an increasing demand from pharmaceutical companies for this wild plant known for its medicinal properties. On the other, it is a species weakened by intensive agriculture and the fertilization of the soil. As a result, we are witnessing the gradual disappearance of Arnica montana.

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Good Practice at Boiron

To ensure the survival of the species and to promote biodiversity, Laboratoires Boiron has also set up good practices for picking in detailed specifications. The first rule followed by the pickers is that they agree to pick only 30% of a site’s potential.

This observation is particularly true in the Markstein region, south of the Vosges, which is one of the largest picking sites in Europe. To protect this place, which is unique in France, and to ensure the survival of the species, an exemplary agreement was signed in June 2007 by all of the people involved in production: farmers, mayors, pickers, pharmaceutical company representatives, the French National Forrest Office (ONF) heads, and the Vosges Association for the Mountain Economy (AVEM).

The Markstein Agreement aims to organize the people involved in the harvesting of Arnica montana in the Markstein‑Grand Ballon sector and to ensure the conservation of the plant as a common resource.

Among other things, it provides for:
• picking plants that are in full bloom,
• leaving one flowering stem in place every 5 m and the wilting capitula,
• and hand picking only.

Boiron has signed this agreement and is committed to respecting Arnica montana every day