Background: Arnica montana, containing helenalin as its principal active constituent, is
the most widely used plant to treat various ailments. Recent studies indicate that Arnica and helenalin
provide significant health benefits, including anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective, antioxidant,
cholesterol-lowering, immunomodulatory, and most important, anti-cancer properties.
Objective: The objective of the present study is to overview the recent patents of Arnica and its
principal constituent helenalin, including new methods of isolation, and their use in the prevention
of cancer and other ailments.
Methods: Current prose and patents emphasizing the anti-cancer potential of helenalin and Arnica,
incorporated as anti-inflammary agents in anti-cancer preparations, have been identified and reviewed
with particular emphasis on their scientific impact and novelty.
Results: Helenalin has shown its anti-cancer potential to treat multiple types of tumors, both in
vitro and in vivo. It has also portrayed synergistic effects when given in combination with other anti-
cancer drugs or natural compounds. New purification/isolation techniques are also developing
with novel helenalin formulations and its synthetic derivatives have been developed to increase its
solubility and bioavailability.
Conclusion: The promising anti-cancer potential of helenalin in various preclinical studies may
open new avenues for therapeutic interventions in different tumors. Thus clinical trials validating
its tumor suppressing and chemopreventive activities, particularly in conjunction with standard
therapies, are immediately required.