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Helenalin is a bitter principle found in arnica and many other plants. Caution should be used when ingesting substances which contain helenalin since helenalin is very toxic to humans. It may cause paralysis of the cardiac and voluntary muscles, resulting in death. Helenalin will also cause inflammation of the mucous membranes of both the stomach and intestines, which can be fatal.

Leung, Albert Y. 1980. Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredient used in Food, Drugs and Cosmetics. John Wiley and Sons, N Y. 409 pp.

Windholz, Martha, Susan Budavani, et. al. 1976. The Merck Index. Merck and Co., Inc. New Jersey.