Many people are introduced to homeopathy through their experience with the homeopathic medicine called Arnica. This remedy is prepared from the beautiful flowers of the plant, Arnica montana. I thought I would relate one of the most dramatic cases of Arnica that I have treated. First I will describe the symptoms and some situations that would make you think of Arnica in the first place.
It is considered the single most important remedy for trauma and bruises. This can be horrific traumas such as head-on car crashes or industrial accidents. It can be useful for the chronic affects of old traumas or surgery. Often there is marked soreness; tenderness to touch or pressure, the person feels as if they were beaten, their bed feels too hard. Whenever there is bleeding into the tissues, bruising, Arnica may be the right remedy.
The most important mental/emotional symptom is the familiar "I'm alright, I don't need anything." You will hear this from people in an Arnica state after falls or accidents where they obviously have been hurt or injured. This has led to the common perception that Arnica does not want to be approached or touched.
Here are some common situations for Arnica:
"Black eyes" from blows Post-surgical bruising Nosebleeds after a blow to the nose.
Dental procedures, especially when there are extractions with intense soreness.
Surgical trauma with marked bleeding.
Labor and trauma of delivery.
Sore muscles after unaccustomed exertion or exercise.
When I was in naturopathic medical school in Portland, OR my young son and I would bicycle the neighborhood streets as a way to get outside together. There was one hill in particular that was a steep descend. We would work up a fast rate of speed before leveling out once again. One time, as we blasted down this hill, Skylar fell off his bicycle. He proceeded to scream like a banshee. Hearing him you would have thought that he had one of his limbs ripped off. His shrieking was so loud that several people came out from their houses along the street to see what was wrong.
It was difficult to tell how bad the damage was as Sky wouldn't let me approach or touch him. After a few minutes of this I realized the state that he was in and went home to get a high potency of Arnica. By the time I returned he had been crying for at least 20 minutes, still at a high volume. I managed to get 1 pellet of Arnica under his tongue and within a couple of minutes his whole state changed. He quieted down and allowed me to check out his injuries. There were several areas of raw, scraped skin but no broken bones. Already he was saying that the pain was a lot less. I thought that the swelling and bruising would only get worse and anticipated days of recuperation. Instead, 80% of the swelling was gone by the next morning and there was only some slight residual bruising.
In the years since, homeopathic Arnica has had a constant presence in all of my first aid kits for home, school, or car. Its efficacy is proven time after time whenever its use is indicated.
If you have had any experiences with Arnica please feel free to email me and I will share the most interesting ones in my next newsletter.
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